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<nettime> On the Dutch "No" Vote
Ronda Hauben on Thu, 2 Jun 2005 23:47:50 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> On the Dutch "No" Vote

"What We Want is More Democracy"
Voters in the Netherlands resoundingly vote "no"
             by Ronda Hauben
              ronda {AT} panix.com

On Wednesday, Dutch citizens rejected the EU constitution by a vote of
61.6% "no" votes to 38.4% "yes" votes. Those campaigning for the "no" vote
were jubilant at the size of the "no" majority, as well as at the large
turnout of voters. The percentage of the population that went to the
polls, 62.8%, was significantly higher than usual for national or local
elections. Comments from voters about why they voted .no. stressed their
sentiment that the treaty wasn.t democratic enough, and that it didn.t
give the citizens of the EU enough influence in the decision making

A number of voters were concerned that the reasons for their .no. votes
not be misinterpreted. They explained that they were not voting against
their national or local politicians or toward a particular policy of the
EU toward bringing in new nations. Their chief complaint was that the EU
should be "much more democratic," as an election researcher Maurice de
Hond reported. (1)

Among the specific reasons given for their .no. vote was that the
constitution only serves the interests of the multinationals or of
liberalization; that the constitution as drafted is not democratic since
the European Parliament cannot introduce legislation but has to rely on
the unelected commission for proposals; that European politicians are too
detached from the citizens of Europe.

The "no" votes reflect dissatisfaction with the constitution and the way
it was drafted. They also reflect a hope that it is possible to send a
message to EU officials that both a change in the constitution, and in the
process by which it is drafted, is required. "There is simply insufficient
democracy in the EU for it to survive," warns Cliff from the UK, whose
email comment is posted on the BBC web site. "The combined effect of the
French and Dutch vote may allow this to be corrected," he continues,
"Let.s hope so." (2) Other EU citizens, however, are less optimistic. They
believe that the "no" voters will be ignored and that politicians will
just find a way to "change the rules" and approve the rejected
constitution. "If every single country voted 'no'," writes Cam Berwick in
an email also on the BBC website, "they would still find a way to get it

First the French, and then the Dutch citizens who voted "no" on the
referendum, believe that both a more democratic constitution, and a more
democratic process, are needed to continue the project of European
construction. The struggle between the citizens of Europe and the
politicians who are promoting the interests of multinational corporations
and liberalization has come into the public arena. It is being expressed
in many different ways, including in the theme song of the Dutch "no"
campaign, the "No Constitution Rap", the gist of which is, "If you want a
social Europe, and a Europe for the people, not for business and money,
then say "No" to the constitution." (3) The future of European
construction will be forged by the progress of this struggle.



(3) Varied Reasons behind Dutch No

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