Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lisbon Treaty a "go"

With a court decision earlier today, the president of the Czech Republic no longer had any excuse to hold off signing on the Lisbon Treaty, which sets out the biggest reorganization of the European Union since its founding in 1957. With the final ratification Europe comes one step closer to becoming a semi-federal area without actually calling itself one. That this happens in the week of the 20th anniversary of the Fall of The Wall, is not at all a coincidence but a final repudiation of totalitarianism and the bullshit concept of "socialism in one country." It is also the next logical step in a process that began with free trade then open borders and then a common currency.

Also interesting today is that the leader of the British Conservatives, David Cameron, has now backed away from a promise to hold a referendum on the treaty if as expected he's elected PM next year. Necessary as the treaty is, a promise is a promise and it should be one that should be kept. This doesn't do much to help his credibility when the Labour incumbent, Gordon Brown, has almost none left whatsoever. As far as the Lib Dems go, the party does have a referendum on EU membership in its platform but its leader Nick Clegg has only promised for now a binding referendum on replacing the sterling with the Euro.
Only UKIP and the BNP, both fringe parties, have vowed to pull the UK out of the EU immediately but neither has a real prospect of forming government any time soon -- or even holding a possible balance of power, especially with NATO possibly ganging up on Britain and starting World War III which would be the inevitable result.
European integration has its benefits, both for businesses as well as consumers -- and one of the big winners is also tourism as a common currency in most countries makes trips that much easier. I still think people should be asked; after all, it's their future as much as that of big commerce. But at last the much needed reforms can be done. Most important is the need to really revamp system of payments from CAP -- the Common Agricultural Policy -- so family farms get subsidies and not agrifood giants like Monsanto, ConAgra, ADM and Nestlé.
My only hope is the first real European President is NOT Tony Blair -- the EU needs that like a shot in the head. If Canada is going to have free trade with Europe, I would not want us dealing with him, especially after lying about WMDs.

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