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July 23, 2009

Wouldn't a dictatorship be simpler?

Ireland’s foreign minister Micheál Martin (the "á" indicates authentic Irishness) makes a telling half-joke about Ireland and the European Union.

Daniel Hannan elaborates.

I don’t want to pick on the EU. The fact is that no supra-national state has been a successful democracy. You can hold different peoples together within an authoritarian system: the Habsburg or Ottoman empires, Yugoslavia, the USSR. But you generally find that, the moment the subject peoples of those states are given the vote, they opt for separation.

Indeed, in order to keep an essentially undemocratic project in operation, the 27 member states are obliged to surrender a measure of their internal democracy, too. It’s the phenomenon I call the EU’s “hideous strength“.

Thus, in the case of Ireland, the Pro-Treaty Forces have secured changes in the referendum rules, which used to provide for equal airtime for both sides. This means, of course, that all future Irish referendums, not just those on European integration, will be less balanced. Thus does the the EU serve to vitiate democracy within its participating members.

Hey, isn't Canada a "supra-national state"? Just checking.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 23, 2009 08:08 AM