From the Google cache.
European constitution referendum: debate
Linking: 8 Comments: 4
Date: 5/28/05 at 3:14PM
Today, there was an open air debate.
Its subject was the European constitution referendum in The Netherlands.
The debate was organized by Eurodusnie. Though they oppose the draft constitution, they had invited not only anti but also pro constitution debaters.
Karin Verbaken was a candidate for the GroenLinks (“Green Left”) party at the recent European elections; but failed to get elected.
She claimed to support the draft constitution (which, unlike present constitutions, like in the USA, France, The Netherlands, etc., would officially enshrine capitalism) as it was supposedly better for people in the Third World.
I reacted: I read that someone from Sri Lanka (a fellow ModBlogger) asked voters in The Netherlands and France to vote no in the referendum, as many people in the Third World die from capitalism.
Ms Verbaken reacted: I have never been to Sri Lanka, and that is just sentimentalism. In principle, I don’t have any problem with market based economics.
A lady from the audience said: I recently was in India. Most people there are poor peasants. They suffer the consequences of those market based economics which you have nothing against.
For some peasants it is so bad that they commit suicide. Will you call that “sentimentalism” as well?
Ms Verbaken did not reply.
Another person from the audience said: I used to be a member of GroenLinks, your party.
However, last week I resigned my membership in protest against the party leaders’ propaganda for this pro-big business constitution.
Also in protest against this constitution giving constitutional protection to anti animal practices, like stuffing live geese to get goose liver pastries, bullfighting, etc.
The next speaker after Karin Verbaken, was Marcel Ham. Also a member of GroenLinks, but an opponent of the constitution.
As an environmentalist, he said pro environment people should vote no.
Frank Slijper spoke on behalf of the anti arms trade campaign. He said he also often voted GroenLinks.
However, he did not understand anything about the party leaders’ pro constitution vote.
This constitution, he said, was pro militarist. The European Union was going down a new dangerous road of military cooperation.
All experts agree military budgets would rise. So will military exports. Lobbies of the military industrial complex played a big role in making the military paragraphs in this draft constitution.
RE: European constitution referendum: debate
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Date: 05/28/05 at 4:09 PM
Thanks for mentioning me, dearkitty.
Actually, I spent last few days reading the full text of the EU constitution and I beleive it is a huge step backward when it comes to the early victories of humanism(and even when it comes to the classical bourgeois notions of human rights). I truely support the call made by the by wsws editors for a “No” in the feferendum.
It is not a mere sentiment for me. Actually This issue is not only about Europe. It will have costly effects all over the so called third world, middle east, Affrica, Latin America and former european colonies.
European politics had never been a sentimental game to the South Asian region since early 19th century.
Even at this very moment Sri Lankans “enjoy” the company of a “peace monitoring mission” headed by Norwegian foriegn office. Talking about peasents, yes, it is true …they commit sucide and it is one of the most common news stories even in Sri Lanka.
I even beleive that the countries that are subordinated + oppressed by the colonial and neo-colonial powers of Europe do have the right to vote in the referendum. But I know that won’t happen.
However, even dearkitty’s posts on economics alone can give some classic examples of the “achivements” made by this “free” “maket based” economy.
Thanks again for raising your voice dearkitty.
RE: European constitution referendum: France
Date: 05/28/05 at 8:27 PM
More on the referendum in France: http://deadmenleft.blogspot.com/2005/05/bewildered-liberal-journalists-resort.html
Article 11-188 instructs member states “not to seek to influence the
European Central bank.,”
Article 111-147 empowers the EU to impose privatisation. A euro
law “shall establish the measures in order to achieve the
liberalisation of a specific service”.
Article 11-88 makes it clear that trade unionists will have the right
to strike “only in accordance with national laws” in other words the
anti union laws remain.
Article 1-15 demands member states “Actively and unreservedly support
the Union’s foreign and security policy in a spirit of loyalty and
mutual solidarity.’, a Euro army.
Article 11-112 allows “limitations” of basic human rights “if they
are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest
recognised by the Union.”
DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU EU!
There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:
I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.
If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”
The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.
How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the new Sec. Def.Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?
Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.
From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.
This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.
This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.
We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.
Hi Ken Larson, thanks for reacting. The rejection of the proposed EU constitution by voters in France and The Netherlands is a good first step, I’d say.
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