June 26, 2007

Democracy is overrated

Someone told me a few months ago that in my search for the perfect career I should pay more attention to the times that I get worked up or upset or excited about something. Admittedly, this doesn't happen all that much so strongly.

But, the thing that made me mad today was on the front of tonight's newspaper: one of the three coalition parties in the Netherlands (and many of the opposition parties) still thinks we should go ahead with a second referendum on the newly agreed European treaty.

Although it'll be months before an official decision is made I'm sure this'll be in the news for a while coming. It was a bad idea in the first place when they tried it two years ago. You cannot have the public decide on such a complex and huge issue by just answering Yes or No in a referendum.

Although I can understand that the policitians need to show the public that they did take the concerns at that time seriously. But they should also have the confidence that they did listen well (if the debate would have continued in a constructive way like it should have) and that the current treaty is the result of those concerns two years ago. Why does it warrant another referendum? Because I'm not confident that we'll get a Yes-vote out of it this time...

The European Union strikes me as inevitable and the Netherlands has a lot to gain from it.

Okay, maybe I'm overreacting. I hope they'll decide against it after all.

But still, is it bad that I sometimes think too much democracy is a bad thing?

1 comment:

Mancboomerang said...

Parliamentary democracy (as opposed to direct democracy) is a Good Thing. We choose people to represent us and charge them with the job of giving time to research stuff that we don't have time to think through ourselves, because we're too busy going to IKEA, etc. But anything that transfers sovereignty needs a referendum, I think. That carries the risk of a dumb decision but anything else totally lacks legitimacy and smacks of an elite doing what they want, possibly for their personal career benefit. I'm not really a fan of the EU now though (why the hell did they let Poland in without sorting out their voting rights first???) so perhaps I'm biased.