17 June 2005
Debate is great

I was struck by a comment made by Ralf Goegens in response to Brian Micklethwait’s post on the EU:

“One example, Britain has never signed up to the Schengen teraty, but I can tell you that is a huge relief not to have to show your papers at every border you come to, and move your property across them without a hassle. That is a huge increase in individual freedom.”

Or to put it another way: we can’t do it on a national basis because we can’t convince the electorate, therefore we need to do it on a super-national basis because there the electorate don’t count.

I have my disagreements with democracy but the thing that makes me cleave to it is that it enshrines debate.  The ability to debate issues is the primary reason for Western success - especially military success.  To lose it would mean jeopardising everything.  Debate and democracy does not always lead to the right answer but it is a lot more likely to succeed than any of the forms of government available.

So, sorry Ralf but there’s no quick fix.  You have to get out there and make your point.  It’s tedious and time-consuming but ultimately, it’s worth it.

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  1. Which is why, whatever your views on abortion, anyone who approves of constitutional democracy is entitled to loathe the Wade-Roe decision by the US Supreme Court.  Replacing constitutional government by judicial putsch stops intelligent debate, with its educational and deliberative functions.  That recent decision on cannabis seems equally suspect to me.

    Posted by dearieme on 17 June 2005 at 02:41pm

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