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Don't blame democracy

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Nov 22, 2004

Ordinarily the Wall Street Journal makes sense. You might not agree with every editorial, but even when you disagree you can recognize that they've made a logical case.

But in this editorial piece about the Rocco Buttiglione affair in the European Union, the Wall Street Journal Europe just doesn't make sense. The argument seems to be that the European parliament scored a victory for democracy by rejecting Buttiglione's nomination as European justice commissioner-- not because the people would have approved that decision, but because they probably didn't approve it, and will therefore be more likely to vote in the next elections for the European parliament, which are four years away. Huh?

You might say (and I think, actually, this is what the WSJ-Europe really means) that the rejection of Buttiglione shows that the European parliament is taking a firm hand, exercising real authority. That much is true. But a victory for democracy, it's not.

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