I’ve just received in the mail the documentation to vote on the European constitution. As a Spanish citizen, I have the right to vote for or against the European constitution in the next days.
The crazy things is, the candidate text is over 300 pages long. So you are expected to read it, or skim through it, or whatever, and then say “YES” or “NO”. That’s it. No nuances, no “buts”, just yes or no. How am I supposed to interpret this? How are people across Europe to interpret it? I mean, somebody could reason like this: I agree with 60% of the articles in the candidate text and I disagree with 40%. On average, that is a yes. And they would vote yes. Some others could think: I agree with most of the articles, but since I disagree with a few of them, I cannot accept the text as a whole, so this is a no. And they would vote no.
What is the criterion? I don’t think people have information about this. Actually, the European Union’s website reports that people lack information on this matter.
In my particular case, I have two particular issues. First of all, I agree with most of the articles but strongly disagree with two of them. If the criterion is averaging, then I should vote yes. But if I apply the “as-a-whole” criterion, then I cannot support those two little crazy articles so I need to vote no.
Secondly, I am not sure why Europe should have a constitution. I can already travel freely and buy and sell things. I imagine that a few more international treaties would make the European space truly borderless as far as bureaucracy (and only this) is concerned. Why do I need a constitution then? Again, I would like to have more information.
In summary, I am not sure if we need it, and even if we do, I can’t agree with a couple of articles. That will make me vote against the proposed constitution. What if many other people are in a similar situation and the “no” wins? They big guys in Brussels will realise taht European citizens don’t like the idea. But what is it that they don’t like? Is it the idea of Europe having a consitution? Or is it this particular candidate text? Or some specific parts of it? How are they going to fix it? What are they going to change? They don’t know what articles I dislike.
In my humble opinion, there are evident and easy ways to organise a referendum on the European constitution that would give the big guys a lot more information if the “no” wins. It looks like they are pretty sure the “yes” will win.