Re: ASCII and Unicode lifespan

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 08:00:33 CDT

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    From: "Peter Kirk" <>
    > The French may well reject the new European Constitution because it seems
    > too Anglo-Saxon - and we may reject it because it seems too French!

    This Constitutional Referendum is a so hot topic in France these days, with
    so many meetings, and contradictions within the same parties... But the more
    it goes, and the more it is likely to pass with a moderate but sufficient

    In fact these days, the supporters of yes have much stronger and numerous
    arguments than those of No, that have simply forgotten to demonstrate they
    can propose an alternative. People that wanted a Yes but did not express
    themselves are now very active after being frightened with the supporters of
    No. So the Yes vote intentions are now growing again above 53%. France does
    not need a strong Yes (or No) to accept and endorse the decision of a
    democratic vote.

    In fact, most of those that want to vote no are those that have not been
    able to read the effective text (for example I have still not received a
    copy of it, so I have read it on the Internet), just to see what was
    effectively new in it: about a dozen of articles only in part I, and nothing
    new in part II.

    Even in my department, which is headed by a strong denfender of "No" (De
    Villiers), all the people I know feel very implied. During those debates,
    lots of articles of the Treaty were effectively read by them, ad everybody
    recognizes that part II of this Constitution is already in application, and
    there's not much new in Part I. Part III is judged too much technical.

    I'm not sure that rench will accept to risk voting No, and leave France on
    the side, under the terms of the previous Treaty of Nice. If it happens,
    France will assist to the start of lengthy discussions with other European
    countries, and to the impossibility to advance. But I don't know what France
    can claim in the existing treaty to other countries to adopt it. Most
    probably, another vote would be organized one year after, with very minor
    changes in part III.

    Some (socialist) supporters of "No" feel that part III should not have been
    part of the text, but negociated, and renegociable over time, because all
    this part is made of transitory articles to adapt the national legislations
    with the II first parts of the Treaty.I think that fundamentally, the left
    parties are not opposed to the Treaty; but it is wellknown that Frenches do
    not always obey in their vote to the logic of parties. So even the left and
    right parties that are divided on the subject have a large base of
    supporters of yes.

    Many people in European countries are envying the Frenches for these
    constitutional debates, and they learn from it. Well, if it passes on Sunday
    May 29, nobody will say after that the text was not ratified democratically
    and without asking public opinions. (I've learnt that Greeks want a
    referendum now and people reject the silent ratification by the Greek

    (Side note: I vote Yes, if you have not understood).

    > But we did accept this paper size system, and in fact before the French
    > did.

    It's still not effective in all administrative documents: many of them use
    very unusual formats, and you can't reproduce them easily on copiers: see
    for example the revenue tax billing paper (only the annual declaration uses
    A3 form now that this declaration can also be performed over the Internet),
    bank accounting notes, Social Security accounting notes, VAT declarations,
    medical prescriptions, and all sorts of documents that you often need to
    provide copies.

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