Daniel Hannan, the British Member of the European Parliament who gained fame with his devastating critique of Gordan Brown, has been equally trenchant in criticizing the excesses of the European Union. On his blog he explains the latest self-serving intricacies of voting in the upcoming election for the European Parliament:
How many MEPs will be elected a week on Thursday? Wait! Come back! I’m going somewhere with this! I realise the issue might not sound intrinsically sexy but, believe me, it demonstrates everything that’s wrong with the Brussels system. Bear with me and you will see how flagrant is the EU’s contempt for the ballot box – and for its own rule book.
Had the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty been ratified, there would have been 754 MEPs in the next Parliament. But under the existing scheme – that provided for by the Nice Treaty – there are meant to be 736. Three countries have rejected the European Constitution in referendums, and it is not legally in force. So how many MEPs will be elected a week on Thursday?
You don’t need me to tell you, do you? The EU’s primary purpose is to look after its own. Eighteen unconstitutional or “phantom” Euro-MPs will be elected anyway (hat-tip, Bruno), and will draw their full salaries and allowances. The only concession to the letter of law is that they won’t be allowed to vote. In other words – in an almost perfect metaphor for the entire Euro-system – they will be paid without having any function. (Incidentally, a couple of BNP trolls keep posting here to asking when I’m going to publish my expenses. I did so ages ago – see here – and all Conservative MEPs have done the same: our Right to Know forms are available online here.)
The number of Euro-MPs in the chamber might seem a recondite issue, but it goes to the heart of how the EU behaves. Other, more important, parts of the European Constitution have also been implemented, without the tedious process of formal ratification: a European foreign policy, the harmonisation of justice and home affairs, justiciability for the Charter of Fundamental Rights. These things would have been regularised by the European Constitution, but have been enacted despite its rejection.
It’s almost as good as unconstitutionally giving Washington, D.C. a congressman!
In fact, the attempt to consolidate continental government without giving the European people much say over the political system they live under is even more bizarre than electing MEPs who might never be able to vote. If implemented, the Lisbon Treaty will reduce the ability of the European people to hold their government accountable, but that’s just the point to the Eurocratic elite actively pushing further centralization of power. About the only barriers left to the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty are the Irish people and Czech President Vaclav Klaus, as I detail in a recent article on American Spectator online.