ACTA Not Dead Yet: Supporters Make Final Push For EU Approval, May Seek Secret Ballot
from the but-of-course dept
Even as key committees and a bunch of elected officials in the EU Parliament have come out against ACTA, all that really matters is the final vote. And the pro-ACTA forces are making a very big push to get it approved. Some are making arguments on its importance (and pretending that the concerns are overblown). Others are suggesting delays in the vote, in hopes of having more time to build support. Finally, some others have suggested “amendments” to ACTA that would remove some of the more controversial bits. Of course, that’s a much more difficult move than you might think, since we’re talking about an agreement that has already been in this “final” form for well over a year, and was the result of years of negotiation with a bunch of other countries, many of whom have already signed off on the document. Re-opening the negotiations at this stage would open up a huge can of worms (and would piss off the US negotiators). I just don’t see it happening.
However, much more concerning is a rumor, passed along by MEP Marietje Schaake, that there will be a request for a secret ballot. In other words, elected officials know that their constituency, the European public, is vehemently against ACTA, but they don’t want to be held accountable for their votes. A secret ballot on proposals like this only serve to support corruption and positions that go against the will of the people. Hopefully, enough in the EU Parliament realize just how bad it will look to the public (not just in Europe, but around the globe) should they agree to a secret ballot concerning ACTA.
One of the major complaints about ACTA all along was the lack of transparency in the negotiations. Concluding that with a lack of transparency in the voting isn’t exactly a way to inspire confidence. It’s almost guaranteed to backfire and alienate the public even more.