Thursday, April 19, 2007

France and Scotland Face Big Political/Constitutional Changes

France will elect its new President. Segolene or Sarkozy, or maybe even Bayrou will change the scene of French politics, or at least they will refresh it given that Chirac has monopolized it in the last 12 years.

Very soon, Scotland will also vote for its 'local' elections, perhaps the last. If the SNP (scottish nationalist) wins, then those elections will probably be national in the future. For an European living in Scotland this alone may be a good argument against SNP: why would we vote to lose our vote?

Gordon Brown will look at this election with great interest. If the SNP wins and Scotland goes toward independence, then its chances of becoming a strong prime minister collapse: he could not claim anymore to represent british interests. In any event, UK constitutional politics seemed geared toward a time of change!

All this may contribute to a renewal at the European Constitutional level. France may well have a new referendum on a simplified text, probably a simple Treaty. The UK will have to redesign its European politics. If England remains Euro-Skeptic, Scotland is in general quite Euro-friendly.


Charlie said...

"For an European living in Scotland this alone may be a good argument against SNP: why would we vote to lose our vote?"

Because they could become citizens?

And aren't Scots Europeans?

Srdjan Cvijic said...

Charlie what I think Lorenzo is saying is that now Europeans have the right to vote in Scotish elections as they do on any municipal elections in the EU. If Scotland goes independent then this would no longer be possible. WHat you suggest is that they could become citizens of Scotland and then have the full right to vote. It would be interesting to look into the positon of SNP towards immigration and integration issues. Would they be likely to support easy integration, unprecedented in Europe? Only in this sense would your argument be legitimate.

Srdjan Cvijic said...

Concerning the French elections I am unsure of your prediction. The opinion polls we read about France are allowing for a high margin of error, still 37% of the French do not know for whom they will vote. It is still possible that Le Pen goes to the second round. I suspect people in Sarkozy's camp got worried that he might be taking votes that could be won by Sarkozy so they radicalized Sarkozy's political discourse towards the end of the campaign. It would not surprise me that Segolene Royal manages to enter the second round because many people (scared of the experience of the last elections when they were forced to vote for Shirak) will probably opt for Segolene Royal instead of smaller candidates. So I think she will make it. I know it seems outrageous to claim this now but I would not be surprised if Sarkozy does not. I would not be surprised if Royal has to face Bayrou or Le Pen in the second round. While in the later case she would certainly win, in the second she would probably lose.

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