EU official says people should get the government they want

It’s true! David Martin, the head of the European Union Election Observer Mission also said that:

If democracy wins we all win.

We cannot disagree with that sentiment. However Martin was not speaking of reforming the unaccountable legislative bodies of the European Union to make them democratic, rather he was talking to The Citizen in Tanzania about Sunday’s General Election where EU observers are acting as monitors. It never ceases to amaze me how an entity like the EU can send its bureaucrats around the world pontificating about democracy while its own political structures are themselves fundamentally undemocratic.

However, what is most notable about the interview is the EU’s change of approach to reporting on the conduct of elections they monitor. When asked by The Citizen’s reporter ‘What are the things, which will make you, arrive at a conclusion that the election was/was not free and fair?’ Martin replied:

We do not use the term “free and fair” as these are very subjective terms.  What we will judge is the election against well established international norms and ask ‘’did the people get the government they voted for?’’.

Well established international norms have regularly seen monitors benchmark an election by questioning whether an election it was free and fair. The EU’s change of language is a curious development. The EU does not make such changes unless it has a vested interest in doing so. Therefore we should be asking what benefit the EU will derive from this.

4 Responses to “EU official says people should get the government they want”


  1. 1 WitteringsfromWitney 30/10/2010 at 12:29 am

    And as well all know, only too well, there is an ulterior motive in everything, rpt everything they do!

  2. 2 Barry 30/10/2010 at 1:49 am

    Perhaps someone ought to point Mr. Martin in the direction of this European Union Election Observer Mission webpage that begins:

    Helping countries to run free and fair elections is an important component of the European Union’s external relations policy. and proceeds to set out what freedoms and fairnesses the monitors look for.

    I am more intrigued by his response to the question preceding the free and fair one:

    “Comment on whether it is negative or positive for competing parties to share power after a botched election.

    I hope we will not have a botched election. The sharing of power will bring stability and government of all the talents.”

    He appears to be providing an opinion as to the best outcome for the election. What if the people don’t want a coalition? If the politicians all collude to stitch up the Tanzanian people, if a majority of the politicians decide it is better to club together and distance themselves from their people, the public will not be well served by their representatives but oppressed by them. Sounds familiar…

  3. 3 Derek Reynolds 01/11/2010 at 8:56 am

    To deliver dictatorship – sell democracy.


  1. 1 Cameron is Britain’s equivalent of Burma’s dictators « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 15/11/2010 at 9:46 pm
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