More on the French referendum
Rather than a red and blue map, Libération shows that the “yes” regions are blue, but the rest of the country are in shades of yellow and orange, depending on how emphatically they said “no”:

Le Monde‘s map shows that even in Paris, four districts voted “no”.


Cinco razones por las que los franceses dijeron ‘No’
Five reasons why the French said “no”, via Barcepundit (my translation):

  • High unemployment: voters are unhappy w ith the high (10%) and persistent unemployment rate. They feel the people in power are out of touch with voters and haven’t done enough about the country’s economic problems.
  • Free market policies: Critics feel that the Constitution promotes business interests over social policy. They also feel it won’t protect workers enough, and would favor Eastern Europeans, with lower costs and salaries, over France.
  • Declining influence: They fear France’s influence within the EU would decline, since the Constitution strips countires of sovereign rights and transfers power to Brussels.
  • Renegotiation: The principal oponents to the treaty say that a “No” could force the EU to renegotiate the Constitution and include more safeguards for European workers. EU leaders and defenders of the treated have already said this is not possible.
  • Turkey: Some voters fear the the Constitution would clear the way for Turkey’s admission into the EU and that the Referendum was the only way to oppose this.
  • The Dutch are expected to reject the Constitution. Will there be a Referendum in the UK?

    From the Hindustan Times:Blair should feel relieved at French Non

    Blair had previously said the referendum would go ahead, so long as there was a treaty to vote on. But, in practice, the French result could be a fatal blow to the constitution. A final decision on Britain’s planned referendum is unlikely before the middle of next month, but a Downing Street aide conceded: “A double ‘no’ would be a very big blow.”

    A double rejection will have serious ramifications for the Government. Whatever its outcome, a UK referendum was viewed by Labour figures as a natural moment for Blair to step down, with Gordon Brown replacing him. That would have enabled a contest in the summer, followed by Brown’s coronation at Labour’s conference in autumn 2006.

    The French result also means Britain’s presidency of the European Union, which begins in July, will be dominated by the constitution. Blair and Brown had wanted economic reform to be the key issue of the presidency. Instead they will be in charge of picking up the wreckage from the French and Dutch votes.

    Ministers are also braced for a backlash from the French government, with Paris likely to resist what it sees as “Anglo-Saxon” reforms to the EU. It may also block British plans for Turkey’s admission. Crucial discussion will take place at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on June 16. A substantive announcement on the implications for Britain are likely to be delayed until then.

    The Scotsman urges, Blair should grasp opportunity with both hands

    The fact is that once the French voted against the constitution, its chances of survival were nil. Mr Blair should underline this by holding a swift British referendum to make sure it is not just dead but buried.

    Stephen Pollard sees Blair as politically brilliant, while Samizdata’s Perry de Havilland says The game’s afoot!

    So what happens next? The obvious move by Tony Blair is to cancel the UK’s promised referendum as being moot now that the process has been derailed. Yet there are already frantic attempts going on by the integrationists to prevent that from happening, on the basis that it would be an admission that the process really is over.

    Now this attempt to get the UK to vote anyway is really splendid news and I hope that other people who share my views that the EU is an abomination will remember Napoleon’s dictum “never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake” as any UK vote will almost certainly be a vote against the EU which will just widen the rift in political cultures between France and the UK.

    The question remains,

    Politically, the issue will be–in light of the “no” vote–whether the most committed European federalists should press on with tighter European integration embodied by the draft constitution, without the rejectionists, and allow member states to join that so-called hard core if they so chose.

    Or should the constitution be quietly forgotten, and France and Germany revert to the old model of leading European integration through executive and judicial institutions, and leave elected legislators and their conception out of the picture as much as possible?

    One of the questions of our times.

    Follow-up post: The new Jacques and Dom show

    4 Responses to “”

    1. Rosemary Says:

      Isn’t what they always do anyway? LOL. There is going to be a revolt sometime in the future. Mark my words. Why?

      Too many social programs+not enough work=CHAOS.

      What you are seeing is communism under the guise of socialism. There is no difference. Remember hearing, “Take from the rich to give to the poor?” What is the difference between that and, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.”

      See? I am so glad we are not part of Europe! You may come here, if you like. Many Scotsman come here.

      I’m just glad the French are not in control of all of Europe. I hate them. The government and the people’s attitudes. Most of them anyway. Now you won’t be stuck with that communist structure! Have a great day.

    2. Fausta Says:

      I actually love France, which is why I post so much about it. I find it tragic, however, that the French appear to be hell-bent on socialism/communism and subsequent ruin.
      Anyway, they’re a great source of blogging material.

      (On the subject of Scots, have you read,
      How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It? I highly recommend it)

    3. Daniel Says:

      The two “districts” of PAris that voted NON are actually some dormitory districts long held by the communist party. The NON was expected there as it has alwasy happened in all the european referenda over Europe. What ws more interesting is that ALL of Paris per se districts voted OUI (the little center district of the Paris region in your map. Normally a couple on the top right corner could have bene expected to vote NON, but in fact still voted OUI. The fact is that the Paris region overall went over to the OUI.

      It seems that all French with significant education, war memories and exposure to foreign nationals voted OUI. The ones that voted NON were simply the ones less educated, more scared of a future they think they have no control of, in particualr for perosnal reasons. Let’s not forget that French tend to think that there is nothing worth watching outside of France.

      But think about one thing: what woudl be the US result if a US referendum were to be held on a NAFTA treaty…..

    4. Fausta Says:

      what woudl be the US result if a US referendum were to be held on a NAFTA treaty…..
      Excellent analogy, Daniel!
      One thing, though, a simple NAFTA treaty would be nothing compared to the 500pp EU Constitution