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.