The long-awaited referendum is complete, and the votes have been counted. According to the Times Online, 56.14 percent of voters rejected the constitution of the European Union, which would have given the EU a centralized President and Foreign Minister, taking Europe one-step closer to statehood, and one step closer to being able to build a state comparable to the United States of America.
But, alas, the French have called a halt to all progress. It was a Frenchman, former President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who is credited with authoring the document and engineering the concept as described therein. France was expected to lead the charge toward a united Europe.
The vote, in some ways, makes me chuckle, reinforcing the notion that France is incapable of doing anything that makes them look good. In other ways, it certainly reinforces the notion that the French people are loony. The Washington Post reports this quote:
"This is a great victory," said Fabrice Savel, 38, from the working class suburb of Aubervilliers. He was distributing posters that read: "Non to a free-market Europe."
So apparently the problem is with capitalism. Glenn Reynolds, whose commentary I respect and whose blog my paltry efforts can only hope to emulate, has found the disturbing socialist trend in his research on the matter as well. Read his lengthy entry regarding the vote.
I'll add this: Europe's only chance at coming close to the United States is to break down the socialist pillars that have driven unemployment rates into the double digits, and realize that America hasn't succeeded on spirit alone (although that contributes), but through the power of a competetive and free market.