from the quill of Antisthenes
When the Left is not in power it complains about undemocratic parliamentary systems and about all the mischiefs associated therewith. The people simply do not have the meaningful or sufficiently loud voice to influence those in power. Various ideas for reforms, in particular for referenda, are bandied about as a panacea. I, personally, am in favour of referenda, thought I am aware that the system which works reasonably well in Switzerland may encounter problems in Somalia or South Australia. (Of course, when the Left is really in power, the voice of the people from behind the barbed wires of the concentration camps is barely audible.)
Those lofty ideals are thrown overboard when the socialists get to the helm or close to it. The Constitution of the European Union was to be approved by referenda of all the member states. The French voted against (54.7%), the Dutch (61.5%), the Irish had to do it twice to get it right; and the Czech, Danes, Poles, Portuguese and UK abandoned the silly idea just to make sure. If a referendum was held in the great Britain now, 68% of its citizens would opt out of EU.
South Africa established the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in 1995 to investigate human rights abuses committed between 1960 and 1994 , and to grant, in apropriate cases, an amnesty. Since absolute majotity of the atrocities were commited by the victors, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), co-founded by Nelson Mendela, the world-wide Left rejoiced.
Following the fighting in Bosnia during 1992 – 1995 the victorious European Union imposed upon Bosnia a judicial system, which its citizens now attempted to challenge.
Hürriyet Daily News, 13th May, 2011: “The referendum, which was set to take place in June, planned to ask citizens of Bosnia’s predominantly Serb entity whether or not they support decisions made by the Office of the High Representative, or OHR, the International mediator in charge of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The referendum was set to specifically target the State Court and the Prosecutors Office, the country’s only central judicial institutions, which were established by international mandate in 2003. The Republika Srpska has accused the judicial institutions of unfairly processing war crimes that occurred during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, prosecuting more Bosnian Serbs than Bosnian Muslims or Croats, while not investigating crimes against the Serb population.” After the meeting between the President of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska and European Union envoy Ms Catherine Ashton the planned referendum was abandoned.
Uruguay’s constitution allows citizens by referendum to challenge laws passed by their Parliament. Recently Uruguay’s senate voted to annul a law that had given military officers immunity for crimes committed during the country 1973-1985 military dictatorship. The immunity was upheld in two referendums , in 1989 and 2009. Uruguay is ruled by a coalition of Tupamaros, socialists, communists and social democrats. Tupamaros , bank robbers glorified by the Left as urban freedom fighters were also know as MLN – Movimiento de Liberación Nacional. Comrade José Mujica, the current president, used to be a member.
Vox populi, vox Dei ; but somehow only when that voice is the voice of the Left. Vox sinistra?