By Jason Moore

THE only clear majority winner in Sunday's Spanish referendum was the millions of people who failed to vote. A 40 percent turnout, of which 76 percent voted Yes, is not a clear mandate from the Spanish people on the European Constitution. But as usual when it comes to Europe voter turnout is not important...only the result. I think it is a disgrace that the Spanish government were not able to persuade more people to vote. They failed to convince the vast majority that the Constitution was something worth voting for. And what makes matters worse is that the majority of Spaniards haven't a clear idea of what's in the Constitution. Prime Minister Zapatero should place the champagne on ice. Despite the low turnout I am still amazed that almost 17 percent of the population (who voted) actually said no because government propaganda suggested if you voted no you should go and live on Mars. I must admit I wish that the electorate would start taking a greater interest in European affairs. My biggest fear is that we are being steam-rolled into a Europe that the vast majority of people don't want. Britain may be one of the most eurosceptic countries on the planet but at least there is a debate. Don't forget that even the pro-European French only approved the Maastricht Treaty by a whisker. There was no real campaign in Spain. The result was decided months ago when the two main parties decided to call for a Yes vote. But why weren't Euro MPs actively campaigning and informing the public. While the Constitution may be a mystery, the role of Euro MPs is very much in the same category. I am not anti-European but in some ways I am anti-EU and I feel the time has come for an open debate on the issue. I am sure if the majority of Spaniards had discovered that the Brussels cash pipeline which has been flowing into Spain for years was going to be diverted elsewhere the result of the referendum would have been marginally different.


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