Monday, April 11, 2005

It's Worse Than Primary vs General Election

Sometimes a campaign to win a near-term election can lose you the big picture. EURSOC tells of the arguments of the "Yes" forces in France, which have fallen behind in the polls on the May 29 Constitution election. They are using arguments that would alienate voters in any other country. The "No" forces in the UK, where Euroskepticism is widespread, are saving the quotes, to use them in their "No" campaign. A few examples of the quotes that the French "Yes" ads are running are:
* "[The EU Constitution] embodies the French vision of Europe. A 'yes' vote will reinforce the French model in Europe, a 'no' vote will weaken it." - Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin (AP, 29 and 30 March)

* "We have finally obtained this 'Europe à la française' that we have awaited for so long. This constitutional treaty is an enlarged France. It is a Europe written in French." - Justice Minister Dominique Perben (Times and AFP, 4 April)

* "A 'no' vote is an open door to an Anglo-Saxon Europe. A 'yes' vote is the advent of a Europe à la française! The constitutional treaty is inspired by our model." - Minister for Transport and Tourism Giles de Robien (Le Figaro, 6 April)

* "To vote 'yes' is to show one's attachment to the French model and one's refusal of the Anglo-Saxon or Polish model." - Budget Minister and government spokesperson Jean-François Copé (Le Monde, 30 March)

If I were a British voter, looking at those quotes, I would vote no and make sure everyone I knew voted no as well.


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