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Cogs can think.

I'm a mere, tiny, insignificant cog in a whole clockwork of stupidity.
The little cog that wanted to break free, I am.

Vote no.

On the 1st of june, this year, the government will hold a referendum on the European Constitution. This referendum asks us, the Dutch people, a very simple question: "Do you approve of the currently proposed European Constitution?" If only one member state votes 'no', the constitution will go down the drain.

My vote will be, without a single sign of doubt, 'no'.

I am no proponent of the current European Union. It has gotten too big, too bureaucratic and far too powerful. The EU should go back to it roots: an Economical pact to try to spread the wealth as equal as possible between its members. This relieves inequality in Europe and promotes peace.

However, the EU has gone beyond that task. It is now a government on its own, telling its member states what to do and what not to do. It has become a social and cultural union as well as an economical union. This is bad. You cannot unifiy all the various cultures in Europe. How many leaders have tried to unify Europe? And how many have failed? Exactly, the exact same amount.

You cannot set rules that apply to each person in the EU. The social, ecnomical, and cultural difference between a Poolish farmer and a Spanish farmer are like night and day. How can you apply the same set of values and rules upon those two persons?

Other than that, I vote 'no', because this is actually the first time we Dutch get to speak out on Europe. Everything has been done in the past without any consent of the people. This is about to change.

I only answer to only one consititution. The Dutch constitution, as revised to basically its current form, by Thorbecke in 1848.

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9:30 PM, by Blogger Andre

I am going to vote no too, and so is my family.    

9:59 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

Good boy, lol.

As far as I know, me mum is gonna vote 'no' too. I'm not too sure about me dad though.    

10:03 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

>You cannot unifiy all the various cultures in Europe.

I personally pray for the day this happens.

>How many leaders have tried to unify Europe?

Previous leaders used force. EU uses politics. ;-)

I have lived in 5 different countries in my lifetime and I don't have xenophobia. In fact, if aliens were to land tomorrow morning I wouldn't have a problem welcoming them and live among us.

I haven't look at the current proposed constitution, but if it's an acceptable one, then people should vote "yes" and see Europe _really_ unite in the next 20-30 yars.

I really don't see the point of having Dutch, or Greek, or French governments, each one with its own bias. There should be one government and the EU countries should just be like "states" with their own territorial state government who answers to the main EU government.

People should not be afraid of getting together. I am personally the opposite of chauvinistic, having lived in many countries, I don't see the point of "being greek" or "being ductch" or even "being black" (as this is a another big thing here in US). It's all the same, it's all people. Countries CAN keep their identities, being one big country won't change the politistical identity of the people.

Europe has seen so many wars in its time, it is time that wars stop and real unification occurs. I don't know if EU can pull it off the right way or not, but it's important that we let them try.


10:16 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

Eugenia, I agree with you on the unification thing.

My problem however is this: my country, The Netherlands, is a very progressive and liberal country and we have achieved many liberties and rights that no other country in the world has, because those countries are, in my humble opinion, very backwards thinking. With those achievements I'm hinting towards our liberal drug policy (which has been very effective as drug abuse is among the lowest in Europe), same-sex marriage (to me love is love, whether it's heterosexual or not, I don't really give a damn), euthanasia, abortion, and what not.

All those achievements that has made my country the liberal and progressive nation will be in danger as soon as this constititution is accepted. More power will be given to Brussels, and more aspects of society will be governed by 'Europe'. In combination with the new voting system (whithout veto rights) the big countries such as Germany and France will easily be able to get their opinions and ideas through (especially since big nations like France, Spain and Italy critisize our polices a lot, much like the US Republiacan party refers to my country as the place where 'the devil has been let loose', and 'immorality rules' and more of that crap). This will mean the end of our liberal and humane policies as we alone will not be able to ever get a majority.

You get my point? All the things that make the Netherlands the Netherlands are at stake.

Now, I agree with unification, but *not* on a cultural and social level. Since, with the current proposed constitution, power will go *even more* towards Germany and France. That is simply unnacceptable.    

10:24 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Regarding liberal rights:
In US each state has two sets of laws, the federal law and the state law. If the same trick is adopted, The Netherlands can keep these liberal rights.

Regarding power shifting to France/Germany:
I am afraid this is something that can't be avoided, as these, along with UK, are the strongest countries in Europe atm. You can decide to be left out of the EU, but this will be even worse overtime...


10:56 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

"In US each state has two sets of laws, the federal law and the state law. If the same trick is adopted, The Netherlands can keep these liberal rights."

And that's the exact problem with the proposed constitution: all sorts of matters, including the ones I mentioned, are transferred to Brussels...

Another problem with all this is that the const. also talks about a 'European President'. Unacceptable for me. I'm an anti-republican, I don't like directly electing leaders (with the US presidential elections, money and big companies as the downsides). In the Netherlands, we have a system where one does not directly elect the prime-minister; the biggest party (we have about 7 or 8 parties in our parliament) usually delivers the PM. I find this better as else the focus will be on the packaging (the face, the way he moves or something) instead of the content (his ideas, opinions, etc).

I simply am kind of chauvinistic, it's no secret. I am proud of my country (ugh) and I like how we are a constitutional monarchy, with a monarch who has actual power (contrary to ie. Sweden, where it's all pure ceremonial). I dunno, it has been functioning well over the past 175 years, I see no need to change it.

With an economial (and preferably also militairy) union the goals of peace and stability can be achieved as well. There is no need to transfer power to Brussels concerning cultural and social matters.    

11:13 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

If that's the case Thom, you shouldn't be opting for EU at all. Why being a member at all then? ;)


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