June 15, 2005


Giscard regrets constitution sent to French people (Lisbeth Kirk, 15.06.2005, EU Observer)

It was a crucial mistake to send out the entire constitution to every French voter, the architect of the EU's first constitution Valéry Giscard d'Estaing has said in an interview.

In an interview with the New York Times, his first since the French rejection of the constitution two weeks ago, the former French president apportions most of the blame to president Jacques Chirac for failure in the referendum campaign.

One crucial mistake was to send out the entire three-part, 448-article document to every French voter, said Mr Giscard.

Over the phone he had warned Mr Chirac already in March: "I said, 'Don't do it, don't do it'".

"It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text".

Mr Giscard d'Estaing also puts the blame on the present generation of political leaders.

Stupid public, how dare they take part in their future?

Posted by Bryan Francoeur at June 15, 2005 4:03 PM

"three-part, 448-article document"

The length of a constitution is inversely proportional to its' quality.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at June 15, 2005 4:16 PM

There's a name for political leaders who wish to foist a system of government on a populace that has no say in the matter. They're called "dictators".

Posted by: Josh Silverman at June 15, 2005 4:40 PM

It's social democracy in action: the people have ample fuel for their stoves next winter.

Posted by: at June 15, 2005 4:43 PM

Interestingly, one of my clients has a French native here on secondment who did not know which way to vote. He was very suspicious of the length of the document. He was also well aware that the US Constitution was only a handful of pages.

Posted by: Rick T. at June 15, 2005 7:14 PM

Giscard is just embarassing. He really is so infatuated with his own alleged brilliance that he honestly believes the rest of us should merely kowtow to him in abject servility. He is the apotheosis of the French system and should exist as a cautionary note to Americans who respect people who attend the JFK School of Government or any Ivy League law school.

Posted by: bart at June 15, 2005 8:47 PM

"It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text".

Kind of says it all.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 15, 2005 10:37 PM

That's why we simple citizens need wise and beneveolent leaders... isn't it? How else would we understand such weighty and complex things?

Posted by: Dave W. at June 17, 2005 12:54 AM