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The French Exception


Eh oui ... the French say Merde! to the European Constitution (Gapingvoid).

"Hey Guys, next time you draft a proposed constitution, try to keep it under 1000 words. If you can't, it probably means you haven't really given it sufficient thought."

Shades of grey: The debate started at 10pm on 29 May and won't subside until the next Presidential elections in about 18 months time. Although the referendum asked for a simple Yes / No vote, european integration involves a slew of non-binary, negotiated issues between two dozen member states.

Under-communication, alienation and government inaction: So voters felt alienated from the process, the Yessers under-communicated during the campaing and with growing general discontent at the unchanging unemployment situation and with no other outlet for expression, the French voted a resounding "Non" against an ineffective government. In fact, not only was this a veiled vote of no confidence against the government, French voters don't trust greater European integration to solve their problems either.

Broadcast media with blinkers: The French media is as much to blame as the government, though, for undercommunicating and for treating the opposition as irrational and xenophobic. The fact is, there were many reasons to vote no and both the media and the government should have done more to address each issue independently.

Wait and see: At least the Euro took a hit and the government got jolted into trying to create jobs. Between the two effects, Villepin hopes to create 800,000 new jobs within the year (note: this figure is unverified, I heard it on LCI).

If you believe that, do you also believe in Santa Claus?

In the meantime, those lucky enough to be able to emigrate to more accomodating economies ... will do so.

June 6, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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