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Not ready for prime time

Although I’ve been skeptical, it really is starting to look like the French voters will reject the EU Constitution. At least that’s how the Weekly Standard’s Christopher Caldwell sees it. Since the EU is an essentially French creation, and its proposed constitution a quintessentially French document (it contains 448 articles compared to seven in the U.S. Constitution), its defeat at the hands of French voters would be monumental, though not necessarily dispositive.
President Chirac went on television recently to try to rally support. The nation was mostly uninterested — his ratings barely exceeded those of the Clint Eastwood movie “Pale Rider” and, among younger viewers, lagged behind “Nouvelle Star,” the French version of American Idol. Given Chirac’s performance, though, he may have been lucky that more didn’t watch.
According to Caldwell, Etienne Chouard, a French “shop” teacher at a high school in Marseilles, now leads the charge against the constitution through his website, which resembles a blog. Chouard appeals to readers with lines like this one: “I believe that it is fundamentally undemocratic to propose a constitution that is so difficult to read.” If only the drafters of the EU constitution had been able to write this directly.

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