24 June 2008

Around the World, Part II

Here's a story related to the previous post from a couple of days ago about European support for Obama. Frankly, I don't really blame them — I'm not inspired by McCain either. And if was an average Joe or Jose or Giuseppe wandering the streets of Anytown EU, and all I really knew about McCain was that he's an elderly veteran in the same party as Bush I'm pretty sure I would back Obama too. But what's endlessly entertaining is the rationalizations given. One interlocutor claimed that France doesn't have racism, which made about as much sense as Ahmadinejad's claim that there is no homosexuality in Iran.

Note also this bit at the bottom:

I have a friend in London, very Euro in outlook, who is terrifically frustrated and worried about the election.

His chief concern: the role of Americans. “It’s a pity that Americans are the ones who elect the president,” he says. “It would be much better if the people of the world voted on the American president.”
This is really a not-at-all veiled way of saying "I want the power of the United States for myself. We could run their country and use their resources better than they can." When someone in America wants to meddle in the affairs of a foreign nation it is (often rightly) labeled imperialistic. But when some twee Londoner expresses the desire to influence American politics it's supposed to be enlightened.

And doesn't that comment also serve as an apt description of the reaction of most of the continent to the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty (née-European Constitution)? "It's a pity the Irish are the only ones who determine Irish policies," say the Eurocrats. "It would be much better if the people of Europe voted on the Irish referendums."

Watching the reactions to the Irish no-vote has made me think that maybe the EU doesn't really understand democracy. Elections are not like a magic eight ball: you don't keep asking the question until you get the answer you are looking for.

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