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 The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report

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PostSubject: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:49 pm

This is an interesting report that reviews the legal and political framework of the Lisbon Referendum in Ireland and assesses its fairness. Whilst it finds many aspects of the process, particularly most of the legal framework, was fair, there were many unfair aspects, including outside interference, funding issues, the setting of the date and bullying by Brian Cowen and others.

http://www.democracy-international.org/fileadmin/pdfarchiv/papiere/di-monitor-report-en.pdf

Does anyone know who Democracy International are?

Any views on their fascinating report ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:18 am

I'm looking at it now. I don't know who Democracy International are but I wouldn't be surprised if they are a Eurosceptic group. I'm on the first page of the substantive report and I already seem some blatant flaws. I'll read it and see what I think, and post here.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:39 am

These are the problems I found with the report.

First of all, the report claims that Cowen's tactics were perceived as bullying by the Irish public. The only source it gives for this is a link to a Fine Gael article, which is obviously insufficient. Fine Gael are obviously going to criticize anything the Taoiseach does or says, and do not represent public opinion.

Also, the Irish Alliance for Europe are not included in the "Other Groups" category. This is unfair on the Yes side because, although they did not have wide public exposure, the Alliance included a lot of respected individuals and put forward very valid arguments.

The report also claims that the date for the vote was set via a process which had "unfair tendencies". the reasoning used to justify this is particularly absurd. The report relies on an unsubstantiated letter published by a Eurosceptic newspaper stating that the government might have considered changing the referendum date to confuse the No side, which of course they didn't. That's a very questionable basis upon which to impute unfair practices.

The report consistently makes reference to the government Yes campaign. This is misleading. It implies the use of government funds and powers to promote the Treaty which did not happen.

The time between the announcement of the date and the vote was apparently unfair. This is because the referendum was announced thirty days before the vote, the least possible time, in order to stifle public debate. No evidence that this is the reason for the decision is provided, not one iota. In any case it doesn't make sense because the No campaign had began long before the referendum was announced, and the report admits that the short period between the announcement and the vote actually acted to the detriment of the Yes side.

This group used the report to take a stab at the other countries which opted to ratify the treaty through parliament. This smacks of Euroscepticism. The assertion was that the actions of the national parliaments of other states put undue pressure on the Irish electorate. I don't see what pressure they're talking about. The Irish people were allowed to make up their own mind on the treaty, according to whether or not they saw it as beneficial to their interests. That was the basis on which they voted, they were under no pressure to vote either way. If they were pressured it was by the No side, asking them to vote based not on what they want but on what the French want or something. Either way it's highly disingenuous to classify the Irish referendum procedure as unfair because of the actions of other parliaments, especially when those parliaments are acting within the confines of their respective constitutions.

The report states that talk about holding another referendum has unfair tendencies, but the only reason it gives for this is that a referendum linking the Lisbon Treaty to whether or not Ireland remains in the EU would be political blackmail. But, this course of action has not been suggested by the government and is in fact constitutionally impossible.

Lack of limits on campaign spending, it is said, unfairly favoured the Yes side. This apparently gave an unfair advantage to well-funded organizations like FF, FG and Lab but as we all know the organization which spent the most by far was Libertas, a No side organization. More stringent spending limits would greatly benefit the Yes side.

The report states that TV presenters were more disrespectful towards No voters than Yes voters. This is based upon remarks made by a member of Democracy International, the group behind the report (hardly a compelling independent source), and by a member of an organization called Informationsstelle Militarisierung, about which I don't know enough to comment. The report acknowledged that the TV3 news show was presented by anti-Lisbon Vincent Browne, but failed to acknowledged that VB was in fact more disrespectful to Yes voters than to No voters.

When addressing the printed media's treatment of the referendum, the report states that the main broadsheets favoured a Yes vote but that this was balanced by the British-owned tabloids which favoured a No vote. However, the main broadsheets could be perceived as slightly, milly or subtley pro-Lisbon at most, and certain journalists working for these broadsheets were anti-Lisbon as acknowledged by the report. On the other hand, the tabloids were blatantly and vehemently anti-Lisbon. This more than redressed the balance and as a result the Yes side was heavily disadvantaged by the influence of the printed media.

The report claims that members of the government did not take claims of the No side seriously, no sources are given for this. In fact many of the issues raised by the No side were addressed, albeit a little late, in public debates before the vote.

The Yes side is judged by the behaviour of its most unscrupulous members and actions. It is portrayed as avoiding the substantive debate, refusing to address the issues and focussing instead on discrediting the No side. While this did happen, much of the Yes side did address the substantive issues and engage in a relatively high qualitative level of discussion. By contrast, no reference is made to the more unsavoury elements of the No camp and its behaviour. This included not only lies and misinformation but also widespread vandalism of public property.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:56 am

evercloserunion wrote:
I'm looking at it now. I don't know who Democracy International are but I wouldn't be surprised if they are a Eurosceptic group. I'm on the first page of the substantive report and I already seem some blatant flaws. I'll read it and see what I think, and post here.

They're not eurosceptical, but they do have a distinct agenda. However, looking at their comments:

Quote :
"The process of setting the date was not transparent and misused for tactical reasons. Unfair"
"Date chosen: same as other votes or elections? Special events before or after? Unfair Tendencies."
"Time between announcement and voting day: for information and public debate: Unfair"

I'd agree, although it probably did more harm than good. If Bertie had set the date in January, there probably would have been a bigger non-governmental Yes campaign.

Quote :
Effect on other countries: Unfair

This is unfair, but that’s not the fault of Irish official’s. The other countries failed in not allowing their electorate to decide on the EU Reform Treaty, even in countries like Austria or the United Kingdom, where many citizens felt entitled to a referendum for legitimate reasons.

Erm, yes, well, we might argue this one, but a group that campaigns for more direct democracy might be reasonably regarded as biased here, or even prejudiced.

Quote :
“It is hard not to conclude that political finance laws were designed to provide enough disclosure to satisfy the public and enough leeway to enable the private funding of politics to continue as before. Our laws on political funding were inadequate long before Libertas arrived.”

Sure.

Quote :
Criterion 3.4 Transparency in use of taxpayers’ money: Fair Tendencies
The budget of the Referendum Commission is public, and government spending on the campaign gets monitored
by the press. The use of taxpayers’ money for the Yes campaign by the government is unfair though, as the No
side didn’t have access to public funds.

Inaccurate.

Quote :
Foreign governments
There was strong pressure put on the Irish voters especially by members of the French government, amounting
even to threatening the Irish with serious consequences if they reject the Lisbon Treaty. One incident that caused great dismay in Ireland was an interview with French foreign minister Bernhard Kouchner in which he said that in case of a ‘No’ the Irish would be the first to suffer the consequences, he further said "[i]

That is extremely poor reportage, since the comments in question were made by Kouchner in French, in an interview to a regional French TV station. They were not broadcast in Ireland, and were not intended for an Irish audience. They were translated and publicised in Ireland by the British-owned eurosceptic media, which gives the matter completely the opposite cast from the one being used here. To characterise them as "bullying" is to completely swallow the spin.

Overall, the report is fairly biased, perhaps accidentally - the No camp's interpretation of events is largely taken at face value, while there is an obvious anti-establishment tone to much of the analysis. Interesting, though.


Last edited by ibis on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:12 am

evercloserunion wrote:
I'm looking at it now. I don't know who Democracy International are but I wouldn't be surprised if they are a Eurosceptic group. I'm on the first page of the substantive report and I already seem some blatant flaws. I'll read it and see what I think,.
I wouldn’t bother, bullying by Cowen is an issue? ffs.
Print it and use it to start your fire.


Last edited by tonys on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:23 am

"Democracy International" seems to be effectively a branch of USAID, which is a CIA information gathering agency, by many accounts.

Quote :
Democracy International holds two indefinite quantity contracts (IQCs) as a prime contractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID):

http://www.democracyinternational.com/

Well we've finally got some evidence of CIA interest in the Referendum, but it really can't compete with poisoned pigmeat.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:15 am

This gets more interesting. The same man, Markus Schmidgen, who wrote the Report
has his name beside this "award winning" anti Lisbon video on the Democracy International website.

http://www.democracy-international.org/index.php?id=3076


What do you make of ERC, Ibis?

EU Constitution only by fair referendums
European Referendum Campaign

Quote :
From 2002 until 2004 we promoted our appeal demanding referendums on the European Constitution in all countries concerned.
We were supported by about 293 organisations. 97 members of the Convention on the Future of Europe have signed an official appeal demanding referendums.
We organised 9 international events and gathered support for our call for more democracy.
You can also download some materials or have a look on the history with the ERC newsletter.
All lot of activists in Europe made all this possible. Thank you!

The ERC is promoted as part of the Democracy International website - this is one of their productions:



We had a bit of discussion recently on the question of whether the US, or groups within the US, opposed the Lisbon Treaty.
It is very clear from this that there are such groups and that one of them this body with a 400,000,000 dollar contract to work for USAID, generally believed to be an arm of the CIA.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:34 am

Well the penny dropped on that one fairly quickly. I reckon that pretty much destroys any credibility they might have had.

There is no doubt in my mind that the US considers a strengthened
Europe to be against its interests. This is confirmed by the farcical
coverage of the Treaty by the US media, as bad as the worst you'll find
over here. Just listen to this ridiculous report which says all you
need to know about the US position on the EU.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:35 am

cactus flower wrote:
This gets more interesting. The same man, Markus Schmidgen, who wrote the Report
has his name beside this "award winning" anti Lisbon video on the Democracy International website.

http://www.democracy-international.org/index.php?id=3076


What do you make of ERC, Ibis?

EU Constitution only by fair referendums
European Referendum Campaign

Quote :
From 2002 until 2004 we promoted our appeal demanding referendums on the European Constitution in all countries concerned.
We were supported by about 293 organisations. 97 members of the Convention on the Future of Europe have signed an official appeal demanding referendums.
We organised 9 international events and gathered support for our call for more democracy.
You can also download some materials or have a look on the history with the ERC newsletter.
All lot of activists in Europe made all this possible. Thank you!

The ERC is promoted as part of the Democracy International website - this is one of their productions:

We had a bit of discussion recently on the question of whether the US, or groups within the US, opposed the Lisbon Treaty.
It is very clear from this that there are such groups and that one of them appears likely to be the CIA.

Well:

"On 31 May the European Referendum Campaign organised events outside Irish Embassies in 14 EU capital cities in support of Irish 'no' voters. Open Europe arranged the London event - pictures are available here."

There's also a crossover to iwantareferendum.com - which is a "pro-referendum" campaign run by Open Europe's Paul Stephenson:

"Over the past six weeks Open Europe's Neil O'Brien, Paul Stephenson and Lorraine Mullally have had weekly comment pieces in the Irish Sunday Times, urging readers to vote 'no' to the Lisbon Treaty."

Source for both quotes.

Much of the "pro-referendum" movement seems actually to be a eurosceptic front, I'm afraid.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:40 am

Great stuff evercloserunion. The Heritage Foundation lady may well have met Declan Ganley at this event:

http://reeuropa.blogspot.com/2008/07/ganley-at-heritage.html

I had forgotten about this too:
Quote :
Comments from a controversial former US diplomat before the referendum have added fuel to the conspiracy theory. John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, was in Dublin to deliver a speech on trans-Atlantic relations a week before the vote. He warned that the treaty could "undercut NATO," something that would be a "huge mistake." According to Bolton, known for being one of Washington's most outspoken hawks, if the EU had its own military capability people will think NATO redundant and that Europeans "can take care of their own defense."
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:46 am

cactus flower wrote:
Great stuff evercloserunion. The Heritage Foundation lady may well have met Declan Ganley at this event:

http://reeuropa.blogspot.com/2008/07/ganley-at-heritage.html

I had forgotten about this too:
Quote :
Comments from a controversial former US diplomat before the referendum have added fuel to the conspiracy theory. John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, was in Dublin to deliver a speech on trans-Atlantic relations a week before the vote. He warned that the treaty could "undercut NATO," something that would be a "huge mistake." According to Bolton, known for being one of Washington's most outspoken hawks, if the EU had its own military capability people will think NATO redundant and that Europeans "can take care of their own defense."

Hmm. Germany and Japan have often been considered as a major part of post-war US dominance - two major industrial powers that essentially became US protectorates without military forces of their own. Japan has recently begun flexing its own military wings again.

I am also reminded of this Yes Minister clip:

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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:53 am

When we look at US attitudes to the EU, the collapse of the USSR was a crucial factor. The Marshall Plan and the establishment of the EEC took place when there were mass communist parties in Europe and when there was a military stand off between the US and Russia. Holding Europe together as a capitalist buffer and base for NATO troops directed at the USSR was the name of the game.

With the USSR gone, the US is anxious to establish its own Eastern European protectorates, still aimed at Russia amongst others. The EU is less essential militarily in this strategy and the underlying economic rivalry between the US and Europe is becoming more and more overt.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:56 am

evercloserunion wrote:
Well the penny dropped on that one fairly quickly. I reckon that pretty much destroys any credibility they might have had.

There is no doubt in my mind that the US considers a strengthened
Europe to be against its interests. This is confirmed by the farcical
coverage of the Treaty by the US media, as bad as the worst you'll find
over here. Just listen to this ridiculous report which says all you
need to know about the US position on the EU.


Thanks for that evercloserunion. Great little video.

Do you think that the US is irrational in disliking the idea of a unified and militarised EU ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:59 am

cactus flower wrote:
When we look at US attitudes to the EU, the collapse of the USSR was a crucial factor. The Marshall Plan and the establishment of the EEC took place when there were mass communist parties in Europe and when there was a military stand off between the US and Russia. Holding Europe together as a capitalist buffer and base for NATO troops directed at the USSR was the name of the game.

With the USSR gone, the US is anxious to establish its own Eastern European protectorates, still aimed at Russia amongst others. The EU is less essential militarily in this strategy and the underlying economic rivalry between the US and Europe is becoming more and more overt.

Good point.

On the other hand, I don't really think Ganley is a CIA front. I think he's genuinely committed to his vision of a pro-business, socially non-progressive, libertarian Europe. He's not very open about that in public because not enough people who would vote No also want that. The US, however, would probably find such a Europe acceptable - or at least, more acceptable than a Europe dominated by European ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:11 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
When we look at US attitudes to the EU, the collapse of the USSR was a crucial factor. The Marshall Plan and the establishment of the EEC took place when there were mass communist parties in Europe and when there was a military stand off between the US and Russia. Holding Europe together as a capitalist buffer and base for NATO troops directed at the USSR was the name of the game.

With the USSR gone, the US is anxious to establish its own Eastern European protectorates, still aimed at Russia amongst others. The EU is less essential militarily in this strategy and the underlying economic rivalry between the US and Europe is becoming more and more overt.

Good point.

On the other hand, I don't really think Ganley is a CIA front. I think he's genuinely committed to his vision of a pro-business, socially non-progressive, libertarian Europe. He's not very open about that in public because not enough people who would vote No also want that. The US, however, would probably find such a Europe acceptable - or at least, more acceptable than a Europe dominated by European ideas.

I would almost see them as two separate issues, both interesting (the US State role and Ganley's politics), and would not be hung up about who is a direct agent and who isn't. After all, PANA is listed on that ER/Democracy International site.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:17 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
When we look at US attitudes to the EU, the collapse of the USSR was a crucial factor. The Marshall Plan and the establishment of the EEC took place when there were mass communist parties in Europe and when there was a military stand off between the US and Russia. Holding Europe together as a capitalist buffer and base for NATO troops directed at the USSR was the name of the game.

With the USSR gone, the US is anxious to establish its own Eastern European protectorates, still aimed at Russia amongst others. The EU is less essential militarily in this strategy and the underlying economic rivalry between the US and Europe is becoming more and more overt.

Good point.

On the other hand, I don't really think Ganley is a CIA front. I think he's genuinely committed to his vision of a pro-business, socially non-progressive, libertarian Europe. He's not very open about that in public because not enough people who would vote No also want that. The US, however, would probably find such a Europe acceptable - or at least, more acceptable than a Europe dominated by European ideas.

I would almost see them as two separate issues, both interesting (the US State role and Ganley's politics), and would not be hung up about who is a direct agent and who isn't.

I see what you mean (or at least I think I do!). Yes, I'd be entirely unsurprised by CIA involvement. Actually, I'd be unsurprised by anybody's involvement. The only country having a referendum on an important European treaty, small electorate, poor funding transparency, heavily permeated by UK and US media, government already shaky, bona fide domestic core No vote - I mean, what's not to like? If you had any interest in the EU being rendered immobile for a few years, you'd be an absolute fool not to stick your thumb on the scales. And the costs? Minimal! One well-off businessman could help tip the scales...
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:28 am

Well, as I mentioned PANA and others are listed too. Ganley seems to have a coherent set of beliefs - that is hard to fake. I don't question that he is part of a right libertarian political movement. It is pointless under the circumstances to waste too much time on who is paid, who is conciously acting to an agenda, and who is unconciously. The question is, what is the agenda, and whose interests does it serve?

I started this thread in all innocence. Funny where it lead back to really, isn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:06 am

cactus flower wrote:
Well, as I mentioned PANA and others are listed too. Ganley seems to have a coherent set of beliefs - that is hard to fake. I don't question that he is part of a right libertarian political movement. It is pointless under the circumstances to waste too much time on who is paid, who is conciously acting to an agenda, and who is unconciously. The question is, what is the agenda, and whose interests does it serve?

I started this thread in all innocence. Funny where it lead back to really, isn't it?

Well, it's a little curious when you start to look at the ostensibly pro-referendum movements, and they begin to look a little less like totally disinterested proponents of direct democracy, and more like they're on a particular wavelength. UK euroscepticism certainly doesn't require US involvement, but it is very often Atlanticist in character.

In certain senses, the conflict is between two models of post-war Europe - the Atlanticist Europe and the Europeanist. The former leaves Europe as a sort of military protectorate of the US as per the Cold War, and tends also to see the EU as a trade bloc only, offering no political challenge to the US in return for being able to concentrate on increasing its own prosperity. The latter wants, mostly, to move away from that model, and develop a distinctive European presence in the world.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:49 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Well, as I mentioned PANA and others are listed too. Ganley seems to have a coherent set of beliefs - that is hard to fake. I don't question that he is part of a right libertarian political movement. It is pointless under the circumstances to waste too much time on who is paid, who is conciously acting to an agenda, and who is unconciously. The question is, what is the agenda, and whose interests does it serve?

I started this thread in all innocence. Funny where it lead back to really, isn't it?

Well, it's a little curious when you start to look at the ostensibly pro-referendum movements, and they begin to look a little less like totally disinterested proponents of direct democracy, and more like they're on a particular wavelength. UK euroscepticism certainly doesn't require US involvement, but it is very often Atlanticist in character.

In certain senses, the conflict is between two models of post-war Europe - the Atlanticist Europe and the Europeanist. The former leaves Europe as a sort of military protectorate of the US as per the Cold War, and tends also to see the EU as a trade bloc only, offering no political challenge to the US in return for being able to concentrate on increasing its own prosperity. The latter wants, mostly, to move away from that model, and develop a distinctive European presence in the world.

A default US dominated NATO option versus an emerging militarised EU bloc option ? - neither of which options pleases some of us. Those conflicts will carry on irrespective of whether Lisbon is passed or not.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:13 pm

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Well, as I mentioned PANA and others are listed too. Ganley seems to have a coherent set of beliefs - that is hard to fake. I don't question that he is part of a right libertarian political movement. It is pointless under the circumstances to waste too much time on who is paid, who is conciously acting to an agenda, and who is unconciously. The question is, what is the agenda, and whose interests does it serve?

I started this thread in all innocence. Funny where it lead back to really, isn't it?

Well, it's a little curious when you start to look at the ostensibly pro-referendum movements, and they begin to look a little less like totally disinterested proponents of direct democracy, and more like they're on a particular wavelength. UK euroscepticism certainly doesn't require US involvement, but it is very often Atlanticist in character.

In certain senses, the conflict is between two models of post-war Europe - the Atlanticist Europe and the Europeanist. The former leaves Europe as a sort of military protectorate of the US as per the Cold War, and tends also to see the EU as a trade bloc only, offering no political challenge to the US in return for being able to concentrate on increasing its own prosperity. The latter wants, mostly, to move away from that model, and develop a distinctive European presence in the world.

A default US dominated NATO option versus an emerging militarised EU bloc option ? - neither of which options pleases some of us. Those conflicts will carry on irrespective of whether Lisbon is passed or not.

Well, not quite. There are more options under the Europeanist banner than becoming a militarised bloc, and the choice is not entirely either/or in any case.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:21 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Well, as I mentioned PANA and others are listed too. Ganley seems to have a coherent set of beliefs - that is hard to fake. I don't question that he is part of a right libertarian political movement. It is pointless under the circumstances to waste too much time on who is paid, who is conciously acting to an agenda, and who is unconciously. The question is, what is the agenda, and whose interests does it serve?

I started this thread in all innocence. Funny where it lead back to really, isn't it?

Well, it's a little curious when you start to look at the ostensibly pro-referendum movements, and they begin to look a little less like totally disinterested proponents of direct democracy, and more like they're on a particular wavelength. UK euroscepticism certainly doesn't require US involvement, but it is very often Atlanticist in character.

In certain senses, the conflict is between two models of post-war Europe - the Atlanticist Europe and the Europeanist. The former leaves Europe as a sort of military protectorate of the US as per the Cold War, and tends also to see the EU as a trade bloc only, offering no political challenge to the US in return for being able to concentrate on increasing its own prosperity. The latter wants, mostly, to move away from that model, and develop a distinctive European presence in the world.

A default US dominated NATO option versus an emerging militarised EU bloc option ? - neither of which options pleases some of us. Those conflicts will carry on irrespective of whether Lisbon is passed or not.

Well, not quite. There are more options under the Europeanist banner than becoming a militarised bloc, and the choice is not entirely either/or in any case.

What would you think the other options are ? I agree that the either / or also covers a multitude of fudges, moving positions, feints and distractions.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:06 am

evercloserunion wrote:
Well the penny dropped on that one fairly quickly. I reckon that pretty much destroys any credibility they might have had.

There is no doubt in my mind that the US considers a strengthened
Europe to be against its interests. This is confirmed by the farcical
coverage of the Treaty by the US media, as bad as the worst you'll find
over here. Just listen to this ridiculous report which says all you
need to know about the US position on the EU.

I would argue that the CIA/US goverment and the US media are two different things, and one of them might be tempted by a little sensationalism

'European Treaty', I love it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Referendum - Fair or unfair? - Democracy International Report   Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:29 pm

Democracy International and the The European Referendum Campaign have got themselves a squeaky clean new website, with no reference I can find to their USAID funding, and no link to the old site.

http://www.erc2.org/39.0.html?&L=1
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