Spain votes yes to EU constitution
77% for, apparently. Of course, the ignorance of the constitution amongst the Spanish voters is just as high as it is in the UK. But they also know what it's like to live under a genuinely totalitarian system, so may welcome the potential for EU-level safeguards (even if, in practice, they may mean very little). Oh, and the fact that Spain gets quite a bit (well, a lot) of money from Brussels may help as well, I suppose...
In short, this result was entirely predictable, and doesn't really mean much in the grander scheme of things. Nonetheless, Barcepundit has all the information you could possibly require about the vote, and EU Referendum puts the expected Eurosceptic spin on the low turnout. Of course, a 40-odd percent turnout is indeed rather weak.
What would be more interesting would be to see how many of the people who voted have actually read the thing. I'd suspect significantly less than 1%... After all, in a vaguely related thingie (via Hispa Libertas, and a link to a moderately amusing comparison of the US and EU constitutions), and as I've said before, the US constitution is one of the finest political documents ever written; the proposed EU constitution is a rambling, confusing behemoth.
There is not a hope in hell that all - even a majority - of the people who voted in today's Spanish referendum actually understood what it was all about. This is why you generally speaking don't ask the average guy in the street to negotiate international treaties. Much as I'd prefer a qualified surgeon to be the one to poke around my insides with a sharp scalpel if I had to have an operation, I'd rather major decisions about international treaties were left to experienced statesmen and diplomats. Would you really have wanted Fred and Dora Ramsbottom from Harrogate to have been Britain's representatives at the Yalta Conference? Would you have wanted Bert Entwistle from Dudley sat alongside Woodrow Wilson at Versailles? So why are we asking for their opinions about our latest international agreement? The mind boggles...
And yes, the fact that I am worried about how important decisions regarding this country's future are going to be taken by people with little or no knowledge of the issues involved probably does make me both an intellectual snob and a prime example of the self-righteously smug arrogance of the pro-EU lobby.
(Oh, and ta to those of you who left kind words on my previous post. I wasn't being overly serious - but it does seem that the bloggosphere needs a reality check every now and again. We're just a bunch of politics geeks when it comes down to it, and are probably no more influential than that guy with the megaphone who rants on about Jesus down by Oxford Circus tube... Some of us, however, sometimes seem to take things too seriously and think we're more important than we are - that's all I was really getting at...)