Wednesday, March 23, 2005
While reading a report from the Arab League summit, buried under the Mid East peace process, Syria, Lebanon and democratization, I found this short sentence:
"According to a copy of the final declaration of the Algiers summit due to be released Wednesday, the leaders will agree to set up a pan-Arab parliament."Not wanting to pre-empt the declaration, and indeed not having yet seen the details of the proposal, it strikes me that it would be far more productive to set up working, democratically elected parliaments in all 22 member states of the League before embarking on a project to construct any trans-national representative bodies in the region. If the new pan-Arab body will merely be an appointed one, then it's pretty useless; if it is to be elected, then it will only serve to further expose the domestic democratic deficit (DDD?) in most of the member states. Imagine residents of Belgium or Italy not being able to vote in national elections but having a right to elect Members of European Parliament.