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The EU has to solve complex coordination problems. To a large extent technocratic answers ARE what's needed. And we know that the public simply does not care to enter into complex issues - they always vote for the demagogue over the technocrat/the wonk (the guy you'd have beer with).

Even on big issus like global climate change or energy security of supply, awareness has been gained by oversimplifying and personalising. Same thing on institutional reform. It's the  British "red lines" - the "Sarkozy dynamism" - the Polish brinkmanship, etc...

People complain about the lack of transparency and the demagoguery but vote for it anyway, when they actually have a choice about it (and if they didn't understand the choice, it's because od the demagoguery).

Even trying to explain something as basic, from a technical pov, as the difference between average pricing and marginal pricing, is beyond what most people will ever bother to learn about.

The problem is not the lack of transparency. It's the lack of care by most people, and their corresponding willingness to be fed lies and disinformation that they vaguely feel is lies and disinformation, but cannot be bothered to actually unravel.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 05:18:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU has to solve complex coordination problems. To a large extent technocratic answers ARE what's needed. And we know that the public simply does not care to enter into complex issues - they always vote for the demagogue over the technocrat/the wonk (the guy you'd have beer with).

I do not have a problem with technocratic solutions. What I have a problem with is that those technocratic solutions are incorporated into the same document that regulates the functioning of the technocrats that make them. For instance, what in the name of the Union are articles on preventing fraud and organizing an inner market doing in the same text as clauses on citizenship and separation of powers? What prevents us from making a nice, clean constitution that covers the establishment of a set of institutions and the powers vested in them without having a hundred and fifty-odd pages of riders concerning specific policies?

Then we could discuss the specifics of those institutions and the specifics of the attached bill of rights without getting bogged down in meaningless details that are important only because they are given the force of constitutional law. I noticed that the original treaty imposed a blanket ban on reproductive cloning, for one thing - how does that belong in a bill of rights? That's a discussion I'd have loved to have had without having to give an up-or-down vote on simultaneously encasing twenty or thirty specific policies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 05:15:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the devil is in the details: countries won't approve the big issues without the accompanying details.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 05:41:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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