This is an automated post, logged on the 05/25/05.
If, by any chance, thermonuclear war has already taken place and you belong to the surviving race of mutating cockroaches that is now ruling the world, please accept my most sincere congratulations and sorry if the following has lost most of its relevance: can’t plan for everything, now can we…
Of the many places where I am eligible to cast a vote, I am no longer registered anywhere. I am not particularly proud of that, but beside endless hours of bureaucratic confrontations, this unforgivable civic apathy is also saving me many painful choices these days.
Last month was the commons election in the UK, and while voting abroad for this particular election is not that difficult (I did it in the past), I wasn’t exactly subdued by enthusiasm: like a sizable share of the British population, I only suffer the sight of this frizzy-haired prick out of my even stronger contempt for the tories and their stuffed joke of a party (need I even mention what abysses of disgust the BNP and their nauseating 1930’s rhetoric drags me in). All in all, I’d rather impale my own penis on a union jack than ever cast a vote for the British right, but it would physically hurt to give so much as a napkin of support to Bambi, still messy from his marathon blowjob session across the pond. Abstention was, arguably, the only option.
This month, another election, down south in Froggyland, is tearing the masses apart. And ironically, I am also entitled to cast a vote there. Or rather: would be, if the usual French bureaucracy had not quickly and effortlessly convinced me that I really don’t need to spend a week gathering papers and fighting sexually-frustrated clerks to express my electoral opinion on matters that affect my life about as much as the variations of the local French R&B billboard top 10 or the cast of the next Froggy Idol.
And by the way, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard French R&B, but believe me: you don’t want to.
The heat is currently on whether the French people should say OUI or NON to the newly minted text for a unified European Constitution. No small deal, with the potential to ripple through many layers of geopolitical situations, all the way to the general World Order of Tomorrow. Such a question has been or will be asked to every other member of the E.U., with a fair chance to be approved by every major players in the game. More than fair, in fact, since most countries will simply have the text ratified by their respective legislative bodies without any vote. No such certainty in France, where the option to place it before the people was selected, mostly out of lowly inner political motivations…
What was meant to be a perfect victory run for team Europe, turned out to be a severe pummeling of team French Government, at the hands of everybody with a grudge against either one. Currently, the race is a close tie (election day is on Sunday), the country is violently divided (all the more violently that this separation doesn’t follow usual party lines) and, while the arguments of both sides are mostly on the level of political mudslinging and infantile yea-nah rhetoric, I must admit this isn’t an easy choice, plenty to pick on either side of the fence.
First, let me cut the suspense and tell you that, was I to cast a vote, it would probably be a Yes. Not a very enthusiastic one, but a decided one nonetheless. Mostly because this text sounds like a step somewhat in the positive direction of building a real United States of Europe and I am fiercely pro-Europe. Moreover, I do not give two rat’s ass about the wholly off-topic matters of internal politics that a lot of Frenchmen are trying to meddle into European politics.
Yet, not quite unlike the recent UK election, we are talking lesser of two evils here. It all comes down to your choice of lubricant, nothing more.
A few things to ponder on this constitution:
It was written by Valérie Giscard d’Estaing former French president (conservative right), notorious for sharing the charisma of a traffic cone. on a good day.
Proudly representing the stuffy French bureaucratic elite at its finest, Mr. Giscard can only be described as the improbable symbiosis of endless opportunism with the most complete absence of anything even remotely resembling a political vision. His career is that of a very mediocre bourgeois with stellar office surfing skills. Unfortunately, the man also lives under the proven delusion that he holds some sort of literary skills (he recently negotiated his seat at the Académie Française, the ultimate wax museum for semi-living french literati).
As a result, the European Constitution text and its 800-plus pages of bureaucratic legalese, has the readability of an insurance contract written by a first-grade schoolboy. Now, I ain’t a lawyer, but I will venture that the people who wrote it, on top of having way too much time and not enough talent on their hands, only had a very loose grasp on the concept of what a constitution is supposed to be. Certainly not a text discussing the way potatoes should be sold and whether mashed or boiled is the best way to eat them.
I haven’t attempted to read the whole text, and would not even consider it, which in itself is a strong argument against it. Because if someone who spent hundred of hours poring over the constitutional texts of a few countries cannot bear to go finish the mere introduction of this one, we stand good chances that neither will a good 99% of all people concerned.
The point of a constitution, among other things, is to spell out clearly a few essential guiding principles, on which further bodies of laws can be based and can refer to. It must be legible, unambiguous and unifying. All three of which this waste of paper certainly is not.
Yet, this text is the best they could come up with, and more importantly, it symbolizes a step in the general direction of a real European Union, with actual political unity. Something that most current European citizen won’t ever accept nor understand, the same way an Anglo-Saxon Bostonian of the late 17th century would have never fathomed belonging to an independent political entity gathering most of Northern America. Too bad that vision escapes the very political leaders that were supposed to enforce it…