Of course, unlike in the US, a lot of those red votes in France really are red votes, as Ed Morrissey writes:
While Americans might take some well-earned schadenfreude at Chirac’s plight, given his efforts to turn France into our diplomatic enemy, in fact this shows that France as a whole still deeply believes in its socialist model. That attitude does not spring from its ruling class but from its electorate, which has gladly accepted a stagnant economy and double-digit unemployment because its nanny state still buffers the effects of those conditions from the individual workers.
In fact, the ‘Non’ may be irrelevant in the end. The society that the French defended in their vote today will disappear soon enough, as the rest of Europe will not long support the French in their self-indulgence. While Germany and France controlled the union, they could get away with breaking the debt ceilings and budgetary expectations set by the existing EU compact. Now that they have thumbed their noses at the new constitution, that control and influence will rapidly dissipate — and they will find themselves forced to reform or face expulsion and devastating trade disputes with an otherwise united Europe.
The far left and far right in France are celebrating tonight on the streets of Paris, delighted in their rejection of the sensible market-based reforms that the rest of Europe wants. They may have won the battle, but that victory will only be temporary, and will consign them to second-tier status in Europe from this point forward.
On the other hand, David Carr of Samizdata describes the vote as “Wrong reasons, right result“.
Update: Patrick Ruffini adds:
Of course, the Non victory on Sunday may be more Episode IV than Episode VI in the rebellion against the European Empire. The Times of London reports on Chiraq’s plans to defy his people’s Non, principally at the expense of our British ally. That shouldn’t surprise us. Whenever a nation gives “the wrong answer” in a referendum on Europe, out-of-touch europhile elites call a mulligan and resubmit a “renegotiated” treaty before a weary public, who usually succumb.
Here’s hoping this is not one of those times.
Update: Charles Johnson writes, “in truth this was a victory for those who want the nanny state to keep providing those leisurely six-week vacations”. He links to a Telegraph article titled “French business fears