Over at EU Referendum, Richard North reports on a sensible development in Germany:
[T]he German interior ministry has declared that, in future, it will no longer issue multilingual guides to the federal elections. In the 2009 federal elections, there were numerous brochures produced by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, over-written with the legend “Secim Senim” – Turkish for “You have a choice”. This was an attempt to encourage the 690,000 naturalised Germans of Turkish origin to exercise their right to vote. The rationale behind the current decision is that, in order to acquire German citizenship – and thereby gain the right to vote in federal elections – migrants have to demonstrate knowledge of the legal and social order of Germany, and display good German language skills. In that context, foreign language brochures on how to vote would seem to be redundant. More importantly though, the move sends a message to naturalised Germans, to the effect that, when they vote, they do so as German citizens, not as members of an ethnic community….North continues:
The dilution of national identity is, of course, a facet of European Union propaganda, the entire construct fronting a broad attack on the concept of the nation state and the very idea of national loyalty. But the net effect of this, it would seem, is not to create a higher order of loyalties – for instance to the EU – but to destroy the very foundations of loyalty and the sense of belonging….And if one traditional focus of that loyalty—the nation state— is eliminated, the need that so many feel to belong to something will not go away, it will just be redirected, but where? Not generally, we can be sure, to the bland, artificial post-democracy that is “Europe”, but instead to other more potent identities, regional, ethnic, class or religious. And the result may be very uncomfortable indeed.