31 May 2005

le "non" de France... partie deux

Roger Cohen in International Herald Tribune backs up my last post on the immigration issue being a big part of the "non" vote on the EU Constitution in France.

The rhetoric of this revolutionary left, articulated most menacingly by the baby-faced Trotskyist and Neuilly postman, Olivier Besancenot, is suffused with idealism. But its real face is more prosaic and reflected in the polls that show that more than 65 percent of those who voted no think there are too many foreigners in France. It seems that the Socialist Left joined the xenopohic right in the "non" vote.

Add to this the reluctance to give up strict socialist guarantees with a move to free markets and the vote was bound to be "non."

A recent example was the overwhelming outcry of the French having to give up the day after Pentacostal Sunday as a national holiday. This is a religious holiday, and as I mentioned in the previous post, the French are secular even in their religion. They refuse to give up a "free day" even if it was in exchange for helping out the elderly as its replacement.

Frenchbenj put it best in his post today: Of course, this is also caused by French people's propension to NOT answer the question they're asked. They were asked "do you want a stronger Europe?", they answered "we hate Chirac and we want more welfare state".

A backdoor answer to the real questions?

encore, plus ca change...

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