Comparing Constitutions
United States of America vs European Union

"The U.S. Constitution, with all its amendments, is 7,200 words long. The EU Constitution, now formally known as the Lisbon Treaty, is 76,000. [. . .]

"The U.S. Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights, is mainly about the liberty of the individual. The EU Constitution is mainly about the power of the state.

"The U.S. Declaration of Independence, which foreshadowed the constitutional statement, promises 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' The EU's equivalent, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, guarantees its citizens the right to strike action, free health care, and affordable housing. [. . .]

"The U.S. Constitution came into effect only following ratification by specially convened assemblies in eleven of the member states, with the remaining two, North Carolina and Rhode Island, falling into line soon afterward. [. . .] In 2005, the [EU Constitution] was put to the vote in two of EU's founding states, France and the Netherlands. Both rejected it: by 54 percent and 62 percent respectively. [O]n June 12, 2008, Ireland voted on the text. Once again, it was rejected. And, once again, the EU brushed aside the rejection and pushed ahead regardless. [. . .]

"Where [the U.S. Constitution] was based on empowering the people and controlling the state, the [EU Constitution] was based on empowering the state and controlling the people. [. . .]

"The U.S. Constitution begins, 'We, the People . . .' The EU Constitution, in the form of the amended European Treaties, begins, 'His Majesty the King of the Belgians . . .' [. . .]

"The EU is a depressing example of what the United States might turn into: a federation that is prepared to sacrifice prosperity for the sake of uniformity."

Copyright The New Road to Serfdom, by Daniel Hannan, 2010.
Pages 41-45, 53.
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, New York 10022

[Idea from You Don't Say, Fred Gielow]

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4 apr 2011