The Right Coast

May 28, 2005
Votez Non
By Maimon Schwarzschild

In Europe -- where I´ll be in the next few days for an urgent academic conference -- the European Union Constitution may go down in flames in the French referendum tomorrow. A London Times report suggests the French Establishment is losing hope and now expects a ¨No¨ vote. ¨It´s all over save the teeth-gnashing.¨ I´m not so sure. But the Noes do seem to have the edge.

The weekend Financial Times makes a plausible argument that a ¨No¨ vote in France will greatly weaken European supporters of freer markets, and strengthen the most reactionary socialist-minded throughout Europe.

On the other hand, a ¨Yes¨ vote might surely be an important step towards a French-flavoured anti-American Europe.

So perhaps any outcome will be bad. That appeals to my sense of life. (Only at bad moments; only at bad moments...)

Until a very few years ago, I would have been rooting for a stronger common-market Europe. But the last few years of often-frenzied European anti-Americanism, too often with anti-semitic overtones, has made me think again.

Votez ¨Non¨, les français!