The EU Constitution – Part Two

So the French have given a resounding thumbs-down to the Constitution. I suppose it was only to be expected. I have a feeling that it got caught in the crossfire of at least two opposing groups: those patriotic French who thought that it was anti-France, and those who thought that it did not go far enough.

I expect also that we’ll get a repeat performance this week in The Netherlands, and probably for much the same reasons. Although I said last week that I would vote Yes! (that is if I were to be allowed to vote), on reflection, perhaps it’s not as straightforward as I made it appear. I’ve been reading the full text (available as a PDF from this page). The first thing to say is that it is clearly a camel (i.e. a horse designed by a committee) and overlong (probably because it’s a camel). There are good things in it, but there are some things in it that prickle the socialist hairs on the back of my neck – e.g. the uncritical extent to which privatisation is believed to be a "good thing".

I came across this entry on Steeph’s Blog about the constitution, and I agree with his list of "good things" and "bad things". His conclusion was that the constitution doesn’t go far enough, and hence he will vote No. I suppose I’m more of a "let’s take what we can and work further on it afterwards" sort of person, but I can see where he’s coming from. 

Who knows, a resounding "No" vote may indeed make the politicians wake up and address the shortcomings, but somehow, I’m cynical enough to think that they ain’t going to do any radical surgery.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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