Dr Sigismund Heuschrecke, the "capitalist locust" who serves as the blog's correspondent on communications questions, has lambasted the EU Commission's campaign to sell the proposed EU constitution to voters.
In the latest posting on her blog, the Commissioner had blamed resistance to the draft document (in Holland and France) on the complexity of the draft constitution, as well as on voter apathy and voters' interest in "local issues". Dr Heuschrecke, for his part, accuses the Commission of "a wild underestimation of the value of true democracy".
"Margot, your take on voter apathy is the exact opposite of mine - when people feel truly involved in a debate, they will participate, they will object, sometimes understand new aspects, draw their own conclusions, and they will vote. When they feel the debate is taking place behind closed Chancellory or Commissionary doors, they will become apathetic.
"To sell your consitution to voters, the Commission needs to involve them in the process in this way. This has emphatically not happened in the current campaigns in France and Holland - where the attempts to sell the constituion have been inept, focussing on the wrong issues (such as the Holocaust) and emphasising technocratic complexities at the expense of showing a vision for a new and democratic Europe.
"The forthcoming rejection of the document is the result of the document's shortcomings, not the supposed shortcomings of voters, and I fear you have made another canard in making that claim!
"But the attitude your claim reveals is, I suspect, the very thing which makes it so hard for EU Commissioners and their allies to connect with their voters - an attitude compounded of arrogance, overconfidence in the worth of the consensus-based policies of most EU politicians, and a wild underestimation of the value of true democracy. "
Posted by Sigismund Heuschrecke on May 26, 2005 at 01:35 PM
Wise words from the sage doctor, no doubt. But this blog suspects he's on a hiding to nothing.
Attempts to warn the lovely and well-meaning Communications Commissioner of the perilous contradictions of her position have frequently been made - not least by this blog. We have often asked her how the EU can fund a TV station which foments the killing of Jews on the one hand, whilst claiming that its draft constitutional document is the only barrier between Europe and another holocaust on the other. This is dangerous policy, inconsistently formulated, and quite unacceptable to such voters aware of it, we have urged. But our warnings always tended to fall on deaf ears. Let's hope the inimitable Dr Heuschrecke has better luck.
EUROPA - Margot Wallstr?m, Vice-President of the European Commission: my blog