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I would also add that it is far from clear that the choice would be Merkel vs Blair. Having brand recognition and being from a large state should be an advantage, but in both these cases we are talking about persons who are disliked outside their home state. So maybe someone like Rumproy would win whatever process there might be to get candidates in place and go to win the election.

Now, what president does it make sense to elect directly? Well, that would be the executive president, the president of the Commission.

Now, is a directly elected president of the Commission better then one that is appointed by the Council? Yes, I think so. The Council is laregly elected on other factors then to appoint the Commission, and there is no real popular mandate in the process as it has been used in the past.

Is it better to have one directly elected then one appointed by the Parliament? No, I don't think so. The trend we have seen in the last decades is one of executive power-grabs which is made easier by a popular election. The diversity of the EP and the unlikelihood of any one party gaing majority is in my mind a safeguard against to much of ignoring popular opinions.

But then it boils down to what system we have today. Under the Lisbon treaty parliament is given some say in the matter but the practise is far from clear. If PES, EPP or both would run a public candidate in the 2014 EP elections I think the Council would not dare to nominate anyone else in the first round. If they don't I expect the Council to in reality appoint someone and Greens to protest in vain.

So have do we affect that, maybe a campaign for PES and EPP to tell us their president candidates. Hm, what if we assert that parliament will decide president and that not telling means hiding their real candidate. Which would be the most known and disliked candidates we could think of. For EPP perhaps Berlusconi, and for PES...? Blair?

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 12:00:17 PM EST
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