There would appear to be some disagreement on blogs about whether the addition of 18 new MEPs requires The Lisbon Treaty to be re-ratified or whether it will be done by means of a Protocol - with, for example, Gawain Towler, England Expects, maintaining the former and Richard North, EU Referendum, the latter. What this matter of getting the 18 MEPs 'absorbed' into the system has done is to bring the subject of Britain's membership and the call for a referendum once more into the news. Predictably Douglas Carswell has set out his stall prompting Edward McMillan-Scott (LibDem MEP) suggesting that Call Me Dave needs to 'slap down' Carswell and those of his ilk. On top of that we have the news that Member States will need to have their national budgets 'approved' by the EU Commission prior to presenting them to their electorates. And there was Call Me Dave thinking that he had settled the 'EU Question' once and for all with his 'surrender' last November!
What the news about national budgets does is illustrate that for all the mutterings by our politicians that they 'govern' Britain, this proves exactly the opposite as shown also by the imposition of the Hedge Fund Directive. The democratic deficit involved with the EU has a parallel here when once considers the present Liberal Conservative government. As the people of Britain did not vote for the imposition of the Hedge Fund Directive, nor the ignominy of having our national budgets 'approved', neither did we vote to change the rules involving when a government can be voted down in a motion of no confidence in the House of Commons. With the abandonment of election manifesto pledges by both Call Me Dave and Little Nick, in order to get their hands on power, they now wish to govern us based on a new set of manifesto pledges - a manifesto on which not one member of the electorate was asked to pass judgement.
It could well be argued that now Britain suffers another deficit in their democratic process in that one can question how the people are expected to vote at the Thirsk & Malton election - which is delayed until 27th May due to the death of the UKIP candidate. With Conservative and LibDem candidates standing and both those parties forming the present government, just who does one vote for? How can their campaigns differ when their leaders have agreed a common manifesto? What this means is that the electorate of Thirsk & Malton have been denied choice, or to be specific, had their choice limited.
Whilst it is well known that Little Nick is an avowed Europhile and Cameron tries to present himself as a Eurosceptic - he is no more Eurosceptic than I am a committed believer in State Socialism - it must be said that it appears the two of them know something that we, the people, don't.What we are experiencing now is the 'narrowing' of the choice whereby the people can choose their elected 'representative'. With the Lib/Lab/Con parties all inhabiting the 'centre ground' of our political scene - and bearing in mind that Cameron considers himself a 'Liberal Conservative' - it would seem the choice is now between two parties that can be considered 'Left of Centre' and Labour which is a little further left of 'Left of Centre'.
One also wonders whether this coalition is but a little 'EUnification' too far.
What price democracy now?