The Dutch say nee but not non
The Dutch were more emphatic than the French in saying no to the EU constitution — but their reasons for saying no were not precisely the same. Oh, there were some surface similarities — Emma Thomasson and Paul Gallagher explain for Reuters: The Netherlands emphatically rejected the European Union constitution in a referendum on Wednesday, ...
The Dutch were more emphatic than the French in saying no to the EU constitution -- but their reasons for saying no were not precisely the same. Oh, there were some surface similarities -- Emma Thomasson and Paul Gallagher explain for Reuters:
The Dutch were more emphatic than the French in saying no to the EU constitution — but their reasons for saying no were not precisely the same. Oh, there were some surface similarities — Emma Thomasson and Paul Gallagher explain for Reuters:
The Netherlands emphatically rejected the European Union constitution in a referendum on Wednesday, an exit poll showed, deepening a crisis in the bloc and potentially dooming a treaty already spurned by France. Interview/NSS projected the “No” camp had won 63 percent of votes based on an exit poll to 37 percent for the “Yes” camp with voter turnout at an estimated 62 percent — well above the 39 percent that voted in European Parliament elections in 2004. The resounding “No,” even stronger than nearly 55 percent against the treaty in France on Sunday, is the latest sign of Dutch anger with the political elite since the 2002 murder of anti-immigration populist Pim Fortuyn. Unease was further stoked by the killing last year of a filmmaker critical of Islam.
This rationale strikes me as different from the French fear of Turkey, which seemed predicated on both economic and cultural fears. In the Dutch case, I think the assassinations show it to be more of a direct concern with the threat to the Dutch commitment to liberal values (in both the classical and modern sense). Marlise Simons of the New York Times provides more motivation behind the Dutch decision:
Among the main complaints, reflected in opinion polls, is that the Dutch feel pushed around by the big countries and that the union’s heavy bureaucracy lacks transparency and democracy and is growing too fast. They resent that they are already the union’s largest net per capita contributor without being the richest member, and that the new constitution would lessen their voting power. The Dutch were furious when, after seriously tightening their belts in the last two years to respect European Union budget rules, France and Germany ignored those same rules. More recently they were irritated when Italy and Greece admitted that they had provided the union with false budget information.
I’m more sympathetic to motivations behind the Dutch ‘no’ than the motivations behind the French ‘non.’ If anyone can find a link to the actual exit poll results, post them in the comments. I do wonder if this is another part of the master plot to prevent the euro from ffurther appreciation against the dollar. UPDATE: This site has the official vote count. So does trhis one. Another bleg — does anyone know why Utrecht is such an outlier for the yes vote? My limited knowledge about Utrecht ends at 1713. As for the Netherlands, Dutch blogger Arjan Dasselaar asks a simultaneously provocative but obvious question:
If 85 percent of Parliament wants to support a constitution that 63 percent of the constituency rejects, it seems obvious that our representatives in the Second Chamber (our Lower House/House of Representatives) no longer represent us.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Max Boot has an excellent analysis of the EU in the Los Angeles Times. The paragraph that must vex those in Brussels:
The European Union provides a convenient punching bag. In Britain, people hate the EU because it’s too socialist; in France because it’s too capitalist. In Eastern Europe, they’re upset that the EU isn’t doing more to facilitate labor mobility; in Western Europe, where the low-wage, if largely mythical, “Polish plumber” is a dreaded figure, they think it’s already done too much.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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