Citizens of the European Union (EU) have been considering this very question, and it appears that they are not very happy.
The populations of both France and the Netherlands had their say, and gave a strong thumbs-down to the proposals being made by the Brussels bureaucracy. There are many who feel the European Commission and the European Parliament is just an exclusive club whose members are not up to the task of National Politics and are put out to graze on greener pastures. There they can push their less than brilliant ideas, collect an undeservedly large salary, and not have to account for themselves.
After the resounding NO votes, the Eurocrats are still saying that Europe should push ahead with their plans. But now, the citizens of Europe have gotten smart, and said NO. Let us hope that NO means NO. Let us hope that those formulating their ill conceived plans are forced to cease and desist. Let us hope that the way forward is a more democratic and accountable Europe.
It was disturbing for those in the UK to hear that if France votes ‘NO’ then that is a problem for Europe, but if Britain votes ‘NO’ then that is only a problem for Britain. This is the type of arrogance and ignorance displayed by those in Brussels that will prevent their ever being unanimous approval of the current constitution.
There are some politicians who have derided the policy of referendums and have said that Governments should make the decisions without consulting the people and without the backing of the people. One has to remain suspicious of such people, who may be willing to ride the gravy train until they die.
The policy of referendums is fair, sensible and democratic. However, the execution of these European referendums was incompetent and nonsensical. It did not make sense to have a number of referendums spread out over several years thus creating the possibility that the first 24 countries could have voted ‘yes’ only for the last country to vote ‘no’ and have to start the whole process again. Fortunately, we did not have to wait for that final country. Nor did we have to wait for the people of Britain to vote ‘NO’. Both France and the Netherlands brought the fresh air of reality to Brussels.
During this ratification process we have had politicians tell us that we did not understand the constitution and for that reason we should not be allowed to vote. Maybe the bureaucrats should devise a constitution that we all understand; otherwise it would be entirely ill advised to vote for it.
Once there are some sensible, fair minded, democratically competent representatives in Brussels, we may get a constitution that we can all understand, can fully support, and all have our say in a European wide referendum, in which all countries vote on the same day. Until then, in order to safeguard our rights and our freedoms, we must continue to say ‘NO’.