Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Le Pen to French: Reject EU Constitution

I know next to nothing about internal French politics, but I imagine this will do a great deal to increase the odds the French will vote to approve the EU constitution. After all, supporters of Le Pen's National Front were hardly going to vote for the constitution anyway; as I understand it, they're the French equivalent of Euroskeptics. And those outside the Le Pen coalition who are undecided with regard to the constitution may come to see opposition to it as a far-right movement, and vote for adoption just to avoid being linked with their country's xenophobic far-right.

The EU constitution, in other words, may have just gained a valuable enemy.

UPDATE: The article to which I linked includes this passage, which I think shows something of the cavernous gap between Europe and America:
Le Pen, who shocked the nation by qualifying for a one-on-one runoff against Chirac in presidential elections in 2002, has been convicted six times of racism or anti-Semitism.
In America, because we have a First Amendment, "racism" and "anti-Semitism" aren't, and can't be, independent crimes (although they can, I suppose, be aggravating factors that lead us to punish underlying crimes more severely). On the other hand, nobody with views like Le Pen's could get anywhere near the American presidency. (The closest thing we have is Pat Buchanan, and the best he's ever done is win a protest vote in the New Hampshire primary, once.) In France, obviously, the situation is reversed.