Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Democracy French Style

by Thomas Riggins

In 2005 the French people voted down the proposed constitution for the European Union. For the constitution to go into effect it had to be unanimously adopted. The French were not the only people to reject the constitution, but French resistance had to be overcome.

It was basically the middle class and the working class allied who brought about the defeat, as the constitution was designed to strengthen corporate power at the expense of the workers, unions and ordinary French people. The people were able to stop that monopoly capitalist initiative at the polls.

What to do? This defiance by the people against the will of their masters was not to be tolerated. Well, the AP reports today that the EU has come up with a simplified version of the old constitution, it keeps all the major capitalist demands, and now it is called a TREATY. Meanwhile the bourgeois French Parliament has changed the French constitution so this new EU “treaty” does not have to be put to the French people for a vote. This is obviously a betrayal of its own constituency by the French Parliament in the interests of international capital.

Now that the French law has been changed, the AP reports “President Nicolas Sarkozy decided that this time Parliament would vote on the charter, diminishing the risk of rejection.” Now I ask you, what type of “democracy” is run by people who know that their people want one thing and yet do all in their power to see that the exact opposite comes into being? Let’s hope the Spirit of 1789 is not dead!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


As a French Communist, I've been terribly shocked by the way the UMP and Modem congressmen as well as over half of the Socialists voted for that European Constitution against which we had struggled and achieved a 53% No vote at the 2005 referendum.
These politicians who decided to tread upon the previous vote of the French people should think that insulting democracy could raise a very deep and angry protest in our country.
This year is the anniversary of the 1968 trouble which resulted in as high as a 30% rise in wages.
Indeed I do believe that the spirit of 1989, of the Commune of Paris, of the 1936 Popular Front and May 1968 is not dead, as I believe that in the USA, Joe Hill is Martin Luther King Jr ideas are still alive in spite of what we can see on TV!

Michel Favard