Netherlands: Nee

According to exit polls, the Dutch have rejected the proposed EU constitution by a landslide.

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  • ||

    Are there any other referenda scheduled?

    Anyone keeping score on EU referenda? I remember Norway voted "No" several years ago on the question of whether to join, and didn't Denmark reject the Euro? What countries have held referenda and have actually supported the EU?

    Meanwhile, Switzerland and Iceland are in no hurry to join. Where do the tiny countries of Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, and Monaco stand?

  • ||

    Great news! The Anti-Christ, the reformed Roman Empire and the mark of the beast has been put off for a later day.

  • ||

    Nee?

    Was it said by a knight?

  • ||

    Since this is Europe we're talking about, will these no votes lead to the rest of the EU countries invading and enslaving the Dutch and Franch?

    Which side would the US intervene on?

  • ||

    We'd be on the side of the Dutch and French, of course -- because we like the Dutch and we'd like to rub French noses in the fact that we bailed them out again.

  • ||

    We'd sell arms to Europe, then 10 years later decide that a united Europe poses a threat to our security, or Andorra would find oil or something and we'd invade to liberate France, at massive expense and with questionable success. Meanwhile, the French still wouldn't appreciate us. On the bright side, they would be much too busy taking 6-week vacations to plan any insurgent attacks.

  • ||

    Maybe they were holding out a shrubbery...a nice one, but not too expensive...

    JSF

  • ||

    A good rule of thumb is to choose the most evil, not specifically anti-American group on the scene, and assume that we'll be supporting them.

    Look for a National Review article describing that Belgian pedophile ring as "entrepreneurial freedom fighters."

  • ||

    After Scene 19 they voted Ekie Ekie Ekie Sh-Clang Zaweepop.

  • ||

    The only way to bring order to Europe and end these voter insurgencies is to have a strong leader take control.

    The Lady of the Lake should hand her sword to whoever is currently in charge in Brussels, signifying by Divine Providence that the French and Dutch are to submit to the EU.

  • ||

    Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of continental government. Supreme executive power comes from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. Why, if I went around claiming I'm the Chairman of the European Commission just because some moistened babe lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me a away in a state-funded psychiatric hospital and give me subsidized meds.

  • ||

    Constitution? We've already got one.

  • drf||

    "Anyone keeping score on EU referenda? ..."

    norway voted no to joining in 1995. Austria, Sweden, Finland, and Norway were on the docket to vote in 1994. They held the referenda in order they thought most likely to say "ja", so to encourage the other countries to follow.

    Austria went first in June of 1994, Norway went last.

    denmark voted no on the maastricht treaty in 1992, but ratified "maastricht lite" where it opted out of several parts, including the euro.

    ireland voted down the treaty of nice in 1998(?) but it was resubmitted and they ratified it.

    Remember that PM Thatcher pushed the Single Europe Act (SEA) through in 1986, which paved the way for Maastricht and the formation of the EU. She was fairly gung-ho in favor. See Brugesgroup.com for her current view.

    those votes are different from this, the ratification of the constitution. the previous referenda were for treaties that further defined the compentencies within the EU.

    the "actually supported the EU" sentiment is a misunderstanding of what the EU is trying to do. Many people I know in Denmark are dissatisfied with the EU, but don't see a better alternative. I know lots of people who want the EU to be the donkey that pulls the apple cart in the world, and they like the idea of being a superpower. So there are lots of motivations and reasons that people are for.

    Also, I feel that much of the economic justifications could be accomplished through other means, and that the EU is mainly a social-political entity. GG disagrees with me rather strongly on this one. Matt Welch has also a slightly different POV. I recommend his "two cheers" article to see his. I disagreed with the article, for the most part.


    As for ratification:

    germany, lithuania, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy, and Greece have ratified the constitution through their national parliaments. Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, and Finland are expected to submit the constitution to a vote in their parliaments between now and early 2006 (Finland).

    Luxembourg, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, UK, and the Czech republic will be holding referenda, probably between now and june 2006 (tentative date of Cz). The results of the referenda are binding in Dk, Port, Pol, Ire, and Cz. It is not binding in Ned, for example.

    The major parties said they would respect the vote if turnout were high enough, and if the result were decisive. It appears that both (around 63% each) are. Their parliament takes this up in the fall.

    Fianlly, for those who think that "defeat of the constitution = positive for US interests" should think again. This is a left-wing derailment in france, in part. Although there are tons of issues afoot, and this is a complex issue. So those opposed don't appear to be doing it for the "anti big, bureaucratic giant" reasons. Rather, the opposite is at play, it seems.

    Initial breakdown of the voting revealed that reasons for voting "non" included (more than one option chosen):
    Current economy (52%)
    the constitution was "too Liberal" (40%)
    potential ascention of Turkey (35%) (given as #4)

    Demographics:

    "People in leadership positions" returned 65% oui
    while

    Workers (unionized, "laborers") 80%
    Farmers 70%
    18-24 year olds 56% (unemployment, probably).

    Race (Turkey) and religion (Islam) play a role here. In my experience of living in Austria and Denmark, those topics were taboo, but the "social conscious" was analogous to the US in the late 50s, with a very well defined "them and us". Among preppies in each society, racist jokes that would be inappropriate in similar circles here were still being made (i moved back from denmark in 1999, but heard several jokes back then. i don't want to rule out change since then, and i'm not saying that this is how it "really" is).

    either: thanks for reading, or sorry for the long post.

    have a great evening, all.
    drf

  • R C Dean||

    A good rule of thumb is to choose the most evil, not specifically anti-American group on the scene, and assume that we'll be supporting them.

    Based on our long history of supporting evil just for the hell of it. Gosh, if we had only thrown in with the Nazis and the Soviets and the Chicoms instead of with their enemies, what a jolly place the world would be today.

    But nooo, we had to go thwarting the totalitarian imperialists time and again. Goddam Americans.

  • ||

    Actually, we did throw in with the Soviets and Chicoms for several years....

  • ||

    So, if the 200+ page EU Constitution weighs the same as a duck...

  • ||

    Well, it turned me into a newt!

  • ||

    The EU should climb into a giant wooden rabbit, wait until the guards are asleep, climb out and unlock the gates, and then storm the castle...

    Perhaps they should build a giant wooden badger...

    JSF

  • ||

    This is a good thing. A plan for REALLY BIG GOVERNMENT is being crushed.

    drf, Thanks for the info!

    thoreau, Shouldn't you really be polishing your thesis defense? :) Good luck with it!

  • drf||

    hi Rick!

    good luck thoreau.

    (send word about how you did. we're cheering for you!)

    kind regards,
    drf

  • ||

    It seems like the EU wasn't pushing a constitution like any other ever enacted. The basic fundamentals of a government should fit on a single page and be understandable to all the people (even if disagreed with).
    An analogy that I think fits is that this would be the equivalent of proposing the entire United States Revised Code instead of the Constitution and Bill of Rights we know.
    I think this is why you see so many different motivations for turning a thumbs down.

  • ||

    Rick-

    Just at the tweaking stages right now. And I'm trying to readjust my sleep schedule this week so I can be lucid for my 9:30 am defense this Friday.

  • ||

    drf- When they say they rejected it because it's "too liberal," do they mean the good kind of liberal or the contemporary liberal?

  • ||

    he means the good kind of liberal. Many French were concerened the EU Constitution was too skewed towards anglo-like ideas such as competition and open markets.

  • ||

    GWPULP,

    Here's a map that sums up the referenda results and schedule:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:EU_Constitution_Ratification_Map.png

  • drf||

    hi Shem:

    what Scott said.
    good kind. "classical" or Manchester Liberal.

    anglo saxon philosophy (JS Mill, CS Pierce "Purse", etc.)

    and can you believe that criticism? those early exit polls (from: derstandard.at) said 40% of nay sayers cited that, among other objections!

    cheerio.

  • ||

    "Actually, we did throw in with the Soviets and Chicoms for several years..."

    Yes, back when they weren't specifically anti-American.

    There there, RC.

  • ||

    Weeds still legal right? Because in the end, that's all that counts.

  • ||

    It better be, that and prostitution too. I should be there in 2 months, and without weed and prostitutes I'll just be stuck with absinthe, windmills, and raw herring. Now that I think about it, that still sounds far nicer than Ohio (minus the raw herring).

  • ||

    Perhaps the EU should be constituted as an anarcho-syndicalist commune. Every citizen could take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week, but all the decisions of that officer would have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting -- by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more --

  • ||

    It better be, that and prostitution too. I should be there in 2 months, and without weed and prostitutes I'll just be stuck with absinthe, windmills, and raw herring. Now that I think about it, that still sounds far nicer than Ohio (minus the raw herring).

    You'll need to use that herring to cut down the mightiest tree in the forest.

  • ||

    Thanks for the clarification, Scott and drf. It's that attitude that makes me wonder if they'll ever move away from their statism. I can't forsee the problems brewing doing anything other than pushing them closer to their state-controlled everything.

  • ||

    Stevo-

    Actually, the EU is secretly ruled by my master Guido de Lombard.

  • ||

    Drf:
    Thanks for the summary. It appears that when put to a vote, the EU (or its predecessor treaties) isn't as popular as some would have us believe. On the other hand, I'm not sure that the US constitution would pass if we were to put it to a vote today, so it's not like a "No" vote in Europe automatically casts a shadow on the various EU treaties and constitution.


    Crimethink:
    Nice map! Thanks!

  • MP||

    I'm not sure that the US constitution would pass if we were to put it to a vote today

    That is a chilling, albeit honest, sentiment. I hesitate to think of a Constitution that the current US electorate would agree on.

  • R C Dean||

    "Actually, we did throw in with the Soviets and Chicoms for several years..."

    Ah, but only when it was consistent with the overriding principle of opposing the most malignant totalitarian empire in view (in those cases, the Nazis and the Japanese)(Not sure how much we supported the Chicoms - I think we tended to ally more with the Nationalists against the Japanese, anyway).

    See, fellas, its all about context. From a narrow, anti-American view, it is easy to carp about what the Americans have done on the world stage, but only by editing the context to eliminate the strategic goals and enemies of the Americans (see also Chomsky, Noam). When you factor in the overriding, consistent goals and enemies that America has had, well, all of a sudden things look a little different, no?

  • ||

    It's amusing to see Americans applauding the demise of the EU constitution as the defeat of some sort of evil big government. If the French or German governments tried to Join Bush's military adventure in Iraq, popular protests would bring them down. The American big government does pretty much anything it wants with barely a peep from the sheep. Invasion, occupation, torture? Pass me the sports page.

  • ||

    RC, just so I'm clear, we're going with "the Nazis were worse than the Soviets" for this thread?

    But as for your larger point - failing to see the forest for the trees is a weakness. But failing to see the trees for the forest is one, too.

  • ||

    Turning into freaking Yoda, I am.

    Ommmmmmmmmm...

  • gaius marius||

    we had to go thwarting the totalitarian imperialists

    i like mr dean's version of history so much better than what really happened. we're always the good guys! yay!

  • gaius marius||

    It's amusing to see Americans applauding the demise of the EU constitution as the defeat of some sort of evil big government.

    and difficult to understand, mr alan. schadenfreude for american imperialists and machiavellians, i suppose, who somehow see themselves as "small government" -- but from a economic perspective, the eu promises to be the economic betterment of a multitude of large american trading partners. as a pragmatic matter, a successful eu helps ensure a successful american future. moreover, a powerful eu could materially help police the western hegemony -- perhaps saving america from the bankruptcy which is a consequence of imperial militarism. only those reductive-darwinian idiots who would hope for a future of perpetual war to prove American Superiority can imagine the retrogression of the eu as a good thing.

    universal states may be inevitable constructs but don't have a radiant future, as toynbee noted -- something we americans should acknowledge as we continue to drop the 'states' from the 'united'. but this is a setback all around, i fear, because of the reform a european confederacy might have allowed -- and largely because of some nationalist demagoguery before inherently selfish electorates.

  • ||

    That a segment of the American right sees all government as evil is not surprising. What is surprsing, for me at least, is the ease with which Americans become flag-waving chauvinists when their government launches a military action and how they greatly fear "socialized" medicine. Americans seem to love government only at its worst. The core of American culture harbors a profound irrationality, I'm afraid. It's not schadenfreude; it's just an observation.

  • gaius marius||

    The core of American culture harbors a profound irrationality, I'm afraid. It's not schadenfreude; it's just an observation.

    a fundamental truth of all democratic electorates, i'm afraid, but particularly now the american one. decades of an imperial "twilight standoff" have taken their toll in paranoia and militarism, as has the rapid advance of what toynbee would call the 'syncretic promiscuity' of nietzschean philosophy and protestant pietism.

  • ||

    I think the Economist has it about right: The economicu union promoted by the EU has, on balance, been a liberalizing force. Yes, there are real problems with it, but on balance it has moved Europe in a more liberal direction (in the best sense of the word).

    However, the proposed EU Constitution would change the character of the EU from a union that (mostly) knocks down barriers into even more of a continental government, and a government that starts off bloated right from the start. Yes, all governments get bloated over time, but some at least start off lean, and the leaner they start the longer it (usually) takes to get fat.

  • drf||

    thoreau:

    i disagree. if you're looking for reasons, i feel the fall of the berlin wall and the rapid convergence of the eastern countries (incuding their need to reach out to non-protected markets, like the US; or their need to go into high tech etc.) shows more promise for liberal forces in europe than the "liberalizing force of the EU".

    check out the treaty of the EC and you'll find a myriad of social guarantees, too. i'd say there's a 1:1 increase. and fundamental features of protectionism, for example, forbidding of certain selling arrangements are still permitted.

    the economist is one of those pro EU rags in the Matt Welch form, and I disagree with the fundamentals of their arguments. GG and I have discussed this, too.

    As for Alan's comments, i'd say that he shouldn't confuse those of us who are against super government and those who are for it when it's our side. that's a fundamental difference between libertarians and republicans. and this post 9/11 ultra nationalism, which i would describe as "new", certainly revels in the "failure" of the constitution. as i said yesterday, enemies of big gov't shouldn't cheer this failure, as it was a victory of the left wing.

    and i guess we're maturing: we're starting to act like the europeans with the cut-off-our-hand-if-you-lose-your-balls mentality.

    good luck tomorrow, thoreau!

    cheers,
    drf

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