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 The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?

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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:08 am

johnfás wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...

Sinn Féin have opposed every European Referendum, whatever about other anti-Lisbon campaigns, Sinn Féin will oppose a European Treaty no matter what it says.

Oh yes. Now I remember. It's to get the McKenna airtime for their own political ends. How silly of me to forget.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:09 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...

The problem with the EU is that it has operated for a long time without enough citizen scrutiny. When people start to look at it closely they find that it is an institution with very little transparency and accountability. We have had posters here who work in or with the institutions who have reported corruption and bad practice. You could say we have the same problems in Ireland, but at least here we can get our politicians in front of the judges, and go along and watch the whites of their eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:14 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...
Well, I see a fairly large gap there for SF to be wary of. When SF called for renegotiation I think it's safe to assume they meant successful renegotiation. Leaving aside the various possible definitions of successful, 'trying to get' binding declarations is not going to cut it I'm afraid.

God forbid an opposition party should oppose ...
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:15 am

Sure, there are also thousands of civil servants working here and all over europe with no traceability or accountability.

At least with the eu politicians, we can effect change or at least bring pressure to bear on them at eu election time. We can't touch the civil servants. That's a bigger deal if you ask me.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:22 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Sure, there are also thousands of civil servants working here and all over europe with no traceability or accountability.

At least with the eu politicians, we can effect change or at least bring pressure to bear on them at eu election time. We can't touch the civil servants. That's a bigger deal if you ask me.

There seems to be a closer symbiosis between civil servants and politicians in the EU. They are horribly bonded. Then there are the lobbyists and ngos.

Who is Ireland's "Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative" and why?

http://machinenation.forumakers.com/the-open-europe-forum-f30/the-european-council-not-so-transparent-t1656.htm#52268
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:23 am

coc wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...
Well, I see a fairly large gap there for SF to be wary of. When SF called for renegotiation I think it's safe to assume they meant successful renegotiation. Leaving aside the various possible definitions of successful, 'trying to get' binding declarations is not going to cut it I'm afraid.

OK, so a wait and see is in order, however I thought MLD was very disingenuous tonight on Prime Time, accusing the Gov of a choreography to brow beat the people into accepting the treaty, when they are clearly engaging in attempts to get concessions.

Quote :
God forbid an opposition party should oppose ...

The only opposition party at that ..
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:05 am

cactus flower wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...

The problem with the EU is that it has operated for a long time without enough citizen scrutiny. When people start to look at it closely they find that it is an institution with very little transparency and accountability. We have had posters here who work in or with the institutions who have reported corruption and bad practice. You could say we have the same problems in Ireland, but at least here we can get our politicians in front of the judges, and go along and watch the whites of their eyes.

Actually, the reason we wind up putting our politicians in front of judges is because there's very little transparency here. People assume they can find out stuff here - minutes of meetings, etc - but they can't. I know, because I've looked, and I'm pretty good at finding these things. Europe is a lot more transparent - unsurprisingly, since it's under scrutiny by a lot more people, and by countries with much stronger traditions of scrutiny and accountability than Ireland.

A good example is the European Council minutes you were looking for. They're not perfect, by any means, but they're there, and it took me only a couple of minutes to find them. Where are the Cabinet minutes?
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:07 am

ibis wrote:
Where are the Cabinet minutes?

Released retrospectively 30 years afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:10 am

johnfás wrote:
ibis wrote:
Where are the Cabinet minutes?

Released retrospectively 30 years afterwards.

That's the dáil record. The cabinet minutes are secreted are they not ?

EDIT :OOPS. Sorry johnfás, I thought your post said thirty minutes. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:15 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...

The problem with the EU is that it has operated for a long time without enough citizen scrutiny. When people start to look at it closely they find that it is an institution with very little transparency and accountability. We have had posters here who work in or with the institutions who have reported corruption and bad practice. You could say we have the same problems in Ireland, but at least here we can get our politicians in front of the judges, and go along and watch the whites of their eyes.

Actually, the reason we wind up putting our politicians in front of judges is because there's very little transparency here. People assume they can find out stuff here - minutes of meetings, etc - but they can't. I know, because I've looked, and I'm pretty good at finding these things. Europe is a lot more transparent - unsurprisingly, since it's under scrutiny by a lot more people, and by countries with much stronger traditions of scrutiny and accountability than Ireland.

A good example is the European Council minutes you were looking for. They're not perfect, by any means, but they're there, and it took me only a couple of minutes to find them. Where are the Cabinet minutes?

Ibis - you always bring a nice fresh breath of reality to discussions on the EU. I probably would have found my way here months ago if it wasn't for you and a few others speaking sense over on p.ie. Your patience is boundless.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:20 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...

The problem with the EU is that it has operated for a long time without enough citizen scrutiny. When people start to look at it closely they find that it is an institution with very little transparency and accountability. We have had posters here who work in or with the institutions who have reported corruption and bad practice. You could say we have the same problems in Ireland, but at least here we can get our politicians in front of the judges, and go along and watch the whites of their eyes.

Actually, the reason we wind up putting our politicians in front of judges is because there's very little transparency here. People assume they can find out stuff here - minutes of meetings, etc - but they can't. I know, because I've looked, and I'm pretty good at finding these things. Europe is a lot more transparent - unsurprisingly, since it's under scrutiny by a lot more people, and by countries with much stronger traditions of scrutiny and accountability than Ireland.

A good example is the European Council minutes you were looking for. They're not perfect, by any means, but they're there, and it took me only a couple of minutes to find them. Where are the Cabinet minutes?

Do you really find it hard to find out how decisions have been taken here? There are party manifestos and the Programme for Government. What decisions can you think of are in serious conflict with them and have not been explained? The EU context is very different, as decisions are made by agglomerations of politicians who have been elected by very different electorates. There isn't farm to fork traceability of policy formation.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:23 am

Ibis' point about cabinet minutes is quite correct and it is one which is worthy of discussion. There is of course reason for cabinet confidentiality, it makes decisions collectively and also the release of cabinet minutes could undermine the security of various aspects of the State. However, it does create a lack of accountability. I consistently see members of Government, particularly those who are a minority partner in Governmnt, saying that they will raise and discuss an issue at cabinet. I have to wait 30 years to find out whether or not they have. I have not even lived 30 years yet.

Direct democracy has not even been achieved here, let alone on a European level which is a complex fusion of many States each with their own complex political systems and procedures. From a legal point of view that is what makes the EU so interesting, you have both common and civil law aspects.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:25 am

johnfás wrote:
Ibis' point about cabinet minutes is quite correct and it is one which is worthy of discussion. There is of course reason for cabinet confidentiality, it makes decisions collectively and also the release of cabinet minutes could undermine the security of various aspects of the State. However, it does create a lack of accountability. I consistently see members of Government, particularly those who are a minority partner in Governmnt, saying that they will raise and discuss an issue at cabinet. I have to wait 30 years to find out whether or not they have. I have not even lived 30 years yet.

Direct democracy has not even been achieved here, let alone on a European level which is a complex fusion of many States each with their own complex political systems and procedures. From a legal point of view that is what makes the EU so interesting, you have both common and civil law aspects.

I'd be interested to know if any national government in Europe operates without cabinet confidentiality.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:28 am

I doubt it but I would be open to correction.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:58 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Well from what I gleaned from Prime Time, the Gov are clearly trying to get some binding concessions. This is what SF wanted. Renegotiation. Now they're getting it and still moaning ...

The problem with the EU is that it has operated for a long time without enough citizen scrutiny. When people start to look at it closely they find that it is an institution with very little transparency and accountability. We have had posters here who work in or with the institutions who have reported corruption and bad practice. You could say we have the same problems in Ireland, but at least here we can get our politicians in front of the judges, and go along and watch the whites of their eyes.

Actually, the reason we wind up putting our politicians in front of judges is because there's very little transparency here. People assume they can find out stuff here - minutes of meetings, etc - but they can't. I know, because I've looked, and I'm pretty good at finding these things. Europe is a lot more transparent - unsurprisingly, since it's under scrutiny by a lot more people, and by countries with much stronger traditions of scrutiny and accountability than Ireland.

A good example is the European Council minutes you were looking for. They're not perfect, by any means, but they're there, and it took me only a couple of minutes to find them. Where are the Cabinet minutes?

Do you really find it hard to find out how decisions have been taken here? There are party manifestos and the Programme for Government. What decisions can you think of are in serious conflict with them and have not been explained?

The EU context is very different, as decisions are made by agglomerations of politicians who have been elected by very different electorates. There isn't farm to fork traceability of policy formation.

Ah - I know what you're getting at, I think. Here, the process looks simple - policy suggestion appears on party manifesto. After election, policy is championed by relevant Minister (or dropped). We know whose name is to be associated with what - like Michael Martin with the smoking ban for example, or Dick Roche with Tara.

However, we know that largely because the national press follows it, and the parties themselves put out press releases telling us about it.

If you follow the various EU-observing media outlets, you'll see the same process bar the manifesto at the EU level - different personalities or governments pushing different agendas. For example, the UK and Ireland push for data retention - so strongly in the case of Ireland that it's taking the EU to court because the chosen legislative mechanism doesn't allow Ireland full draconian implementation of McDowelloid data retention. You can also see the discussion of legislation through the EU Parliament, and they get far fuller disclosure of Council and Commission papers than the Dáil does from our government - plus (and it's a plus I like very much) nobody in the EP is actually on the same side as the Commission or the Council, unlike the Dáil.

It's only a case of which news you choose to look at. Ireland doesn't really have a dedicated "EU Observer" type media outlet looking at what Ireland does in the EU and keeping an eye out for legislation likely to affect us particularly - but, again, that's something we ought to be doing for ourselves (hmm...).
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:50 am

I find this love for Europe weird
but I am willing to learn

Is it just about money. If anyone has another reason that does not come to mind can they mention it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:34 pm

I find the attachment to a particular country odd. My grandparents were from all over the place and by the time I was 12 had lived in more countries than most people visit on holidays. (Not a recommended childhood.)

Family history seems to have been dominated by endless wars stretching back well over 1000 years. European history has often been brutal and in the end pointless. I doubt if there is a single country in Europe that does not have a disputed border or a minority from an adjoining state living within its borders.

I believe it is liberating to be able to travel and live and work from the west coast of Ireland to the Black Sea. It suits me very nicely.

Imagine for one moment that the USA was instead a collection of independent countries each with their own currency, banking system and border disputes. It would be chaos.

Yes the EU is about money, most things usually are, but why not make the most of it and try and make it more than that? There is a lot wrong with it but it has a lot of potential.

There is so much time wasted in negative debate and defence of the indefensible. I do wish the effort was put into more constructive debate on the type of democratic and transparent Europe we want. What should the structures be? What power should reside where. How much authority should local councils have. Just how little does the centre need to do? What is the point of many of the national governments? What type of Europe do we want.

Interestingly with the problems now being visited on currencies opinion in some of the new member states towards the Euro has improved.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:56 pm

There is a whole trend to formation of bigger and more dominant power blocs globally, and the development of the EU is part of that. Its certainly the case that it is more progressive in terms of social and environmental legislation than Ireland would have been left to itself. The power-bloc aspect is something else.

Independent Nation States, under the circumstances, are likely to become rare birds, less and less relevant and more vulnerable. They are generally nesting under the wing of one or another power bloc anyway.

Why stick at Europe? If we are to discuss international relations, with the IMF, UN and WTO operating world-wide, should be not be looking at global structures?
Certainly, regulation of finance and banking seems to need a world wide remit?
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:01 pm

The problem with global structures is their enforceability. As my international relations lecturer at UCD used to always say "It is a jungle out there" and without a monopoly on violence, or at least coercion, international bodies and organisations will always remain weak because they do not have binding authority.

That is what makes the EU such an interesting and rare beast. The achievement of a bloc to create a binding community under which its members have accepted a limited reduction on aspects of their sovereignty in order that the ship cannot be upset on a daily basis is unique and unparalleled elsewhere in the world. The same cannot be said of NAFTA, the East African Community, the United Nations or ASEAN.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:38 pm

Yes but there is no reason why the EU should be limited to Europe. Would anyone object if say Canada, New Zealand or Australia wanted to join? Why would you refuse?

More problematic but in time we may find Turkey and some of the countries of the Mediterranean as partners. Under the right conditions why not? They have a lot to offer. Or what about the likes of the Ukraine? Argentina and Chile anyone? In many ways both are very European.

Personally I think we should keep an open mind and be more confident and outward looking.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:41 pm

Squire wrote:
Yes but there is no reason why the EU should be limited to Europe. Would anyone object if say Canada, New Zealand or Australia wanted to join? Why would you refuse?

More problematic but in time we may find Turkey and some of the countries of the Mediterranean as partners. Under the right conditions why not? They have a lot to offer. Or what about the likes of the Ukraine? Argentina and Chile anyone? In many ways both are very European.

Personally I think we should keep an open mind and be more confident and outward looking.

Change of name then? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:45 pm

There has been an agreement reached (Britain no longer objects) to retention of a Commissioner for each country and a range of "legal assurances" that do not in themselves change the Treaty, but which refer to Ireland's stance on neutrality, abortion etc.

RTE says that the agreement is pretty well as yesterday's proposals, which are reported in the Irish Times today:http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1212/breaking5.htm
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:28 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Change of name then? Very Happy

Why limit your horizons?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:40 pm

I'm confused now. The referendum was to allow for a constitutional amendment to allow the oireachtas ratify the treaty.

So even with binding concessions, the constitution will still require the same amendment ?

So the wording of the proposed amendment will be identical ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Second Lisbon Referendum - Date Set for May?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:44 pm

One would assume that the proposed amendment will be identical. Though it could perhaps read that the Oireachtas may ratify the Treaty dependent on specified conditions being met. This would be different to the previous amendment which merely read that they may ratify the Treaty. The conditional amendment mechanism was used for the Constitutional alteration to Articles 2 and 3 in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement.
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