"I will give a speech to back popular sovereignty, to hand over to the people on such important subjects is to make a choice of democracy,"
-- Nicholas Sarkozy said this as a campaign comment on state-run France 2 TV (Friday night)
Basically, Sarkozy is running a four-star campaign now.....not against the present President of France, but two other right-wing candidates (each from another party).
What he's suggesting is something that doesn't thrill the news media....the political elite of France....or the EU.
Back around twenty years ago....for decades....if you had some referendum come up, then you'd take your political leadership and sit down in some basement room with the state-run news media....to devise a slanted campaign. You figured on 60-percent of the vote and things would easily go your way.
Today? Across all of Europe....from Greece to Sweden, and onto the UK....the state-run news media has been challenged by the internet and social media. You can hustle up any topic you desire, and the anti-crowd can mount an opposing platform within forty-eight hours, and carry the message easily to the public.
The EU crowd doesn't like this type of suggestion of referendums because things could be put up for a vote, and screw up the "plan".
Just on exiting the EU.....I think five European countries could easily mount a 50-percent or better vote right now, without much trouble.
So, you have to wonder.....if Sarkozy were to mount a decent campaign,and win.....would the guy go forward and allow referendums to occur two or three times a year? If someone wanted to tighten up laws on terrorists, or people with the potential for threats.....presenting a referendum, and it passes by say 60-percent.....would the EU suddenly get into the middle of this and say "no, you can't do that". I suspect that Sarkozy is rigging up an eventual confrontation between France, Germany and the EU. The power base of the EU is Germany right now. Maybe the big game involves taking the EU on and insulting them a bit.
I always look at state referendums that I end up voting for in Alabama.....most involve some minor law item, or changing such-and-such law over state parks. The legislation and governor of the state are always careful not to allow four-star type referendums to occur.....because you really can't gauge the success or failure ahead of time. When I look at France and this suggestion of referendums.....you could imagine some five-star moment where funding for state-run TV might be dumped or cut in half, and probably half of the republic would agree to that easily.
So, when you hear this chat going on in France and wonder about the effect.....it's a big deal down the road if Sarkozy does win and implement this.