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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Somebody in a poition of authority was of course going to suggest this at some point:

Austrian leader suggests re-run of EU constitution polls

Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel has suggested that the EU constitution could be put to voters in France and the Netherlands once again in two years time.

If you fail once, fail twice. And then, why not, try again. While there are many apparent reasons why voters in the Nethderlands and France turned down the proposed EU constiution -fear of enlargement, especially Turkey, too little social protection, too much regulation, snubbing the sitting national government, etc.- it is obvious they did not want the constitution. If the constitution was really something so dearly wished for, people would have put aside such petty issues to pursue the dream of European unity. Perhaps they simply didn't want it. If there is a re-run, and in my book this would have to be with a completely new treaty, this would have to be many years away; long enough at least, that one could plausibly claim that a strong enough "European" identity to support such state structures could have developed in the meantime.
Given that Schuessel, becomes head of the presidecy when Austria takes over from Britain in January, it seems more likely that the EU will continue its ignorance of democratic practice in the same inefficient and overly bureaucratic way that is its hallmark. After all, it is all well and easy and all to mock rulers like Saddam Hussein who have election results of 100%, but at least when they don't care about democracy they make it easy enough for the people to be done with the charade in one go rather than the EU's method, where there is no obvious end point to the fake referenda that can be held.



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