Monday, December 19, 2005

We know better than the people

In a couple of days' time, gay couples in the UK will be able to form civil unions for the first time.
Whether you agree or disagree with this, what's interesting is that the decision was taken by the government without any public debate whatsoever. About a month ago it was simply announced that this was going ahead (presumably those following these kinds of things knew a while before); I have no recollection of any discussion on this in the public sphere at all. Again, whether or not you think this is a good idea, this is a big change in public policy and in any normal country would have been subject to a rigorous debate. That it wasn't shows much both about the social climate in Europe at the moment -- and how much the government trusts and values the opinions of the people (as Mark Steyn once wrote, the difference between the US constitution and the EU constitution is that one begins "We the people," whilst the other begins, "We know better than the people").

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