06 August, 2012

Democracy nuisance

Italy's Prime Minister, Mario Monti, has been in the news lately, cooking up some new way for the Germans to pay everyone's debts. Here's an interesting little bon mot he let loose in passing:

"If governments allow themselves to be completely bound by the decisions of their parliaments without maintaining some room for manoeuvre in international negotiations, then a break up of Europe will be more likely than closer integration."

Bear in mind that Mr.Monti has not been elected. It reminds me of the Government official in the former East Germany who said 'the people have forfeited the trust of the state'.

Now Mr. Monti is an educated man, but I think he needs to read one more book. Something like 'The idiot's guide to democracy' should serve. It would tell him that governments do indeed need to be bound by the decisions of their parliaments. It's a nuisance, but there it is.


Tom Welsh said...

Lord Salisbury, PM of Great Britain in the closing years of the 19th century, reversed Mr Monti's argument. He always told foreign leaders (such as Bismarck) that Her Majesty's Government could not enter into lasting formal alliances or treaties precisely because Parliament always retained the right to withdraw from them.


[After a quick 'Google' search - this corrected quotation from Winston Churchill [1874-1965] = "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried". [Context, setting, date and place were not given].

Churchill also was quoted thus: "It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read quotations"! ;-) -30-