Monday, March 07, 2005

The EU's "Pinchbeck Metal"

Arguing against Britain's pending Prevention of Terrorism Bill in today's UK Times, William Rees-Mogg compares the US constitution to the proposed European Union constitution, and finds the former lacking.
For instance, one can apply the standard of the US Constitution to the constitution of the European Union; it immediately becomes apparent that the European constitution is not merely undemocratic, but unusable. It does not do what a constitution has to do; it does not provide a definition of relative powers. All constitutions have to answer the question: who does what? The US Constitution gives its answer almost at a glance. The European constitution gives confused and imprecise answers. Tested against the gold standard, it is pinchbeck metal.
The US constitution runs about 12 pages in length, outlining the branches of federal government and dividing power among them; the proposed EU constitution tops 500 pages and gets mired in minute details of trade agreements and regulatory matters whilst avoiding clear definitions of principles and powers.


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