Thursday, June 02, 2005

Yurpean constitution

Well, I suppose i should comment on the two recent referendums.

The first thing to note is that a truly intelligible debate on that constitution is impossible - we've had copies come into the library where I work, and it is an epic monster of a document - ok, it holds hidden snacks like citizens initiative petitions, but overwhelmingly, it is just too dense.

All that could be and was voted on was the principle - the values of the peice, as it were. Hence the French and Dutch rejections - both stemming from essentially a nationalistic base about control by people over their own lives.

The sounds are that the powers that be may consider renegotiating, and may come back with a pared down constitution, that does less - kind of a lowest common denominator.

The real problem is, that unlike in national constitutions, this is still a treaty between states, a needed technical document, whereas national constitutions have other things to bind them, culture, history economic cohesion.

The history of constitutions is littered with peices of high sounding principle being subtly eroded by 'organic laws' supposed to supplement their general provision. Just look at America (where, incidentally, IIRC, two of the original 13 states did not ratify the constitution - even that one wasn't unimously accepted). A Europe that goes down that route ceases to be a union of states and becomes a single national entity. Hence the highly entrenched nature of the constitution and some unusual (i.e. economic) clauses.

As an internationalist and a democrat, I am in favour of increasingly dismantling nationa states and states' rights. What I'd want to see, though, is a movement to that end, and, I believe, taht movement must be socialist. If we do have a referendum here, that's how I will vote, socialism.

That is the split in Europe, between a Europe of states, operating at several removes from the people, and a Europe of the people.

Loony continues celebrating the no vote, with some instances of giving leftish reasons why - none of which, to my mind, are very strong. Paul Anderson says why it puts the case for a democratic federal Europe.


Post a Comment

<< Home