Alarming News

October 29, 2004

Maybe next they could have elections

European leaders signs EU constitution.

Nice. That’s only a little under a year after Afghanistan signed theirs.

Posted by Karol at 05:08 PM |

Because the measure of quality is expediency.
(And can we expect a post about the new ObL tape soon? It really can be spun in a lot of ways; I’m anxious to hear everybody’s reactions.)

Posted by: Andrew at October 29, 2004 at 5:12 pm

Well, I’m serious about elections. I don’t understand how people can put up with unaccountable beauracrats deciding their lives for them.
No time to view/read about the OBL video. Maybe tonight.

Posted by: Karol at October 29, 2004 at 5:16 pm

Interesting, since Bush is doing his best to turn our own government into “unaccountable bureaucrats”.

Posted by: Rick Blaine at October 29, 2004 at 6:29 pm

Rick, at this point you’re becoming a spammer.

Posted by: Karol at October 29, 2004 at 6:36 pm

Call it what you want. An even more poignant example of our current trend toward putting our lives (or at least our elections, which is what you were talking about, right?) in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats is Ms. Glenda Hood the appointed Secretary of State of Florida (Katherine Harris was elected).

Posted by: Rick Blaine at October 29, 2004 at 6:42 pm

There’s some truth to it though, Karol. There are reasonable ways to justify it, but all indications are that this administration is intentionally one of the least transparant in (recent?) history. I think calling them “unaccountable beaurocrats” is over-reaching, since all the beaurocrats are still either elected or appointed by elected people. But there’s a great deal that’s been done to make it less clear who is ultimately accountable for what.
Whether it’s been for national security, or to keep biased media from misrepresenting the decision-making process, or for something else entirely, that’s what we’ve got.

Posted by: Andrew at October 29, 2004 at 6:46 pm

Of cours, you must admit that Afghanistan was on the fast track because they didn’t have to write their constitution, or ratify it, or even show it to their citizens. Bremmer said “Sign here, inital here” and voila! The corporate puppet goverment was all nice and legal.

Posted by: Don Myers at October 29, 2004 at 7:15 pm

They have signed the constitution, but the majority of countries have still to vote on it via a series of referendums (ie national one issue elections). It won’t be ratified until these votes have taken place. At present in six or seven countries (including France, UK and Poland), the referendums look set to reject the treaty. The treaty was signed by heads of state – ie a body of elected representatives. Prior approval was sought via the European Parliament – that is directly elected representatives to the EU. How many elections do you want exactly ?

Posted by: Urbane McMeercat at October 29, 2004 at 8:07 pm

Wooo now we have two!

Posted by: Vincent at October 30, 2004 at 8:19 am

Am I wrong but Bremmer was never over Afghanistan. Either way is there a problem with an Afghan Constitution that resembles ours? I would say ours has worked very weel for over 200 years.

Posted by: Michael C at October 30, 2004 at 10:32 am

OOPS! You’re right Mike—I said “Bremmer” when I meant Karzai. I apologize for the error, and will give my research department a stern talking to on Monday morning.
The main problem with the Afghan constitution is that the Afgahs didn’t write it. While I think representative democracy is A number one, it cannot be imposed from without. Doing so turns it into a dictatorship.

Posted by: Don Myers at October 30, 2004 at 11:06 am

I agree Don that the Afghan’s need a hand in the writing and our finger prints are all over it. But you are on the wrong side of history though because it seems to have worked in Germany and Japan and it will work in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have each country with a stiff hand right now. But as each country starts to govern itself their countries will flourish under their own freedom.

Posted by: Michael C at October 30, 2004 at 2:28 pm

People who beat the Germany and Japan drum in order to convince us that Iraq and Afghanistan will be democratic dominoes need to learn a bit more history.
1. Germany was authoritarian in the 1930s up until 1945 but it had been a parliamentary democracy before that. the Weimar Republic was THE MOST Democratic country in Europe (possibly the world) between the two world wars. proportional representation, a system of checks and balances vis a vis the reichstag and the president and a constitution that genuinely tried and in many areas succeeded in finding a ground between industry and labour. The Consitution ended the Prussian dominance of the Lander and abolished its highly pro aristocracy 3 tiered voting system.
After WW2 Germany was largely surrounded by democratic countries and its citizens had experienced the system. In this respect it is a complete opposite to what people HOPE will happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nice attempted dig at Europe but your post forgot one thing.

Posted by: young-white-and-liberal at October 31, 2004 at 1:07 pm

Forgot to add this to the Germany bit.
After WW2 Germany had been comprehensively stuffed and its people knew and accepted it. Having experienced democracy and then seen the actions of Hitler’s regime they largely realised that a RETURN to parliamentary democracy was both necessary and a good idea. The people of Iraq have never experienced democracy and have yet to be convinced en masse that it is a better system of government than Islamic theocracy a la Iran or one man rule a la Saddam. Their first view of democracy seems to be,
1. Sovereignity that in realisty exists when its govt does what America tells it to do.
2. Drastically reduced stability security and a marked decrease in availability of such mundane things as water and electricity.
3. Foreign domination of oil industry.
4. Foreign occupation
5. Abu Grahib.
While this remains the case Iraq is NOT going to turn out like Germany.

Posted by: young-white-and-liberal at October 31, 2004 at 1:11 pm

Do you really believe that Iraqi’s would prefer to go back to a tyrant who killed on a whim? My point about Germany and Japan is that it takes time to rebuild a country into a Democracy. The left wants it to work perfectly right now. That is silly and naive.
Japan was not surrounded by Democrasies and it flourished as a democrasy.
Human nature is to be free, and oce we gat a taste of freedom we crave it.

Posted by: Michael C at November 1, 2004 at 6:02 am

OK. seems i misunderstood your earlier post. apologies for that.
Japan I agree with you completely and yes it does take time for democracy to flourish. What you must understand though is that very few countries become successful democracies if the system has been imposed. Look at the Weimar Republic between the 2 world wars. It was as i said earlier very democratic but also highly unstable in times of crisis. You cant impose a system and expect it to work. So while lefties like myself may complain that it is taking too long in iraq (i disagree and think we are in for a long civil war before democracy takes hold if it does at all) equally the rights view that you can invade a country surrounded by hardline theocracies and impose democracy while blatantly riding roughshod over the peoples views and interests and expect a good result is utopian at best.

Posted by: young-white-and-liberal at November 1, 2004 at 8:17 am
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