Michael Totten

Constitutional Flop

Dutch voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed European Union constitution — by almost a two-to-one margin.
There are as many reasons why it flopped as there are opinions. Dutch liberals think it’s too right-wing. Dutch conservatives think it’s too left. But it can all be boiled down to one basic problem. It’s real simple: if the Eurocrats want a constitution that most Europeans can agree with, they need to make it real simple.
I can easily write three sentences that the vast majority of Westerners could agree with. Writing ten such sentences would be a lot harder. Writing 100 would be almost impossible. And writing 1,000 would be absolutely impossible.
The European Union needs a constitution. If they are to get one democratically it needs to be stripped down to basic principles that almost every European – minus the remnant communists and fascists on the margins – can accept. There are basic principles that the French, the Dutch, the Poles, etc. can rally around whether they’re left-wing or right-wing. Put ‘em in there. Leave everything else out and the constitution will pass.