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[经济学人] [2011.10.29] One man, many votes 一个人,很多票

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发表于 2011-11-1 17:13 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
One man, many votes
一个人,很多票


The Tories’ confused attitude to direct democracy
保守党对直接民主的迷茫态度


MORE than two centuries ago, the liberal philosopher Edmund Burke delivered a bracing warning to voters in Bristol, who had just elected him to Parliament. If his constituents had opinions, he announced, he would “rejoice” to hear them. But he would not be Bristol’s envoy to Parliament, nor take instructions from his electors. At Westminster, he would deliberate in the national interest, not theirs.

两百多年以前,自由主义哲学家埃德蒙•伯克在布里斯托向选民们发表了一个令人振奋的警示,这些选民刚刚选举他进入国会.他曾宣称,如果他的参议员有意见,他将乐于去听取.但是他不会做一个国会的布里斯托特使,也不会照搬听从选民的指示.在威斯敏斯特,他将会是一个专注于国家利益的人而不是为了他人的利益.

Nobody denounced Burke by name in the House of Commons on October 24th, when more than 80 Conservatives defied party leaders to back a referendum on Britain’s ties to the European Union. But today’s backbenchers unmistakably rejected Burke’s lofty vision of representative democracy.

10月22日没有人在下议院谴责伯克,那天超过80名守旧派反对政党领袖支持关于英国和欧盟联系的全民投票.但是今天后座议员席明白无误的拒绝了伯克的关于代议制民主的崇高理想.

Speaker after speaker called for the British to have their say. Resigning what he endearingly called his “minuscule job” as a ministerial aide, Adam Holloway told colleagues not to fret about the result of the proposed referendum (on whether Britain should stay in the EU, leave or seek a looser relationship based on trade and co-operation). Think only of principle, and of what your constituents want, Mr Holloway told fellow MPs, urging them not to “rebel against the people who sent them here.”

一个接一个的言论者要求英国发表意见. 亚当’霍洛韦没有像以往亲昵地将其部长助理的职位称之为”微不足道的工作”,而是告诉同事们不要为这个已提议出的全民投票(关于英国是否应该留在欧盟,离开或者寻求一个更为宽松的关系是建立在贸易和合作基础上的)感到焦虑.仅仅考虑原则和你的参议员想要什么,霍洛韦这样告诉下议院议员同事们,并催促他们不要”反对把他们送进这里的人们”.

The palm for populism went to the referendum motion’s sponsor, David Nuttall. Week after week, he declared, the British public spends money voting on televised contests such as “The X Factor”. Many would be “baffled” that the government wished to deny them a vote on Britain’s future relationship with the EU. Tory backbenchers have come a long way since their idol Margaret Thatcher (speaking in 1975) mused that referendums might be no more than “a device of dictators and demagogues”.

争取平民主义来自于全名投票运动提议者大卫.纳塔尔.他一周接一周地宣称英国公众在电视竞赛如”X因素”上花费太多.许多人将会”莫名奇妙”,政府希望否认他们对英国和欧盟未来关系进行表决.自从他们的偶像玛格丽特.撒切尔(在1975年的发言)曾思考过全民投票可能不仅仅是”监视和煽动者的机器”以来, 保守党党员后座议员已经取得了很大的进步.

Are Britain’s political leaders losing faith in representative democracy? It is much messier than that. On the one hand, party leaders hewed to a Burkean line during this week’s EU debate. The national interest was to the fore as David Cameron and his foreign secretary, William Hague, warned against any referendum offering the choice of leaving the EU. Britain had to stay in the club to preserve free trade and foreign investment worth billions. A referendum would be a dangerous distraction in a fast-evolving EU crisis, they insisted, in remarks echoed by party leaders on the Labour and Liberal Democrat benches.

是英国的政治领导者对代议制民主失去信心了么?情况要比那要麻烦的多.一方面,在本周的欧盟讨论会上政党领袖服从一个Burkean 线.大卫.卡梅隆和他的外交部长威廉.黑格把国家利益放在前面,提醒任何全民投票不要提出离开欧盟的选择.英国需要呆在这个俱乐部里以保持自由贸易保护价值数亿美元的国外投资.劳动和自由民主主义者议席的党派领导们在反复的评论中认为全民投票在进展迅速的欧盟危机中将会成为一个危险的分散力量.

On the other hand, Mr Cameron’s Tories have pushed through a big expansion of people power since forming a coalition with the Lib Dems last year. It was Mr Cameron’s government that created a system of online petitions that can trigger parliamentary debates if 100,000 voters sign up: just such signature-gathering led to this week’s parliamentary debacle.

在另一方面,卡梅隆的保守党党员们自从去年和自民党形成了联合以来已经促成了人民权利的大范围的扩展.卡梅隆政府创造出一种网上请愿的系统,如果有十万名选举者签名就能引发议会讨论:恰恰就是这个签名征集导致了本周的议会惨败.

Direct democracy used to be a Labour speciality. The 1970s saw votes on devolution, and—in Britain’s only European referendum to date—on remaining in the European Economic Community. During 13 years of Labour rule after 1997, dozens of referendums created a parliament for Scotland, assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland and several directly elected mayors.

直接民主曾经是工党的专长.十九世纪七十年代,在到目前为止英国仅有的一次欧洲公投上(关于是否保留欧洲经济共同体)出现了选民投票的权力下放.1997年之后工党统治的十三年间,几十个全民投票产生出了一个属于苏格兰的议会,它由威尔士和北爱尔兰以及数个直接选举的市长组成.

Now the Tories are making the running. The party recently pushed through plans for elected police and crime commissioners, over Lib Dem qualms. Local referendums on council taxes and neighbourhood planning are next. Though Mr Cameron has vowed to fight the break-up of Britain with “every fibre”, he has called Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister and leading nationalist, a “big feartie” (ie, coward) for failing to set a date for a Scottish independence referendum.

现在保守党证正居于领先地位.该党最近在自民党的不安中促成了针对选举政策和犯罪行为者的计划.接下来是关于家庭税和住区规划的地方全民投票.尽管卡梅隆发誓称会用”每一个纤维”为英国的突破进行斗争,他曾称呼艾利克斯 塞门多(苏格兰的首席部长和主要的国家主义者)是个”大懦夫”,为其没有能够成功定下苏格兰独立全民投票的日期.

Cynics will conclude that (like politicians elsewhere) ministers in Britain simply like direct democracy when they think the answer suits them. There is a bit of that. Polls show rising but still uncertain support for independence among Scots: hence Mr Cameron’s calls for a swift vote.

悲观者们会像其他地方的政治家们那样认为英国的部长们在他们认为结果适合他们时仅仅喜欢直接民主.是有那么一种情况,民意调查显示在苏格兰人民中出现了上升的但仍旧不确定的对于独立的支持:因此卡梅隆要求迅速表决.

The Tories keenest on elected police commissioners are also those who yearn for more authoritarian policing (and who think that the public agrees with them). It is impossible to know which came first: faith in elected police chiefs or a preference for tough crime-fighting. There is an element of cowering before angry voters. The British are in an anti-politics mood: no MP would dare quote Burke, even if they agreed with him.

保守党党员热心于被选举的警察局长,他们也是渴望更多的专权政治(也认为公众会同意他们)的人,没有办法知道哪一个最先:对选举政治首领的信心或是严厉打击犯罪的偏爱.英国正处于一个反政的情绪中:没有国会议员敢引用伯克的话,即使他们同意他的观点.

Only ask if you know the answer
仅仅问你是否知道答案

But something more profound is afoot. Even as they warned MPs against an in-out EU referendum, Mr Cameron and Mr Hague hailed the merits of the “referendum lock” their Conservative-Lib Dem coalition put in place in July, promising that any future EU treaty that transfers powers from Britain to Brussels must be approved by the British people. Several times they bemoaned the fact that the previous, Labour government had denied the public a referendum on earlier treaties, notably the most recent one, Lisbon, which they said had taken EU integration too far. That is a more radical position than it at first appears.

一些意义更深远的事情在进行中.甚至就像他们警告下议院议员反对一项进退欧盟的全民投票,卡梅伦和海格为”公投锁定”的功绩而欢呼,他们的保守党—自民党联合在七月产生,承诺未来任何的把权力从英国向布鲁塞尔转移的欧盟条款一定会被英国人民支持。他们数次为之前的事实感到惋惜,工党政府曾公众在早前条约上的全民投票,特别是最近的一个,里斯本,他们认为使得欧盟一体化的进程变得遥远。那是一个比一开始出现的更为激进的位置。

Confronted with a straight in-out referendum, the British might well vote to stay. If asked to vote on a specific treaty such as Lisbon, the British would have said no. It is not conceivable that Britons could have been forced to vote a second time (a standard EU ploy when voters rebel). Unable to ratify a treaty already agreed by big beasts such as France and Germany, Britain could easily have crashed out of the club.

面对一个直接的进退全民投票,英国人可能会选择等待。如果被要求对一个特殊条约如里斯本进行表决,英国人会说不。无法想象英国人本可以再次被迫选举一次(一个当选民反抗时标准化的欧盟策略)。无法批准一个已经被像法国和德国这样的大国同意的条约,英国很容易被挤出这个俱乐部。

Furious Euro-rebels do not trust Mr Cameron, thinking him a simple Burkean elitist. He is not. The referendum lock installed by the coalition is real; thanks to the euro-zone crisis—which might well necessitate big treaty changes—the public may get their vote sooner than sceptics imagine. For all Mr Cameron’s careful defence of EU membership and the single market, Britain is embarked on a populist journey whose destination even the government cannot know.

狂热的欧洲叛军不信任卡梅隆,认为他是只是一个简单的Burkean精英。他不是的。公投锁定由联盟是做出的真事;多亏了欧元区危机(可能使得大的条约变化成为必需),公民早于怀疑论者的想象得到他们的选票。就卡梅隆所有的对欧盟成员国和单一市场的谨慎防御来说,英国走上了民粹主义旅程,甚至就连政府也不清楚其目的地。

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