I keep hearing how long the table of contents is and how their Bill of Rights is 22 pages and, reportedly, intentionally vague in some cases. It's like the constitution is going to be horrendously bureaucratic right from the get-go.
I can only hope that they do a good job -- if not this time around, then next time. After all, our Constitution wasn't our first try.
--Nick B Wed Jun 1 14:09:29 2005
Yeah. Actually sometimes it strikes me as a bit odd, countries with such long histories wanting to kind of subjegate themselves to a single central authority. I mean, you can kind of see colonies that had only been around for a century or two being more willing to group together...I mean as far as I recall, none of the colonies had any kind of significant wars against each other, and then a century later the Civil War really cemented things. I guess for Europe it might be a case of "superpower envy"...like the benefit we get for so much oil being priced in US dollars, and in general the weight we throw around.
It made me think about the common scifi trope of a "presidency of earth"...and now unlikely that seems to me given my current understanding of global politics, as well as our own right winger's Book of Revelations-fueled fears of "One World Govenment".
--Kirk Wed Jun 1 14:54:26 2005
There's a reason why such niggling little details are in the EU constitution, and while I'm not certain, I thought it had to do with the fact that legal precedent either couldn't or wouldn't (in general) be the basis for law. In the US, the Constitution and BoR are the foundation of law, but legal precedent and the US Code make up the bulk of the laws.
I think it's notable that our constitution has lasted longer than all the European national constitutions combined. They just don't get power from their constitutions or from their people-- it still comes from whoever's running the country at the time.
--LAN3 Wed Jun 1 18:45:25 2005
Also, it looks like the Dutch said No, something like 63% against it, but the Dutch vote was more advisory than the French election:
(I had a Yahoo AP link, but the text at that link has changed to an entirely different article-- odd)
"Unlike France's referendum, which was binding on the government, the Dutch vote is advisory. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's governing party said Monday it will accept a "no" verdict only if turnout reaches at least 30 percent and if 55 percent of those who vote reject the charter."
But by accounts I'm reading, turnout was over 60%, maybe 65%, and as I said, it was over 60% against with 99.7% reporting.
Also, apparently 85% of the Dutch Parliament supports the constitution-- I'd save the Dutch have some housecleaning to do.
--LAN3 Wed Jun 1 18:52:38 2005
kirk - sometimes reader/rare poster (nice site though).
one note about the video game line. I was one of the medical students who worked on the study released last year (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4685909/) showing a DEFINATE improvement in laparoscopic surgical skills in those who played video games versus the control who didn't. It was a real experiment under complete conditions. We ran the HELL through the numbers (p<0.001) in SPSS and were quite frankly shocked at the numbers. But it worked. Hell, I've been playing games my whole life, and I was able to tie a laparoscopic suture in 35 seconds (thats the 99th percentile).
So video games might not be all bad, but in this case, it absolutely is.
--james Wed Jun 1 22:17:10 2005
Video game stuff, I'm guessing it's the difference between kinesthetic intelligence and some other more "abstract," math intelligence.
--Mr. Lex Thu Jun 2 06:13:33 2005
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