At this moment, on the front page of the Council of the European Union website somebody has put up a short article linking to the "voting calculator".
This is a nice toy in which you can play around with the different weights of member states and see how this adds to different kind of majorites. It's nice for those who are not aware that the Treaties foresee different kinds of majorities and different voting weights of the member states.
However, taking a look at the public voting results of the Council, which I do from time to time, you notice that there are only rare times when member states do not vote in consensus.
In fact, as far as I can see from the outside, the Council usually plays the standard diplomatic game in which nobody wants to stand on other peoples feet, thus pushing for consensus even when majority voting could apply. The voting weights are thus just a shadow of power that can guide the negotiations, but their public relevance is low.
The voting toy also overshadows that a lot of the Council's work is done in diplomatic or administrative working parties and committees, where I expect that the voting rules are rarely applied (although due to the intransparency of the Council there is no way to prove that). And the calculator has no means to calculate the dynamics that dominate in there.
What I want to say is that the voting calculator is distracting from the actual working methods of the Council, creating an image that does only marginally represent the institution - and is thus not well suited for the Council's website.
PS.: If anyone working in the Council could prove me wrong, I'd be most glad to hear.
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