Re: Our damn sight better democracy
Your are correct on one point, the European Parliament is elected however therein lies so much of what is wrong. The EU is essentially run by an unelected council that makes all the decisions. The eMPs are just lobby fodder, voting on fairly insignificant bits of legislation. All the real stuff happens behind closed doors and is essentially what Germany and at them moment, to a lesser degree France want. The next layer in priority is the lobbying of all the corporations so that they get what they want. TiPP is just the beginning and the big loses will be countries like the UK that sell everything to their city chums. The US simply cannot lose once TiPP is enacted. That is not to say that whatever feeble government is in power does not do the same and sell us to the US in the event of a No vote.
I many ways the lack of accountability and transparency in the running of the EU makes the US Political system look perfect.
Whatever the outcome, the EU is ultimately going to become a dictatorship, albeit by committee, as it is simply too large and diverse to survive any other way. All empires eventually implode and this will be no different. Even if the UK votes to remain the seeds for collapse will start to germinate. The entry of various eastern non-European countries such as Turkey, Ukraine and so on will change the EU beyond all recognition. The ultimate conclusion, despite the arguments that the EU has resulted in peace will be civil unrest and potentially a catastrophic conflict. The real killer (literally) here is that the conflict will quickly grow sucking in all the problems of the Middle East and areas such as Afghanistan, Russia. Whether China can stay out will be difficult, they have so much invested here that they will ultimately get involved to protect their interests. At that point it will be a US/China willy waving contest with Europe as a smoking hole in the ground.