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.