Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wow! Those French!

I am utterly stunned at the face-covering ban:
In Tuesday's vote at the National Assembly, there were 335 votes for the bill and just one against it. Most members of the main opposition group, the Socialist Party, walked out and refused to vote, though they in fact support a ban. They simply have differences over where it should be enforced, underscoring the lack of controversy among French politicians on the issue.
The bill passed Tuesday bans face-covering veils everywhere that can be considered public space, even in the street, but the Socialists only want it in certain places, such as government buildings, hospitals and public transport.
This is not something I think is consistent with classic liberalism (and it faces constitutional scrutiny in France) but I am impressed with the near unanimity.
I have noted lately that retired men in the summer here tend to dress in T-shirts, shorts, white socks (the whiteness is the least universal fact), and sneakers. I hope that attire does not get legislated against.


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