Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
There are other problems with QMV. Unlike a simple majority, or a 2/3 majority, QMV is inelegant, and reeks of politics. To me, it creates a precedent that voting is a matter of expediency, rather than principle; the rules are always subject to negotiation; one may tweak the rules until one gets the outcome desired.

But you do have qualified majority voting in the States. You have just decided to codify it by the number of senators and representatives each state sends, whereas in the Council it is codified by giving each member different weight.

The more probable reason for the horse-trading, manipulation, behind the scenes backstabbing and generally unsavoury behaviour of the Council is that it is indirectly elected and that until very recently its deliberations were not a matter of public record. Imagine the cesspit that would result if your Senate held its deliberations behind closed doors and was appointed by the governors of each state instead of directly elected (although given the level of gerrymandering in US elections, one has to wonder how much better the US Senate is on the latter score...).

Americans of 1790 (or today, for that matter) did not believe their state governments to be corrupt vassals of a foreign power. Even if they did, its hard to imagine they would have believed a federal government, particularly one that promised to preserve states rights, could somehow rescue them from their illegitimate state governments. Rather, they would have understood that the solution was to take back control of their state governments at the ballot box...or by force of arms. Only when state governments were seen as legitimate could there be any meaningful discussion of a more perfect union between them.

We're working on that at the moment. But there is no reason not to work in two parallel tracks here, and there are some institutional reasons to believe that the battle will be easier to win on the federal side than on the state side.

And at any rate, we will have to fight and win the battle at the federal level eventually, because until and unless we do, we will be subject to defeat in detail. Arguably, any of the 13 Colonies could have constituted themselves as independent countries and held their own as such, because the infrastructure, technology and geopolitical framework they operated within permitted independent states of that size. In this day and age, that is simply not the case. Today, it is increasingly obvious that you can be a major power, or you can be a client state. The size band between the two is getting narrower by the day.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 29th, 2008 at 04:17:56 PM EST
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