What will be especially galling for Spanish Euro-enthusiasts is that there had been frenetic attempts to boost turnout. Footballers and celebrities were wheeled out to read some of the constitution's less turgid articles; advertising space was commandeered across the country; King Juan Carlos trooped dutifully to the polls in an attempt to jolly along his subjects. Indeed, the electoral commission was prompted to complain about the government's tendentious use of public money. Yet, in the event, most voters were unimpressed.And, indeed, so were we. In short, they blew it.
Monday, February 21, 2005
The Telegraph leader, Spanish supporters of the EU constitution "argued that it was a great honour to be the first country to vote, that the eyes of all Europe were turned toward the Iberian peninsula and that it was the patriotic duty of every Spaniard to cast his ballot lest the country appear stand-offish. Yet the 'Sí', when it came, was terse and reserved: fewer than one in three eligible voters supported the constitution." The leader continues: