Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, June 03, 2005

Democrats and Dictators

Perusing Free Market Fairy Tales this evening, I came upon this snippet from Mr. Free Market:
In the European countries where the ratification process has been put to a popular vote, the electorate have said resoundingly ‘No’. In the countries where ratification has been via a Parliamentary vote, they have said ‘Yes’. Worrying to think how out of step the political class is with the common man in whatever country.
Dutch blogger Arjan Dasselaar made the same connection (h/t Daniel Drezner):
If 85 percent of Parliament wants to support a constitution that 63 percent of the constituency rejects, it seems obvious that our representatives in the Second Chamber (our Lower House/House of Representatives) no longer represent us.
I have a fairly good memory, so this immediately reminded me of a Steven Den Beste piece, Antipopulism from January of last year, which is so short I will quote it in whole:
In her new book, Danish Liberal EU spokesperson Charlotte Antonsen questions the use of referenda as a useful way to build up European democracy.

The book - "Towards the European Constitution" warns that the EU could fall apart if the Danish practise of consulting the people in referenda over important EU treaties is copied by other member states.

"Referenda have a very conservative effect on development. If the other countries copy us, the EU will fall apart", she writes.

Mrs Antonsen, a member of the Danish Parliament for the ruling Liberal party, argues that representative democracy is just as democratic as referenda.

"Referenda are in fact pure gambling. There is no guarantee of a positive outcome, unfortunately".
Think about what she's saying here. These questions are far too important to trust to the voters to decide. We cannot do what we need if we consult them in order to find out what they really want.

"There's no guarantee of a positive outcome." You should never hold a referendum unless you can be sure ahead of time that it will result in approval.

You should not consult the people and actually let them decide because they might choose the wrong answer. The purpose of elections is to permit the people to rubber-stamp what their rulers have already decided, thus making the people feel as if they participated in the decision – even though they didn't really.

Ms. Antonsen is referred to as a "Liberal", but her opinion sharply diverges from what has traditionally been known as "liberal democracy". It is yet another demonstration of the way that modern "Liberals" are deeply illiberal.
Prophetic, wasn't she? Truer words....

Steven expanded on the theme in a comment at Daily Pundit last Sunday.
See, because Blair was utterly stupid and decided to let the people of the UK make the decision about the future of their nation, that forced the French and the Dutch to do the same, and now look where that's gotten us? Haven't you learned that you should never consult the voters when you face major decisions, Blair, you stupid crypto-Tory?

What I like is the way the pro-EU advocates are starting to show their true anti-democratic colors during this process. It's making blatantly obvious what I concluded long ago: the constitution of the EU is intended to set up a benevolent dictatorship by the progressive (read "socialist") elite of Europe.
The title of this post comes from James Hudnall's Hud's Blog-O-Rama from September of 2003. Discussing in that case the difference between the Democrats and Republicans, Hudnall stated:
If there's any universal truth these days it's only Democrats and Dictators are afraid of elections.
Again, truer words....

Samizdatist Perry de Havilland wrote sometime yesterday Shine the spotlight, name the names in which he advocates:
This time we need to not just point out why these people are wrong, we need to grind their faces in their own words for all to see. It is imperative to show that there is often more than just mere ignorance or naivety at work when people choose to take an 'even handed approach' between Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the Ba'athists on one hand and the USA and UK on the other.
This is good advice, but I'm not really sure how useful. I'm not sure there are enough of us to get the message out (though I'd like to think so) because there seems to be a powerful human longing for that which cannot be, to the point that humanity seems willing to self-immolate rather than face uncomfortable facts. And there are always those who will exploit that willingness so as to grasp the reins of power, such as Ms. Antonsen, and M. Chirac.

For our own good, you understand!

Many people have pointed out that the French, in rejecting the EU Constitution, did the right thing for the wrong reason; that they rejected the idea of working longer, retiring later, and losing social welfare benefits if they actually had to compete in a common European market. The Dutch? According to Mr. Dresner's references, the result was due to "Dutch anger with the political elite since the 2002 murder of anti-immigration populist Pim Fortuyn." The Dutch rebelled against being "pushed around by the big countries" and "the union's heavy bureaucracy (and lack of) transparency and democracy," which, to my mind are laudable reasons.

But the fact remains that the "heavy bureaucracy" and "political elite" aren't giving up. And I wonder how many more countries are going to allow the question to go up for popular vote?

(Heavy use of Instapundit links were made for the preparation of this post.)

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