As usual, EU referenda split the population down the middle
The citizens of France have voted NON by a not-so-narrow margin (around 55%) to a European Union Constitution. Or have they?
NON! They have not.
What the citizens of France have done today, and what the citizens of the Netherlands are about to do this week, is exactly what the other citizens in the remaining EU countries will do in every referendum: vote (not so) narrowly in favour or against everything that is proposed to them. The YES or NO vote is always a few millimeters (or fractions of inches in the case of the UK) either side of the 50-50 mark.
Because the European Union is a virtual reality show, it is a falsity, a dream created by generations of Eurocrats (another name for bureaucrats), those who have risen to a level in their societies which they do not want to lose and who have taken advantage of globalization by forming a transnational club, a clique, where jobs for the boys mean that nobody has to lose anything, for any change of government means that ex-MPs or ex-Ministers can always gravitate upwards to the EU circus.
And what a circus it is.
It is perhaps the least democratic organism in the world, where the only organ which holds power, the Commission, is not elected democratically and where the only organism that is elected democratically, the EU Parliament (elections for which rarely if ever exceed the 50% turnout rate), holds no executive power, being merely a consultative body.
Eurocrats rule OK
While the bureaucratic Eurocrats rule, everything is OK, or is it?
Not really. The only time we had a European Union, de facto, for any significant period of time was under the Romans but even they, like Charlemagne several centuries later, soon discovered the reason why the European people spend hundreds, if not thousands of years building and establishing societies in which they felt comfortable and safe.
Citizens vs. Eurocrats
If any teacher had a pass rate of just about 50%, it would be a pitiful comment on his or her skills. Exactly because the political class in the majority of the EU member states has failed to explain in practical terms what the EU Constitution means in the daily lives of its citizens, or because these citizens have decided that they are first, (French) and second, Europeans, the pass rate is the same with the same implications.
National vote vs. European vote
Finally, and critically important, do the Europeans, when asked, vote for or against Europe or does the EU vote serve as a proxy vote for expressions on a purely national scale? Was today’s vote a chance for the leftist parties in France to vote against Chirac and Raffarin, and for Le Pen to exercise his simplistic and primary discourse?