View Poll Results: Do you agree with the new European Constitution?
Yes, and I am going to vote yes for the Constitution. Viva Europe! 13 65.00%
No, I don't agree with this Constitution. I'lll wait for one better and then I'll vote yes. 1 5.00%
No, I am not identified with the concept of Europe united. 2 10.00%
It doesn't matter to me. An united Europe is useless and I have more important things to think of. 4 20.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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European Constitution

by Clausius2
Tags: constitution, european
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russ_watters
#55
Feb17-05, 12:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Clausius2
Perhaps I am going to be a bit impolite, but do not take it seriously russ. USA has a short historic background compared with european countries. I suppose you have been told something about the Catholic Kings of Spain, the Tudor dinasty, the former triangle Spain-United Kingdom-France and their continous fights, the Orange dinasty....
So what? I don't mean to trivialize the history, but what's the difference between a full-blooded German living in Pennsylvania and one living in Munich? The one living in Pennsylvania doesn't care about that 500 years of history. History is history: time to move on and accept that there are better ways to define yourself. Yes, its true that with the US its easier: having an easy starting point 225 years ago means its easier to let go of the previous 500 years of history (in fact, many Americans came here for just that reason: it was the easiest way to wipe the slate clean). But:
Europe has been inmersed in continous fights during the last 500 years.
Continuous fights until 60 years ago. My personal feeling is that it will be possible to unite Europe more completely not long after the last of the WWII vets die. There are French people and German people who can remember the day when they pointed guns at each other. When those people are gone, it'll be much easier to move on. And that's not a shot at WWII vets - its perfectly reasonable for them to feel uncomfortable with each other.
Our principal differences are not in the language or culture, BUT in the proper character of the inhabbitants and in the way of life of each country. There are radical differences in how a german lives and how a spanish lives. There is a problem in how we affront the life, in the philosophy of life. It is much deeper than language differences. It is for that reason, that a german sat with a spanish can roughly come to an agreement with him. They are like the oil and the water, they never get mixed. Although you have justified that in USA there are similar differences, I do not think the same. The borders here are much accurately drawn than in USA, because the borders here represent a territorial limit between two very different civilizations.
We have a tv show here called "Wife Swap" (not what you think) where two women of vastly different backgrounds switch families for a week or two. Most are selected specifically because they are opposites (a California vegan family and a Louisiana crawfishing family, for example). Some can stand to live together some can't. Again, I say: so what? Why does the fact that I couldn't stand to live under the same roof as someone else preclude us from sharing a government?
brewnog
#56
Feb17-05, 01:24 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
Again, I say: so what? Why does the fact that I couldn't stand to live under the same roof as someone else preclude us from sharing a government?
As I said, this isn't about individuals. In person, I would almost certainly get on well with (say) Clausius. But we're talking about vast groups of people from different backgrounds who traditionally have very different cultural values. One example: Compare the Swedish policy on drugs with, say, that of the Dutch. Cultural differences like these are extremely difficult to compromise on.


Within 3 miles of where I'm sitting, there is a vast, concentrated Chinese community, a vast, concentrated Indian community, and a vast, concentrated Pakistani community, all interspersed by areas which are predominately white British nationals. The borders are extremely well defined. For most of this time, this is great. Food diversity is paradise, there's places of worship for every creed under the sun, there are no problems. But this works because all these individuals have chosen to live this way. Try and enforce such groups of different people to cohabit (even if this does not necessarily mean physical relocation of people) a nation and there will be problems.
Joel
#57
Feb17-05, 03:44 PM
P: 183
Quote Quote by russ_watters
So what? I don't mean to trivialize the history, but what's the difference between a full-blooded German living in Pennsylvania and one living in Munich? The one living in Pennsylvania doesn't care about that 500 years of history. History is history: time to move on and accept that there are better ways to define yourself. Yes, its true that with the US its easier: having an easy starting point 225 years ago means its easier to let go of the previous 500 years of history (in fact, many Americans came here for just that reason: it was the easiest way to wipe the slate clean).
Exactly, America was founded as a new start, an opposite to old European traditions. And while I agree with you wholeheartly that history is history and I much rather identify myself through other groups than my nation and its history, I think the overall sentiment still values history highly. I think it can be seen in political rethorics, where current questions are frequently compared to historically similar occasions and in some kind of reluctance towards too rapid change, for example with the gene-manipulated livestock. Even many who advocate a united europe and see the need to build a "European identity" tries to do it by looking at similarities in our nations' histories, not by whiping the slate clean. And one more, my (former) major, political science got its first chairs in america, partly because it did not face the resistance of established disciplines, like philosophy, law and economics - it was not bound by academic traditions.

Why does the fact that I couldn't stand to live under the same roof as someone else preclude us from sharing a government?
Because you could chose not to live under the same roof with another individual, but you would have to submit to democratic decisions affecting your life?

Another point that I came to think about from your comparison with the individuals sharing a roof and clausius and brewnogs talk about different cultures, was that regardless of what group one would identify with, the difference between americas fairly individual and many european countries' not-quite-that-individual societies is apparently still notable.

This discussion in turn, would maybe illustrate much of the work done to unite Europe; comparing values and habits between member states and making them explicit through chit chat and studies. Positive interaction tends to increase liking and highlight our similarities as well as differencies, which in turn may give us second thoughts about revolting against our (maybe one day united europe's) government's descisions.

Finally, your comparison of the Article of Confederations and the proposed EU constitution was very interesting. And I would also very much hope that European leaders would realize that cultural differences are not that important.
brewnog
#58
Feb17-05, 04:08 PM
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Quote Quote by Joel
I would also very much hope that European leaders would realize that cultural differences are not that important.
They do realise this, and recognise that bringing whatever cultural differences we all have together could be an incredibly positive thing.

However, I'm certain that the majority (a guess at 75%) of Brits would be against any 'U.S.E', and I would ask what any Scandinavian and Swiss board members thought that their country as a whole would think (I'm vaguely certain that most of the other European nations would embrace it). I definitely share Clausius' view that the rest of Europe might just go on without us, but as he said this would be a shame.
Joel
#59
Feb17-05, 04:32 PM
P: 183
Quote Quote by brewnog
They do realise this, and recognise that bringing whatever cultural differences we all have together could be an incredibly positive thing.

However, I'm certain that the majority (a guess at 75%) of Brits would be against any 'U.S.E', and I would ask what any Scandinavian and Swiss board members thought that their country as a whole would think (I'm vaguely certain that most of the other European nations would embrace it). I definitely share Clausius' view that the rest of Europe might just go on without us, but as he said this would be a shame.
Googling quickly I couldn't find exact statistics, but according to last spring's Eurobarometer 52% of the Finns supported some kind of constitution and 35% where against it. Only the the UK (42%) and Denmark (37%) supported it less. Generally I think the scandinavian countries, being rather small, are afraid of not being heard in European wide discission making.

But check out the Eurobarometers (European public opinion statistics) yourself: http://europa.eu.int/comm/public_opi...tandard_en.htm - With more time one could surely make very interesting comparisons and conclusions from them.
PerennialII
#60
Feb18-05, 12:25 AM
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Quote Quote by Joel
Googling quickly I couldn't find exact statistics, but according to last spring's Eurobarometer 52% of the Finns supported some kind of constitution and 35% where against it. Only the the UK (42%) and Denmark (37%) supported it less. Generally I think the scandinavian countries, being rather small, are afraid of not being heard in European wide discission making.

But check out the Eurobarometers (European public opinion statistics) yourself: http://europa.eu.int/comm/public_opi...tandard_en.htm - With more time one could surely make very interesting comparisons and conclusions from them.
Considering how "international" the atmosphere in nordic countries is overall the poll results have been surprising. But I think as Finns we still have some remnants of our "neutrality" policies hanging over the heads of many, if not most, people. Luckily our government has at crucial times had the opposite view.
Andy
#61
Feb18-05, 03:14 AM
P: 255
Origionally posted by Clausius 2
Man, the union of Europe must be consolidated upon the fact that nobody could do what he want. That's the democracy.
Sounds more like communism than democracy to me.
Andy
#62
Feb18-05, 03:42 AM
P: 255
I have just read in the Sun newspaper, a leading tabloid newspaper in britain, that as part of the EU constitution all member states will give up there foreign embassies and europe will just have one embassy with an ambassador that will report directly to the EU in brussels. Also they point out that Britain will its voice in NATO and will no longer have a seat on the UN security council. Please tell me again why this is a good thing?
Clausius2
#63
Feb18-05, 04:51 AM
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Quote Quote by Andy
Sounds more like communism than democracy to me.
Be sure I am too far of communism. Could you kill a boy in your country only because you want to do it? Sure not. That kind of common rules is what I am referring to, and the respect to them is one of the pillars of the democracy.

Quote Quote by Andy
Please tell me again why this is a good thing?
I have not read the constitution, and I don't feel like to do it. Maybe that's a bad thing, but it is the most common way to go to vote. Perhaps that thing could be attenuated by another positive three ones.
brewnog
#64
Feb18-05, 06:53 AM
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Quote Quote by Andy
I have just read in the Sun newspaper...
So it must be true then!
Andy
#65
Feb18-05, 10:12 AM
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lol yea, they where refering to a radio interview the spanish prime minister gave.

Origionally posted by Clausius
I have not read the constitution, and I don't feel like to do it. Maybe that's a bad thing, but it is the most common way to go to vote. Perhaps that thing could be attenuated by another positive three ones.
So your going to vote yes on something without actually knowing what that is? Always read the smallprint before you sign for anything.
brewnog
#66
Feb18-05, 10:59 AM
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I think his point was that most people don't care enough about the ins and outs of the issue to research it properly, but these people will still go to the polling station just to make their voice heard.
meteor
#67
Feb20-05, 04:57 PM
P: 915
Spain voted yes
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4280841.stm
Though I didn't vote (when will be possible to vote through Internet?)
Clausius2
#68
Feb21-05, 08:12 AM
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Spain voted yes (77%). But pay attention to the low percentage which turned out: 42%.

In fact nobody has read the Constitution, Andy. Who has time to do it?

Although we went to vote as blinds, we voted according to <how> the idea sounds.

To those who have a referendum in his countries, I invite them to post here what happens after it. Here, the two main parties are fighting between them trying to clear up who has the blame for the low turnout percentage. So that, now we have an added problem.
Andy
#69
Feb21-05, 08:27 AM
P: 255
Alot of idea's sound good at the time.


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