Just look at the facts about the sorry state of European democracy today:
- Merkel and her coalition no longer enjoy a majority in the eyes of voters if the Bavarian election results are to be believed.
- Macron is one of the most unpopular presidents ever elected in France with a poll rating of 29%! His old university, ENA, that wonderful elite school for top politicians and businessmen, appears also to be the edge of bankruptcy.
- It is hard to find any reliable poll rating for Ms. May, but her present challenges must put her near the bottom of voter popularity.
- Spain has minority government too!
- Italy has its own political circus based on anti-European opinions, likewise Poland and Hungary.
- And then there is the largest Nordic country, Sweden, that has no government because none of the big minority parties wants to work with the Sweden Democrats, the party with neo-nazi roots.
- Even the Finnish government should not feel left out in this dismal assessment of political legitimacy, they also have a mere 39% support in the polls. The two big parties rely on the support of a party that has never been elected and enjoys virtually no voter support – they are only in power because they split off from another party!
- … and given the threats to democracy from the 2 men in the above photograph, one would think that we really do need legitimate governments here now.
So where does that put the EU in terms of legitimacy? We never voted for Juncker and Tusk who are now deciding the fate of Brexit and many other big matters that affect our daily lives.
Small countries like the Nordics, (Sweden, Finland, and Denmark as EU member states), have little sway over voting in the EU Parliament where we are forced to join the big almost meaningless political blocks.
We can vote for 46 MEP’s out of 751 – can that be called anything but democratic when so much national authority has been moved to the EU!
When we call for reforms in the EU what happens?The big countries, who enjoy many benefits from the present system, vote us down or do nothing. Just consider the Common Agricultural Policy, unfavourable European tax policies of Luxembourg, Holland and Ireland, still uncontrollable banks, weak climate change policies, anti-democratic policies of Poland and Hungary, over-generous grants to poorly managed governments, criminal fraud with EU grants, weak governance of EU bodies like the EIB, a lack of discipline on financial and fiscal governance by the big countries like France, Germany, Italy and the UK… etc.
The list is long and yet we, the voters are only allowed to stand on the shore to watch these big tankers run around as if they are the legitimate governments of the voters – and that certainly is not true today.