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 European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?

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PostSubject: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:03 pm

http://www.tribune.ie/news/article/2008/aug/17/counting-down-the-days-to-the-2009-euro-elections/

After Lisbon, there was a heightened awareness of what MEPs do, and of the limits to the function of the European Parliament. The European Elections are less than 38 weeks off. Some parties have selected their candidates, or are selecting them now. Declan Ganley has hinted that he has not wish to stand, but the feeling is that Libertas will be a feature.

Are these elections relevant to anything? Should we be shaking the tree and sending off the best politicians we have to the EU, given the importance of the decisions made in Brussels ? Or would we be sending them off to a relatively powerless talking shop ?

Who should we send, and what should we tell them to do when they get there?
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:07 pm

Patricia McKenna should go and she should keep doing what she does almost all of the time. Is it possible to be a tree-hugger and a tree-shaker at once?
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:09 pm

Kate P wrote:
Patricia McKenna should go and she should keep doing what she does almost all of the time. Is it possible to be a tree-hugger and a tree-shaker at once?

Did you meet her Kate P. Impressed ?
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:14 pm

Ian O'Doherty has (yet another) stupid article in today's Indo where he makes the point that we should leave the EU, which shows, among other things, his utter lack of political savoir faire and his rather tenuous grasp on reality.

Ireland is in the EU to stay - with or without the Defence Pact, with or without Lisbon in whatever guise it may next appear. That is a reality and a necessity which we must accept. In doing so we should send the best politicians there, the tree-shakers and the tree planters and the tree-doctors not just because of the importance of the decisions made there but because of the importance of showing some kind of positive leadership and indicating that we take the institution as seriously as we should.

Declan Ganley will go for a seat and I'll pay 50 quid to the chosen charity of the next poster (pro-European think-tanks led by mult-millionare businessmen are not charities, by the way), if that does not happen. He won't miss the opportunity to effect change from the inside, he won't fail to capitalise on the credit he earned during the campaign and it would be ludicrous and incredible if the (unfortunately) crowned king of the No side didn't put his money where his mouth is.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:24 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Patricia McKenna should go and she should keep doing what she does almost all of the time. Is it possible to be a tree-hugger and a tree-shaker at once?

Did you meet her Kate P. Impressed ?

I did meet her - in Ennis I think, at the Forum meeting there, and we chatted for quite a while. Not sure that she'd remember me though. I'm struck by her intelligence, her breathtaking knowledge of the treaty and how Europe works, her passion (and anticipating ibis' disregard for those characteristics where they are not matched with right judgement), her refusal to lie in opposing the treaty. She consistently addressed the issue of nuclear power that everyone else shied away from, she made convicing arguments about the role of the ECJ and a host of other relevant topics. She was also good at the Green gathering in Dublin just after Christmas and with Joe Noonan provided a solid critique of the treaty which in various fora has not been responded to in a way that satisfies me. And having looked back on my notes from all the events I attended, in the murky post-Lisbon light and in the knowledge that all voters who said No seem to associated with Declan Ganley (who, according to Richard Dowling on RTE the other night is acknowledged as the leader of the No side and I SO don't want to be associate with that), I really want to be convinced that should we be offered a second bite at the Lisbon Cherry, I wouldn't turn up my nose at it.

I'd also propose Brian Crowley, because despite the fact that he's a FF man, he is a passionate, articulate and honest European and he was the most impressive of all the Yes speakers I heard during the campaign. We need people like him in Europe. Cathy Sinnott should come home...
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:42 pm

I met both Patricia McKenna and Kathy Sinnott and I was impressed by both of them.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:52 pm

Oddly enough, very few politicians are unimpressive in person - the more independent the more so.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:07 pm

ibis wrote:
Oddly enough, very few politicians are unimpressive in person - the more independent the more so.

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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:47 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
ibis wrote:
Oddly enough, very few politicians are unimpressive in person - the more independent the more so.


Note get-out clause.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:56 pm

yeah...
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:40 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
yeah...

Punches ticket.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:36 am

cookiemonster wrote:
I met both Patricia McKenna and Kathy Sinnott and I was impressed by both of them.


Kathy may well have an important message but boy does she know how to lose it in conspiracy theories and hysteria. I had great time for her when she was actively campaigning for the rights of her son, but find that on issues European she behaves like an utter fruitcake, a parody of herself.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:42 am

I have met Patricia and found her to be a very nice and intelligent lady.

I know someone who got a most peculiar telephone call from Kathy Sinnott once. That is all I know about her really apart from what you see on television and the various cases she took regarding her son.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:47 am

cookiemonster wrote:
I met both Patricia McKenna and Kathy Sinnott and I was impressed by both of them.

Indeed. I love the fact that Patricia McKenna is on the national stage and I love her accent and the way she speaks with such passion. With 70-odd non-entities on the FF/FG backbenches, it's necessary that we have the likes of McKenna to liven up national affairs.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:51 am

But would you vote for either of them, Johnfás, to represent you and yours in Europe - and why (not)?
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:53 am

I'm for Patricia too. I hope to see her smiling more. I can imagine that she sees plenty to make her cross, but she was such a sunny little thing when she started out in politics.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:56 am

I would send Michael D. too, the EUropeans are just bowled over by his literary flair and he is such a very hard worker, sleeves rolled up and perspiration flying.

Oh yes, and seems to have principles too.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:58 am

Oh please not Kathy Sinnott and not Mary Lou.

Patricia McKenna is fine and makes valid enough points, but boy can she be negative. For me needs to be someone a lot more constructive.

I would like to see people of stature who are critical but very positive about Europe. People who are prominent and vocal and can help convey the opportunities and short comings of Europe in a balanced way. Mind you I am at a loss to think who. Need to sleep on it.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:58 am

Kate P wrote:
But would you vote for either of them, Johnfás, to represent you and yours in Europe - and why (not)?

I probably wouldn't. I disagree with Kathy Sinnott on alot of things, stem cell research being one, and consequently wouldn't vote for her either way.

I would have to see what platform Patricia ran on for Europe at the time but I disagreed with her on Lisbon so it would seem unlikely that I would vote for her. That said, she is an able person and consequently I would not rule out voting for her.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:32 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I would send Michael D. too, the EUropeans are just bowled over by his literary flair and he is such a very hard worker, sleeves rolled up and perspiration flying.

Oh yes, and seems to have principles too.

Hmmm.

On the one hand, I have to agree with you in principle. On the other hand, I think the Labour attitude to Lisbon was bizarre, recommending it solely on the basis of the Charter. Why?
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:48 pm

Kate P wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I would send Michael D. too, the EUropeans are just bowled over by his literary flair and he is such a very hard worker, sleeves rolled up and perspiration flying.

Oh yes, and seems to have principles too.

Hmmm.

On the one hand, I have to agree with you in principle. On the other hand, I think the Labour attitude to Lisbon was bizarre, recommending it solely on the basis of the Charter. Why?

Here's his pitch:

http://www.labour.ie/lisbonreformtreaty/policy/europeandtheworld.html

His party had decided by majority to support Lisbon. There is a democratic deficit, addressed to a limited extent in the Treaty. Higgins refers to the need to reform the UN and the World Bank/IMF through the EU. He also rightly says that a lot of the EU democratic deficit is at National level, which I think is true.
None of that would change without a big battle and a very different set of MEPs to the ones there at the moment.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:55 pm

He is an honourable man, and I'd agree with you absolutely regarding the EU democratic deficit at national level - though I think the real issue behind that is that the government is terrified of devolution of power to a local level. I wonder would we be a country that could take over the world if we had local government on the scale that the Swiss have, as described in this parish of late by Slim Buddha.

It's interesting to see the headlines again - that lack of understanding was the reason for the no vote. And there was a lot of talk about how women in particular were questioning the actual state of the union on the doorsteps. I'm not sure, based on the level of consultation that seems to have followed the referendum, that there are candidates out there who know what the changes are that need to be made and are willing to do the brave job of seeking to represent on that basis.

Will it be more of the same? I wonder how many of the present incumbents will find themselves in their Brussels offices courtesy of the Irish electorate next time around.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:02 am

cactus flower wrote:
Kate P wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
I would send Michael D. too, the EUropeans are just bowled over by his literary flair and he is such a very hard worker, sleeves rolled up and perspiration flying.

Oh yes, and seems to have principles too.

Hmmm.

On the one hand, I have to agree with you in principle. On the other hand, I think the Labour attitude to Lisbon was bizarre, recommending it solely on the basis of the Charter. Why?

Here's his pitch:

http://www.labour.ie/lisbonreformtreaty/policy/europeandtheworld.html

His party had decided by majority to support Lisbon. There is a democratic deficit, addressed to a limited extent in the Treaty. Higgins refers to the need to reform the UN and the World Bank/IMF through the EU. He also rightly says that a lot of the EU democratic deficit is at National level, which I think is true.
None of that would change without a big battle and a very different set of MEPs to the ones there at the moment.

That's a very good summary - there is a democratic deficit, there were some improvements on offer, and most of the disconnect is the result of a blank wall at the national level. FF in particular do nothing to help their citizens connect to the EU - instead they prefer to use it to do what they dare not do themselves, and as a handy scapegoat. Sure, that blows up in their faces at treaty referendums, but not at general elections.

I'd even be happy to see Libertas winning a seat, just to shake up the cosy MEP cartel of national-party MEPs. Admittedly, I'd rather see a Green, but I'd prefer a Libertas MEP to an FF one.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:34 am

Quote :
That's a very good summary - there is a democratic deficit, there were some improvements on offer, and most of the disconnect is the result of a blank wall at the national level. FF in particular do nothing to help their citizens connect to the EU - instead they prefer to use it to do what they dare not do themselves, and as a handy scapegoat. Sure, that blows up in their faces at treaty referendums, but not at general elections.

I'd even be happy to see Libertas winning a seat, just to shake up the cosy MEP cartel of national-party MEPs. Admittedly, I'd rather see a Green, but I'd prefer a Libertas MEP to an FF one.

I wouldn't be so happy for a few reasons, two of which are that it would mean a lot of people had voted for them, and that the UK eurosceptics already say most of what they say already. We need a few people who are guanteed non-toadies, without personal vanity and a sense of public service.
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PostSubject: Re: European Elections - Who's Standing for What ?   Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:35 am

cactus flower wrote:


I wouldn't be so happy for a few reasons,

Even if it was me?

*sulk*
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