Thursday, April 29, 2004

Wow. You remember that awful draft constitution that d'Estaing and his committee of EU baboons came up with last year? The European Commission apparently decided to lay down the law, and decreed that you could either ratify the draft or get out of the Union. They did this in response to the British government's decision to put the draft to a referendum. There's better than even chance that the British will refuse the draft, mostly because a good percentage of their electorate has been convinced by their right-wing press that said draft is a massively bad idea. So the response is - like it or lump it. No other ways into Union, no compromises, no real negotiations, debate, or popular input.

Keep in mind that the d'Estaing draft is just that - a draft. It has no legal force, and no electorate has ratified it. No, not even the French or Germans, far as I can tell. The core continentals seem to have assumed that they could just will the new constitution into existence, without any real appeal to any electorate outside of the governmental elites.

Now that I think of it, Chirac and d'Estaing's attitude is exactly that I would expect of American politicians if another country had applied to join the United States, but was debating ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The United States is, after all, a sovereign state, and its Constitution is an established fact, with all the authority and power of two centuries of popular sovereignty. The d'Estaing draft is no such thing, and the EU as a political entity is twelve years old. The French pretense is one of de facto ownership of the EU, isn't it? It's as if Virginia had announced in January of 1788 that the new Constitutional draft was in effect, and any fellow state which dared vote on ratification had best vote in favor, or else they would be ejected from the United States. In 1788 the Articles of Confederation were still in effect, and Virginia had no more right to dictate terms of a new Union on its own authority, than I might have to declare myself Emperor of the Borough of Bellefonte.

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