As French citizens prepare to vote in their May 29th referendum on whether or not to approve the European Union’s new constitutional charter, President Jacques Chirac took to the populace yesterday to stake his claim that it was imperative for the measure to pass. His driving point, effectively, being that for Europe to be unified and powerful (when translated from his native leftist French, this reads as “able to exist as a counterbalance to Bush’s United States of Imperialism”), it was vital for France to support this burgeoning European Union, lest one of its biggest players be seen as stepping away from the table, thereby leaving a weak and disconnected shell of a coalition in its wake.
So, if that doesn’t make sense, try this metaphor put forth by the French Interior Minister:
French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin said Europe would end up being driven by a “tricycle” rather than a “hot rod” if the French vote the treaty down.
“With a ‘no’, there won’t be anything left in the garage… At best, there will be a tricycle,” de Villepin said. “With a ‘yes’, there will be a hot rod… It has to be admitted that it’s better to get around with that.”
The Renault sitting in my garage, by the way, has a meager 40 horsepower, for what it’s worth.