Ireland not serving citizens on Lisbon, says Ganley
ANDREW WILLIS IN DUBLIN AND VALENTINA POP IN STRASBOURG
Today @ 09:24 CET
EUOBSERVER / DUBLIN / STRASBOURG
Asked why a second referendum in Ireland is required when this was not the case in France and the Netherlands after they rejected the Constitutional Treaty, Mr Leinen said: “The situation is different now than in June 2005, when there were two Nos in one week and seven more countries set to hold referendums.”
“But when all the countries say ‘Yes’, it’s legitimate to ask [the Irish] if that’s their last answer,” he argued at a press conference in Strasbourg.
“A second No would be a No, and then of course you could forget about the treaty. But a first No is volatile, let’s say, because it’s not a clear No against Europe. Here you have a diffuse coalition of Nos. We respect it, but we have to respect as well the Yes of the other member states,” Mr Leinen concluded.
We might as well add MEP Roger Helmer’s (UK) opinion from his last electronic newsletter:
Deceit and contempt: drafting the Lisbon Treaty
When our government was trying to convince us of the benefits of the Lisbon Treaty, we were told that it contained an “Early Warning Mechanism” that increased the powers of national parliaments to resist EU legislation, and that this meant devolving greater power to member-states and increasing the accountability of the EU institutions.
But now two prominent Europhile MEPs, Labour’s Richard Corbett and the Lib-Dems’ Andrew Duff, have admitted that it did no such thing. In evidence to the Commons European Scrutiny Committee, Andrew Duff told the Committee: “there is a danger that, in assessing the Treaty of Lisbon, national parliaments become obsessed by the early warning mechanism on subsidiarity. It was understood by those of us involved in its drafting and then re-drafting, that the mechanism, although a necessary addition to the system of governance of the Union, was not really intended to be used. It is, in Bagehot’s terms, more a dignified part of the European constitutional settlement than an efficient one.” Richard Corbett told the Committee: “in practice, I do not think that the ‘yellow’ and ‘orange’ card mechanisms will be extensively used.”
The deceit is breath-taking. The contempt in which they hold the voters, and their national parliaments, is astonishing. But we need to learn the lesson: everything the EU does is about transferring power from us to them, and when they pretend otherwise, they’re lying.
People’s Movement, an organisation that campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty plans to hold a vigil outside the Swedish embassy tomorrow – Wednesday - in protest against that country’s proposed parliamentary ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, despite its democratic rejection by the Irish electorate in June of this year. Representatives of People’s Movement will also hand in a letter of protest at the embassy.
Frank Keoghan, Secretary of People’s Movement said that: ‘This proposed ratification by the Swedish government is clearly designed, in consort with the EU Commission to undemocratically isolate the Irish people and to bring more pressure to bear on them to accept an unaltered Lisbon Treaty if there should be a re-run of the referendum‘.
‘The Swedish parliament should be aware’, he continued ‘that when Sweden negotiated EU membership terms in 1993 it was guaranteed that the EU accepted the Swedish model of collective bargaining and that this guarantee was a prerequisite for both Swedish membership and the acceptance of that membership by the trade unions and the electorate. Now, the ECJ has effectively annulled these provisions and yet it proceeds with the ratification process!’
‘The labour movement throughout the EU looked to Sweden for leadership in the face of this rowing back of workers rights, just as the Irish people looked to the Swedish government to support their democratic decision to reject the Lisbon Treaty. Sadly, Sweden is now standing on the brink of failure on both counts’ Keoghan concluded.
The demonstrators will carry placards in Swedish stating that ‘No means No’ and ‘Say No to the Lisbon Treaty – Respect Ireland’s No!’
The letter of protest will be handed in at: 12:50.
The vigil will commence at: 12:45 for half an hour.
Venue: Swedish Embassy, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Road, Dublin 2.
For further Information: 087-750 8975/087-230 8330
Second Lisbon Vote strategy designed to deceive voters that Ireland has obtained concessions on Treaty
People’s Movement - Gluaiseacht an Phobail
November 17, 2008
Patricia McKenna, Chairperson of the People’s Movement, one of the leading No groups said, “declarations on tax, abortion and neutrality are a devious ploy designed to dupe Irish voters into believing that our Government have somehow obtained concessions from other EU States on the Lisbon Treaty. But nothing could be further from the truth. Declarations, unlike Protocols are not a legal part of a Treaty and thus holding a second referendum on Lisbon will in legal terms mean voting on the exact same treaty rejected by the voters in June. The Government parties supported by the main opposition parties are displaying utter contempt for the decision of the voters. This whole approach is clearly designed to deceive enough Irish voters into believing that they will not be voting on the exact same thing a second time.”
Former Green Party MEP, went on to say “Declarations on tax, abortion and neutrality are also ignoring the main reasons people campaigned for a No vote on the Lisbon Treaty and will provide no guarantees on the key issues of our campaign including the privatisation of public services and increases in military spending which the treaty commits us to.”
In relation to today’s opinion poll McKenna said “Of course you will get people to say they will support something if their concerns are being addressed and that is why the poll results show an increase in support, but the reality of the situation is very different. Plans to hold a second referendum without any changes to the Lisbon Treaty is an affront to the democratic process.”
“The challenge for those on the No side will be to counter the false impression that modifications will have been made to the Lisbon Treaty that address voters concerns. It is patently clear that the purpose of any second referendum will be to reverse the result of the first vote without the substantive issues of concern being addressed. The most democratic course of action would be to consult all the peoples of the EU to see what kind of EU people really want but the political establishment both here and in Brussels fear the voice of their voters.” McKenna concluded.
For further Information
Patricia McKenna (Chairperson)
This attempt to swing the PR pendulum is truly something (article in Irish Times, today). It has became a custom to slice voters into A, B, C Huxley-like classes and based on those results appropriate PR strategies will be executed.
The poll shows a change in public attitudes since June with 43 per cent now saying they would vote Yes, 39 per cent No and 18 per cent having no opinion.
In the poll, people were asked how they would vote if the treaty was modified to allow Ireland to retain an EU commissioner and other Irish concerns on neutrality, abortion and taxation were clarified in special declarations.
When the “don’t knows” are excluded this gives the Yes side 52.5 per cent, with the No side on 47.5 per cent. It compares to the referendum result in June of 53.4 per cent No and 46.6 per cent Yes.
Among the most well-off AB voters the Yes side is in the lead by 57 per cent to 27 per cent while among the less well-off DE voters the No side leads by 47 per cent to 29 per cent. What will be heartening for supporters of the EU is that among the biggest C1 social category, covering lower middle-class voters, the Yes side has a lead of 53 to 33 per cent.
Farmers are now in favour of the treaty by 46 per cent to 32 per cent which represents a substantial shift since the last Irish Times poll before the referendum in June.
The big weakness of the Yes campaign is among women and people in the youngest age group. Among 18- to 24-year-olds just 32 per cent intend to vote Yes and 38 per cent No. There is a substantial 30 per cent in this category who have no opinion.
Read the whole article and then vote at their poll. Currently the web-conscious voters still prefer No (54%) over Yes(46%). Comforting.
The Irish Times, November 11, 2008, by HARRY MCGEE, Political Staff
The president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus has said he is “not happy” with what he said were attempts by the EU to “forget the Irish referendum and to change the result” of the Lisbon Treaty.
He also warned against a move towards supranationalism in Europe which he said could impact on freedom and democracy. The Czech President was speaking at a joint press conference in Dublin tonight with Declan Ganley, the founder of the anti-Lisbon Treaty group Libertas.
Mr Klaus said there would be no question of him joining Libertas but added: “If Mr Ganley wins the European elections I will be the first to congratulate him.”
They were speaking ahead of a private dinner in honour for Mr Klaus in the Shelbourne Hotel, hosted by Mr Ganley, which has sparked controversy. Mr Klaus arrived shortly before 8pm and he and Mr Ganley gave a short press conference before dinner. His attendance has given rise to some controversy with Government sources suggesting a breach in protocol. Mr Klaus said no protocol was breached and pointed out that during the first two days of the visit – during which he met Taoiseach Brian Cowen and President Mary McAleese “no-one mentioned this evening’s [event]”. “It’s a creation on the part of the media that it was a problem,” he said.
Two MEPs from the eurosceptic party Mouvement pour la France are in attendance tonight, including leader Viscount Philippe de Villiers. The Austrian MEP Hans-Peter Martin; MEP Kathy Sinnott; former MEP Patricia McKenna; Anthony Coughlan of the National Platform; and columnist Bruce Arnold are also among the guests.
“There has been a radical shift from integration to unification, from intergovernmentalism to supranationalism”, said Mr Klaus. “The European Constitution, now called the Lisbon Treaty, is something which accelerates the shift,” he said.
Mr Ganley said he was optimistic that Libertas could become a pan-European Party. “It just may be that the European elections in 2009 might be an opportunity to give Europe the referendum that they did not want to have,” he said. Both Mr Ganley and Mr Klaus will deliver speeches tonight. Some 80 people were at the private dinner to which media were not invited.
The Lisbon Treaty was rejected by Irish voters at a referendum in June, sparking a crisis for plans to reform European Union structures. A total of 53.4 per cent voted to reject the treaty and 46.6 per cent voted in favour. All but 10 constituencies rejected the treaty, with a total of 752,451 voting in favour of Lisbon and 862,415 votes against. Turnout was 53.1 per cent.
And here are two interesting reports from the MEPs visit to Czech Republic last week:
1. euobserver’s “official” report
2. MEP Hanne Dahl’s personal observations at her blog
At this fresh example of political bullying Irish politicians have gone just far enough. If in the beginning of the process of looking for the scape-goat for the resounding NO to their precious Treaty it was Declan Ganley’s unholy business that was the cause of their demise, it’s now no other than the very holy Catholic Church which is the target of “The Dissapointed Ones”.
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs have criticised Catholic Primate Cardinal Seán Brady for not publicly supporting the Lisbon Treaty. Fianna Fáil TD Beverley Flynn said, “I think there was an obligation on the church to make a strong statement on Lisbon.” Cardinal Brady said, “A 100 per cent resounding call for a Yes vote, I think, would have got people’s backs up,” adding that people had begun to see the EU in terms of bureaucracy, legislation and economics, rather than in terms of social and human values.
“I wonder are we ready for the big step where it’s one, large union now … We’re not one people in Europe yet, far from it,” he said. Some of the TDs also urge the cardinal to “take action” against an unofficial catholic paper that had been critical of the Lisbon Treaty.
More on the story:
Irish Times - TDs criticise cardinal over failure to urge Yes on Lisbon, November 6, 2008
Independent - Cardinal fires new broadside at EU stance on Church values, November 6, 2008
The poll conducted at the end of September and the beginning of October showed that 55 percent of Czechs are against the ratification and that only 25 percent understand changes that the EU reform treaty will bring and its consequences.
Thirty percent of respondents admitted that they did not understand the contents of the Lisbon treaty that is to replace the rejected EU constitution at all and 45 percent say that they probably do not know what is the Lisbon treaty about.
More at ČeskéNoviny.cz.
According to the Irish Times:
The President of Latvia has asked for the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty to be put to the Irish public again and is calling on the rest of the EU to be patient while this is done.
Speaking during a visit to Limerick yesterday, President Valdis Zatlers spoke about the strength of European unity and thanked Ireland for the warm welcome it had given to the thousands of Latvian people who had come to live here.
When asked if he felt Ireland had created a problem for Latvia by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty, which his country ratified, he suggested that the question might be put to the Irish public again.
“Corrective measures are always possible - we have to be just patient and just ask this question once more when you are ready,” said Mr Zatlers.
The president of Latvia visited Limerick as part of a three-day trip to Ireland to coincide with the 90th anniversary celebrations of Latvian independence.
What independence, Mr. Zatlers? While you are trying to put the yoke on the Irish, the history joke is on you.
Rather old Press Release (Sept 1st) from The National Platform EU Research & Information Centre on the misconducts by the Irish Referendum Commission. For the historical record and to prepare the Irish people in case of enforced 2nd referendum.
The sheer dereliction of duty of the statutory Referendum Commission during the Lisbon Treaty referendum will assuredly be found shocking by future historians of our times.
The Oireachtas voted the Commission over €5 million to enable it do its job of informing citizens what the Lisbon referendum was about. Rarely can public money have been spent to such ill effect:
In the circumstances it was a democratic miracle that the majority of Irish voters rejected the proposal to amend the Irish Constitution. If the Commission had done the job it was statutorily required to do, the No-side majority would almost certainly have been much larger, for people would have learned of the constitutional revolution which Lisbon proposed, instead of being kept in ignorance of it.
Rubber-stamping its Chairman’s remarks instead of speaking with a collective voice:
On Tuesday 13 May Judge O’Neill (The Commission Chairman) made a clear error of fact when he stated on RTE that the Laval/Vaxholm judgement of the EU Court of Justice was given before and not after the Lisbon Treaty was signed. The implication of this was that this judgement had been taken into account by the signatories of the Treaty and there was therefore no case for rejecting the Treaty because its framers had not known of it. In fact this Court judgement was given five days after the Lisbon Treaty was signed, so that it could not have been taken into account or responded to by the signatory States. This was an important referendum issue for some No-side campaigners. Mr Justice O’Neill’s mistake thus helped one side as against the other. Future Referendum Commissions should veto any attempts at such solo flights by their chairman and follow the sound procedures set out in previous referendums by retired Chief Justice Finlay.
Conflicts of interest on legal advice and public relations consultants:
The Referendum Commission paid €47,000 for legal advice, mostly from solicitor firm A&L Goodbody.
It paid €358,000 for printing and design of publications, part of the design being done by DMH, a company linked to Murray Consultants, public relations advisers. Ms Olivia Buckley, one of the two Murray Consultants executives dealing with the Referendum Commission contract, whose name appeared as a contact on Referendum Commission press releases, was, for a period of five years up to the May 2007 general election, the press director of the Fianna Fail Party. She is a native of Ferbane, Co Offaly and has been closely associated with Taoiseach Mr Brian Cowen.
A&L Goodbody are one of the patrons of Chambers Ireland, an organisation that campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum, as well as acting as legal adviser for IBEC, another organisation that campaigned for a Yes vote.
These are only few out of so many scandalous details on the wrongdoings of the Irish Referendum Commission. For more details and the complete report please visit the link at the beginning of this story.
As TEAM Board Member Max Andersson MP, Green Party of Sweden, wrote already in July 2008 it is now becoming the last resort strategy of EU planners - Croatia is to be the key to force the Lisbon Treaty through.
Actually the Croatian EU membership will be put under higher risk since it will be attached to the controversial Treaty (Renamed EU Constitution).
More at Open Europe blog.
Irish Times - Ireland urged to ratify treaty and enable EU growth, November 6, 2008
The ”Clog Award” of the People’s Movement gainst the EU, Denmark, was given – for the third time - to Ireland, the country that turned down the Lisbon Treaty in June.
Irish flags were waved in the small town of Roslev during the evening party of the yearly general assembly of The People’s Movement against the EU, Denmark, when the international ”Clog Award” was presented to artist Robert Ballagh.
”For the third time we are giving it to Ireland. In the year 2000 it was given to Patricia McKenna, member of the EU Parliament for the Green Party because she had succeeded in making a court rule that a government should give equal treatment to the parties in a referendum. In 2001 it was given to Frank Keoghan from the National Platform after the Irish No to the Nice Treaty. And this year will we give it to Robert Ballagh from Peoples Movement after the Irish No to the Lisbon Treaty,” said Jesper Morville, chairman of the International Committee of The People’s Movement against the EU.
Robert Ballagh is a well known artist and designer. His work is represented in many museums ans galleries, and he designed the last set of Irish currency before the introduction of the Euro in Ireland. He designed Riverdance as well as around 70 Irish stamps.
Robert Ballagh spoke his thanks for the award in Gaelic, his native tongue, as well as in English. He said:
”According to the EU’s own rules a treaty is discarded if it not ratified by all member countries. But the elite of Ireland do not understand a No.
Just now the government of Ireland and its civil servants are scuttling around in the corridors of the other EU countries attempting to make them isolate Ireland in order to use that as an argument for a Yes in a new referendum. I call that treason.
We have a great challenge in front of us. We must defend democracy – not only in Ireland, but in the whole of Europe,” he said, referring to the fact that no other peoples in the EU have been allowed to vote on the treaty.
”The EU has achieved what no dictators have been able to do: cheating half a billion people of their democratic right.”
For all those eager to ignore the first NO and are already preparing their mind weapons for another referendum here are two useful reports on what has happened in June 2008 in Ireland.
Post Lisbon Treaty Referendum - Research Findings,
(.pdf, 47 pages, 1,1 MB), September 2008, by Millward Brown IMS
This report contains the results of research conducted by Millward Brown IMS on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs following the result of the Lisbon Treaty referendum on June 12th 2008.
The Treaty of Lisbon: an Uncertain Future,
(.pdf, 82 pages, 536 kB), 30 July 2008, RESEARCH PAPER 08/66, Vaughne Miller, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND DEFENCE, HOUSE OF COMMONS LIBRARY
It is worth mentioning that TEAM has been quoted in the second report, page 34, quote No 73, stating: “The result of the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is a triumph for democracy.”
Today we might add that there are forces at work that want to change this triumph into a defeat. Europe and the World need good people to defend the Irish NO.
This is the list of the remaining EU member-states who still haven’t ratified the renamed EU constitution and in this new series of articles we’ll report on activities within those countries that will eventually lead to a final NO towards the already limping “Lisbon Treaty”.
Regarding situation in Czech Republic perhaps it’s best if you read ERC2’s site.
Remaining Ireland and Sweden bring us following news:
Ireland - Lisbon will not pass in time for EU elections - MUST READ ARTICLE, including quotes like:
British MEP Andrew Duff asked Mr Martin if he would commit the Government to cleaning up the Irish laws on financing of referendum campaigns and the issue of equal broadcasting time for both sides in a campaign. “Several bizarre judgements of the Supreme Court have put charlatans upon the same basis of parliamentarians,” said Mr Duff, who also asked Mr Martin to clarify whether a second referendum was planned.
But for all those Swedish friends and Friends of Sweden who know that in good one month time Sweden will be in position to defend European democracy there is no time like present to be active, here is a press statement from Nej till EU.
Every country for itself as European unity collapses in an attack of jitters
Germany became the latest EU member to put its national interest first by announcing its own guarantee for bank deposits
Roger Boyes for TIMES ONLINE - whole article here
Germany shattered any semblance of European unity on the global credit crisis last night by announcing that it was ready to guarantee €568 billion of personal savings in domestic accounts.
The move – which came as Berlin announced a new rescue package for an ailing mortgage bank – is sure to anger France which, holding the European Union presidency, tried to create the illusion of a common front at a weekend summit in Paris. Instead, the message coming loud and clear from Berlin is that it is every man for himself. Or as President Nicolas Sarkozy would prefer not to say: sauve qui peut.
The massive liquidity crisis in the banking system has already nudged the Irish Republic and Greece into unilateral – and probably illegal under EU law – action to guarantee the deposits in national banks. Faced with a choice between the possible collapse of their banking systems and violating EU competition rules, the two countries opted for what they saw as the lesser evil. Now Germany, which at the weekend rejected French plans for an EU lifeboat fund, has taken the decisive protective step, and it is said to be plain that other European states will have to follow suit.
Those critics of Euro (€) of which one of the strongest has always been TEAM’s long-time member The Bruges Group who have based much of their convictions on the rather hidden cracks within the “Optimum currency area theory” have also kept clear mind about the long term prospects of the Euro-zone.
Here is one of their excellent papers titled Is Europe Ready for EMU? Theory, Evidence and Consequences.
One of the basic structural criterions of OCA theory which at first has not been emphasized enough has later been graded as more relevant. Here is a short .pdf presentation from the year 2005 (this one not from The Bruges Group but much more favourable towards Euro) from which we’ll quote some interesting details:
The “New” OCA Theory
Focuses primarily on political issues of forming a currency union:
Homogeneity of Preferences Criterion
Even though the authors of this presentation have predicted bright future for the Euro the word “Solidarity” or rather the lack of it in these days discloses much more than it should for the Europhile political elites.
Without any help from Pentagon the European Commission itself will spend EU budget on series of fake PR debates in order to foster “an energetic and informed debate” on issues “which were brought to the fore” during Treaty of Lisbon referendum campaign.
Apparently the YES camp was either on drugs or somehow mentally absent during the May and June campaign since the list of the issues they’ve come up with reads as follows:
* Ireland in Europe – A Loss of Christian Memory?
* Displacement – Real or Imagined?
* The Credit Crunch – Europe’s Role in Changing Economic Circumstances
* European Defence and Neighbourhood Policy
* Europe – Addressing the Concerns of Women
* Securing Food Supply in the Global Market – The Role of GMOs
* What Can Europe Do To Secure Energy?
*Young People – Is Europe Listening?
* How Europe Works
Based on the article from the Irish Times, Sept 28th 2008.
Would please someone teach these people not to replace European Union with Europe? Mr. Vladimir Bukovsky, would you?
by Anthony Coughlan
Dublin, 18th of September 2008
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claud Juncker, former French Minister Alain Lammassoure and Swedish European Affairs Minister Cecilia Malmström express divergent views on a second Irish Lisbon referendum to reverse the result of last June’s NO.
Quite expectedly the YES side of the Irish referendum on the Renamed EU Constitution (a.k.a. The Lisbon Treaty) and specially the power-people in Brussels are now trying to put the blame on someone else rather than themselves for the failure to convince the Irish voters over the supposed benefits of their miscarried brain-child.
from UKIP’s web-site
The Irish Republic will be pressed to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon/EU constitutional Treaty, officials in Brussels have decided.
Irish campaigner pleads for EU-wide Lisbon vote
by VALENTINA POP
An internal briefing document of the European Commission also highlights the importance of the Internet in the Lisbon No campaign: “Apart from official websites, the internet has largely been a space left to anti-European feeling.”
The former Green Party MEP Patricia McKenna said: “Minister Roche’s comments that a second Lisbon referendum was needed has confirmed the public’s fear that the Government … intends to re-run the Lisbon vote when the time is right and an effective pro-treaty marketing strategy has been put in place”.
More in the Irish Times article.
About the effectiveness of any kind of repetition of the REUC (Renamed EU Constitution) referendum we can surely predict that there will be seas of ink spilled and a plethora of keyboards destroyed over this question.
Press release from People’s Movement against EU in Denmark
A letter to the Irish Government
It is not you but the EU who has a problem
28th of August 2008
EU must respect the Irish NO. Accept that the Lisbon-treaty is rejected, states Ditte Staun from the Peoples Movement against EU to the Irish Government.
According to The Irish Times civil servants from the Irish Foreign Ministry and the Attorney General’s Office has visited Copenhagen to discus the technical and legal details in the Danish EU opt-outs from 1993.
The other governmental leaders try to make the Irish NO to the Lisbon Treaty to an Irish problem. Just like the Danish NO to the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 was made a problem for the Danish government. But this is making democracy a problem, says Ditte Staun who is a spokesperson for the People’s Movement in Denmark.
The reality is the opposite. The other governments have a problem when they do not dare to ask their populations. And in reality is it the EU who has the problem that the Lisbon Treaty is rejected. EU must respect the democracy and the Irish NO. It is not Ireland’s fault that EU does not understand it, says Ditte Staun.
It is the Danish experience that our opt-outs from 1993 have constantly been under fire since the beginning. So instead you should stand firm and defend the people’s decision, says the Peoples Movement in Denmark.
By Glen Ruffle
MA University of Southampton, researcher for Global Vision
Issue 10/August-September 2008
June 13th: remember the date. For it was on that day that the only people allowed to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (which is over ninety percent identical to the Constitutional Treaty rejected by the French and Dutch voters), voted no. And by voting no, they legally killed the treaty.
What has happened since then has revealed far more than we would have thought. It looks increasingly as though there is a new global trend emerging, one where direct forms of democracy are becoming yesterday’s answer to politics. The Irish no vote has, in short, shown us a new world order.
There have been many attempts at explaining the Irish No vote. President Sarkozy of France blamed the EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson; whilst French Europe Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet blamed American Neo-Conservatives, though was unable to offer any reasoning for that accusation.
Undoubtedly there was also much confusion and fear: Irish MEPs complained that ‘no’ campaigners were spreading lies about the Lisbon Treaty enforcing abortion on the Catholic Irish. Yet polling results do show some basic uncomfortable facts: the No side was just more convincing…
For more follow the link above.
The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre
24 Crawford Avenue
Thursday 6 August 2008
In your Irish Times article last Saturday you call on the Government to ratify the Lisbon Treaty regardless of the 12 June referendum result.
It is strange that a political correspondent of a major national newspaper should seek to become a partisan player in the political game in this way.
Stranger still that you should be urging such a profoundly unconstitutional and undemocratic course on our political leaders.
You are mistaken if you think that Ireland can ratify the Lisbon Treaty by Oireachtas vote without a referendum.
A new Red C poll commissioned by the think tank Open Europe finds that Irish voters are strongly opposed to being made to vote again on the Lisbon Treaty. The poll also finds that nearly two thirds say they would vote “no” in a second referendum.
The poll of 1,000 Irish voters was carried out between 21 and 23 July - shortly after Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to the country. It is the first poll to look at a second referendum.
The full results of the poll are available here.
Open Europe Director Neil O’Brien said:
“Voters don’t feel that Europe’s political class have respected Ireland’s decision. Their response to the referendum result has obviously appeared arrogant to some voters. By appearing to bully the voters, EU politicians are actually driving lots more people into the no camp.”
“EU leaders who are trying to force Ireland to vote again are playing a very dangerous game, and it looks like Brian Cowen could be putting his political life on the line by calling a second vote.”
“Sadly, Europe’s political leaders don’t seem to have taken on board the Irish vote - or the French and Dutch votes for that matter. They should drop the Treaty and concentrate on solving the EU’s real problems like the lack of openness and accountability.”
Mr. Sarkozy will visit Ireland on 21st of June probably to check how NO sounds for himself.
Oh, yes, Belgium also ratified. Yay!
Associated Press seems to be the media office of EU: “The EU charter, meant to streamline decision-making in the union, has now been approved by 22 member states.”
Those who read this and our previous articles know better.
article from Max Andersson (TEAM Board member) published on globalaffairs.es:
It fell! The Lisbon Treaty was rejected. The variegated gathering of Irish no-voters succeeded. On the no-side was everything from Sinn Fein, socialists, trade unionists and green grassroots to peace-lovers, catholics and a think tank with roots in big business. They defeated a yes-side that by and large was identical with the Irish establishment. All the big political parties advocated a yes. The media were on the yes-side. EU itself meddled in the campaign, and the European Commission kept back unpopular proposals regarding agriculture and militarization to avoid damaging the yes-campaign. And yet the no side won.
The broadening of the EU-criticism
The variety of the Irish no-side is certainly particularly Irish, but it reflects an international trend. Once upon a time the EU-criticism would be either rightwing or leftwing in different countries, but this division is seldom seen nowadays. Now the EU-criticism can be found in all parts of the political spectrum. This development can be seen in Sweden as well. The important dividing line in the EU-debate is between those who are parts of the political establishment and those who are not.
During the weeks to come we can expect a lot of articles analyzing the reasons for the no-victory. But while I await these detailed analyses based on hard facts from the opinion polls, I ponder the analysis I heard in a youth hostel last summer from the nestor of the Irish EU-criticism, Anthony Coughlan.
Already at that time he foresaw that the Irish yes-side would encounter great difficulties. The Treaty undermines the Irish neutrality and makes it obvious that small countries such as Ireland will loose influence. And unlike the situation at the previous referendums the yes-side had nothing positive to offer to tempt people to vote yes. He predicted that the yes-side would be reduced to using the European group-pressure as an argument and simply try to make the voters feel guilty. And if that is your best argument, there is no easy way to victory.
The failure of Plan B
The big question is: what is going to happen to the Lisbon Treaty now? All EU-countries must ratify the Treaty if it is to come into force. But the European elite has no intentions to respect any referendum that goes against their plans. What usually happens when a country votes no to continue along the road towards a European Superstate is to make the country vote again, or, as in the French and Dutch case, make it accept the proposal without asking the people a second time.
Before the Irish referendum the EU-leaders maintained that there was no Plan B if the Irish voted no. But the Lisbon Treaty is, in fact, nothing but a renamed version of the EU-constitution, that had already been rejected. We are in the middle of Plan B, and Plan B has failed.
The step-by-step model
We cannot be sure that EU dares to try the same tricks again. It is more likely that large parts of the Lisbon Treaty will be implemented by numerous minor changes under the present treaty rather than by rewriting the Lisbon Treaty and risking new referendums. Those parts of the Lisbon Treaty that cannot be carried through in this way can be smuggled in via a new accession treaty with Croatia, Plan C for Croatia, so to speak.
This is unfortunately a likely scenario, but it will also mean that the EU’s total lack of democratic legitimacy will become apparent to all. The EU-constitution has already fallen twice. It is time for it to rest in peace.
The need for a new Convention
What should be done instead is to appoint a new Convention that, without any preconditions, can work out a brand new proposal for how EU is to be governed, what tasks shall be assigned to it and how the competences shall be distributed between EU and the member states. Of course every member country shall have a referendum about this proposal. And the Convention shall consist of people with independent ideas about European questions; unlike the previous Convention it shall be made up of ordinary people instead of elderly politicians with strong inclinations to constructing the United States of Europe.
MP for the Swedish Green Party and member of the TEAM Board