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Old 25th Jan 2013, 11:14   #61
Xir
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What a fantastic video ;-)

Need to watch the Holland vs. Netherlands now
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 11:35   #62
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Originally Posted by Xir View Post
I talked about British (which you "corrected" into English") because the central government talking to the rest of europe goes for all of you.
Your quote
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Originally Posted by Xir View Post
I've never quite understood why the British want a full say in the EU but at the same time don't pay their full part because they're Eng-uh-lunnnd.
First you say British, which include all those previous mentioned, then all the sudden you say England, which means the English. Make up your mind.

Here, let me correct your entire quote then.

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Originally Posted by Xir View Post
I've never quite understood why the British want a full say in the EU but at the same time don't pay their full part because they are British
<now you've included both the English, the Scottish, and the Welsh.

As I told you, British and English are not synonymous, they are not interchangeable.


If you talk about England you talk about the English. If you talk about Scotland you talk about the Scottish. If you talk about Wales you talk about the Welsh. If you talk about the British you talk /include all of them. If not you need to be specific.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 12:55   #63
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@Walle

Hmmm, let me rephrase that:

I've never quite understood why the British (in this case, the UK govenrment) want a full say in the EU but at the same time don't pay their full part because they're Eng-uh-lunnnd. (Thatcher who started it, Cameron with his up-yours-europe-attitude now)

It also helps if you voice the "Eng-uh-lunnnd" as spoken by Richard Richard (Bottom)

The main point while bickering about the name of the country of countries is this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon View Post
A lot of the current debate within Europe is how that will look while they look rather bemused at Cameron's antics on the sidelines. The people of the UK really, really do not get that most of Europe see us as annoying and irrelevant.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 12:55   #64
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Need to watch the Holland vs. Netherlands now
Thats just people not being educated properly..

Holland is to Netherlands as Surrey is to England. A county/province.

Simples.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 13:16   #65
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Originally Posted by Mankz View Post

I would personally rather leave the EU, that see our way of living change because of a bunch of people in Europe say so.. It becomes ridiculous when we can't kick terrorists out of our country for example.

#votetory

Uh Oh Mankz, I'm afraid you've made an embarrassing mistake. The reason we can't deport people to countries which might torture people is because of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) enforced by the European court of Human Rights. This is itself an arm of the Council of Europe, not the EU. Guess who started the Council of Europe? Yeah you know it, we started it

Nothing to do with the EU whatsoever, and leaving the EU wouldn't make a damned bit of difference there.

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We agreed to a common market, to a society run by Belgian bureaucrats.
We aren't going to be able to renegotiate our position in the EU because we don't have any real leverage. Its no secret that our biggest strength is the City, and Germany/France want it.
It's not that simple, and I think it's quite dangerous to look at it that way. Firstly, do we really *want* to renegotiate anything? I'd argue no, but if we do then you have to understand the leverage is the threat of us leaving, and any concessions or alterations we get are indeed going to come at a price, that idiotic FTT could be on the table if Cameron wants something ridiculous enough, but at least EU oversight of UK banks is a fair certainty. There are prices to being special in a union.

#learnabouteuropeaninstitutionsbeforemakingyourmin dupthemostimportantdecisionwehavetomakeinthenext10 0years.

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Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
The idea of a united people in a Europe without borders is a lovely ideal, but won't work easily in practice. People are tribal and tend to cluster around language, culture, social class, religion etc. Moreover their allegiances are nested in a hierarchy (allegiance to one first, then the other, then the next...) in a complex way.

See former Yugoslavia: one nation and one people under Tito, until he died and the Communist government fell apart; a few weeks later old neighbours are slaughtering each other over perceived ethnic and historical differences. See Rwanda: Hutu vs Tutsi. See Iraq: Suuni vs Shiite vs Kurds. See N. Ireland: Catholics vs Protestants.

See Aberdeen vs. Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen city. I've been campaigning to build a wall to keep us apart since the day I got here, split the city in two if I can, but no-ones listened to me yet .

Seriously though, I agree that synthetic countries are dangerous, but are we necessarily making a country in the modern sense, or perhaps more of an empire of old? Think Austria Hungary, Prussia, etc. China, the US, Brazil, India, all at least consider themselves to be multiethnic, have lots of different cultures, all have a variety of languages. By having a dilute enough nation where allegiances based on country are gradually, systematically, removed, which I reckon is actually possible through intelligent policy, we could end up in a similar situation to the US in terms of functionality within a century at most I reckon.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 15:03   #66
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Originally Posted by Carrie View Post
JRS I'd be interested to know where you're located/your nationality because my stab in the dark would be Germany, or at a push France, because they have the most to gain from a united Europe - namely control, or lapdog control, of it. Short of that, and without meaning to sound rude, I'd guess Fantasyland
I'm from Finland. And the finnish people would actually leave the EU tomorrow, if there was a referendum today.

Finland has no troubles with it's own bank-sector, as it was heavily regulated before Finland even joined the EU. Finland has no troubles with it's public debt either, and they've actually risen ever since Finland joined the EU, as all money that needs to be paid to the EU is paid by taking debts. Still Finland has only 50% public debt.

Finland has troubles with the EU-regulations tho, as they heavily influence the finnish economy. Especially the wood-industry is suffering from stupid regulations made in Brussels.

And do you know what the finnish government did to cover the costs of the EURO-crisis, i.e. the money the finnish need to pay to the other countries so that they don't go bancrupt... they raised the VAT by a percent, so the finnish citizens are paying up for the mistakes made by other countries governments.

So, the only way to make the finnish people accept the fact, that they're paying for the others would be, if they would've the exact same laws and rules like we do... and would you be happy with 24% VAT and a 49% tax on your income (max. starting above 60k per year)? And the list goes on ofc.

All the above is just inner-european politics however and it has nothing to do with foreign politics. To have a weight in foreign politics, you need to be powerful: military and economically.
On their own, no european country matches both criterias tho, and are political dwarfs.
If europe would be united tho, let's call it the "USoE" then it would have more power then the USA or Russia actually.

I'm not thinking that a united europe would solve all problems we face today, but it would give europe a way better chance in the world of tomorrow.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 18:13   #67
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According to this, Finland is one of the least corrupt nations.

http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results

I'm not surprised at all if the Fins would leave the EU, I would.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 18:28   #68
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Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
I'm from Finland. And the finnish people would actually leave the EU tomorrow, if there was a referendum today.
[citation needed]

Quote:
And do you know what the finnish government did to cover the costs of the EURO-crisis, i.e. the money the finnish need to pay to the other countries so that they don't go bancrupt... they raised the VAT by a percent, so the finnish citizens are paying up for the mistakes made by other countries governments.
Our VAT went up by 2.5%, and we've played our part in the bailouts also. Still, this is part of being in a union with others. We can grumble about it 'till the cows come home, but it was the right thing to do.

Quote:
So, the only way to make the finnish people accept the fact, that they're paying for the others would be, if they would've the exact same laws and rules like we do... and would you be happy with 24% VAT and a 49% tax on your income (max. starting above 60k per year)? And the list goes on ofc.
Taxation will begin to converge as the EU is able to start taking on its own tax policy. As countries gradually cede powers to the EU it can standardise issues like that to an extent.


Quote:
I'm not thinking that a united europe would solve all problems we face today, but it would give europe a way better chance in the world of tomorrow.
It's interesting that you're clearly very critical of the EU and yet see a federal EU as the solution, while many British eurosceptics are equally critical and yet see dissolution as the "obvious" solution.

Kippis!
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 19:10   #69
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Sure I'm critical. There's just too many reasons to be

One of the most unacceptable things currently for example would be, that we're not able to elect the european parliament and it's leaders. It's not democratic, it's not transparent and people simply are fed up with politics behind closed curtains.

The only ones, who can actually influence the european parliament currently are the lobby-groups, and we have no option to kick the corrupt politicians out of the parliament, as there's no elections to begin with.

And for the citation about the finnish people would leave the EU if there was a referendum, well... in 1994 the finnish people voted 57% to 43% to join the EU. Today it would be the other way around, if we believe the surveys.
I can't citate any unfortunately, as I can't find them in the interwebs. I just see them once in a while in finnish television.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 23:13   #70
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All power is centralised, whether within your own country or a "greater group" like Europe. That in itself doesn't make it bad theoretically. The problem comes when they try to take too much control to feed their own need, be it power, greed or dictatorship.
Perhaps you are right, perhaps the centralization of power and decision making would make it more difficult for such problems to arise? I have to admit though, that I've never really looked at it from that perspective before.

I guess it could be easier for he peoples to keep a watchful eye on the decision makers that way, or something. Easier to partake also, you know, to take an interest in what is going on and all that, rather than focusing on decisions made more on a local level.

All these theories man, I’m telling you.
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Old 25th Jan 2013, 23:59   #71
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One of the most unacceptable things currently for example would be, that we're not able to elect the european parliament and it's leaders. It's not democratic, it's not transparent and people simply are fed up with politics behind closed curtains.
Sorry I hope you don't mind but I actually dealt with this exact topic on another forum so I'm just going to copy and paste my riposte from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
You don't have to a vote on something directly for it to be democratic. The EU is how it is, you don't want to be a member, vote UKIP.

Our EU commissioner in Brussels was chosen by UK politicians.

The EU Parliament has direct elections which you vote in.

The EU Council is just our heads of state or foreign secretaries, who again we voted for.

The Council of the European Union is formed on an ad-hoc basis by elected national ministers depending on topic

Finally the president of the Commission is selected by the council (member states' head of state) and voted for by the Parliament (directly elected).

Van Rompuy was elected by the EU Council (again, senior members of each member state's national government)
If the EU is undemocratic then most national governments of the EU member states are. How many financial ministers are directly elected?

Hell, I didn't even vote for David Cameron. I voted for an MP in a completely separate part of the country, and if they and other members of their party happen to win enough seats in the country then they will be able to put in place their internally selected leader. Yet people don't shout "It's undemocratic" about that constantly, nor about most other equally democratic (or undemocratic, take your pick for descriptors) systems throughout Europe.

This undemocratic stuff really has to end. It's about as tenacious as the "EU stops us deporting terrorists" (Ignorant nonsense) or "EU laws ban bendy bananas" (They don't).
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 00:57   #72
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Yet people don't shout "It's undemocratic" about that constantly, nor about most other equally democratic (or undemocratic, take your pick for descriptors) systems throughout Europe.
I do.
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 01:28   #73
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Sorry spaceofdust, but the EU-parliament is as undemocratic as it can be.

In Finland we aswell elect our parliament, but we directly vote for each seat in the parliament (one seat per electoral district and the one with the highest votes gets the seat) and we even get to see every single decision of our politicians we voted (elections and referendums in the the parliament are not anonymous), so we can control them.
There's no stupid rules like a 5%-hurdle for parties or anything like that, so our parliament even has politicians that don't belong to a party at all.

And yes, I'm not even happy with the finnish system, as the citizens still have too little to say. The swiss citizens for example get to vote for alot of issues directly through referendums. Just recently they were asked to vote about the minimum amount of holidays from work for example and they made a very mature call actually.

Most of the european democracies are "parlamentarian dictatorships" (even the finnish one) were we only get to elect the dictators every few years, but that's far from what I'd call a democracy.
The word democracy comes form the greek demos = people and kratos = power. So the true meaning is "rule of the people", and not "rule of a very few elected".

Over the last three decades the interest in politics has dwindled, and most people only know things they get told by the biggest newspapers and TV-channels, and that isn't really much at all and not really objective to start with.

And yeah. We have EU-elections every five years, but they're different in each country, so it's not really a fair and square election to start with. The only way I'd remotely consider the EU-elections democratic would be, if every MEP (member of european parliament) would be directly voted, with a consistent system throughout all EU-countries, where the politician with the most votes in his electoral district gets a seat in the EU-parliament. And then this parliament elects their president out of the pool of MEPs.
Additionally, all decisions have to be voted for in the parliament unanonymously, so that the public can control their elected politicians.
This way we could held the EU-politicians actual responsible for their actions.

I've had these discussions about democracy over and over again since I was 16 or 17 years old, and I pretty well know what I'm talking about as I've ever since been heavily interested in politics.

Last but not least, the "bendy bananas" and stuff like that is excatly the things the media does tell the people, to keep them as uninformed as possible on purpose, as the current systems in europe need idiots to keep the systems going. People who are well informed and think too much on their own would be the end of the current systems.
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 02:13   #74
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Originally Posted by Ending Credits View Post
I do.
So you desire there to be direct elections for every position of authority in politics? I think that's a deeply unwise position to take, but hey, at least you're no hypocrite

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Sorry spaceofdust, but the EU-parliament is as undemocratic as it can be.
Now now, no need to be rude

Quote:
In Finland we aswell elect our parliament, but we directly vote for each seat in the parliament (one seat per electoral district and the one with the highest votes gets the seat) and we even get to see every single decision of our politicians we voted (elections and referendums in the the parliament are not anonymous), so we can control them.
There's no stupid rules like a 5%-hurdle for parties or anything like that, so our parliament even has politicians that don't belong to a party at all.
I know the Finnish system quite well actually. Modified D'Hondt method, right? Tell me, who voted Jutta Urpilainen into her position as minister of finance? Did you? Did other average Finns? No no, of course not. Katainen selected and appointed her.

Quote:
And yes, I'm not even happy with the finnish system, as the citizens still have too little to say. The swiss citizens for example get to vote for alot of issues directly through referendums. Just recently they were asked to vote about the minimum amount of holidays from work for example and they made a very mature call actually.
Indeed, they also voted against allowing muslims to build mosques not so long ago. When you ask the people every time, you get the nasty and the nice. Can't say I'm a fan, but given that only one country in Europe implements this system, and it's not in the EU, my point about the comparison between EU and national government appointments stands.

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Most of the european democracies are "parlamentarian dictatorships" (even the finnish one) were we only get to elect the dictators every few years, but that's far from what I'd call a democracy.
Fair enough, you don't like it. I'd say it's perhaps a little...rhetorical, to attempt to denigrate parliamentary democracy by referring to it as a dictatorship, firstly because none of our government's are run by a single person, and secondly because we get to vote every few years, which pretty much destroys the allusion.

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The word democracy comes form the greek demos = people and kratos = power. So the true meaning is "rule of the people", and not "rule of a very few elected".
You do rule, just not on a day to day basis. I don't tell my dentist what to do at every step, but I certainly do pick which dentist I go to. I find a guy who is competent, then I let him get on with something he knows how to do, and I do not.

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Over the last three decades the interest in politics has dwindled, and most people only know things they get told by the biggest newspapers and TV-channels, and that isn't really much at all and not really objective to start with.
You think direct democracy is going to be a panacea for this?

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And yeah. We have EU-elections every five years, but they're different in each country, so it's not really a fair and square election to start with.
Sorry, could you elaborate on this? Why do you think it's not fair? Every country once in a 5 year period elects their representatives to the parliament, what is the problem there?

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The only way I'd remotely consider the EU-elections democratic would be, if every MEP (member of european parliament) would be directly voted, with a consistent system throughout all EU-countries, where the politician with the most votes in his electoral district gets a seat in the EU-parliament.
Umm, you just described the system as it is today.

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Additionally, all decisions have to be voted for in the parliament unanonymously, so that the public can control their elected politicians.
This way we could held the EU-politicians actual responsible for their actions.
You might as well just argue for the disbanding of the entire parliament if you're going to argue for unanimity in decision making between 754 MEPs.

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I've had these discussions about democracy over and over again since I was 16 or 17 years old, and I pretty well know what I'm talking about as I've ever since been heavily interested in politics.
Then you should be aware that the definition of democracy you apply is fairly narrow and not a widely accepted one, that representative democracy is very much considered to be a form of democracy in almost all modern political theory, and that appointments within democracy are a natural part of the amelioration of the bad decisions the election process introduces into any political system.

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Last but not least, the "bendy bananas" and stuff like that is excatly the things the media does tell the people, to keep them as uninformed as possible on purpose, as the current systems in europe need idiots to keep the systems going.
So you're saying the media spews forth anti-EU propaganda on a constant basis in order to support the EU? Interesting...
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 08:00   #75
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You might as well just argue for the disbanding of the entire parliament if you're going to argue for unanimity in decision making between 754 ME
In fairness, I think jrs said un-anonymously rather than unanimously... Although I've just had a flick through www.votewatch.eu which seems to do a pretty good job of reporting a) How a particular vote went and b) individual MEPs voting history - much the same as http://www.theyworkforyou.com does for MPs in the UK parliament.

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Old 26th Jan 2013, 09:42   #76
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So you desire there to be direct elections for every position of authority in politics? I think that's a deeply unwise position to take, but hey, at least you're no hypocrite
I don't actually, in fact, I would prefer even more autonomy in government. What I have an issue with, which I appreciate doesn't have anything to do with the EU elections, is how voters living in relatively safe seats have their 'voting-power' effectively extinguished by the current system.
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 12:19   #77
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I know the Finnish system quite well actually. Modified D'Hondt method, right? Tell me, who voted Jutta Urpilainen into her position as minister of finance? Did you? Did other average Finns? No no, of course not. Katainen selected and appointed her.
As I said, I'm not too happy with the finnish system either, but it atleast makes it possible to elect single people into the parliament, who are not bound to parties.

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Fair enough, you don't like it. I'd say it's perhaps a little...rhetorical, to attempt to denigrate parliamentary democracy by referring to it as a dictatorship, firstly because none of our government's are run by a single person, and secondly because we get to vote every few years, which pretty much destroys the allusion.
The parliament as a whole dictates, and having the option to elect your dictators every few years doesn't make it better. The citizens are still not asked about their POV very often, and the decisions show that.

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You do rule, just not on a day to day basis.

You think direct democracy is going to be a panacea for this?
Direct democracy adresses both. You get to rule more often, and it gets people more interested in politics again, if they have to make a decision on their own.

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Sorry, could you elaborate on this? Why do you think it's not fair? Every country once in a 5 year period elects their representatives to the parliament, what is the problem there?
It's not fair because the elections are not 100% the same in every country, and there's even countries were you don't get to vote persons but only parties and lists.

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Umm, you just described the system as it is today.
Actually not, and that's the problem. There's still countries were you vote for parties and lists.

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You might as well just argue for the disbanding of the entire parliament if you're going to argue for unanimity in decision making between 754 MEPs.
"un-anonymously"

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Then you should be aware that the definition of democracy you apply is fairly narrow and not a widely accepted one, that representative democracy is very much considered to be a form of democracy in almost all modern political theory, and that appointments within democracy are a natural part of the amelioration of the bad decisions the election process introduces into any political system.
I just go with the basic meaning of the word, that's all.

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So you're saying the media spews forth anti-EU propaganda on a constant basis in order to support the EU? Interesting...
I say that the media doesn't tell the truth on purpose.
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 13:35   #78
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You go with the etymology of the word. Those are not the same thing. That's like people who argue that atheism means the denial of the existence of gods because its etymologically consistent with "without gods". Something I have, no doubt due to the formulation of your language, noticed to be curiously common among Finns.

Regardless, I'll simply disagree with your opinion if you think direct democracy is a panacea. The average person doesn't have time to know the ins and outs of bilateral trade agreements between their own country and bolivia concerning corn tariffs, do they? There's this strong desire these days to simplify something very complicated, but politics is complicated and necessarily so, and that's not going to change by putting a whole load of blind people in charge.

Honestly direct democracy seems like a fairly naive goal to me, it just brings about mob rule, and there are desires of society I don't wish to see fulfilled (death penalty, for example).

Ah well, I'll leave it at that.
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 13:42   #79
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I've never quite understood why the British want a full say in the EU but at the same time don't pay their full part because they're Eng-uh-lunnnd. *swayships*
You want to decide and reap the benefits of the common market, you pay your dues likeball the other countries.
DeGaulle was right in beeing sceptical about the British joining the EU.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want you out...given the state of British industries you'd be broke within the decade and our nutjob politicians would take you back.

Before wading into an argument it's best to have a tight argument so you don't end up having to discuss semantics.


Now answer the following questions:

1). Does the common market = The European Union?

2.) Does The European Union = The Eurozone?

3.) Does The Eurozone = Project to create a quasi federal state?


Has the remit of The European Union grown beyond what was initially envisioned? Yes.
Is this entirely justified? No.

This is the crux of the argument and why when the leader of our country made a speech on a referendum of membership of the E.U. the nation did not leap to the institution's defense.


Now for some bold assertions:

a.) We don't want a 'full say' because we are in the EU solely for the financial gain of the common market.

b.) We have no enthusiasm for the 'European Project'. We are utterly apathetic to the whole idea.

c.) The European Parliament and the European Commission spend most of their time justifying their continued existence.

d.) The European Parliament and the European Commission are to varying degrees unaccountable, wasteful and corrupt.



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given the state of British industries you'd be broke within the decade ...
Incorrect. Economic theory has moved on since the 1950s.
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Old 26th Jan 2013, 13:43   #80
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Funny you mention atheism and describe exactly what I would've said what it means

Anyways, I'm aswell not thinking, that the people should vote about everything, as that's why we have a government to begin with. But when it comes to questions, that touch everyones daily lives, then yeah, everyone should have a vote.

And I'm sure not one of those, who wants to see everything simplified. I'm all for better education, so that people don't need to have everything simplified and still understand. Additionally, better eductated people can make better and more mature decisions.
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