We’re already getting a taste of global governance in immigration and environment policies, Keith Windschuttle says
In the wake of former Greens’ leader Bob Brown’s advocacy of a democratically elected bicameral world parliament, Quadrant editor Keith Windschuttle considers what such governance could mean. He writes in the May issue of Quadrant:
As critics immediately pointed out, such a chamber would not only be huge, it would be dominated by China and India, and the Third World would always have the numbers. You’d be mad to expect any First World country to surrender sovereignty to such a gathering.
However, there is another route to the same objective that is far more intellectually plausible and politically realistic. As John O’Sullivan recorded in our March edition [of Quadrant] in his introduction to John Fonte’s new book Sovereignty or Submission, since the end of the Cold War the notion of global governance has emerged as an intellectual orthodoxy with powerful support in the academy, the media, the law, the foreign policy establishment, the corporate world, and the bureaucracies that serve international institutions and non-governmental associations.
Global governance is a reversal of our existing political arrangements. It aims to take power from democratically elected parliaments and vest it in courts, NGOs and transnational bodies. Voters would increasingly find their representatives beholden to international treaties, international legal conventions and precedents, transnational bureaucrats and lawyers. Government policy would be decided less by open debate in the national media and more in the comparatively closed world of international conferences, academic seminars, consultant reports, learned journals and legal judgments.
Today, this is already obvious in immigration policy where the Australian government, bound by international conventions and treaties, has little room to move when people claim to be refugees. Even those who make the final decisions about which individuals will be permitted to enter this country are often not our own immigration officers but people appointed by the United Nations. On such a contentious issue, the national government may well regard this as a convenient way to wash its hands of responsibility and accountability, but it is no less an abdication of the sovereignty that electors once expected it to exercise.
The same is increasingly true in environmental policy …