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Comment Re: Cute (Score 1) 634

But you do not directly elect them in the Cabinet. In my (EU member) country the process is pretty much the same, except there is no obligation that the Prime Minister or anyone from the Cabinet is an MP. The President nominates the PM at the suggestion of the party or coalition that has the majority, said PM then nominates all ministers from wherever he wants. Usually MPs or former MPs, but very often not. The Parliament approves the Government via a vote, and can revoke it the same way.

The Commision is assumed by the European Parliament via vote (they actually vote for each Commissioner separately), and can be revoked the same way. So, for me, there is no significant difference from the national norm.

As regards TTIP, it is stuck mostly because the EP is threatening to block it when it comes to the vote. Pressure from NGOs such as yours (I assume that what it is) is helping a lot. EU MPs listen to them also, not only to industry lobbyists. If you watch the hearings organised by the Parliament you will see that the invited speakers are from both sides on any issues - otherwise the hearings actually would not have a purpose.

So keep up what you are doing, it is working. Just know that if your organisation decided so, it could have done it at the EU level. There is actually a significant anti-TTIP lobby in Brussels, and it has been working for years on this.

Comment Re:Cute (Score 1) 634


As you can see, the role of the Council in this is at this point a formality. The political parties designate each a leading candidate before the elections, and the party that wins the elections, in the case the European People's Party, gets to nominate its lead candidate for the post of President of the Commission. The Parliament then has to elect this candidate.

You can even find a picture of Junker's campaign bus from 2014 if you bother to look at the page.

Here is the direct link:

As to the second part, I was simply referring to your definitions:

"Voting regularly for the representatives who chose, write, amend and rescind laws and regulations is borderline democratic.
Anything less is not democratic."

Well, the UK does not vote regularly for all its representatives in the Parliament, who are the ones who chose, write, amend and rescind laws and regulations. Therefore, per the second part, the UK is not democratic.

Comment Re:Cute (Score 1) 634

Whoa, the goalposts have taken a huge jump backwards.

I am sorry. I thought this was about comparing the EU legislative process, of which you seemed highly uninformed, with the national processes. The Commission is elected in much the same way as national governments are. I do not know of any EU country where people elect their Prime Minister or ministers. And, make no mistake, the Commission is more or less the EU Government.

Your issue is with democracy itself. Most EU countries are borderline democratic, according to your definition. And the UK is not, since one of its Parliament's chambers is unelected, and so is its head of state.

Well, guess what, the EU is democratic, even if only borderline according to you. It is even more democratic than some of its member states. Definitely more democratic than the UK.

Comment Re:Standard Operating Practice (Score 1) 634

No need to be rude. The text was "We send the EU 350 million a week. Let's fund our NHS instead."

Does it say that all the money would be going to the NHS? Not directly, no.

Does it suggest it though? I would say yes. That's the thing with suggestions - not everyone interprets them the same.

At first reading I interpreted it the same way. Only reading it again I realised that it's a very slick lawyerly trick of saying something without actually saying it, and thus committing to it.

Given that the first part of the claim was false anyway, and they (Leave) knew it, and Nigel (UKIP) knew it (just watch him never mentioning the amount per week, only per day or per year, avoiding to put them straight), I am not surprised by this development anyway. And by the way, even Nigel's more realistic figure is considered to be inflated.

Want a more truthful statement? "We are supposed to send the EU 350 million per week. We don't actually send that much, since we get a rebate that no other EU country gets, and most of what we send is coming back anyway. But we could just not send anything and spend it here. Some of it on the NHS."

Wait, that's not going going to fit on a side of a bus and no one reads that much anyway. My mistake.

Comment Re:Cute (Score 1) 634

In what way do borders keep the peace? Borders are the direct result of wars, and are constantly disputed in, you guessed it, wars.

The last time someone tried to erect a new border in the US it lead to an horrific war that marks the country to this day.

Removing borders in Europe has lead to the longest peace period it's had in its entire history.

Bringing borders back in Yugoslavia took a bloodshed of terrible proportions. Those countries liked their newfound liberty and autonomy so much that they now want to remove those borders again by joining the EU. Some of them already have.

And examining your argument, individual liberty must not exist today anyway, since everyone lives under some form of government. So what are we protecting, really?

Comment Re:Cute (Score 1) 634

I am sorry, but perhaps you should read up on the EU legislative procedure. It is complicated, as you would expect, given that it is supposed to protect the national interests of the Member States, but the Cliff's notes is this:

The Council, which is comprised by the ministers of the governments of member states, and has a rotating 6 months presidency cycling all member states, sets the agenda - The Commission writes the legislative proposal - both the Council and the Parliament modify it - the three parties have to come to the negotiating table (several times if necessary) and agree on a compromise. If there is no compromise, the legislation fails.

The Commission is comprised of commissioners nominated by each Member State, and a president nominated by all of them, and each of them have to obtain the approval of the Parliament. The Parliament itself is comprised of MEPs directly elected by the population of the EU. Yes, perhaps i would be better if only the Parliament decided the legislation, but, as I have said, it is that way in order to protect the specific interest of some member states being pushed on the others.

But the system itself is democratic, since you have directly elected members voting on legislation, and said legislation can not pass without their vote. The Commission is less powerful than you think, and less unelected than you know.

Comment Re:Another way to look at this (Score 1) 158

I would love if you were right, but unfortunately I think you are not. As mentioned before, smartphone updates are being delayed or denied by carriers, and that is not illegal nor have I heard of any serious intention of making it so.

Even driving a car with an emission defeat device is not illegal, unless you installed it as an aftermarket part, such as those designed for "rolling coal". All those Volkswagens running around with their factory installed defeat devices are doing it legally.

And how would such a law work, anyway? I have a fully patched XP machine - that would it still be legal to connect to the internet.

If the law makes illegal to connect unsupported devices, then the market would be thrown upside down. IOT would probably die on the vine. Interesting, but unlikely to say the least.

Comment Re:Very Disturbing Trend (Score 1) 1083

The law does not see a single mother as an unfit parent. Single females or males can even adopt,so the law sees them fit. I fail to see how a two-mother household would be worse. Or how a two-father household would not be even better, according to your argument.

The argument about homosexuality being learned and changeable are not relevant here. Also, if sexuality is on a scale, as Kinsey says, your anecdotes do not even prove your point.

Comment Re:Very Disturbing Trend (Score 1) 1083

I think the relevant part there is "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws". Thus the states cannot discriminate - which is not offering equal protection - between same-sex and different sex married citizens.

Also, homosexual behavior may have a felony in 1868. It is not now. So this behavior, now legal, gets access to the same protections the other legal (heterosexual) behavior gets. No, they were not thinking about this specific instance, but the framework they put in place still applies to it now. Apparently it was a pretty good framework.

I am not american, so some details may escape me, but this my interpretation on this matter.

Comment Re: Perfect way to drive "US companies" out of the (Score 1) 825

The idea that I tried to convey is that preventative protection would still damage your property.

Also, the problem with roads is the fact that they are a monopoly, and as such the prices would become unreasonable, sooner or later, everywhere.

And the vote with your pocketbook does not really work also because people are naturally reluctant to give up any cash that they feel they don't absolutely have to, especially for something as remote as national defense. The might of the American army would become history in a flash, and like it or not a lot of what makes America great comes from the fact that it is the greatest military power in the entire history. The effects would not become visible only overseas, but back home and very nasty and very soon. Like any great enterprise, the army can not be simply wound down. The conservation costs alone for all the equipment are staggering. If you would cut the funding tomorrow in half, the entire thing would just implode.

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