Bring me a cup of tea !Posted: June 10, 2010
We are not going to talk about beverages made by infusing tea leaves ; but about the US political movement of the same flavor… With this key question: A Tea Party in Europe, why ? why not ? for what ?
Let’s start with a definition – among all the possibilities – of the Tea Party, or more precisely of the Tea Partism, since there is not one Tea Party, but a lot of different flavors. It is a popular movement, built on local sections, that expresses a conservative political agenda : less taxes, less regulation (particularly on environmental, finance, business), reduction of the federal bugdet, return to the fundamentals of the constitution…
A certain number of ideas in the Tea Party are not OK for me :
- Because I don’t like the anti-regulation, anti-social protection ideas
- Because, I’m more for “better” taxes than just “less” taxes”
- Because the Tea Parties, arguing that politic shouldn’t be in the hands of experts, prefers to put a friendly-neighbor-who-drives-a-truck rather than an experimented politician – Not that I am against some “fresh blood”, but it wouldn’t come to my mind to just reject a proposal by Jacques Delors just because he has been president of the European Commission.
However, there is, in the functioning of the Tea Party, some elements that, put into a European Frame, would create – or at least help creating – a European political dynamic.
- First because it is a grass root movement, coming from the base. What better to dream that citizen take hold of the European politic, gather and share to talk about it with the aim of having an influence. That is a grail of politics that Europe hasn’t achieve yet.
- Then, because those movements are based on local sections, coordinating on several levels ; there is a word for that in Euro-Speak : subsidiarity – well, the Tea Party is not completely following that idea, but the principle meet some aspect of subsidiarity.
To sum-up: the American Tea Party is defending ideas and principles that are not really in the mind of European citizen (more hungry for social protection for example), but its way of working and internal organization could be an inspiration for pro-European movements, or political parties who want to get a European dimension.
For your own culture, let me tell you that the title for this post is a quote attributed to Queen Victoria upon arriving on the United Kingdom throne.