2009-07-02

Stupid Media and Honduras

Why do media keep on insisting on using incorrect terms, for everything that has happened in Honduras the past week?

The last thing on DN use the word decree for something that they also write is approved by the Honduran congress. A decree is an order from the head of state taking the form of law, similar to an executive order in the US. But, in this case apparently a lawfully elected congress can issue decrees, I really do not follow.

The second part is of-course how quick everyone was to react and condem the ousting of the former Honduran president, calling it a military coup d'├ętat. While it is true that the military carried out the ousting, this was done after order from the supreme court that issued the order after the former president Manuel Zelaya. It seems many states and organisations had a knee-jerk reaction with trying to condem the event without knowing what it was about (including the EU), many others (the OAS, US et al.) keep on with trying to punish Honduras for their actions that seem to have been conducted according to the Honduran law.

The rule of law is central to a civilized society and I am actually a bit shocked that the OAS now require that the Honduran supreme court decision should be declared null and void, and that the safeguards in the Honduran constitution that prevents presidents from becoming dictators should not have been acted on.

There have been several recent developments that are worrying in Honduras, such as arrests and extended curfews, but this according to media here. Considering that the DN article (linked above) use the term opposition when they refer to street-protests, I do not trust a single word from Swedish media about this. Other technically legal problems are of course that Honduras for example does not seem to have a defined procedure to impeach or get rid of a president that is breaking the law. Flying the ex president to Costa Rica was probably not the smartest thing, and the ex-president should have the right to be tried in a court, but even the presidents party members in the congress voted to get rid of him, which would at least say one or two things about the president himself.

In general, what I think is that the fact that the congress and supreme court is able to dispose a misbehaving president is probably a good thing (most European states are parliamentary democracies, meaning that the head of state must have support of the parliament), while most of the American democracies have directly elected presidents that rules over a cabinet or the government (European presidents/kings/queens typically have no real power, and the governments are headed by a prime minister).

OK, enough ranting for now... sorry for not putting more work into the entry.

2009-03-30

Time to Rethink the EP Elections

In June we will have new elections for the European Parliament, the only directly elected institution of the Union. As usual, we can expect that the participation will be low.

This year I will vote in the Netherlands, though I am not sure which party yet, but I have some rough ideas at least. This is a fundamental issue, a citizen has the right to vote in the state where he is registered as resident.

In the interest of further integrations, I believe that it is the duty of every citizen that lives outside their home-state to vote in the local elections.

The problem that I can see now, is that the parties in the European Parliament are not very clearly laid out to the citizens. For most Dutch voters, they will go and vote on the same party that they voted for in their national elections. This in terms mean that the questions that will be brought up in the elections will be very specific to the state itself, that is certain questions will be debated in Sweden, some others in Netherlands, but there is no uniform election platform.

I believe that it is time for change, we should ban all national parties from participating and enforce that any party that signs up to the elections must be represented under the same name in at least several of member states. This would prevent voters from thinking nationally wen they cast their vote and start thinking European.