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Merkel Has A Dream

testosteronepit's picture





 

Wolf Richter   www.testosteronepit.com   www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter

On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel set foot in the European Parliament for the first time since 2007 and addressed the only democratically elected European institution—by design, an emasculated one that cannot even originate its own laws, though it is allowed to vote on proposals by the other European institutions. There, she laid out her plans to bring European nations together to where their budgets and other matters would become part of her “domestic policy.”

But first, the current problems should be focused on, she said to the drumbeat of economic deterioration—a day when Greece reported that unemployment jumped to 25.4% in August from 24.8% in July and from 18.4% August last year. It was 7.5% in August 2008 when borrowed euros were still growing on trees. Young people got slammed: 32.9% of the 24-to-34-year-olds and 58% of the 15-to-24-year-olds were unemployed. Revolutions have been triggered by the utter frustrations in those age groups.

So, as tens of thousands of Greeks filled the streets in protest, Parliament approved the austerity package demanded by the bailout gang from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, the beloved Troika. Another €13.5 billion in spending cuts and tax increases would be imposed on the people so that the next bailout payment of €31.5 billion would wash over the land—actually, most of it would head straight back to the ECB to service Greece’s existing debt.

The Troika should have sent the money in June, but after the election chaos, it sent its inspectors instead. They’d write up a big report behind which all politicians could take cover. In August, Greece ran out of money, and desperate measures began [ Greece Prints Euros To Stay Afloat, The ECB Approves, The Bundesbank Nods, No One Wants To Get Blamed For Kicking Greece Out ].

The report would be finished by September, and if it said so, Greece would get the €31.5 billion. Then rumors surfaced that the White House wanted to have the report delayed until after the election. So the meeting of the European finance ministers on November 12 became the decision date. Turns out, the report still won’t be ready, and the next decision date might be November 26.

Greece might not make it that long. It ran out of money months ago. The government is delaying payments to its suppliers, businesses are shutting down, the healthcare system is cracking... and unemployment in November will be much worse than it was in August.

Even in the previously calm core of Europe, the ground is shaking. Thursday, it was the lifeblood of the German economy, exports. They fell 2.5% in September; exports to the Eurozone plunged 9.1%. And industrial orders, which had been skidding for months, caught up with industrial production in September, dragging it down 1.8%.

Hence, today’s corporate austerity programs: Commerzbank, Germany’s second largest bank, might chop off 5,000 to 6,000 of its 56,000 employees; and Siemens announced that it would shave off €6 billion in costs over the next two years and trim its workforce of 410,000 people—due to the “slowing global economy and more headwinds,” explained CEO Peter Löscher.

Accompanied by this drumbeat, Merkel explained her dream to the European Parliament. It was all about a big power shift from democratically elected national parliaments to European institutions. The European Commission of bureaucrats and appointed politicians would become the actual government of Europe with executive powers over national budgets. The European Council, similarly composed of bureaucrats and appointed politicians, would become an “upper chamber,” she said. And she threw a bone to her listeners: the European Parliament would receive a bit more power as well.

“We need to be ambitious and demanding and should not shy away from a change in the contractual foundation,” she said. So treaty changes. Or just treaty violations, which has been one of the strategies so far. The new system would “coordinate more strongly” a variety of national prerogatives, such as taxes.

Then the instincts of the powerful political animal broke the surface: she proposed a fund to deal with the pandemic of youth unemployment. Because “Europe is all of us together,” she said. “Europe is domestic policy.”

Her domestic policy. The Greeks, for example, didn’t vote for her, and they might not want her to run their show. They didn’t vote for the European Commission either. They might despise Greek politicians, but at least they’re their politicians. Merkel’s dream had no such room for doubts. Together, she said, Europeans would create “a Europe of stability and strength” where some day all European countries would have the same currency. And why not with her on top of the heap?

The EU has already created a ballooning superstructure of governance manned by 41,000 bureaucrats and mostly unelected politicians. But now, the European Court of Auditors released its annual report—a damning document that outlines how up to 4.8% of the EU budget seeped through the cracks and disappeared. Read.... The Art Of Siphoning Off EU Money.

 


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Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:26 | Link to Comment Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

It's all over but for the shooting. Demography is destiny. And the EU superstate, like the US federal government, is rapidly running out of other people's money to spend. Die, fuckers. You won't be missed.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:01 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

Fat bitch needs to take a shower.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:36 | Link to Comment NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

1918..Germany in tatters...27 years later 1945, Germany in tatters.  68 years later, Germany tightens the noose and realizes they can have Europe without firing a shot...Greece, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Italy will be economically as ruined in the coming years as they were after WWI and II.  France is in the crosshairs and once again helping once again to destroy itself with a Hollande playing Marshall Petain...where is France's DeGaulle?...they need one if they are to avoid where they are heading.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 07:44 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

 

The Irish establishment wants to remain in the Euro to the very last drop.

This is a classic poker face from our corrupt and /or not so bright sock puppet.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/1109/1224326365390.html

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ruled out a solution for Ireland’s bank debt issue during Ireland’s EU council presidency next year.

In today’s Bild tabloid Mr Kenny said he had “never” considered pulling Ireland out of the euro zone because of the crisis and that the Irish remained pro-European because they “know where future lies”.

Not even a increase in political rhetoric …………..such as you cannot treat sov countries like soccer teams or something.

Nothing NOTHING………..its deeply strange this modern market state – it has no clear chain of command because it was designed that way.

 

 

The Euros all out attack on the nation state concept is extremely obvious now.

The banks are not satisfied with money power control anymore , they want direct political power over everything.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:29 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 for the contribution. though this describes also a cultural, psychological "Way of doing things" that is not that easy to change

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:36 | Link to Comment GCT
GCT's picture

Ghordius great comments.  I have some American observations I would like to make based on the Europeasn politicians stating they want a financial or banking union now.  Do you see that union happening?

I do not see it happening from my prespective.  Too many soverign countries that would have to give up their fiscal soverignty.  I just do not see European countries doing that.  Having a union such as that would require similiar standard I do not see would go over well there.  I mean just getting every country to have the same retirement age would cause riots in the streets in some countries.

Tax collection is another that comes to mind.  Unlike the USA, Europe is more diverse then we are.  I lived in Augsburg, Germany for 5 years and traveled extensivly during my time there.  Even the Northern Germans and the Bavarians dislike one another.  Soverign nations giving up their purse strings is not something I feel will happen anytime soon.

What are your thoughts on this type of union?   

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:07 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

GCT, thanks. I'm a bit exhausted, by now, and doubtful I should ever make this kind of effort anymore

to be frank, pre-crisis I would have said "never!" or "not in the next couple of generations" to both financial or banking union

the whole discussion has degenerated in a fight between the City of London and the other financial centers in Europe - and this makes things murkier

personally I'm an enemy of all fiscal centralization. I'm happy to be in company, as you have seen with your own eyes

a banking union "light" seems to be in the cards, with the ECB as a kind of second tier regulator. politically, this would have to be sold as an sdditional safeguard for the individual's accounts - you and I know that it's about bailouts and London's rehypothecation biz as much as a couple of other things

I'm thankful for the fact that each sovereign regards it's own banking system as a critical "national asset", so my hope is in that direction, i.e. that the 27 governments will push for some different, more local solution

so yes, I also don't see anything major happening if the future permits it and fervently hope that this "light" solution stays so

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 20:19 | Link to Comment GCT
GCT's picture

Dork, Ghordius,

Thank you for the replies.  I come here daily and respect both of your perspectives.  I think the Euro was designed from the start to end with a fiscal and governmental union. I hope it all works out, alas I think with the current climate something is going to go wrong soon.  From my perspective I just cannot fathom Greece not telling them to take a hike.  I read several European blogs/newspapers and people are starving, yet they want to remain in the Euro.  

I just do not see for instance France increasing its retiement age to 67 or for that matter Greece.  I think when they start discussing the standards for the fiscal union things are going to fall apart as soverign countrie's populations will wake up to supporting Greece or for that matter another country that retires younger then they do and the population will not support it.  Just my thoughts and I do not want to exhaust you anymore. 

Thanks to the both of you for taking the time to discuss it. 

 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:36 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

@GCT

It depends on the cultural homogeneity of these once very tribal nation states (which have a very different history from the US as Ghordius points out.)

For example Ireland has undergone a second great plantation since the mid 1990s ~

Germany less so.

This explains the lack of will from the Irish - it no longer is a very Irish place.

Most of the elite within these societies , certainly within Ireland wish to run from fiscal power as fast as they can.

 

For example  -Colm McCarthy a economist which I believe the Irish establishment use as a sort of bad rebel boy speaks from a sunday paper pulpit every Sunday.

This bad boy wants to break up the union but then make it better.

A sort of Bono make it better meme but with a harder edge.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXVP1zGc-uc


The Nation state was a banking construct from hell but the modern euro market state is the 9th circle of banking hell for sure.

Its a massive entropy engine as it has no focus.

This is the only thing that can save us from the market state nightmare - it simply does not work very well which however is probally its design.

At least until they can mould people into whatever banking image they think fits their new model of control.

 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:28 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Nation states no longer exist these are simply known as debt farms and sales zones.

National govts stopped running the show a decade ago they are all in the pocket of or terrified by global finance and the multinationals, the only people who have any balls left are icelandic people.

All other national govt's have been bought off/corrupted.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 07:37 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

I can't figure out how the German "conservative" voters don't smell a rat.

The Germans are not so bright it seems.

Mother Merkel is a operative for the cartel.

The conservatives in Germany don't know what conservative means as they don't have De Gaulle across the border to tell them how it works now.

God how I want this market state construct to break - it is destroying all our lives.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:32 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Amen brother. Germany is to Europe what New York used to be to the USA "back in the day." The only problem is once the Great Depression hit "Faith no More" became the modus operandi. keep you informed of what the Novus Ordo Seclorum is in these here parts best i can.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 10:11 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and that's where I usually disagree with you on all things european: you often try to translate it with American States terms

"Our New York" is not Germany, it's mainly the City of London (not Greater London, btw) with a very hot competition from Frankfurt, followed by Paris (and then nearly all capitals with their own stock exchanges)

If you want to find a comparison for Germany you would have to take the so-called "Rust Belt" at the times when industry was humming, and even this comparison is whacky, because it neglects the economic and industrial contribution of an industrial zone composed by small and medium companies (usually family-owned) all around (and including) Switzerland (which is not in the EU but it's economically integrated) in a radius of 500km from the Swiss border. this area is our California, Texas, Illinois, etc. all in one, but split in several countries

thankfully financial markets never noticed this because this area does not need fancy financing, does nearly no IPOs and so on

nevertheless, it's political impact is diffuse but nevertheless strong in european (and EU) politics

and to this you have to add several other similar pockets, for example in the BeNeLux countries, in Scandinavia, etc.

all in all: you can't compare, it's really different

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:07 | Link to Comment Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

The problem is, within Germany you cannot be Anti-EU or against "European Unity" without being labeled a Nazi and Imperalist, trying to establish the fourth reich, etc., etc., 

 

Almost everyone I talk to (I live in Bavaria, so its pretty conservative to begin with) HATES the EU.  They want nothing more than to leave the EU and EMU, taking Austria with us.  (Parts of Poland can come too) The problem within German politics is this game of chicken being played between the two main political establishments, which I believe will be their ultimate downfall.  

 

The fact of the matter is, we Germans do not mind being deprived of our democracy, as long as we can all remain wealthy and travel to NYC, LA, and Vegas when we want, we are very dossel and tame people.  However, when we are deprived of our wealth is when shit always hits the fan.  

 

So to answer your question in a round-about-way the conservative voters really really really want to vote to kill this stupid thing, but are scared to death of being labeled a Nazi in the process.  Once there is a politian that comes around that hates the EU and EMU as much as most Germans do, that can tell anyone who dares call him a Nazi to rake fuck themselves...publically, don't expect much change in German politics, unless we are deprived of our wealth, and then no one really cares what we get called.  

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:58 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

your first sentence has some validity

just out of curiosity:

those Bavarians that HATE the EU, how do they express this in the range between

- having articulated arguments against it

and

- just saying "leave me alone with that foreign stuff, I hate it and my head hurts from trying to understand it"

btw, your "we Germans do not mind being deprived of our democracy" sounds to me very juvenile

Should you in fact be that young than please excuse me for this sentence and exchange it with the suggestion that you research about Sophie Scholl, a girl from Munich that is probably spinning in her grave from your words

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 15:44 | Link to Comment Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

Most Bavarians, unlike their ClubMED counterparts care very much about politics, and where their money goes.  The best argument I've seen by the people around here is simple TVM comparing the interest rate received from ESM and EFSF for the bailouts our government has contributed with it average RoR which is substantially higher than other parts of the Eurozone.  They see very clearly, that even if they get ever red Euro cent back they've lent out (unlikely) they are still "donating" billions of euros per year to the south in foregone interest rate premiums as this money is being lent from the German taxpayer to Brussels at below market interst rates.  

 

Other arguments I'm hearing is that Germany should look out for itself, and it would be better served recapping bankrupt German banks with the money we've given away and return to the DMARK.  

I've heard other arguments that this whole damn thing is France's fault (which I totally agree with) and Germans of today shouldn't be paying for the sins of their grandparents ...

 

So yeah, Germany isn't a place that plays too kindly with poverty, however we as a culture love rules, and as long as we have rules to live by, and can remain "wealthy" we are a pretty happy people.  Luckily we still have our wealth, but if its going to take the bankruptcy of Germany to save the Euro ... we will demand our pound of flesh one way or another.  

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 04:21 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"as tens of thousands of Greeks filled the streets in protest, (Greek) Parliament approved the austerity package" Yes, another Parliament that was elected not long ago, with several parties forming a majority and approving reforms that are meant to reign in spending.

The insinuation that this is "demanded by the bailout gang from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, the beloved Troika" is quite offensive vs the Greek Parliament and shows little respect versus this republic founded on democratic principles, including elections. It's their will.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 07:40 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

related subject :

Here is an article today that could give a clue to what transpired in the Merkel Cameron meeting in London on 11/7 : 

Union bancaire européenne : Londres refuse la marginalisation

This is what Merkel knows is the heart of the financial stand-off between her conception of controlling the financial sector of Euro zone and Cameron's current clout via City monopoly.

If the banking union is an essential element of Euro zone consolidation it has to be controlled from the centre; aka ECB and Cameron won't have it! Possibility of Brit veto.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:03 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Three things britain will never agree to share with EU.

1, Tax Harmonisation.

2, Armed Forces.

3, Intelligence Services.

QED: britain will never join the EU.

The purpose of the EU is not to make us all rich, its to prevent war on our own soil.

Since americans never had a war on their own soil in living memory they seem to forget why the coal and steel union talks began.

Only americans would value aquiring wealth at the cost of their fellow americans physical suffering. Gulf war 2 may have cost thousands of lives but it kept you out of recession till 2008, so all your dead soldiers blood and your taxpayers treasure were great value for money from an american point of view.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:34 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

pls allow me a correction: "Tax harmonisation" as such is out of the question for several key countries. What the continentals are pushing is the European Fiscal Compact (it's about balancing budgets) and there the UK opted out

Sharing Armed Forces and Intelligence Services are also out of the question for most

The British Question is not about joining the EU, it's about exiting the EU. But the Westminster Parliament is currently dodging that question - including allowing a referendum - with their new Act of Parliament that makes any major changes in the EU setup needing a mandatory referendum.

At the end, it's all about the split in the Tories (Conservatory Party) between pro-europeans and euro-skeptics, so the expectation is that Cameron will do a lot of anti-EU posturing in order to catch votes.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:35 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

can't be one foot in and one foot out, unless you're performing for the Moulin Rouge. 

RUle Britannia without the US-Arab petrodollar/Oligarchy white-washed dollar uber-connections, built up over thirty years in City of US run off-shore banksterising, has few other assets to talk about. 

In order to prevent continental wars, and by that I include the Russians in the puzzle, the UK has to be center stage in Brussels to make its voice felt BEfORE wars break out in the periphery; like in Hungary , Greece or Serbia. Thats the lesson of the past.

Don't quite understand why James Bond and BAE cannot be on the same page as Inspecteur Clouzeau and EADS. 

They all like Dom Perignon and Skiing in the alps. That's all that counts to the Oligarchs. As for the sheeple..who cares in Whitehall! 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:27 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Old but gold.

Sir Humphrey: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it's worked so well?
Hacker: That's all ancient history, surely?
Sir Humphrey: Yes, and current policy. We 'had' to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased; it's just like old times.
Hacker: But surely we're all committed to the European ideal?
Sir Humphrey: [chuckles] Really, Minister.
Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?
Sir Humphrey: Well, for the same reason. It's just like the United Nations, in fact; the more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up, the more futile and impotent it becomes.
Hacker: What appalling cynicism.
Sir Humphrey: Yes... We call it diplomacy, Minister.
Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:39 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

no wonder they all end up at the Moulin Rouge! 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:33 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

gold indeed, and gold is never old. and this is the reason why we can't stay mad at the British too long: they have the best bloody humour of the whole globe. makes 'em cuter than a basket of kitties, and you can't humanly whack cute kitties on their head until they see some reason

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:25 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

This lesson from the past is from the time when the British Empire was the 800 pounds gorilla in the european room. And at that time it was all about keeping the continent divided - which is still the reset standard of UK policy.

The discordant, cacophonic, British note in the European Concert

The problem the UK has in Brussels is psychological, it still demands leadership, and has big problems in accepting the others as peers. Your examples with Hungary, Greece and Serbia are telling: what was the factual, physical contribution from Whitehall?

Particularly Serbia was sickening: all former powers reverted to their stances of the 19th Century as a matter of course - as if Austria would still be able to do something!

falak, the big unanswered question is this: WTF is europe to do if the dollar fails and with it a substantial part of the Pax Americana?

America came in twice on request of the UK to reorder the continent. the second time with a side-dish of Marshall Plan

europe supported heavily King Dollar for nearly thirty years - as a matter of being thankful for it's leadership and protection, if you want, and a substantial part of this load is now squarely on the Chinese Giant's shoulders

and the United Kingdom is still trying to dance on all weddings while not kissing or engaging anyone, thinking it can somehow come on top of everything. that's the British Question with the EU, the Commonwealth and the world at large

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:16 | Link to Comment Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

That though is the problem with the EU.  You cannot have peace, and 100,000,000 educated people living in poverty.  This simply won't work unless there is some form of dictatorial oppression.  

 

Either the entire EMU returns to ~ 2006 prosperity or the things falls apart.  There is no continuing with youth unemployment running upwards of 20% in almost every EU nation.  Just impossible. 

 

 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:38 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

TPTB can refloat the system on faith and see if that gets them another bubble to ride on for a few years more or.....we can try something new.

It's not the system that kills you, the 3-12 month transition to a new paradigm does that by making you cold and hungry.

 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:29 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

I wish i was lazy and smug enough to give a down arrow without actually countering the points made.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 05:24 | Link to Comment AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

will is what gets executed when you die.

no money = empty will

unless greece has a strong military an military sides with the people. will of the people will be ignored.

Greece will be tourist destination for German, French, and British bankers.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 05:42 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Aldous, don't get me started on the continuos bastardization of the English language when it comes to the political vocabulary.

Popular Will is a very difficult matter. Fact is, 60% to 70% of the Greeks want to stay in the eurozone, i.e. keep the EUR (and stay in the EU, though this is a different matter).

The estimated number of Greeks that are against austerity is around 50%, perhaps even 55%. But all the other countries in the Fiscal Compact want to go towards Balanced Budgets. So EUR = balanced budgets = austerity for everyone in the club

This is the will of the people, they had debates about that and they had an election this year. Their electoral system allows for small parties, and they have a coalition that just voted 168 (of 300) for austerity.

now what do you think should the "strong military" do, exactly? you know that Greece was a military dictatorship until 1974, do you wish them back? what for?

if you wish Greece to default then say so, but please don't say that this is the popular will or that the popular will does not matter

I would prefer them to default myself, but I can't blame them not wanting to

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 05:43 | Link to Comment Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

The present Oligarchy IS a form of martial law or "military dictatorship"

Democracy is when the people rule, not when they are ruled

Same in the United States, we're poor when compared to the Greeks

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 07:38 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

The present Oligarchy IS a form of martial law or "military dictatorship"

Really, have you ever lived under martial law or miltary dictatorship? if you had you would never compare the greek or USA systems to a junta.

The people of greece have lived under military rule, they piss themselves laughing at morons like you who say such shit.

American exceptionalism at its finest, keep it up, without dumb fux like you about to pay his wages glenn beck might have to get a real job doing something of value.

 

 

 

 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 06:31 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and how do you propose to have the people rule? The Greeks have a parliamentary system, i.e. the government is appointed (and governs on sufferance) by a majority in parliament that is elected in a proportional method

X% of voters organizing themselves in a party Y translates in X% of seats in the Hellenic Parliament for party Y

And so they have Conservatives, Liberals, Social Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Fascists and so on in parliament

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 06:43 | Link to Comment ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

Representative democracy as a form of political organization has been hijacked long ago. 

 

True representative democracy includes responsibility of elected representatives where ANYBODY who's been voted in can be voted out AT ANY TIME. Also notice that a true system of representative democracy means voters get to choose from a list of people with their full names on the ballot, not an abstract agenda hidden behind a partisan logo (abstractness implies there's nobody to be held accountable).

Now, Ghordius, I want you to reflect on why voting for people has been systematically removed in favor of the proportional model where you cast your vote for a party.

Greek electoral system is an even greater scam because of those extra 50 seats granted to the agenda with most votes, leading to today's situation where a whole fucking government majority is represented by the will and vote of less than 50% of said electorate

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:45 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and you mean by this that the Greek electoral system is worse than the FPTP system used in the UK and the US because of the "mixed" system giving the extra 50 seats to the first (plurality) list? I find your statement confusing, pls explain how you find the German 50-50 system then?

the plurality bonus is a new feature that tries to appease the FPTP proponents while keeping the proportional system

again, I'm confused. all electoral system are imperfect. they are all a compromise between efficiency and effectiveness

and the accountability of MP is everywhere a moot point - it's about reelecting them or not

the very moment you throw MPs in prison you have a dictatorship of the "first jailers"

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 10:42 | Link to Comment ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

No, both the Greek and UK systems are corrupt. A better (as in more democratic) solution would be implementing a two-round system, in the manner of French presidential elections, since it guarantees legitimacy of 50% + 1 vote (as opposed to bare legality, wherein by changing a law, like in Greece, a structure makes it legal to reward the option which has acquired majority of the votes, disregarding quorum in the process.). 

 

You wrote "accountability of MP is everywhere a moot point - it's about reelecting them or not". Such reasoning implies that after electing a representative he is no longer held accountable for his actions during his mandate, is not bound to represent the people who entrusted him/her with the duty and doen't necessarily express the will and sentiment of his electoral body. He can only be punished by not being reelected. Precisely what corrupts politicians when you put into perspective the ammount of money spent by corporations and interest groups in lobbying for a certain cause.

 

Do you understand now why I don't vote anymore?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 12:21 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

the funny thing about the two-round systems is that usually people complain and show political fatigue

but if you want to fill a parliament with the two-round system - presuming you are assigning one seat per district as this is usual - you usually end with two parties in power, one in majority and one in minority. the outcome is like FPTP. is this better? or is this a matter of taste?

the reason why MPs are held only politically accountable is - as history shows - that otherwise the single MP might become the target of the government/police/etc. And so we all use the system of declaring the MPs as sacrosanct (i.e. untouchable - it's a term from the Roman Republic). we have not found yet a better system

all human systems are corruptible. including democracy, though all the other systems are even more corruptible

political fatigue as you show - by your own words "...I don't vote anymore" is then the henchmen of corruption

I understand, nevertheless I wish it would be otherwise, particularly because you do think about this otherwise for most people totally boring stuff

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:14 | Link to Comment ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

Can you please explain how and why would an MP be targeted by the gov./police if he was held accountable by the very people who elected him?

 

I don't say MP's should be stripped of immunity, but even today the immunity they get is political, not criminal (unfortunately that has changed over time as self-perpetuating corruption gets broader and deeper). I promise if you take a look at the Constitution of your country, you'll find that it says something like "any MP caught in flagranti, or accused of, commiting a crime punishable by at least 3-month prison sentence, is stripped of his immunity and his duty as an MP ceases immediately".

 

And you're wrong again - my "political fatigue" as you express it, derives from understanding the system's corruption and my unwillingness to empower it. Had I (and many other libertarians, I believe) been given an opportunity to directly influence the performance and future actions of my MP beyond the point of casting a ballot, then I'd be glad to actively take part in the whole process.

 

Guess my modus operandi exceeds your comprehensive abilities...

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 06:06 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Interesting how this meme about "all things beginning with eu- are undemocratic" still lives on and is so important to some.

"the European Parliament ... the only democratically elected European institution—by design, an emasculated one that cannot even originate its own laws, though it is allowed to vote on proposals by the other European institutions" And who are those "other European Institutions"? The Council and it's appointed Commission which has to be confirmed by the EU Parliament. And who is the Council? The Governments of the member countries. And how are those governments formed? In near all cases by majorities in their elected Parliaments. Meaning they can be exchanged/reformed by their parliaments.

Wolf, it's a Confederation setup based on sovereign members who have Parliamentary Systems. That's the reason why "emasculated", we don't want the "center" designing new laws - they have to be originated by the members.

And those members are sovereign countries with their own democratic institutions, including at the center elected parliaments. And of course their own armies, navies, air forces, secret services, (national banks too, only some partecipating to the ECB) and ministries, all administered by the national governments.

"ballooning superstructure of governance manned by 41,000 bureaucrats and mostly unelected politicians"

Compare it with the millions of bureaucrats in Germany alone. There are single, not even big cities that have this kind on numbers of bureaucrats. Yes, sounds like a very "strong federal power", eh?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 07:54 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Pearls before swine G, pearls before swine....

America imposed a union after the civil war, why should europe not do the same.

ZH never lets facts get in the way of a good rant.

Articles like the above are just emotive bullshit designed to make the ZH fanboyz all warm and fuzzy, it tells em they are smart coz some corp shrill shares their views, if a player like wolf says it then it must be true right, it cant possibly be that wolf has a degree in misdirection, misrepresentation and obfuscation and thats how he makes his money, by telling morons that the boat hasnt sailed and they are just in time and only he can guarantee them passage.

If he actually had any insights rather than riding on others coat tails he may have a point but until he leads rather than follows, he's hust a shrill.

IMHO,

 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:23 | Link to Comment Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

We were a union BEFORE the Civil War. It was a " War To Preserve The Union. "
So to carry the analogy to the EU, it is in the pre-Civil War stage.
Slavery aside, a lot of the frictions leading to the war were who pays taxes ( the south ) and who had debts, consumed taxes( the north )

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:38 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

and of course "here you are trying to be different."

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 10:46 | Link to Comment Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

I almost wish i was 'trying', then i could just stop 'trying' and revert to being normal, i would soon become an ignorant and happy consumer again.

Anyone got a spare blue pill?

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 03:45 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

Germany won WWII on October 3rd 1989. There can be only one....one Reich.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 04:30 | Link to Comment Shylockracy
Shylockracy's picture

Your demonology has it ass backwards. Since 1945 Germany has been forcefully integrated into the Western Empire. Since then there are no such things as German national interests, sovereignity, or a legitimate constitution written and voted by representatives of the people in a national assembly.

Judge the German political elite by their actions, and you will see that their loyalty is to a project the realisation of which Germany as a country and Germans as a nation are an obstacle, possibly the gravest obstacle.

No wonder then that Germans are kept in the dark, fed anti-German/anti-European propaganda 24/7 from craddle to the grave. So please be charitable with the Germans for their lot as beasts of burden assigned carry out the designs of alien interests is not an enviable one. In practice, the lot of the German people is not any different from that of the American people. Think about it.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 11:46 | Link to Comment Joe A
Joe A's picture

I am not talking about the good German people. I am talking about the Germans State. Helmut Kohl at first did not want to recognize the new border of Germany with Poland and wanted to have 'talks' about that. Then Germany interfered in the Balkans, siding with historical ally from WWII Croatia and supplied them with weapons. After Kohl excited, then came this SDU guy -what's his name- and after that Merkel. These were examples of softer power but nevertheless their foreign politics evolved around being the dominant power in Europe.

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 09:40 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

and this is where i disagree. The only thing the author is trying to say is "Germany for the Germans." Merkel is asserting German nationalism...nothing more, nothing less either. The rest of you can argue all you want about "what England and Germany are talking about"...but clearly Merkel is saying "Germany is in charge."

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 08:52 | Link to Comment Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

Wenn auch nur wir ein "Fox News" Geganstück haben...  :( 

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 02:52 | Link to Comment The Reich
The Reich's picture

You don't need enemies with such leaders!

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