Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A New Exercise in Democracy? EU Can't Be Serious

Maybe the weather has got to my head, or maybe I'm just trying to avoid the inevitable clasp the inevitable doom of Wolves' position in the Premier League. Either way, someone should ban me from going on any pro-EU websites, most of all the official EU website, Europa.

Lording it up on their website is an article titled "New Exercise in Democracy". Wow I think to myself, perhaps they've all smoked pot in Amsterdam and come to their senses that democracy ain't all that bad. Wrong! The article refers to the and is described as:

Introduced by the Lisbon treaty, the European citizens initiative is intended to make the EU more democratic by giving citizens a more direct say in its policies.

OK, sounds good. I want the EU to consider banning overseas religious preachers. So what do I do? Write a letter? Arrange a meeting? Get the number twenty bus in to town to speak to my local elected representative? None of the above. I need to save up enough money to finance a multinational petition covering at least three EU countries with at least 300,000 (yes, three-hundred-thousand) signatures.

And that's not even half way there. The European Commission then decides whether the interests of those 300,000 people from a minimum of three EU countries is worth their time or own interests shutting it down immediately, or giving it the thumbs up for phase two. Phase two can't be that big a deal can it? After all we've convinced 300,000 people from more than 3 EU countries to sign a petition and then we've convinced the EU Commission that all 300,000 people's interests are worthy of their attention. So what more?

After the thumbs up, we need a total of 700,000 more signatures from a minimum of a total of nine EU countries. Oh and that's not the only thing. You know those signatures I've been banging on about? I slipped up. I need to go back to those 1 million people and convince them to also give me their national identification number, in the form of their social security numbers or passport numbers.

Not only that, due to data protection laws I have to also invest in security measures to protect the information of over 1 million people with a minimum of 7 million pieces of information. The costs of all of this would be a minimum of half a million pounds. That's assuming I get the bare minimum of requirements fulfilled.

Never in the history of mankind has there ever been a physical petition of 300 thousand or more signatures, ever.

A new exercise in democracy? Somehow I doubt it. Somehow, anybody with half a mind would doubt it.