Even if I had been in favour of voting for the Constitution in the referendum, on the evening of May 28, I would have changed my mind and voted against the Treaty for one simple reason. This change would have been caused by the incredible arrogance and conceit of the political elite of the European Union and their total disregard for the (different from their own) opinions of the citizens of Member States. I am convinced that many Frenchmen share in my consternation and have consequently voiced their thoughts at the ballot box.
- on May 27, 2005, Valery Giscard d' Estaing, voiced the following remarks before the German parliament: "in the event of a negative result in the referendum, there will be no alternative but to repeat it". A few moments later, he added that in those circumstances, the text of the constitution would not be modified [Le Figaro, May 28 2005]. The speech of Giscard at that point was only a drop in the bucket that would eventually be overflowed by the many other declarations that have followed in the same line of thought.
- already in June 2004, Jean-Luc Dehaene, former Belgian Prime Minister and Vice-president of the Convention which wrote the Constitution had said that "we know that more than 9 people out of 10 will not have read the constitution and will vote on the basis of what will be said by the politicians and the journalists. More than that, if the answer is "no", the vote will have to be probably repeated because it is absolutely necessary that it is a "yes"."[ Irish Times, June 2. 2004]
- Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Prime Minister and President-in-Office of the European Council, also implied that in the event of the victory of the "no", the French would have to be proposed with a second referendum [Libération, May 27 2005].
- Lastly, on May 26, the Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, threatened his own President, Vaclav Klaus, with a prohibition of exit of the Czech territory if he persisted in expressing his opposition to the European Constitution [Irish Times, May 27, 2005 /Reuters News/]. One would think that this is a dream...
While having significant consequences, all of these declarations testify to the scandalous disregard for the referendum. These declarations have but one single effect in that they unquestionably undermine the public's confidence in their authors and their misguided objectives which they continue to pursue. May the voters never forget these stunning words that have revealed the true intentions of those who have declared them. It is amazing that for years, these same people have been promoting and telling us about democracy.
Less than two hours after the closing of the last polling stations and the victory of "no" to the Constitution was certain, Jo Leinen, the chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs in the European Parliament, sent a press release in three languages to the press and MEPs, claiming that France needs a "a second chance". According to him, France needs this second chance as its citizens did not express their views on Europe but rather on their domestic political problems. It would be illuminating, however, if Jo Leinen could tell us which domestic problems in France are not connected to decisions taken at the EU level.
The truth is that Europe is degenerating in body and especially, in soul. The EU, after years of demagogy and dialectical, reminds us evermore of the Soviet Union: only one truth, only one ideology, and only one way to be followed.
We must now, with all the strength possible, reject the European Constitution in the other countries where the people will have the chance to have their say in a referendum. Moreover, we must demand and insist on referendums to be carried out in member states that have already ratified the Constitution without asking its citizens.
I would like to give my sincere salutations to M. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who was admittedly, an adversary as a person in favour of the European constitution, but had the courage to strongly say that France would vote only once and that a second referendum for him was out of the question. My best regards go out to him as he has displayed intellectual honesty in the face of intense pressure of his surroundings. We only wish for more of our opponents to be of this nature.
We have every right to be in favour or against the European Constitution. But we do not have the right to be dishonest. When we violate this rule, we have to eventually face the consequences. This is, in all actuality, what has happened. This has happened justly.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Disregard for the People's Voice
This is another long post, but I thought it worth it. It is an article that arrived in my inbox today from a Polish MEP, Maciej Giertych, I thought it a thoughtful response to the whole affair.