Today, Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank is in Berlin, explaining himself to the Bundesbank. Last week European leaders agreed a timetable to create a European Banking Union but German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to countenance measures to provide immediate support to Eurozone banks.
That was in spite of the fact that she had previously agreed (or has appeared to agree) to a proposed fund which would have given Spanish Banks immediate help. She said: “As long as there are individual national budgets, I regard the assumption of joint liability as inappropriate and from our point of view, this isn’t up for debate.”
In addition, Germany, through Frau Merkel, has also managed to postpone the creation of the new post of European Central Bank Banking supervisor until the end of 2013.
Then there was the rumour that if David Cameron persisted in his plan to veto the next Brussels Budget, Germany would seek to postpone the next European Summit.
Two weeks ago, Frau Merkel visited Greece with the sort of anticipation normally reserved for visiting Royalty. The Greek government were behaving as if “to please” Frau Merkel was the most important thing that they could achieve.
So who IS in charge? Who IS running Europe? It certainly does NOT appear to be any of the array of “Presidents” who occasionally spout meaningless Euro-rhetoric in order to justify their not-so-meagre existences.
It would seem that Europe and especially that “organisation-within-the-organisation” , known as the Eurozone had mutated into an “NON-ELECTIVE DICTATORSHIP”.
An Elective Dictatorship is simply a situation within a Democracy when the political power of the ruling Party is so strong that “what they say goes”. NO questions!
This usually occurs within a “first-past-the-post” system where the Party of Government has such a high majority that political debate becomes purely cosmetic. Whatever THEY decide is carried. Some call it “strong” government. In actual fact, it is a Dictatorship.
One may say that in the United Kingdom, we have the safeguard of the Upper House. However, the concept of an Elective Dictatorship is compounded by the Parliament Acts and the Salisbury Convention. Parliament may pass legislation on any subject it wishes and even if the House of Lords disagrees, the legislation can be bludgeoned through using the Parliament Act.
But “Ah!” I hear you say – “What about the Monarchy?” After all, any new legislation has to receive the Royal Assent which is in the gift of the monarch.
You may be interested to know that a British monarch has not refused the assent to a bill for about 300 years. It is a formality.
That means that a powerful government (in theory) could get away with whatever it damn-well pleases – with few real balances and checks.
In theory a strong government is a Dictatorship – an Elective Dictatorship.
These days, in spite of the counterbalancing weight provided in the United Kingdom by the Liberal Democrats in Coalition with the Conservative Party, the Government is behaving more and more as a Dictatorship – and that’s within the system described above. It is a manifestation of the weak in coalition with the strong and is a phenomenon reflected on modern-day Europe.
The “weak” in partnership with the “strong” (whether it is political OR economic strength), can only result in one outcome……the strong will always prevail.
What about Europe?
There is no upper house and there is no ultimate sign-off. It all has to be agreed “democratically”. But is that really what happens? Is the citizen still holding the ultimate power but more importantly, is the elected political representative still accountable to the citizen?
Firstly, the real decision-makers in Europe are non-elected. But on a macro scale, by virtue of nothing more than economic strength – an ultimate leader has emerged. A leader who has the final say with a built-in “queen” who has to give assent…….. Frau Merkel’s Germany.
Germany has NOT been elected to oversee Europe , neither has Germany been elected to dictate to other European states…….. and………the German Chancellor should not be required to grant “royal assent” to any economic or political changes within Sovereign European States……but that is exactly what is happening.
A strong non-elected entity dictating to the weak. A NON-ELECTIVE DICTATORSHIP.
“European Democracy” is fast becoming an oxymoron.