Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday, more foreign policy

This week we have another paper on international organizations from Democracy's Edges which was the subject for last week's Thoughtful Thursday. ("Citizenship in an era of globalization" of Will Kymlicka)

International organization. Should the individuals participate in its activities, like adding power to the European Parliament at the expense of the Council of Ministers, appointed by the governments. But the people are not pushing this increase. As usual, Wikipedia has an excellent article on European Parliament; it still does not have the formal power to introduce a bill, even though it does have considerable power.

How can people speaking different languages deliberate? The European parliament employs 350 full time interpreters and spends 118,000 Euros per day on interpreters. Would the people of a country prefer to vote on a referendum on how to vote on a Kyoto greenhouse warming treaty, or would the citizens of each country prefer to participate in some gran palaver?

What language? Google is well on the way to allow real-time voice-to-voice translation and it already has text-translation Auto-translation speculated to preserve small languages as there is less pressure on peoples of people who speak a language spoken by a few thousand people. Xiha Life shows that many people who speak different languages can converse.

Some have argued that the bond markets and internatational treaties such as the WTO restrict people's deomcratic options. Dr. Kymlicka is obviously Canadian and he points out how restricted their parliamentary system is. There is strict party discipline and most MP's have little power, just doing some constituent service. Reminds me of the New York State legislature and Three Men in a room.

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