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France scraps the EU constitution

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Morgoroth, May 29, 2005.

  1. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    [​IMG] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4592243.stm

    Well there it is. The referendum in France has gone 55% to NO and 35% to YES. And so the EU won't have get a constitution, atleast not for a while. Personally I see this as unfortunate, I can almost guarantee that 54% percent of those who voted NO for the constitution have no idea what is in the constitution and what it means. A referendum is not the right way to decide things like this since the people have no way of knowing what is in the constitution and what it practically means for France and EU. I'm extremely disappointed by the results even though it was to be expected.

    Anyway this greatly slows down the EU integration and rises questions about the future of EU. The extreme right of France have even claimed that France should resign from EU since according to them a no for the constitution is a no for EU. Of course France is to committed to EU that resigning from it at this point would be devastating to both France and EU and so that probably won't happen. It just seems that the socialists and extreme right blame EU for just about everything that's wrong in France and people seem to be a bit too willing to buy it.
     
  2. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    England doesn't want the Eruo and France doesn't like the constitution. Not an auspicious start for the fledgling uber-nation. Oops, forgot, the EU isn't a nation, it is a collective of nations. :rolleyes: So was the US, but states have given up right after right to the federal government.

    Careful what you wish for. :borg:
     
  3. Wordplay Gems: 29/31
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    Wasn't there some discussion about "one country not scrapping the whole deal?" It would be only fair if every other has already decided 'yes' -leaving France out of it. It's not like EU needs a 100% consensus when 60% majority should be enough. :hmm:
     
  4. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Well France is one of the big three (Great Britain, France and Germany) and therefore we can't just go and walk over France, unfortunately.
    Chiraq can't just reject the referendum either. An extremely stupid thing to make the people vote for the constitution.

    I don't think the England not wanting the Euro is such a big deal because there are others (Sweden and Denmark). A common currency for everyone is not needed right now. And indeed the EU is no nation it's an union of nations. And there are far greater cultural chasms and differences which go way back to times when there were no white men in America.

    To make EU completely united would either require a major crisis that would force us to unite but that will hardly happen. A deeper economical union however is possible and should something to strive for and that's also happening. The scrapping of the constitution won't destroy anything but it most certainly will slow EU down. On the other hand I think that exactly the fact that EU is developing and expanding too much made people vote against the constitution.

    I'm more worried about the development of France. The economical situation of France has made people unhappy and I'm worried that socialists and the extreme right will increase in popularity. Not exactly something I figure would be good for EU nor do I think it would be good for France.
     
  5. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Tell me about it. When will people learn to shut the hell up and let the government run their lives. Don't they know what is best for them? Without the governments running everything the "evil" corporations will take over. Don't the French watch movies?
     
  6. BOC

    BOC Let the wild run free Veteran

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    Well, I am satisfied that the French said no to the constitution because I want an EU for the people and not an EU for the corporations and I have the feeling that lately EU was following the second path. I don't know which the implications of the french refusal (possibly it will encourage other european nations to vote no as well) but I hope that it will lead to a constitution that will aim to the welfare of the people and not to the welfare of the corporations.

    I wished our goverment give us the chance to vote but they decided that just the members of the parliament would vote.
     
  7. Oxymore Gems: 13/31
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    Well this is getting interesting...

    I must say, part of me is pleased with this outcome.

    The European democratic process has a tendency to be... somewhat obscure at times and I'm not pleased with the sentiment of ineluctability that seems to taint every new advance in the integration process.

    The official campaigning in favor of the constitution often consisted in: "vote 'yes' unless the world falls apart and the Sith will take over!" Time and time again, sceptics have been labeled radicals or ignorants. Time and time again, we've been told that it's the only way to go, that it will happen sooner or later no matter what and that, all things considered, the European citizen has little to say about the way Europe is being shaped. All stick and no carrot makes a voter disgruntled.

    The optimist in me strongly hopes this will cool things down a little bit and positive things will come out. Perhaps writing a constitution that is intelligible to mere mortals would be a start.

    The pessimist in me just thinks this referendum's result will be ignored and things will go on as planned 'cause, after all, the EU is not about its citizens anyway.
     
  8. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Referendums are an extreme method to be used in elections or in very special cases (like voting for or against joining EU perhaps even about taking the Euro currency or not) the elected government is there to make decisions for the people especially decisions which are too complicated for the people such as the constitution. The socialists frequently used the very much debated service directive to spook the people against the constitution even though the service directive have nothing to do with the constitution. I find it stupid to have people vote for things they do not understand, and to me it seems quite clear that this referendum was filled with confusion and unclarity. I would go as far as say that most people who voted had no idea what they were voting for. A democracy won't work if there is a referendum for every important decision of the government especially when dealing with complicated matters and the constitution most certainly was a complicated matter.

    Scaring people with the service directive and outlanders who will come and steal their jobs is hardly that much better. :rolleyes:
     
  9. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    For smoe reason people use EU votes as a way to vent their displeasure against everything and anything whether it is related to EU or not. People dont like jackass Chirac, ok, lets vote no to the constitution. Horrendous. I also dislike the strong strain of nationalism and xenophobia that runs through all EU opposition. Referendums doesnt work, people are too stupid. We have parliments for a reason.

    What I can say is that the elite have been pushing things too strongly and not paused long enough to win people over to EU. Was the same with the Euro, the enthusiasts just dash along and the sceptics burrow their heels in sheer fright without thinking.
     
  10. Mesmero

    Mesmero How'd an old elf get the blues?

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    Funny you should mention this. As I understood it, there are currently no rules for countries who want to leave the EU. Such rules would have been established is the new constitution, so the the anti-EU politicians should actually be in favor of the consitution.

    This, and what Joacqin said, more or less reflects my opinion about the matter. The constitution is not something I want a referendum for. Most people do not understand what it is about, and most people will vote 'no', just because it seems the most popular thing to do. For example, I think a lot of Dutch want to show their displeasure with the euro by voting 'no', but that isn't going to bring our beloved guilder back. Perhaps the saddest part of this whole story is, is the fact that most of the confusion about the constitution was started by politicians, who in Holland, can't even agree if the referendum is the best course of action.

    Holland is voting on Wednesday, but the number of people who are going to vote will be low, due to the no-vote in France. The result will be the same here however, most people shall vote against the constitution.
     
  11. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    No, no, no. Referanda are a basic instrument of a democracy and frankly, I do not consider any country as semi-decent democracy that hasn't it's regurlar referanda every quarter of a year.

    And it's quite obvious that there's a correlation between the lack of mimial political rights and an unimformed voting public, basing it's decision on emotion and frustration more than anthying else. Regularly referenda sober a voting public up pretty fast.

    No, the problem is not with a referundum per se, the dilemma comes from somewhere else. This awful plebiscitary form of Referendum is a can of worms. No doubt. It's main fault is, that the parliament (or even worse, the executive) can decide if and when a referendum is held.
    So, if one would present me with such a napoleonic tool, like they do in France, the UK, Scandinavia and the Netherlands, I wouldn't miss out on the chance to kick the goverment or parliament in the abdomen.

    It would be better, if referanda would be more common in those countries, and people could get more used to such practical tools that really should be found and regularly used in every European country.

    About the contents of the EU-constitution I haven't spent too much time to read up on it. As ... ahm ... non-EU citizen I have no say anyway, I just endure the ramifications. But I tend to believe that the drowning of this constitution isn't a great loss. I got the impression, the constituion is mainly a patchwork of compromises because there still many basic questions that keep being avoided instead of getting decided once and for all. But the EU needs a constitution pretty fast, so it would be good if people started to talk tacheles. One way or another.

    The EU is lacking a common economic policy and this is a hurting void for the whole continent.
     
  12. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    It's funny how when a vote goes contrary to what one would have liked, the blame goes on the the "uninformed" masses. I do the same thing myself when I have a strong position on something, and I can't believe things didn't go the way they "should" have.

    The thing is, I remember reading in my newspaper months ago that the government had legions of people out explaining the constitution to the "uninformed" masses, to try to drum up support (because obviously it was only the uninformed that wold vote against it right?).

    Well guess what? In that article the gripes the people had against the constitution seemed to me at the time to be enitrely reasonable (though I can't remember what they were any longer), and most telling was that some of the people going out and doing the informing who were "gung ho" FOR the constitution started to question their own beliefs after hearing what the "uninformed" had to say about it.

    Since the "information drive" occurred, the "no" votes increased; I would say it may have been the "uninformed" who were voting FOR the constitution.

    [ May 30, 2005, 18:42: Message edited by: Blackthorne TA ]
     
  13. Register Gems: 29/31
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    I am VERY glad that France voted no. As an extreme EU opponant and Public Vote supporter, this was a victory in more than one way for me.
     
  14. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    It looks like the dutch will vote no, and I'm reasonably sure the Brits will too.

    its kicked the bucket, shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT
     
  15. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I recently read the following quote from a conservative source.

    I was wondering if anyone has read the EU constitution and if this quote is in any way accurate.
     
  16. BOC

    BOC Let the wild run free Veteran

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    I've its first 50 pages few months ago and I don't remember something like this but I think that it has many chances to be accurate, since the general idea is that the EU laws and directives prevail over the national laws. Anyway, if you want (and have the time) to read the constitution, you can find it here.
     
  17. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    It's inaccurate and in fact complete BS period, and there is no way around it. The EU constitution can't override any national constitutions under any circumstances, nor does it in anyway centralize power to the EU comission (whom I assume that article refers to with the "unelected beurocrats" part) or to the EU parliament.

    I wonder what government that artcile of yours is talking about, the EU government or national governments? The EU government has very little power and the constitution would not have changed much, its power is mainly in the comission which can only suggest changes. The true decisions are made among the prime ministers/presidents in top meetings that are arranged now and then when the need arises. The comission itself nor the EU parliament (which is unfortunately almost useless) can make any decisions and the constitution would have come with no change to this.

    The constitution itself is several hundred of pages long and so I do not have the time nor the intrest to read through such a document and I doubt anyone else here has either. I have read quite a few articles about the issue and personally I consider all the fears towards it to be caused by prejudice and ignorance. The constitution would have created clear rules to the EU, it presented very little anything new mainly just summarized agreements that have allready been ratified by all members.

    EDIT: @BOC, that would be very convenient to quicken the ability to introduce new directives but these directives could not be taken to use without the approval of the parliament and the primeministers of EU members.

    The problem the way I see it is the weak EU parliament which has been eleceted so that it almost nowhere really represents the real political climate of the nation and is to politicians some sort of burial ground where those who suffered a political scandal in their homeland go and spend their retirement days.
     
  18. BOC

    BOC Let the wild run free Veteran

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    Sorry but you are absolutely wrong. I know this because lately, we have such an issue with our constitution and the EU laws and directives. The EU constitution states the following about this:

    Not exactly. According to the constitution there are specific areas, in which the member states have given the authority to the EU to legislate and the state members are obliged to comply with its decisions.
     
  19. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Over law yes but not over the national constitution. There is a difference between a law and a constitution.

    Indeed but the organ of decisionmaking in EU is still the top meetings of the primeministers of member states. The comission is still just a organ which makes suggestions and the parliament still does not get a major change in role even with this new constitution.

    The authority of EU to legislate something practically means that if the majority of members agree with some directive the rest must comply but this is pretty much the case now allready so it would not change much. An unwritten rule would simply be written down.
     
  20. BOC

    BOC Let the wild run free Veteran

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    The national constitution is the supreme law of state, so according to my interpretation it fits in this article. If I'm wrong and the EU laws don't have primacy over the national constitutions, then how can an EU law be binding for a member state if it comes to conflict with its constitution?
     
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