Irish rejection of New Europe

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    Lost in the discussion of the goings-on in American politics is an astounding victory for those who will not be bullied into decisions, who believe that the will of the people is not always reflected in the will of the politicians, and who believe that the common man does understand more than he is given credit for.

    As the Irish vote on the Lisbon treaty resulted in a massive setback for European integration, one has to wonder if the ruling classes throughout the rest of Europe would face the same backlash if they were to open their ratifications to public vote. Sure the people voted for their representatives, but to presume that the Lisbon treaty as it is being presented was a campaign would be, well, presumptuous.

    As an aside, I am surprised that more countries did not open this to a vote. This isn't just a treaty, it is further consolidation of Europe. It has the power to fundamentally alter national institutions, something that everybody has a vested interest in. That Gordon Brown does not credit his people with the savvy to deserve input on this issue is disappointing.

    While I am pleased with the result (I think that the forced integration of so many nations runs the risk of homogenizing Europe, turning it into a Franco-German blend, crushing the many other nations that make Europe what it is), I am more pleased that the people have been given an opportunity to make their will known. I fear that parliament will try to force a constitutional amendment, but something tells me that it would be soundly defeated.
     
  2. paddy macrumors 6502a

    paddy

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    #2
    "Ireland will pay" said Barrosso and I think that's true, Europe will come down on us next time we need something.

    But you bring up an interesting point, would the French, British, Dutch, German, Spanish voters etc. have voted it through? I some how doubt it.

    It'll be pushed through anyway at our expense.
     
  3. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #3
    That's what bothers me the most. How is this bullying going to ever going to build support rather than resentment? Trying to force Ireland (more specifically, the 53.4% nays of Ireland) into adopting these changes, I expect, will lead to a flushing of domestic leadership and an eventual attempt to pull farther away.
     
  4. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #4
    Especially since a Referendum was promised by all 3 major political parties in the UK during the 2005 general election…

    And now Labour (as ruling party) have reneged on that promise… And we all know why: The vote would be the same as it was in Ireland (and indeed in France in 2005) — No.
     
  5. paddy macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I'd say our PM will be kissing the feet of the Europeans now for the next while! The French and Spanish were saying certain things as well indicating we're going to suffer from this decision.

    Still though, it should have gone through. All that rubbish from the No side about an E.U. army, no sovereignty, abortion etc. That's partly why working class areas rejected it 3 to 1 and many midde class areas voted for it in a 3 to 1 ratio
     
  6. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #6
    That whole EU thing is looking like the US more and more - each country turning into a "State"... it is the "Euro DOLLAR"! :eek:
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

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    #7
    Punishment for expressing your will in a popular vote? Where have we heard of that tactic before? Democracy is only acceptable these days if people obey their voting instructions, it seems.
    Without any of the safeguards built into your Constitution. Our "Constitution" is becoming more and more a negotiation stitch-up behind closed doors.
     
  8. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #8
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    It's so lucky that Ireland has a constitution to protect us from our government. If we didn't have this protection, the treaty would have been ratified by the political establishment as all of the main parties supported it.

    I'm concerned about the direction Europe is heading, and have been for a while. It's becoming fundamentally undemocratic. This time only 3 million people even had a say in how they are governed, not to mention that this is essentially a reworking of the Constitution which has already been rejected in 2 popular votes (France and Denmark). Give us an accountable form of government and we'll vote for it in droves.


    Barroso's threat reminded me of the threat to the Palestinians not to vote for Hamas - democracy indeed!
     
  9. scotthayes macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I love the irony of it all. Part of the Lisbon treaty was to prevent the situation where one country could vote NO and kill off a future treaty :D
     
  10. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #10
    :D:D:D:D:D Great, innit? How can you compel someone to sign a treaty?
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

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    #11
    That was my reference above.
     
  12. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #12
    This votes seems to have done a fair bit of good in pulling the facade off of the EU.

    It seems that the French and Danish are demanding that the Irish "explain themselves," while the Irish minister refuses to throw his people under the bus. The Austrians seems to be a symbol of moderation, while the Germans are lost and the Finns are intent on world domination (or maybe just EU expansion). Oh, and Luxemborg thinks that dealing with the symptoms will cure the illness.

    Good times all around! :D

    I wish all of you in Ireland the best of luck in dealing with the rest of Europe. Whatever you decide, and whenever you are satisfied, it will be good to know that there is a defender of democracy somewhere in the world.
     
  13. paddy macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I do think though that we do deserve some blame for voting no. Yes it was at least a democratic election, but it was mainly voted no because of fear mongering tactics from Sinn Féin and the Socialists. Stuff like "E.U. Army" or "Abortion" or "Say goodbye to sovereignty" was on their posters, this which were inflammatory and wrong. Speaking as an Irishman who voted yes, I think we deserve a right bollocking, not for exercising our democratic right, but for allowing ourselves to be led like sheep, which we were.

    If the Government had gotten their act together, this treaty would have gone through.
     
  14. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #14
    Forgive my lack of knowledge on the subject, but is Ireland not a massive beneficiary of the EU?
     
  15. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #15
    But they didn't (some might say couldn't). The chance of "no" was pretty high going into the vote. If Europe really wanted a "yes" from the Irish, they may have considered spending more time alleviating concerns instead of posturing and threatening.

    From my understanding, they have been, but need not be. As they have built and strengthened their economy, they may be placed strongly enough to be the Canada to the UK's US, even if they leave the EU.

    However, why should it matter that they have been beneficiaries? The help they have gotten from Europe does not bind them to following lock-step with their benefactors. Rather, the Irish should be concerned with how the EU and changes to it's structure will affect them as a nation - both individually and collectively. If they believe that the changes are bad mojo, there is no reason they should choose to accept them nor be compelled to do so. Rather, there should be an effort to educate, if that is all that is missing.

    I have no real stake in this mess, except as far as the US might be affected, but the more the continent postures, the more I believe that Sinn Fein is right. Big Europe isn't looking for equality, it is looking for obedience.
     
  16. paddy macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Yes we are. Massive beneficiaries.

    But the thing is, they did. And anyway, isn't that just bribery rather than blackmail? The lesser of two evils? They actually were quite good about the whole thing, bar one or two slip ups. I read that the last few months of the E.U. have been some of the most unproductive ever, thanks to the anticipation of the Irish vote.

    Oh good God no. We would die without the E.U. We were trading (almost) solely with the U.K., but we were dirt poor. The "poorest rich country in the world". Ireland was not a pretty place before the E.U. Wasn't for quite a while afterwards of course, but it's thanks to the E.U we're one of the richest countries in the world now.

    Well first off, I do think we owe Europe, but you have a point. We should have looked at what it meant, but we didn't. Most eejits believed Sinn Féin, who weren't debating on the issues, if they were I'd have no problem. They were using the same scare tactic they use for every E.U. treaty: "E.U. army" or "No more sovereignty" or "more tax, less power"

    I dunno. I respect the decision, but hate the fact that it was a vote arrived at through fear and ignorance.
     
  17. paddy macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Just wanted to add in a little snippet of what I read on another forum which sums up my feelings, to a certain extent.

     
  18. Much Ado macrumors 68000

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    #18
    ^ Much as James might be right there, it is ironic seeing as though he comes from Switzerland.
     
  19. paddy macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Lol, I know. That says it all though; the Swiss knew more about this treaty that we did.
     
  20. Queso macrumors G4

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    #20
    I like that this came from Ireland. The politicians seem to think they can get away with foisting this thing on us. Not one member of our Government has bothered to take the time to actually explain the Lisbon Treaty and its differences to the failed EU Constitution to the British public, then they try and tell us we don't know enough about it to be trusted with a referendum.

    I believe the EU is a force for good, but right now it is at odds with the people that live there.
     
  21. j26 macrumors 65832

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    #21
    In fairness, many people who voted yes merely did so because Biffo said it was good for the country, and didn't engage in their own critical evaluation of the treaty. Posters on both sides were meaningless, and please forget about the mad religious right (unfortunately they're not unique to the USA, but at least they have bugger all power here :p)

    What were the selling points of the treaty that inspired you to vote yes?


    And a further question - what about the German foreign ministers response to the rejection - is that an acceptable way to do business with partners you regard as equals.
     
  22. paddy macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Honestly, I read all that Referendum Committee crap that was sent out to everyone, but only understood bits here and there (I'm no lawyer thank God ;)).

    I voted yes for a few reasons: a) next time we need something from the E.U., which we will soon no doubt ("cough" CAP talks "cough") we'll be in a far better bargaining position b) Europe has done an incredible amount for us, a fact we're only too willing to ignore these days, c) every major political party said yes to this. Only Sinn Féin (who've rejected every European treaty since the history of the State said no). Most of the trade unions said yes. Most of the business groups said yes. And who the F*** are Libertas???
    d) we negotiated this treaty back in '04 (it's just been re-packaged since) and I felt it would be extremely hypocritical to reject it. Finally I did it to piss off those uber-conservative Catholic fools I know harping on about abortions and militarisation.

    We're not equal to the Germans. You've got to look at it objectively; why should countries like Malta or Ireland have the same voting power as a country as big as Germany? I mean in the real world I think that's completely undemocratic.
     
  23. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #23
    Because the needs of an Irishman are no less important than the needs of a German.

    Without venturing too far afield, the requirement to balance the needs of the majority while not ignoring the needs of the smaller groups is what led to the electoral college in the US. If you note, it would not be too difficult for an American candidate to build a popular majority by appealing to Texas, California, and New York. The electoral college is what keeps everybody else relevant. In the same way, appealing to the UK, France, and Germany would net you almost 50% of the population. Is policy that benefits just those three in keeping with the goal of European unity?

    Sure, maintaining the voice of the minority is undemocratic, but a true democracy is impossible to manage unless all other political allegiances (complimentary or competative) are fully abandoned.
     
  24. paddy macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    No, I'm not being as black-and-white as that. Of course there should be a degree of fairness, neither Germany, France of the U.K. should have the right to dictate all of E.U. policy. But at the same time, why should Ireland or Malta have the exact same voting rights as Germany? There should be some staggered system which takes these things into account.
     
  25. zap2 macrumors 604

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    #25
     

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