Saturday, December 13, 2003

There's bad news and there's bad news

The failure of the summit of the European Union to reach a compromise on a constitutional provision dealing with voting power could have disastrous effects on the viability of the EU, particularly as it nears the date when a large bloc of east European nations is about to join. The deadlock pits France and Germany, in particular, against Spain and Poland, the former wanting a voting system that takes into account their greater populations (like our House of Representatives) and the latter wanting to stick with the method that counts each nation's vote equally (like our Senate). (A note: The split parallels those nations' attitude toward the US invasion of Iraq. Coincidence?)

This failure affects the US directly, it seems to me. A robust EU, with a strong economy, a large and vocal population, and political influence could operate as a counterweight to the US in world affairs, could contain the out-of-control pickup truck that Kyle describes below. Without it (witness the recent war in Iraq, where it was split severely on the advisability and propriety of US policy) our nation can blunder on with impunity.

Some say the Cold War was less dangerous than now because the two blocs contained each other. I'm not certain of that, but I am certain that with Bush at the wheel and no cops on patrol, get the hell off the road!