As expected, voters in the Netherlands dealt the European Union another blow today with a resounding vote against the proposed European Constitution. The vote was, I think, even more one-sided than expected, with over 61% voting “No.”
Will it matter? Hard to say. In the short run, when votes aren’t going well in Europe, an easy solution is to cancel the next referendum, as Tony Blair’s administration is now considering. It’s hard to imagine that this strategy will work indefinitely, but then again, maybe the Eurocrats will press on until the voters get their minds right. I found these paragraphs amusing:
The Czech Republic said on Wednesday it would seek an extension of the November 2006 deadline for ratification to give countries that vote “No” more time to reconsider.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker voiced concerns on Wednesday about the July 10 referendum on the treaty in his broadly pro-Europe state after the Dutch “No.”
“I myself and others must plead the European cause with lots of vigor,” he told reporters in Brussels.
“More time to reconsider” suggests that the Eurocrats will take the Cool Hand Luke approach. But how about the statement that Luxembourg is “broadly pro-Europe”? I should think so. The population of Luxembourg is less than one half-million. I don’t think national sovereignty is a big issue there. Unfortunately for the EU, sovereignty is a concern elsewhere on the continent.