Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Chaos in Europe?

This is the New York Times account of the "no" vote in France, and here is the WaPo’s account. Tim Hames of The London Times calls the EU Constitution a mystery: "It is a cross between the Berlin telephone directory and the prophecies of Nostradamus." Katrin Bennhold thinks that the French political landscape is scarred forever. The Left is fractured, and Chirac is dead. And the far right may prosper. It will be interesting to see what Sarkozi ends up doing about this. Bronwen Maddox, also writing in the The London Times thinks that "for France, this is turmoil," and he notes that in large part Tony Blair is responsible: Chirac agreed to a referendum after Blair said he would go to one. The Dutch vote on Wednesday, then later the Danes, then the Brits will all vote "no." It will be the end of it, and the increasing distance between the European elites and the ordinary folks will become an unbridgeable chasm. Ironically, Woodrow Wilson’s democracy of experts (i.e., non-democracy) will have come to a completion in Europe (unless the New Europeans can, somehow, save it all because they may yet understand the connection between sovereignty and democracy). George Will thinks that "Europe’s elites -- political, commercial and media -- may learn the limits of their ability to impose their political fetishes on restive and rarely consulted publics." Or, they may not. The people have many concerns, not the least of which is Turkey, which, when it becomes a member, will become the most populous country in the EU; there are implications to this. The oddest thing is that despite the rejection by France--exactly how isn’t clear to anyone--the EU system will continue to muddle through with most members (vide France and German’s ignoring of certain financial provisions already) and the movement away from real democracy in Europe will continue apace. Tony Blair, who is to become the president of the EU this fall, may have the opportunity to be statesmanlike. Let’s see if he takes it. Do note that the Euro
slipped to its lowest level this year against the Dollar. And Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, reassures a waiting world that "the EU will continue to be an actor" on the world stage. : "We’ll continue to work 24 hours (a day) with the same energy that we’ve done before." That must be reassuring to the still-born Europeans of the twenty-first century, these last Europeans, as they keep looking for their virtues because they believe they still have some.

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