Monday, January 07, 2008

Euro Notes: Thoughts on Parliament, Dignity, Protest, and Referendum

No room for dissent in the European Parliament?

One Brit has a pessimistic view. Are things really that bad?

I am rather bemused, though, at the reaction of the MEPs who opposed the actions of their protesting colleagues, especially the one fellow who said that such acts display "contempt for the dignity of Parliament". Really?

Such acts of dissent, vocal opposition, vigorous expression, and demand for debate should be the heart and soul of any parliament that is worth the name! A parliament that is more concerned with dignity than debate is no democratic body at all, only a gilded room full of pliant courtiers nodding to a monarch, all undisturbed by differing viewpoints because there ARE none any longer. Compared to that kind of glittering yet death-inducing dignity, I think there is healthier democracy in the often wild and crazy parliament meetings of the Asian democracies!

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