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Swedish Pirate Party Member To Be EU's Youngest MP

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the jumping-the-queue dept.

EU 152

First time accepted submitter genjix writes "In a few weeks Amelia Andersdotter will be the second Pirate Party member to take a seat at the European Parliament in Brussels. The 24-year-old Swede was voted in more than two years ago, but due to bureaucratic quibbles her official appointment was delayed. TorrentFreak catches up with the soon-to-be youngest MEP to hear about her plans and expectations."

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Wow - nice pirot (1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#38122018)

I wouldn't mind raising the jolly rodger up her!

Re:Wow - nice pirot (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122032)

Nice... is there any way to post an image of a woman without it getting the sexual treatment?

Re:Wow - nice pirot (2, Insightful)

TheReaperD (937405) | about 2 years ago | (#38122036)

Not on the internet...

Re:Wow - nice pirot (0, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#38122062)

Not on the internet...

and certainly not on slashdot

Re:Wow - nice pirot (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38123236)

Apparently so, because frankly she's not even that good looking.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (0, Offtopic)

CmdrPony (2505686) | about 2 years ago | (#38123282)

Yeah, wtf. Short hair is a total killer and looks like she can't smile. Oh well, maybe that's why I like Asian girls. They're always smiling and happy, not like these western emo girls.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (3, Insightful)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 years ago | (#38122064)

Not on slashdot apparently. We could look at what she's saying and why, and be objective, but that would involve RTFA... Which is actually an interesting read.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (4, Interesting)

migla (1099771) | about 2 years ago | (#38122438)

Aye!

Then, in case one needs to know about male geeks being rude (maybe without wanting to, actually), read this:

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/22786_To_My_Someday_Daughter.html [starcitygames.com]

That's a pretty long read, though. Maybe just watch "How to not be a Dick", by Matthew Garreth at Lugradio live 2008:

http://blip.tv/flamekebab/lrluk-2008-the-gong-a-thong-lightbulb-talk-extravaganza-matthew-garrett-1109597 [blip.tv]

Re:Wow - nice pirot (1, Offtopic)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 years ago | (#38122628)

In this case it looks very deliberate.

While the photo appears quite flattering for the her, it is possible to be appreciative of a woman's looks without being a dick. It is possible to be assertive and male and geeky without being a dick too. But OP seems quite genuine in his dickishness.

More important here, is what she is saying, and what that may in time mean for policy in Europe. It is a small start, but a start never-the-less. And it certainly needs refining, but that will come.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122072)

Sure. But we're not talking about Angela Merkel here...

Re:Wow - nice pirot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122090)

Applicable xkcd - 322 [xkcd.com] .

Effectively, guys on the internet are arses.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122392)

Parent funny? Maybe. But definitely insightful or informative.

I wouldn't want to get attention that is about my sex/gender. Especially not while being seen as a minority in the particular setting/context/culture and especially with the attention being of a sexual nature (whether it would be about me being fine or ugly).

I think the site geek feminism might probably have lots of great resources about being a woman on the internet and/or in geek culture. Too lazy to find a specific article about that, but from the 101, one can probably get an idea of what they're about...

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Feminism_101 [wikia.com]

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122910)

Applicable xkcd - 322 [xkcd.com] .

Effectively, some guys on the internet are arses.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122976)

Applicable xkcd - 322 [xkcd.com] .

Effectively, guys on the internet are arses.

I think that it's safe to say that most people on /. are guys. So far one of them have been an arse. Then isn't that a little neglecting to say, really?

Re:Wow - nice pirot (3, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#38122436)

Male geekiness is a sexual characteristic.

Male aggression is a sexual characteristic. /. exists because the male mind[tm] has certain characteristics which can be appealed to.

Another male sexual characteristic is to notice the physical features of women.

It's easy to take selective offence, especially when political correctness is so good at it. But while repressing antisocial acts may be good for society, repressing thoughts which make you uncomfortable will get you nowhere.

After all, it would be a liar who didn't notice the appearance of a politician, and a lying politician who said he did not consider his own appearance.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#38122070)

forgive my spelling of pirate - its hard to type with just your left hand while your mind's on something else

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122224)

google image her, you might change your mind after you see a few more pics of her hair.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122306)

hell yeah, from google images she looks like a junkie - not hot at all

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38123028)

agreed. Her Wikipedia photo isn't good either. You'd need some serious beer googles to hit that.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (-1, Offtopic)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38123228)

I'm fine with any of those haircuts except the cyberpunk butch cut and the mullet.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (0)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#38122260)

You need to quit while you are ahead Julien.

Re:Wow - nice pirot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38123730)

I doubt she'd be into an awful bigot such as yourself.

Only 24? (4, Interesting)

smi.james.th (1706780) | about 2 years ago | (#38122066)

24 years old is very young to be in any parliament... That's how old I am!

I wish her luck. Hopefully the concept can spread around the world, the current copyright situation is quite crazy as it stands.

Re:Only 24? (3, Funny)

TheReaperD (937405) | about 2 years ago | (#38122086)

That's how old I am!

Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

Re:Only 24? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122108)

Lots of European countries have very young MPs in national parliaments. The Minister of Taxes in Denmark is 26. The youngest MP in Denmark is 20.

Re:Only 24? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122444)

Lots of European countries have very young MPs in national parliaments. The Minister of Taxes in Denmark is 26. The youngest MP in Denmark is 20.

Of course they have to be that young. The Minister of taxes is a socialist, and socialist are naturally very young, because most people smarten up when they get older*

* Though to admit, the youngest MP in Denmark is high-school girl from the far right.

Re:Only 24? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122462)

No, they just get richer.

Re:Only 24? (2)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | about 2 years ago | (#38122464)

Lots of European countries have very young MPs in national parliaments. The Minister of Taxes in Denmark is 26. The youngest MP in Denmark is 20.

Pitt the Even Younger has those guys beat by more than a decade. Mind you he didn't actually win the Dunny-on-the-Wold byelection, so technically he never ended up as an MP...

Re:Only 24? (1, Funny)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 years ago | (#38122562)

Yes, but that is because the voter accidentally brutally cut his own head off while coming his hair... Or was that election official? I forget.

Re:Only 24? (1)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | about 2 years ago | (#38123294)

Yes, but that is because the voter accidentally brutally cut his own head off while coming his hair... Or was that election official? I forget.

You're thinking of Alan Beresford B'Stard, the Minister of Administrative Affairs.

Re:Only 24? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122564)

Pitt the Glint in the Milkman's Eye?

Re:Only 24? (-1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#38122584)

Yeah, people who never had a real job or a had to pay real taxes. That's why Europe is all screwed up - you can't have kids running the show either, they'll just vote for more toys and less work every time, they don't care where the stuff comes from.

Daddy, would you buy me that thing?
No, I don't have enough money.
Daddy, why don't you buy more money and buy me that toy?

Re:Only 24? (2, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | about 2 years ago | (#38122702)

Yeah, people who never had a real job or a had to pay real taxes.

I'd guess that this is true for the rich people running the US political system as well.

Re:Only 24? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#38122730)

In too many instances it's true. What's worse is that many of the professional politicians go into politics and are not necessarily rich, but they become rich while in the government.

Gingrich, Pelosi, Boehner, etc., too many of them become rich basically by setting up some special deals for people/companies who then make them rich. Making millions while working for the government, and not because they are paid anything like that, but because they are paid off like that.

Re:Only 24? (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#38122758)

So in other words your previous pop at the young actually has nothing to do with age and older people can be just as greedy if not more so than younger people?

Really, the world financial state is in such a mess because of the baby boom generation, they wanted everything but didn't think money should ever be an obstacle. I think claiming the young would spend what isn't there is a bit rich in this context, particularly as they're the ones who really will now have to spend the rest of their lives paying for the older baby boomers spending spree.

Re:Only 24? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#38123844)

No, it was a jab at the young. Of-course it was. Young people don't have understanding of issues.

Older people also may not have understanding of issues, but the older people had the opportunity to learn, to gain some wisdom, to have experience, to learn from history and from their own lives.

Of-course professionals politicians are mostly useless, young or old. A big difference may be that the young may act upon their naivete and ignorance while the old may act upon pure self interest.

I don't trust the young or the old much, but I know that the young are pretty much ignorant and with the old it's a toss up.

Re:Only 24? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122798)

Yeah, people who never had a real job or a had to pay real taxes. That's why Europe is all screwed up - you can't have kids running the show either, they'll just vote for more toys and less work every time, they don't care where the stuff comes from.

Half right, half wrong. europe may have a handful of 'kids' in the governments, but most of people running the show has grey hair. Those kids are a minority.

But you are right about people who never had a real job or paid real taxes. Often enough, government official don't pay taxes. That obviously makes it easier for them to increase taxes or complicate them further. And there are plenty of 'career politicans' who never had a real job. They were involved in 'student politics' when they went to university, and went straight into their party after graduating. Never worked, and has a lot of strange ideas about life and work that never gets corrected. there was this woman who visited a factory, and found it 'interesting'. She was used to thinking of private companies as 'the enemy'. But the workers apparently wanted the company to succeed - not only the owners . . .

Europe is screwed due to mismanagement. Banks (and governments) in one country giving loans to other governemnts. Never a good idea, especially not when the loans are big and they don't check properly how money is spent. Cultures is very different among countries, and the lenders have assumed that the loaners would use the money in roughly the same responsible ways as they would do themselves. A bad assumption. Over many years, money was spent on projects that buy votes, but don't make the economy grow. Such as low pension ages. Without growth, paying back becomes difficult. Because they still have the problems that they lent money to 'postpone', but now they have debt on top of that. And then an interesting fact: a bank cannot really force a foreign government to pay.

Re:Only 24? (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#38122914)

If anything, young people should be privileged by the system. They have to live with the consequences of its collective decisions for longer, after all. Giving all power to a couple of old rich farts who will soon be dead anyway is a recipe for disaster - that's why the US is all screwed up and screwing up the world.

Re:Only 24? (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#38123936)

No, young shouldn't be privileged by the system (and they can't be, because it's the old who run it, and they won't give privileges to somebody who is not themselves, that's just a fact.)

But you are correct on something - the entire idea of 'social contract' is completely screwed up. There is no such thing. The past generations voted in some assholes who put the country into a perpetual debt position by signing up for various pyramid schemes, so called 'social contracts'. Well, the young didn't sign any contracts. They shouldn't be forced to pay for those failing schemes.

Re:Only 24? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122132)

Canada has younger (19!); thanks to Quebec's recent purge of the Liberals/PQ, several "no hope of being voted in at all" candidates from the NDP got in.

Re:Only 24? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122594)

Canada has younger (19!); thanks to Quebec's recent purge of the Liberals/PQ, several "no hope of being voted in at all" candidates from the NDP got in.

Was that due to the Catholic church's control of the elderly vote, or some other non-political group exercising political will?

There are more important issues right now (-1, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#38122426)

And I'm sorry, while I may agree with some of what the pirate party stand for , the access or not of content on the internet is irrelevant compared to the ecomonic crisis affecting most of europe. This isn't the time or the place for grandstanding an insignificant issue such as this and while she may be very bright there is no way a 24 year old has enough life experience to deal with the issues that need resolving before europe collapses into an economic black hole.

Re:There are more important issues right now (5, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | about 2 years ago | (#38122460)

Whether the "piracy" issue is irrelevant or not, just sitting by and letting your rights be taken away while you are distracted by a larger issue is NOT going to help us in the future. It's precisely at times like this that you need to be vigilant of things that are going on and not just the big issues.

While you were distracted, what is to stop a far-right corporate drone from passing some legislation that further restricts your rights as a citizen and gives more rights to corporations?

You might as well pretend to be an ostrich and bury your head in the sand...

Re:There are more important issues right now (0, Flamebait)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#38122548)

I see Conspiracy Corner is open for business.

"You might as well pretend to be an ostrich and bury your head in the sand."

I'd sooner be an ostrich than some squawking hen who makes a big noise when the fox is outside the coop but is fast asleep when she's strung up on a conveyer belt to have her neck cut and be diced into nuggets.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

GauteL (29207) | about 2 years ago | (#38122978)

"I'd sooner be an ostrich than some squawking hen who makes a big noise when the fox is outside the coop but is fast asleep when she's strung up on a conveyer belt to have her neck cut and be diced into nuggets."

A very nice metaphor, but sadly also a straw man. The parent has only suggested that you keep your eyes open during both good and bad times, albeit with some hyperbole thrown in. It is considerably easier to get rights-restricting laws passed during mean times, as seen in the current effort to reduce labour laws in the UK.

If you're in favour of this, fine, but if you're not, you need to keep your eyes open.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38123370)

Conspiracy Corner? There is a long history of bad legislation on relatively small issues slipping through while The Big Issue has everyone's attention. I thought the ostrich analogy was a bit much, but you're changing my opinion on that...

Re:There are more important issues right now (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122466)

Ok, two things:

One: When will be a good time? There's ALWAYS something "more important". If the euro crisis is resolved, then the issue will be immigration, if that's resolved it will be something else, etc. So IMO they should go ahead.

Two: From TFA, the Pirate Party has about 7% of the vote, which is hardly "grandstanding" the issue. Whether the issue is significant or not is another debate. I think it is. Perhaps not as urgent as the euro crisis, but important none the less.

The fact that she's young perhaps indicates that she shouldn't take charge, but if everything is done by the old people then once they retire / die / whatever, there'll be a big leadership gap, so it's essential that the younger generation is involved to maintain any sort of stability and continuity in the resolution of these issues.

My 2c.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#38122468)

Unfortunately, most of the available people with the relevant life experience accrued that experience during the long process of driving the Euro zone(among other locations, today's clusterfucks are so very cosmopolitan...) into said black hole...

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122478)

And I'm sorry, while I may agree with some of what the pirate party stand for , the access or not of content on the internet is irrelevant compared to the ecomonic crisis affecting most of europe. This isn't the time or the place for grandstanding an insignificant issue such as this and while she may be very bright there is no way a 24 year old has enough life experience to deal with the issues that need resolving before europe collapses into an economic black hole.

Yeah... And see what "life experience" brought us now...

Governments in general need the new blood. Even though I agree that the piracy and copyright laws are secondary, the MEP may bring worries and topics to debate that may remain unnatended in a 40+ years-old toad-infested parlament. All for new views of the world, doesn't matter how "immature" they might be.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#38122566)

"40+ years-old"

Wow , 40+, thats so old! If you're a teenager. For most people the 30s and 40s are when you finally mature into someone who can make sensible decisions and less bound over by knee jerk group think.

"All for new views of the world, doesn't matter how "immature" they might be."

Fine, using that logic lets vote pre-schoolers into parliament.

Re:There are more important issues right now (2)

EdgeCreeper (1618161) | about 2 years ago | (#38122834)

Wow , 40+, thats so old! If you're a teenager. For most people the 30s and 40s are when you finally mature into someone who can make sensible decisions and less bound over by knee jerk group think.

With an attitude like that, no wonder. Especially as you yourself are advocating this "group think" you are talking about.

It is fairly accepted that diversity in a group tends to increase the quality of decision making. I do not see the reason in keeping intelligent people away from parliament just because they are not old or "mature" enough.

Fine, using that logic lets vote pre-schoolers into parliament.

That argument is akin to saying "Fine, using that logic lets only drink water and not eat anything" to somebody who said water is good for you. I hope you can see that argument is fallacious, and well, quite silly.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

GauteL (29207) | about 2 years ago | (#38123012)

"With an attitude like that, no wonder."

I'm a firm believer that if you are good enough, you are old enough. However, it is a fact that people in their 20s have no idea what it is like being 40, while the reverse is only partially true. I can only speak for myself, but I know that I believed myself quite mature when I was 24, and now I know for a fact that I wasn't.

Having said that, there is no particular reason why some exceptional 24-year-olds can't be mature enough. After all, it isn't like all 40-year-olds MPs are good enough.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122838)

Yeah... attacking the body of the text without touching the underlying rationale of it... Internet, why you fail to surprise me so...

Your "30s and 40s are when you finally mature" is an argument that reeks of conservationism thought, so I'll keep that in mind.

A Parliament (from the French parlement: discussion) is supposed to represent ALL strata of society. Starting from the moment that you gain the totality of your civil personality (usually 18 years old in Western countries) to the end of your civil personality (death or declared incapacity of exertion of your civil rights by extraordinary causes such as extreme dementia, comatose status or any other similar, highly debilitating issue). therefore, your irony of underage parliament is ridiculous simpy because said "toddlers" would be represented by their legal guardian. And said legal guardians are, supposedly, represented. Think before you type.

That said, the young adult strata of the society is NOT represented in a parliament that estabilishes a minimum age starting of the second half of the thirties or even 40 years old (and that is the reason for me to say 40+). The truth is that the average of age for representatives is way higher, usually in the 50s. Your so cherished "life experience" is not, in any way, an objective requirement and is, usually, used as an excuse for the perpetuation of the status quo, delaying the insertion of fresh thought in governing bodies. Maturity is subjective, using a subjective criteria to support an objective criteria (maturity=age) does not make the objective criteria more valid.

My opinion is: if you are old enough to answer fully for your actions, you are old enough to ask for the trust of society and let you represent them in a governmental body. If said society supports you, great! Of course, that is a problem to lobbyists and corporations. Younger people didnt have the time to be properly introduced to the practices of the "backdoor politics" at least not in the sense that an older person would. Like you said, younger people are more prone to impulse. Thing is, I don't think impulse is a bad thing per se. There is no reason, thus far, that can truly justify a restriction against young adults to be a member of a parliament.

If you still think that maturity dictated by age is still a restriction to be enforced, well, enjoy your "no change" status for a while (no change n no moment was supposed to be a reference to Obama slogans. Saying that already before anyone sas anything about it.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

migla (1099771) | about 2 years ago | (#38123716)

The knee-jerking will probably generally decrease in adult age, not so sure about the groupthink though.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

silanea (1241518) | about 2 years ago | (#38122538)

If that "content on the internet" included, say, detailled information regarding said economic crisis from governmental regulatory bodies and from ministries and other administrative institutions responsible for the governance of, say, the financial industry, would you still agree it is insignificant? Here in Germany we had several state banks nearly or actually go bancrupt because of mismanagement, ridiculously risky business practices and outright malpractice. Had all their operational information been freely available to the public this would very likely have been caught early enough to prevent the losses that now have been passed on to the tax payer. And that is just one example.

In a world where politics (and economics) are largely a matter of back-room deals brokered between good ol' boys public scrutiny may well be one of the best ways to fight this crisis. Remember: We are in this situation not because of a sudden Ferengi invation but because a whole - I generally hate the term, but here it fits quite well - class of people had been left to play real-life Monopoly for decades without any real oversight or regulation. This crisis is not some natural disaster. It was brought over us by people.

Re:There are more important issues right now (3, Interesting)

BenevolentP (1220914) | about 2 years ago | (#38122640)

Though the name implies it, a large part of the pirate parties program is citizen rights, including non-censorship and anti-surveillance. What they think of other topics is mostly irreleveant - in germany the stance on surveillance of the politicians of the big parties already changed siginficantly when they noticed that there is indeed a large percentage of people who care about it. The fact that they just behave that way because they are afraid to lose votes isn't really relevant.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | about 2 years ago | (#38122832)

Yes, let's all just deal with the same problem at one time. That way, all of them will be solved that much quicker.

Re:There are more important issues right now (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#38122922)

The crisis isn't so unrelated to what the pirate party stands for after all. At the root of the crisis, and the recent Occupy protests, is the fact that political power has been going on auction to corporations. This is also a source of a lot of the pirates' peculiar woes.

Re:There are more important issues right now (2)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | about 2 years ago | (#38123308)

And I'm sorry, while I may agree with some of what the pirate party stand for , the access or not of content on the internet is irrelevant compared to the ecomonic crisis affecting most of europe. This isn't the time or the place for grandstanding an insignificant issue such as this and while she may be very bright there is no way a 24 year old has enough life experience to deal with the issues that need resolving before europe collapses into an economic black hole.

Very few politicians acquire their positions based on their intelligence and ability to understand complex issues such as economic problems. The problem is that most voters cannot distinguish between an honest expert on economic issues and a politician who is a hand puppet for special interests that has learned how to recite a handful of easily digestable talking points on camera. And life experience does not do anything for you when it comes to understanding economics. It requires intelligence and education. I am not saying that she is well equipped to handle this issue, just that she may be no worse equipped in comparison to the most senior member of the most popular party.

Re:Only 24? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38123254)

Some 70+ year old politicians act like immature teenagers so age doesn't worry me in the least.

Naysayers say nay (4, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#38122200)

Quick precis for those who don't know: MEPs are essentially non-entities. All EU legislation is created by the Commission, made up of unelected political appointees from Member States. Since they don't know anything about the issues that they actually legislate, they farm out the task of actually writing laws to expert consultants - read, lobbyists.

After six or seven rounds of rubberstamping, the new Directive is put before the actual "Parliament", where MEPs can vote yea or nea, or just not show up in the hope that it will pass and they can plead ignorant neutrality. If they vote nea, it goes through the committee system a few more times so that some of the more deliberately egregious clauses can be elided. Honour satisfied, the Directive is duly passed in the form that the lobbyist really wanted, and Member States can begin the process of (mis)implementing it, or in the case of anyone South or East of Belgium, shrugging their shoulders and simply ignoring it.

And that's how democracy works.

Re:Naysayers say nay (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#38122234)

After six or seven rounds of rubberstamping, the new Directive is put before the actual "Parliament", where MEPs can vote yea or nea, or just not show up in the hope that it will pass and they can plead ignorant neutrality. If they vote nea, it goes through the committee system a few more times so that some of the more deliberately egregious clauses can be elided. Honour satisfied, the Directive is duly passed in the form that the lobbyist really wanted, and Member States can begin the process of (mis)implementing it, or in the case of anyone South or East of Belgium, shrugging their shoulders and simply ignoring it.

And that's how democracy works.

Sounds like someone needs to make a new round of Schoolhouse Rocks videos.

Re:Naysayers say nay (4, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#38122278)

You are an uneducated idiot or troll, may be both.

Why would the commission need be made up out of elected members when you can get better people that are not necessarily political connected? See the present Italian government.
In many European countries the democratic process means the parliament gets elected and they appoint and control the government.
In case of the EU commission it is appointed by the democratically controlled governments of the member states and since fairly recent the EU parliament can approve or even veto policies as proposed by the commission.

Of course it would be better when the EU parliament had full democratic rights like introducing their own proposals or amendments but the UK and France have always and are still opposing to such an idea.

Re:Naysayers say nay (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122470)

Why would the commission need be made up out of elected members when you can get better people that are not necessarily political connected? See the present Italian government.

You mean the one in which the European Commission just turfed out the democratically elected Prime Minister and replaced him with a Goldman Sachs stooge? That Italian government? Following quick on the heals of rolling the leader of the Greek government (for the high crime of proposing to put the people's future to a vote by, you know, the people) and replacing him with another European central banker?

You're quite right, it's much easier this way. I don't know why we bother with democracy at all.

Re:Naysayers say nay (3, Interesting)

antientropic (447787) | about 2 years ago | (#38122940)

You mean the one in which the European Commission just turfed out the democratically elected Prime Minister and replaced him with a Goldman Sachs stooge? That Italian government? Following quick on the heals of rolling the leader of the Greek government (for the high crime of proposing to put the people's future to a vote by, you know, the people) and replacing him with another European central banker?

You're seriously misinformed or just trolling. The European Commission did no such thing - in fact, they have been relatively absent in the entire debt crisis. You could argue that Merkozy got rid of Papandreou and Berlusconi, but that's rather dubious as well: Papandreou did himself in by calling for a referendum (a stupid unilateral move that was rightly met with condemnation from the other EU states; should you organise a referendum when your house is on fire?) and then reversing course a few days later, while Berlusconi (finally!) lost his majority in parliament. Governments fall all the time - I don't see what's undemocratic here.

What do you mean not politically connected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122486)

"Why would the commission need be made up out of elected members when you can get better people that are not necessarily political connected? See the present Italian government."

Monti is a member of the Trilateral Comission and the Bilderberg group, as well as a Goldman Sachs "advisor". You dont get any better politically connected than that.
 

Re:Naysayers say nay (-1, Flamebait)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#38122496)

Why would the commission need be made up out of elected members when

Mainland Europe has never really understood democracy, has it?

And once again Germany manages to create an undemocratic European super-state (well, "democratic" in the Soviet sense).

Re:Naysayers say nay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122526)

Mainland Europe has never really understood democracy, has it?

I know you're trolling, but you do know that the very word democracy originated in mainland Europe, right?

And once again Germany manages to create an undemocratic European super-state

How does Germany fit in with the current topic? Are you hoping that even mentioning Germany will get the same rise out of Europeans that the term socialist gets out of USians?

Re:Naysayers say nay (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#38122780)

It originated in the city state of Athens, which is now part of Greece.

Presumably you are not familiar with the recent developments in EU politics, but Germany is effectively controlling things by virtue of the fact that they are the only country with any money. The German Bundestag has to approve any addition money paid to the EU, so they can set the terms by which they are prepared to give it to them. There are for example rumours that the Irish government's draft budget was found in offices in the Bundestag before it was presented to their own TDs for consideration.

Re:Naysayers say nay (1)

GauteL (29207) | about 2 years ago | (#38123044)

"There are for example rumours that the Irish government's draft budget was found in offices in the Bundestag before it was presented to their own TDs for consideration."

This may well be true, but if you are arguing based on rumour, you have already lost IMHO.

Re:Naysayers say nay (3, Informative)

Asic Eng (193332) | about 2 years ago | (#38122684)

Hmmm. The parliament selecting the government is not a system which was developed in mainland Europe, I think. As far as I know it's derived from the British "crown in parliament" system. The electorate votes for the parliament, and all other functions of the state are derived from parliament.

In a presidential system like in the US or France you don't get to vote for the setup of all positions of government, either. Then the president gets to choose who is in charge of which department (though there can be parliamentary controls).

Re:Naysayers say nay (3, Interesting)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#38122946)

Mainland Europe understands the democratic process quite well, contrary to the UK it was influenced by the French revolution.

In 1748 he French philosopher Charles Montesquieu published a book called De l'esprit des lois, in it he proposes the Trias Politica or checks and balances.
Ideally his form of democratic government consists of three independent factors, the legislature (parliament), the executive (the government or administration) and the justice system.
Many western European governments follow this system and these three powers all have their own functions, ultimately controlled by the elected parliament.

This separation of power is considered a very important aspect of proper democratic government.

Re:Naysayers say nay (1)

silanea (1241518) | about 2 years ago | (#38122560)

Why would the commission need be made up out of elected members when you can get better people that are not necessarily political connected?

I challenge you to name one single person in the commission who is not "politically connected". Just one. And that does not even touch the question of whether they are "better".

To those who modded Teun insightful: Please spend a few minutes on a search engine of your choice and see for yourself just how good the commission is.

Commission staff better by bounds and leaps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122680)

Officials working in the Commission have all passed hard selection tests, in which the average number of candidates per post are in the 100s to 1. They are thoroughly checked on professional knowledge, languages spoken, work experience and ethics. Trust me, the lucky few who eventually get a job are very, very bright people worth their salt.

Can you say that much about your average MP? Where I come from, the Parliament is composed of:

a) medical-grade morons (25 - 35 %)
b) thieves and con men (the bulk)
c) knowledgeable people (5 %?)

If you watched Idiocracy, you probably get the idea. Why not put some tests in place for all would-be MPs then? If you need a license for the God-given right to drive a car, I don't see why we don't require the same for people who want to hold a public position of such consequence?

Re:Commission staff better by bounds and leaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122750)

Where I come from, the Parliament is composed of:

a) medical-grade morons (25 - 35 %)
b) thieves and con men (the bulk)
c) knowledgeable people (5 %?)

I'd correct b in

b) thieves, con men and convicted criminals (the bulk)

to represent the italian parliament. :(
We can't even choose our MPs directly because of a stupid electoral law that no one wants to change.

Re:Commission staff better by bounds and leaps (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#38122790)

The civil servants may be good, but I'm not so sure about the actual commissioners who make the decisions. Previous British commissioners include Neil Kinnock, who was Vice President, and Peter Mandelslime. Both of them were failed politicians at Westminster.

Re:Commission staff better by bounds and leaps (1)

silanea (1241518) | about 2 years ago | (#38123850)

So this incredibly effective screening process must be why a whole College of Commissioners was forced to resign over charges of fraud and corruption [wikipedia.org] which led to the founding of the European Anti-Fraud Office. Right. The best of the best of the best, SIR!

But, for fairness' sake, let us take a look at the current College:

José Manuel Barroso [wikipedia.org] , President
Professional politician, holding national offices since at least 1985.
Catherine Ashton [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Professional politician, holding national offices since 2001, one of the drivers of the Lisbon Treaty in the UK's House of Lords.
Viviane Reding [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Professional politician, became Luxembourgian MP in 1979, since then in various national governmental bodies and later leader of EPP delegation.
Joaquín Almunia [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Professional politician, holding national offices since at least 1982, PSOE party leader from 1997 to 2000.
Siim Kallas [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Professional politician, former Estonian PM, former member of Supreme Council of the Soviet Union.
Neelie Kroes [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Professional politician, became Dutch MP in 1971, since then State Secretary and minister in several cabinets.
Antonio Tajani [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Professional politician, spokesman for Berlusconi since 1994, became Italian MP in 2004.
Maros Sefcovic [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Ex-ambassador, now professional politician.
Olli Rehn [wikipedia.org] , Vice President
Professional politician, became Finnish MP in 1991, special adviser to the PM from 1992 to '93.

Do you want me to continue? I briefly glanced over the political biographies of the other members, they all look similar. Former PM's and cabinet members, party leaders, and so far none who does not come with at least one decade of professional political involvement on at least national level.

Or maybe your definition of "not necessarily political [sic!] connected" differs significantly from mine?

Re:Naysayers say nay (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#38122646)

It's not a secret that the commission has been ripe for lobbyists, particularly before the parliament got their veto right with the Lisbon treaty in 2009. But it really comes down to the EU being in a half-state between a trade alliance and a federation. Is it an alliance of nations or does it want a European parliament like Congress and a federal government, with federal law, federal taxes, and federal economic policy? Let me tell you there's a vast opposition to that, not just in the UK and France. Even though the EU is expanding to cover more and more areas, for the most part it has to work through the national governments. If there's a top level meeting on education, it's the 27 ministers of education not an EU Department of Education. Despite the talk of an EU military force, there are 27 national militaries. There are 27 ministers on foreign policy who each keep their own ties to other nations and so on. And that is also why the EU passes directives, while the 27 national assemblies passes laws.

I mean, yes they could do away with that and pretty much become the United States of Europe. One parliament that makes law directly from Brussels on their own. It'd be democratic, as the EU parliament is democratically chosen. Some say all the important things are already decided there, but there's a difference between keeping the appearance of national governance and openly admitting that the EU is running the whole show. That is why most directives have optional components, so the national governments can pretend to have a say even though all the essential parts are required. And I say this coming from Norway, a non-EU member that's passed every EU directive since 1994 and is now maybe considering veto'ing our first. And of all the crappy directives they could have picked they chose a poor one, but at this point I just want to know what happens if we don't just bend over and take it.

"half-state between alliance and a federation" (1)

dermond (33903) | about 2 years ago | (#38123158)

the real problem is that this "half-state" gives you the worst of both sides...so we should go forward and have more integration and a simpler system with one central parliament... mond

Re:Naysayers say nay (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#38122422)

This is how in was in the past, but in the last few years the EP has managed to grab most of the power. Now the Commission is elected by them, making them the most powerful.

Re:Naysayers say nay (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 2 years ago | (#38122836)

Nom the EU commission still has alot more clout then the EP parlament. The EU parlament is basically toothless with little power.

In the end the EU parlament, over 99% of the time, affirm the EU commissions directives. The EU parlament can get some minor changes in - but thats all.

Re:Naysayers say nay (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122760)

Tosh!
The Commission drafts the legislation, then depending the legal domain, it will follow a predefined route as specified in the (Lisbon) Treaty. Most legal domains use the Co-Decision process by which the Council (comprising all EU Members and chaired by the member holding the rotating presidency) will first address technical details (civil servant technical experts from the members), as the legislation matures it moves through the Council's committees until the Council and Parliament can negotiation directly. The Parliament has its own committee structure and most drafts of the legislation are publicly available from both the Council's secretariat and the Parliament. The rules of the process and the rights of the negotiation parties are all specified in the treaty. With the Lisbon treaty the MEPs have much more authority giving its members, directly elected by the European public, considerable poser. You can also view MEP voting histories and contributions to discussions on the Parliament's website. The Commission's main role is oversight thereafter.

Re:Naysayers say nay (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | about 2 years ago | (#38122890)

"Considerable poser" - now that's Freudian...

Yes, formally the parliament can change and even reject directives, but we all know what happens in the end. Remember SWIFT?

dirty slut (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122268)

i know pretty much all you people here are fucking FAGS (exceptions to the trolls and spammers) who prove how homo you are by running linux and using macs but id like to RAM MY FUCKING MASSIVE COCK down this dirty whore's throat.

this site is full of nigger loving faggots. why not join GNAA?

Yours truly,
TRoLL.

Savviness (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122412)

I think this is the first time I've read an article on copyright/patent/trademark law, consisting mostly of the words of a particular politician, and thought to myself: Hey, this person knows more than I do about the subject. Like, a lot more.

Re:Savviness (5, Interesting)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#38122610)

be positive! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122504)

I think it is much more important, that if she starts with 24 and is good and clever enough could be someone - if she grows up - who has a great impact on the european politic, just like the other young politicians, MEPs, MPs, PP members and so on - which I would really welcome

Re:be positive! (2)

Krneki (1192201) | about 2 years ago | (#38123558)

I think it is much more important, that if she starts with 24 and is good and clever enough could be someone - if she grows up - who has a great impact on the european politic, just like the other young politicians, MEPs, MPs, PP members and so on - which I would really welcome

Politicians are like diapers, you need to change them often and for the same reason.

I was hoping she would be hotter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122620)

Bummer

Re:I was hoping she would be hotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122864)

Here you go [blogspot.com] .

Re:I was hoping she would be hotter (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38123424)

She's pretty hot, you're far too picky!

Re:I was hoping she would be hotter (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38123976)

Offtopic? Come on, this is a tasteful comment about a (geek) woman's appearance on a site full of mostly straight (geek) dudes. It is very much on-topic.

Male sexuality is not wrong, being a gross douchebag is wrong. They're not the same thing. Everytime you go PC-overkill a racist conservative smiles and chuckles, happy that you're proving him right and hastening the arrival of the day that he can openly express his racism once more!

Stop pretending (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122806)

People here are pretending to have a serious discussion on this topic, the real this everyone is thinking right now it:

Tits or gtfo.

Invite her up to install Linux (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38122938)

She's also pretty hot, in that "geek chick" sort of way that I enjoyed in college.

Bureaucratic quibbles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38123204)

To translate back into the original european, the "bureaucratic quibbles" in the summary are actually the ratification of the Lisbon treaty .

Black and white ideals... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 2 years ago | (#38123674)

I hate how some issues are so polarising.

"Piracy" shouldn't be a platform. Nor should allowing theft of intellectual rights.

That said- current laws are ludicrous and publishers have more rights than they should.

The current system of copyright, patents, etc is completely broken and needs losening up a lot. We should resist swinging the complete opposite direction though.

Like many issues- the best course is somewhere between what we have now and what the extremists on the other side want.

Yes, if I buy something, I should be able to make copies on any device I own- and maybe *loan* to a friend.

No, I shouldn't be able to rip it and sell it (or give it away) to whomever I choose.

Yes, copyright timeframes are too long. No, we shouldn't eliminate them entirely.

Why must every policy have to have an extreme answer?

As for age of the candidate. Whereas most 24 year olds probably are not mature enough to take office- even though at that age you think you know the ropes; some 24 year olds are.

There have been fantastic world leaders much younger than 24. It all depends on the individual.

Re:Black and white ideals... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38123736)

It's not extreme at all:

There's simply no concept of "intellectual rights". It is something that was made up and the carved into your head.

Since they don't exist, by definition they can't be 'stolen'.

Disclainmer: 20 yo and active member of the Brazilian Pirate Party.

yuo Fa1l It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38123938)

rseciprocating bad corpse turned over out of businees Duty to be a big
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