Friday, May 06, 2005

Josh Marshall, a very well-known leftie in American political criticism and blogdom, has a fascinating article in the left-wing New Republic, claiming that statist elitism has decided the issue of the death penalty in Europe, not the will of the people.

"When a 1997 poll showed that 49 percent of Swedes wanted the death penalty reinstated, the country's justice minister told a reporter: 'They don't really want the death penalty; they are objecting to the increasing violence. I see this as a call to politicians and the justice system to do more.'

An American attorney general--or any American politician, for that matter--could never get away with such condescension toward the public, at least not for attribution."


Whether your pro- or anti- death penalty (and I'm against it, not for moral reasons, but because so many mistakes have been made), Marshall's take on the ubiquitous condescension of the European statist elite hits the mark. After all, that Swedish minister's remark could as easily be heard from someone in the Finnish government.

(Hat tip: Barcepundit)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Europeans it's nothing new, we are used to these comments of politicians. Talking about the deathpenalty for terrorists, the percentage is even higher. 50-60% in Holland and France. It doesn't matter what "the people" think read this;

http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc04/EDOC10211.htm

Do these parliamentarians care about these polls? No they don't, it's all about this great, fantastic, "democratic", "tolerant" Europe... let's see what happens when Osama blows up "la tour Eiffel"

3:40 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

All the more reason I'm always surprised when Finns claim that America has a less perfect democracy, since the parliamentary system is more of a direct democracy than the American tri-partite constitutional democracy. Eventually, there has to be structure to stabilize the expression of the will of the people. In America, that structure is the Constitution. In Europe, the structure is provided by party political elites.

These political elites are also direct beneficiaries of the largesse of the welfare state. Therefore, they have an inherent interest in its maintenance, even though its effect is detrimental in so many ways...

9:26 AM  
Anonymous mol9 said...

first comment was mine, today I fill in a form and vote against the new european constitution, why isn't this possible in Finland? This constitution will ruin our lives for the next 100 or so years, quiet important though...

5:07 AM  
Anonymous mol said...

QUITE important....

6:48 AM  

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