It bugs me, as a European by birth and identification, that the French voted no to the European consitution. It bugs me because there’s an asymmetry in the yes/no choice. To say yes is much more difficult. It is not just affirmation of something present at hand; it is affirmation of a future, of change, and of things unknown. No, on the other hand, is rejection. It is not an affirmation of anything, including the status quo (in fact it’s been said that the no vote was a vote of non-confidence in Chirac over unemployment). It is a rejection of choice and decision making itself.
Where as a yes vote is an affirmation of choice, and with it an acceptance of the accountability and responsibility that goes with that, the no vote is a rejection of choice and accountability. and an affirmation of nothing.
The yes vote includes within it the option of a no vote.
The no vote rejects the option of a yes vote.
They are not the same.