Friday, June 17, 2005

Europe's Vote

The Nation-State has grown too large

The June 2005 referenda in France and Holland against the current draft of the European Union's constitution is positive news. This shows that Europe - Italy after all is the birthplace of the Nation-State - has come to its senses and realizes the polity has grown too large too quickly, with voters saying "no mas" (or nyet nein stop alto) to the professional politician class. The people have spoken and said this thing called the EU has gotten out-of-control and it does not appear to represent our local interests.

Not to be too rosy-scenario about it though. The people in France voted against EU enlargement because the farmers (more than 65% of those living outside of Paris voted "non") didnt want their markets liberalized, and others dont want their absurd social safety net (35 hour work weeks, retirement at age 55 etc eg where is the natural right to contract freely for those that want to work more, or offer more work, to get ahead ?) liberalized. And both France and Holland didnt want Turkey as part of their Union, be it for racist, bigoted or cultural reasons. Positively, the Dutch people also voted against because they didnt want their liberal social policies (euthanasia, soft drug legalization, prostitution) narrowed.

Overall this represents a positive state of play for the liberal (in the classic sense) minded as, alas, the people are now aware of the limitations of the Nation-State and the need to check the power of the ever-expansive political class. It should be noted that the France and Holland referenda are the first, previous signatories to the EU were by legislative fiat not popular vote.