Monday, 8 June 2009

The European Union

Some years ago, there were referendums in every country belonging to the European Union to adopt a common constitution.

This project went down the drain because the French and Dutch voters posted a majority of NO.

Some months later my brother in law told me he had voted against it. "Why did you do this", I asked him. "Well", he said, "I voted against it because I did not know what they were up to".

This guy is a very decent chap, good family man, very friendly. Nevertheless, he rejected a project only because he was too lazy to find out what was going on.

It's a fact: far too many people do not seem to know what a united Europe has done to them. At every election for the European Parliament voters' participation goes down. Now it was 42 % in Germany, 33 % in France and 25% in Poland. Just to give an example.

Before the creation of the EU, there were not even a dozen years without a war, in any century. That fact alone should make all of us sturdy supporters of the idea.

But no!

On this planet, nothing is permanent. And it could well be that in fifty years from now, the EU is only a souvenir. Thanks to its lukewarm citizen who let it happen.

It might be useful to quote here Albert Einstein: Only human stupidity gives us an idea what infinity really means.


  1. Hi Georg,

    That quotation of Einstein is absolutely apt. Something similar is happening in India where the voting percentages and patterns in various states, many of which are bigger than some European countries, are somewhat similar.

    I wonder whether people are really interested about anything that does not directly and visibly affect their own lives. Except when an exceptional leader energises them about something else.

  2. Hallo Vinod,

    Glad to hear this from you. If nothing else, this widespread stupidity - evenly distributed through mankind - is further proof that we all belong to one species.

    Cheers Vinod

  3. i chuckle with the irony that democracies do not breed voter participation. indeed, the opposite seems to happen- folks take it for granted that they will always be free. i also find it ironic that australia makes voting compulsory :) at least i know voter apathy isn't something that is unique to america.

  4. Bonjour Betmo,

    Your comment and Vinod's are kind of reassuring. I thought, wrongly, what is happing here is something special.

    Now I realize that this is a kind of generality, the normal thing to occur.

    We'll see where this brings us.

    By the way, in Belgium voting is mandatory, too. Thus they had 91 percent at those European election.
    I was living there many years and we always joked that Belgium was only surpassed by the Soviet Blog countries that always published voters' agreement at 99,9 percent.


  5. Ton commentaire n'est pas passé, je suis désolée! je t'assure que je les mets tous en ligne flatteurs ou pas, en ce moment over-blog devrait s'appeler over-bug.
    Je te souhaite une bonne soirée

  6. hola herr Georg

    very interesting post, and I am sadly surprised by the European voters, I thought as Betmo, that apathy for voting was more of a 3rd World Country situation and of Americans since they don't seem to care for many things... I must confess that when I was younger and was living in Mexico, NOT all the time I voted, somehow, we felt so betrayed by the government there always (they stole votes all the time, the PRI party was on the power for over 70 years...) that I not always voted...

    now that I am older and more experienced I make a point of voting ALL the time!!! and I regret all the times I didn't vote in Mexico (i have dual citizenship Mexican-American so i get to vote in both countries), while living here in the US now, i am even more aware of voting, even for small elections and propositions on the state of California...

    I think as a rule of thumb, if you don't vote, you don't get to complain about your government!!

    and I think civic irresponsibility goes hand in hand with ignorance and yes, stupidity!

    your updated Einstein quote by brilliant musician Frank Zappa:

    “There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

  7. Ciao Georgy!
    Wow... that is a rather lame rational for voting against something (because one doesn't know what the EU does). :oP But then that also happens a lot here especially with the right-wing republican voters. Whatever the preacher says they follow.

    A friend of mine (a fellow independent/libertarian) thinks that we should make citizens pass the same citizenship test that the immigrants have to pass before gaining their green card before we are allowed to vote. I think he's on to something... The Greek style pure democracy worked because their citizens were up to things. Here now, they aren't so much better than those buyable votes of the third world country... just with different currency, theology.

    Thanks for another good post! (and I didn't even realize that the EU uses Beethoven's 9th as its anthem!)

    Smorgy :o)

  8. When some one asks me if I think we will ever have a united world government, I always laugh and say" not in my lifetime, people are to self absorbed to pay attention, they lack the ability to learn from history, to stay in-tune with what is best for everyone and are unwilling to compromise."
    sad, but true..
    your post just makes me smack my palm against my head and think " oh!"

  9. To Berenice

    The late PRI of Mexico - institutional revolutionary - is well known world wide. You are absolutely right, voting is important. There are people who risk their life to obtain the right to vote and others are just too lazy to be a responsible citizen.

    Thanks for Frank Zappa's definition.

    To Smorgy

    So you listened to the Anthem. If you have the possibility, read the text, it's from Goethe and more than worthwhile ("help when the innocent weeps").

    To Sorrow

    I can only agree with you. A world government, forget it. Even the UN stumbles along but it is probably far better than nothing. As to learning from history, there is this saying that people/nations that don't know their history are obliged to repeat it again and again.


  10. Hi Georg, wollte nur mal kurz Hallo sagen! Sonnige Grüße aus Deutschland, geisslein :o)

  11. Je comprends ton envie de devenir astronome, le ciel est si fascinant.
    Je veux bien le lien possible qu'il soit déjà dans ma liste, j'en ai déjà beaucoup, mais surtout des "sites" français.
    Passe une bonne journée

  12. World seems to be changing and,generally,have lost faith in the ruling establishment.Recent elections in India have shown that even though Congress has won the elections,the voting percentages have dropped.I do not know what to make of this,it sure is disturbing trend.I don't know.

  13. Tu vois george!
    ça n'est pas la première fois que l'Homme n'est pas très chaleureux pour une idée commune.
    Regarde la tour de Babel et ce qu'est devenu la région.
    Mais je t'assure que suis complètement européen.
    Sauf!!!! sauf si on nous oblige à:
    - délaisser nos tripoux,
    - cuire le lait pour faire du cantal
    - mettre le Roquefort à la poubelle
    - introduire de la sciure dans le vin..........
    Non ça faut pas.
    A dichias (comme on dit dans le cantal)
    bises à Elisabeth

  14. Bonjour Georg,

    The Einstein quote at the end said it all.

  15. 'Choice' is a much undermined phenomenon. Our right to elect our leaders gives us, the voters, infinite power, but not many are cognizant of this, and it is perhaps this state of ignorance that is at fault for the poor turnout during elections in so many democratic nations across the world. Which then makes one wonder if those nations are democracies to begin with...

    Loved the end quote!

  16. Hallo everybody - being a bit late answering

    For Geisslein
    Danke schön für das Hallo. Hier sonnt es auch, mächtig.

    Pour Viviane
    J'en ai d'autres. Tous les liens sont à ton service (ça sonne bien).

    For BK Chowla
    Thanks for commenting. Everybody tells me the same thing, worldwide. At the same time people are ready to die for their vote to be taken and respected.

    Pour Vincent
    Content que tu sois un Européen français convaincu. Et crois-moi, ni tes tripoux ni les pountis sont en danger. Au contraire.

    For Tazeen
    Our problems are small compared to yours. I am well aware of this.

    For Id it is
    As you say. Democracy is most certainly the best way to muddle through. But it needs to be defended by adults.

    Cheers to all of you

  17. Coucou Georg!!!
    je revenu du cantal!
    j'en ai bavé tu sais. j'ai défriché plus de 1000m² de ronces et d'orties. Et sous un cagnard pas possible.
    Et toi? que deviens tu? On n'a plus de nouvelles. J'espère que vous allez bien tous les deux.
    A bientôt j'espère.

  18. Just to say Hi, After a long time I have access to high speed internet again :)))

  19. Long time no post...what´s up?! I hope you are fine...still miss your comments at my blog ;o)
    Wish you a great day, geisslein

  20. Интересно написано....но многое остается непонятнымb

  21. Hazllo Anonymus,

    This is what I got from the Google translator:
    nterestingly written .... but much remains neponyatnymb

    So what means "neponyatnymb"??


  22. Интересно написано....но многое остается непонятнымb

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