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The delightfully named Whistler Question reports that Klaus Schwab is skiing in the Canadian resort this week. But it’s apparently an innocent skiing holiday, and no prefiguring of the Forum holding its Annual Meeting in Whistler, or so they say.

More incomprehension  

Brad DeLong emphasises he really doesn’t understand why the Bush administration is pushing its budget proposals. “Nobody enters politics seeking to make their country poorer, weaker, and more miserable. Only patriots enter American politics. And trying to mold America’s mid-twenty-first century politics into a pattern like that of present-day Argentina is not a patriotic thing to do.”

Not 1789  

The European constitutional convention has published the first draft of the proposed constitution (pdf, aargh). It has produced predictably apoplectic responses from parts of the British press. I don’t think a calm reading of the draft justifies the eurosceptic rants.

“The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, values which are common to the Member States. Its aim is a society at peace, through the practice of tolerance, justice and solidarity.” That, like much of the document, is pretty hard to argue with.

But in the current climate, article 14, reads like a particularly wild pipe dream: “Member States shall actively and unreservedly support the Union’s common foreign and security policy in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity. They shall refrain from action contrary to the Union’s interests or likely to undermine its effectiveness.”

What’s sad to me is the style of the document, which is clearly written by a committee of bureaucrats and lawyers. If you read the US constitution 214 years after its completion, it remains a resonant document. And I certainly haven’t encountered any parallel to the still-vibrant debates of the Federalist Papers. Unless major redrafting happens, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to refer to the European constitution, other than for legal reasons, even five years from now.

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