Page one, above the fold of today’s International Herald Tribune
(IHT) comes a “given.” The card carrying Socialist Party of France gave the sickles up to the newly drafted European Union Constitution. The IHT portrays the results of the internal poll as a surprise, and a boost to the ratification process.
It’s nothing of the sort.
The concept of the European Union was, in fact, an effort initiated by ‘Old Europe’ to establish a more prestigious status in a collective than would otherwise be available to individual European Countries. At least, that’s what it said on the wrapper. The goal is to institute a cooperative economy under a shared currency so as to tie common political goals and daunt not so common political goals via underlying economical factors. In short, the European Union experiment is an attempt to challenge the singularity of the United States, and, lesser so, the Chinese economic dominance. The international influence that accompanies that venture would be a bonus. Not surprisingly, France was one of the prime motivators of that endeavor.
One would have to wonder where the surprise factor would come from. We have bunch of countries giving up a portion of their sovereignty so as to form a collective while simultaneously dreaming of challenging the naked capitalism of the United States. Pardon me if I’m not shocked that the French Marxists and Democratic Socialists wouldn’t stand behind those ideas. Frappez-moi plus d'avec une plume.
Take a look at the whole thing from a practical perspective. Suppose you’re a hardened old English sheep herder residing along the Channel coastline and you keep hearing about this European Union thing. First they caused an awful inconvenience with that confounded money exchange tripe. Now, the bloody French Socialists want me to hop on their trolley and come along for the ride. No thanks lads.
That’s the real issue. There will be referendum votes in 11 countries across Europe. There is no guarantee that the all these countries will see the support that the Socialists have allegedly manufactured. In fact, it’s looking less promising all the time that the people of the United Kingdom will sign on to the EU Constitution. Judging from the linked article
, I’d say there are a number of countries that just might send the EU Constitution packing.
Just listen to Czech President Vaclav Klaus,
"I have the feeling that steps like the constitution are threatening democracy, freedom and prosperity in Europe," Klaus said in an interview with Czech radio.
No, I’m not surprised that the French Socialists would get behind the EU Constitution. In fact, I’m elated that they have endorsed it. Now, perhaps their anti-influence will have the desired effect.