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 The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?

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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:40 pm

*** toxic avenger posted just before

Papal Knight wrote:
The deal is effectively renegotiation by the back door. Renegotiation by the front door was never on as anyone with an even marginal understanding will have known. The agreement when put in full legal form - that will of course take a couple of months. Complex legal documents involving 27 countries and 23 languages always do - will be leally binding and can as such be registered as an intergovernmental treaty with the UN as Denmark did. It will then be put in an EU treaty when the Croatian accession treaty is signed. All EU treaties are simply amendments to the two primary treaties - the Treaties of Rome and Maastricht. Lisbon amends both of those. The Croatian treaty will amend the Lisbon amendments of Rome and Maastricht. So it means the Lisbon treaty content in effect is being changed via the next treaty, the Croatian treaty.

It seems awfully rigid to base a system on something that way, not that I'm saying it's bad or anything. From a system point of view that would be a monolithic edifice very troublesome to maintain in the events of expansion or amending for other purposes - widening the scope of democracy or something.

Seriously, is there no clause in there which would allow it to be evolved in an entirely different, modular manner ?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:43 pm

There's a lot of talk about testing these things in law.

I've been trying to find an example of an individual or nation taking a legal challenge against any portion of any ratified EU treaty. I can't find one.
Anyone have an example ?

My interpretation of these things is that treaties are usually interpreted according to the 'spirit of the treaty', not the legalese. It would be quite difficult for any country to overtly go against that spirit.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:51 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
*** toxic avenger posted just before

Papal Knight wrote:
The deal is effectively renegotiation by the back door. Renegotiation by the front door was never on as anyone with an even marginal understanding will have known. The agreement when put in full legal form - that will of course take a couple of months. Complex legal documents involving 27 countries and 23 languages always do - will be leally binding and can as such be registered as an intergovernmental treaty with the UN as Denmark did. It will then be put in an EU treaty when the Croatian accession treaty is signed. All EU treaties are simply amendments to the two primary treaties - the Treaties of Rome and Maastricht. Lisbon amends both of those. The Croatian treaty will amend the Lisbon amendments of Rome and Maastricht. So it means the Lisbon treaty content in effect is being changed via the next treaty, the Croatian treaty.

It seems awfully rigid to base a system on something that way, not that I'm saying it's bad or anything. From a system point of view that would be a monolithic edifice very troublesome to maintain in the events of expansion or amending for other purposes - widening the scope of democracy or something.

Seriously, is there no clause in there which would allow it to be evolved in an entirely different, modular manner ?


That is the problem when you have 27 countries, 23 languages and multiple legal systems. It took 8 years to get the treaty negotiated.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:36 am

Papal Knight wrote:
tonys wrote:

The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

That is nonsense, Tony. Most countries don't have any means to have referenda. Some have constitutional bans on them. The reason why referenda were planned for the constitution was because it was replacing all the previous treaties with a single document. This treaty does not replace any treaty. It merely amends them. So as a result it follows the normal procedures that have been used for 50 years.

You have fallen for one of the many lies the No side pushed in the campaign. Hopefully next time the No side will start nailing the lies rather than allowing people to fall for them by default.

What I have fallen for is my own belief that people should have a direct say in important structural matters concerning the European Union, regardless of the legal necessity for allowing that say or not. Tossing out a few of their own hasbeen politicians next time around is no substitute for direct democracy, in my opinion.

BTW, and again, in my opinion, It ill behoves anyone wearing their undergarments externally to proclaim the stated opinion of others to be nonsense.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:06 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
*** toxic avenger posted just before

Papal Knight wrote:
The deal is effectively renegotiation by the back door. Renegotiation by the front door was never on as anyone with an even marginal understanding will have known. The agreement when put in full legal form - that will of course take a couple of months. Complex legal documents involving 27 countries and 23 languages always do - will be leally binding and can as such be registered as an intergovernmental treaty with the UN as Denmark did. It will then be put in an EU treaty when the Croatian accession treaty is signed. All EU treaties are simply amendments to the two primary treaties - the Treaties of Rome and Maastricht. Lisbon amends both of those. The Croatian treaty will amend the Lisbon amendments of Rome and Maastricht. So it means the Lisbon treaty content in effect is being changed via the next treaty, the Croatian treaty.

It seems awfully rigid to base a system on something that way, not that I'm saying it's bad or anything. From a system point of view that would be a monolithic edifice very troublesome to maintain in the events of expansion or amending for other purposes - widening the scope of democracy or something.

Seriously, is there no clause in there which would allow it to be evolved in an entirely different, modular manner ?

Article 48 of Lisbon does exactly that. That's the famous 'self-amending clause' that will take away all our freedoms and reduce us to grubbing up spuds for our new EU colonial masters. All it actually is is a clause that allows the treaties to be amended bit by bit - admittedly with each amendment having to be ratified like a treaty.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:19 am

toxic avenger wrote:
Papal Knight wrote:
tonys wrote:

The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

That is nonsense, Tony. Most countries don't have any means to have referenda. Some have constitutional bans on them. The reason why referenda were planned for the constitution was because it was replacing all the previous treaties with a single document. This treaty does not replace any treaty. It merely amends them. So as a result it follows the normal procedures that have been used for 50 years.

You have fallen for one of the many lies the No side pushed in the campaign. Hopefully next time the No side will start nailing the lies rather than allowing people to fall for them by default.

Sophistry. There aren't referendums in France and the Netherlands this time because of the inconvenience caused by them last time. A retarded hamster could see it.

Well, a retarded eurosceptical hamster, anyway. The French don't always have referendums. The Dutch have refused to run referendums again, because of the constitutional affront it caused them last time - the referendum was non-binding, but the parliament (which is the highest authority according to the Dutch constitution) found itself effectively bound by the result. Like it or not, that makes referendums effectively unconstitutional in Holland. The Danes have a legal mechanism for determining whether they should have a referendum, and found they didn't.

If it's purely to avoid the inconvenience, why is Spain not having a referendum?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:23 am

cactus flower wrote:
Standing on the back foot refuting the No case didn't work last time, Ibis. Where are the people setting out the positive case for voting Yes?

Beavering away in closed rooms, trying to turn complex but beneficial changes to arcane and commonly misunderstood institutions into snappy phrases that match the emotional punch of "don't know, vote No". Every couple of weeks the resulting loonies are carted off to Dundrum.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:38 am

ibis wrote:
..

Article 48 of Lisbon does exactly that. That's the famous 'self-amending clause' that will take away all our freedoms and reduce us to grubbing up spuds for our new EU colonial masters. All it actually is is a clause that allows the treaties to be amended bit by bit - admittedly with each amendment having to be ratified like a treaty.

Just to clarify that for myself ibis, the bit by bit ratification would be by Oireachtas only ?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:44 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Standing on the back foot refuting the No case didn't work last time, Ibis. Where are the people setting out the positive case for voting Yes?

Beavering away in closed rooms, trying to turn complex but beneficial changes to arcane and commonly misunderstood institutions into snappy phrases that match the emotional punch of "don't know, vote No". Every couple of weeks the resulting loonies are carted off to Dundrum.

That is a very sad picture. It makes me think that your only chance is if the No campaign throws away the Second Referendum as spectacularly as as the Yes campaign did the first one.

Maybe if the institutions were a little less arcane... Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:47 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Standing on the back foot refuting the No case didn't work last time, Ibis. Where are the people setting out the positive case for voting Yes?

Beavering away in closed rooms, trying to turn complex but beneficial changes to arcane and commonly misunderstood institutions into snappy phrases that match the emotional punch of "don't know, vote No". Every couple of weeks the resulting loonies are carted off to Dundrum.

That is a very sad picture. It makes me think that your only chance is if the No campaign throws away the Second Referendum as spectacularly as as the Yes campaign did the first one.

Maybe if the institutions were a little less arcane... Surprised

To hell with that. The fear of God and all his vengeful angels will be put into people to vote the right way this time!
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:58 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
ibis wrote:
..

Article 48 of Lisbon does exactly that. That's the famous 'self-amending clause' that will take away all our freedoms and reduce us to grubbing up spuds for our new EU colonial masters. All it actually is is a clause that allows the treaties to be amended bit by bit - admittedly with each amendment having to be ratified like a treaty.

Just to clarify that for myself ibis, the bit by bit ratification would be by Oireachtas only ?

That depends on many things...but no, it would never be Oireachtas ratificaton only, for the same reason that the full treaties aren't. Any amendment that would fall under Crotty as part of a treaty would fall under Crotty as a single amendment, and would therefore require a referendum.

Not all EU treaties require a referendum - very few people seem to realise that what decided the Crotty judgement was essentially only the clause in the SEA that required Ireland to take account of the wishes of the other member states in conducting its foreign policy. Crotty's other four challenges were dismissed - that one stood because the entirely free conduct of foreign policy is unquestionably part of national sovereignty.

We don't have referendums on EU treaties because they're treaties (after all, we don't have them on other treaties), we have them because they may impinge on the free exercise of the people's sovereignty by the government on their behalf. In the final analysis, we now have them because it is politically habitual to do so.

I would imagine that the first post-Lisbon amendment, unless it's something utterly bland and nearly meaningless, would automatically face a legal challenge if it wasn't put to referendum. After that, the government would probably get into the habit of putting amendments to referendum.

Theoretically a government determined to do things its way could ratify an amendment through the Oireachtas, and tell the electorate to like it or challenge it. All it would take is political courage...but that's all it would take to ratify Lisbon through the Oireachtas either. There's nothing automatically illegal about an Oireachtas ratification - but the risk is it being found so after the fact, which is a lot messier than beforehand.

As to who would determine the constitutionality of the arrangements for ratification of an amendment, then answer is the Irish Supreme Court.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:08 am

So, if I read that correctly ,
IF
the Supreme Court only found in favour of Crotty on a foreign policy challenge, and rejected four other challenges,
THEN IF
Lisbon does not alter any matters in relation to foreign police competences or otherwise
THEN
based on precedent, a new challenge to an Oireachtas ratification is unlikely to succeed ?

Though not without risk.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:09 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Standing on the back foot refuting the No case didn't work last time, Ibis. Where are the people setting out the positive case for voting Yes?

Beavering away in closed rooms, trying to turn complex but beneficial changes to arcane and commonly misunderstood institutions into snappy phrases that match the emotional punch of "don't know, vote No". Every couple of weeks the resulting loonies are carted off to Dundrum.

That is a very sad picture. It makes me think that your only chance is if the No campaign throws away the Second Referendum as spectacularly as as the Yes campaign did the first one.

Maybe if the institutions were a little less arcane... Surprised

Actually, I don't think that's quite true. What was clear - or, rather, what I think was clear - is that if the Yes side want to explain what's good about the Treaty they need to start a bit further back and explain what the hell is going on at all first. For a "pro-EU" country (the most pro-EU country in the EU), there's an absolutely incredible level of ignorance about how the EU works, what it is, and why it's there.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:14 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
So, if I read that correctly ,
IF
the Supreme Court only found in favour of Crotty on a foreign policy challenge, and rejected four other challenges,
THEN IF
Lisbon does not alter any matters in relation to foreign police competences or otherwise
THEN
based on precedent, a new challenge to an Oireachtas ratification is unlikely to succeed ?

Though not without risk.

It's not without risk, particularly since the judges qualified their opinion by stating that while Crotty's other challenges had failed on the occasion of the SEA, that did not mean similar changes in a future treaty might not be found to require a referendum. So in that sense, it's all very open to challenge, and the safe bet would always be a referendum. Nor do I think the government would have any hesitation in running referendums when there's a lot less at stake than a full treaty. Indeed, the referendum mechanism is a handy cop-out for an Irish government that doesn't want to ratify any given amendment - they just run a weak campaign and let the anti-everything brigade do the dirty work.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:15 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Standing on the back foot refuting the No case didn't work last time, Ibis. Where are the people setting out the positive case for voting Yes?

Beavering away in closed rooms, trying to turn complex but beneficial changes to arcane and commonly misunderstood institutions into snappy phrases that match the emotional punch of "don't know, vote No". Every couple of weeks the resulting loonies are carted off to Dundrum.

That is a very sad picture. It makes me think that your only chance is if the No campaign throws away the Second Referendum as spectacularly as as the Yes campaign did the first one.

Maybe if the institutions were a little less arcane... Surprised

Actually, I don't think that's quite true. What was clear - or, rather, what I think was clear - is that if the Yes side want to explain what's good about the Treaty they need to start a bit further back and explain what the hell is going on at all first. For a "pro-EU" country (the most pro-EU country in the EU), there's an absolutely incredible level of ignorance about how the EU works, what it is, and why it's there.

So that's where to start, not telling people they are wrong about everything all the time, or saying that everything is just fine and dandy, because it never all was or will be all fine in any form of government, so it just makes them suspicious.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:15 am

Has that exercise been done ibis. Documenting the reasoning behing it I mean ?
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:31 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Has that exercise been done ibis. Documenting the reasoning behing it I mean ?

In respect of Lisbon? It's mostly in the DFA White Paper on Lisbon ("a cracking read...kept me on the edge of the toilet seat for hours...").

Had I the leisure, I'd like to go through the White Paper and a couple of other sources and boil them down into some kind of précis of the Treaty - what's in there and why.

Quote :
So that's where to start, not telling people they are wrong about everything all the time, or saying that everything is just fine and dandy, because it never all was or will be all fine in any form of government, so it just makes them suspicious.

There's an interesting problem in that, though. The EU can't be seen to criticise the actions of the member state governments, so it's pretty much impossible to point out just how much of the apparent 'democratic deficit' is cause by the national governments sidelining the EU or using it as a scapegoat - and there's no particular will to do it on the government side either, because they like the EU just where it is, thanks. Then, when it comes to the EU criticising the EU...well, they're a bureaucracy, so any criticism necessarily involves one bureaucrat criticising another department, and then all hell breaks loose - raised eyebrows, meaningful silences, extra form filling, maybe even snubbing in the canteen. Brutal stuff. So it's hard work getting the EU to criticise itself.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:21 am

ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
Papal Knight wrote:
tonys wrote:

The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

That is nonsense, Tony. Most countries don't have any means to have referenda. Some have constitutional bans on them. The reason why referenda were planned for the constitution was because it was replacing all the previous treaties with a single document. This treaty does not replace any treaty. It merely amends them. So as a result it follows the normal procedures that have been used for 50 years.

You have fallen for one of the many lies the No side pushed in the campaign. Hopefully next time the No side will start nailing the lies rather than allowing people to fall for them by default.

Sophistry. There aren't referendums in France and the Netherlands this time because of the inconvenience caused by them last time. A retarded hamster could see it.

Well, a retarded eurosceptical hamster, anyway. The French don't always have referendums. The Dutch have refused to run referendums again, because of the constitutional affront it caused them last time - the referendum was non-binding, but the parliament (which is the highest authority according to the Dutch constitution) found itself effectively bound by the result. Like it or not, that makes referendums effectively unconstitutional in Holland. The Danes have a legal mechanism for determining whether they should have a referendum, and found they didn't.

If it's purely to avoid the inconvenience, why is Spain not having a referendum?
Each country can and will decide its own method of ratification, it's their choice. But I'm under no illusion as to why the French are doing it this way this time. Sarkozy included this method under his raft of policies prior to the Presidential election because he knew that a referendum would probably go the same way as the Constitution one. Fine, you'll say, the people gave him a mandate to do so. But it was a sleight of hand, because he knew that Presidential elections are not swung one way or another by this issue, particularly with a tired and unpopular Socialist alternative with a similarly Europhile platform as the only opposition. I'd love to see every country hold a referendum, but I don't presume to demand of them that they do it the way I prefer. That doesn't preclude me from commenting on the real motivation behind their decision though.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:24 am

toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
Papal Knight wrote:
tonys wrote:

The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

That is nonsense, Tony. Most countries don't have any means to have referenda. Some have constitutional bans on them. The reason why referenda were planned for the constitution was because it was replacing all the previous treaties with a single document. This treaty does not replace any treaty. It merely amends them. So as a result it follows the normal procedures that have been used for 50 years.

You have fallen for one of the many lies the No side pushed in the campaign. Hopefully next time the No side will start nailing the lies rather than allowing people to fall for them by default.

Sophistry. There aren't referendums in France and the Netherlands this time because of the inconvenience caused by them last time. A retarded hamster could see it.

Well, a retarded eurosceptical hamster, anyway. The French don't always have referendums. The Dutch have refused to run referendums again, because of the constitutional affront it caused them last time - the referendum was non-binding, but the parliament (which is the highest authority according to the Dutch constitution) found itself effectively bound by the result. Like it or not, that makes referendums effectively unconstitutional in Holland. The Danes have a legal mechanism for determining whether they should have a referendum, and found they didn't.

If it's purely to avoid the inconvenience, why is Spain not having a referendum?
Each country can and will decide its own method of ratification, it's their choice. But I'm under no illusion as to why the French are doing it this way this time. Sarkozy included this method under his raft of policies prior to the Presidential election because he knew that a referendum would probably go the same way as the Constitution one. Fine, you'll say, the people gave him a mandate to do so. But it was a sleight of hand, because he knew that Presidential elections are not swung one way or another by this issue, particularly with a tired and unpopular Socialist alternative with a similarly Europhile platform as the only opposition. I'd love to see every country hold a referendum, but I don't presume to demand of them that they do it the way I prefer. That doesn't preclude me from commenting on the real motivation behind their decision though.

Well, again, to be fair - on what you perceive to be the real motivation. My problem with the idea is that it's not normal for the member states to have referendums on EU treaties. Usually it's just us and the Danes.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:31 am

ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
Papal Knight wrote:
tonys wrote:

The lack of democracy as I see it in the passing of the treaty, as you well know, relates to the fact that no other country has allowed their citizens a chance to vote on this important change in Europe’s working arrangements.

That is nonsense, Tony. Most countries don't have any means to have referenda. Some have constitutional bans on them. The reason why referenda were planned for the constitution was because it was replacing all the previous treaties with a single document. This treaty does not replace any treaty. It merely amends them. So as a result it follows the normal procedures that have been used for 50 years.

You have fallen for one of the many lies the No side pushed in the campaign. Hopefully next time the No side will start nailing the lies rather than allowing people to fall for them by default.

Sophistry. There aren't referendums in France and the Netherlands this time because of the inconvenience caused by them last time. A retarded hamster could see it.

Well, a retarded eurosceptical hamster, anyway. The French don't always have referendums. The Dutch have refused to run referendums again, because of the constitutional affront it caused them last time - the referendum was non-binding, but the parliament (which is the highest authority according to the Dutch constitution) found itself effectively bound by the result. Like it or not, that makes referendums effectively unconstitutional in Holland. The Danes have a legal mechanism for determining whether they should have a referendum, and found they didn't.

If it's purely to avoid the inconvenience, why is Spain not having a referendum?
Each country can and will decide its own method of ratification, it's their choice. But I'm under no illusion as to why the French are doing it this way this time. Sarkozy included this method under his raft of policies prior to the Presidential election because he knew that a referendum would probably go the same way as the Constitution one. Fine, you'll say, the people gave him a mandate to do so. But it was a sleight of hand, because he knew that Presidential elections are not swung one way or another by this issue, particularly with a tired and unpopular Socialist alternative with a similarly Europhile platform as the only opposition. I'd love to see every country hold a referendum, but I don't presume to demand of them that they do it the way I prefer. That doesn't preclude me from commenting on the real motivation behind their decision though.

Well, again, to be fair - on what you perceive to be the real motivation. My problem with the idea is that it's not normal for the member states to have referendums on EU treaties. Usually it's just us and the Danes.

Yes, it's just my opinion, and it might well not be historically normal. But they did do it in France for the Constitution, got an awkward answer, the package was re-formulated as the Treaty, they didn't make the same mistake again. Now call me a Europhobe cynic...
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:43 am

toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
I'd love to see every country hold a referendum, but I don't presume to demand of them that they do it the way I prefer. That doesn't preclude me from commenting on the real motivation behind their decision though.

Well, again, to be fair - on what you perceive to be the real motivation. My problem with the idea is that it's not normal for the member states to have referendums on EU treaties. Usually it's just us and the Danes.

Yes, it's just my opinion, and it might well not be historically normal. But they did do it in France for the Constitution, got an awkward answer, the package was re-formulated as the Treaty, they didn't make the same mistake again. Now call me a Europhobe cynic...

Europhobe cynic...no, obviously I agree with you to some extent*. The holding of referendums for the Constitution wasn't normal practice. It was a political gimmick, and one that backfired rather spectacularly, and governments certainly did say "well, we won't do that again". However, the idea that referendums are being 'denied' is hogwash - what's happened is a reversion to normal practice, both in the format of the Treaty (as a series of amendments) and in the form of ratification.

*and the ability to say so openly is one of the pleasures of MN!
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:49 am

ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
I'd love to see every country hold a referendum, but I don't presume to demand of them that they do it the way I prefer. That doesn't preclude me from commenting on the real motivation behind their decision though.

Well, again, to be fair - on what you perceive to be the real motivation. My problem with the idea is that it's not normal for the member states to have referendums on EU treaties. Usually it's just us and the Danes.

Yes, it's just my opinion, and it might well not be historically normal. But they did do it in France for the Constitution, got an awkward answer, the package was re-formulated as the Treaty, they didn't make the same mistake again. Now call me a Europhobe cynic...

Europhobe cynic...no, obviously I agree with you to some extent*. The holding of referendums for the Constitution wasn't normal practice. It was a political gimmick, and one that backfired rather spectacularly, and governments certainly did say "well, we won't do that again". However, the idea that referendums are being 'denied' is hogwash - what's happened is a reversion to normal practice, both in the format of the Treaty (as a series of amendments) and in the form of ratification.

Ah, perhaps, but isn't that instructive in itself?...

(I am a Europhobe cynic, by the way, you can say it. Even intended as an insult it fills me with joy to be called it...)
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:18 am

toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
I'd love to see every country hold a referendum, but I don't presume to demand of them that they do it the way I prefer. That doesn't preclude me from commenting on the real motivation behind their decision though.

Well, again, to be fair - on what you perceive to be the real motivation. My problem with the idea is that it's not normal for the member states to have referendums on EU treaties. Usually it's just us and the Danes.

Yes, it's just my opinion, and it might well not be historically normal. But they did do it in France for the Constitution, got an awkward answer, the package was re-formulated as the Treaty, they didn't make the same mistake again. Now call me a Europhobe cynic...

Europhobe cynic...no, obviously I agree with you to some extent*. The holding of referendums for the Constitution wasn't normal practice. It was a political gimmick, and one that backfired rather spectacularly, and governments certainly did say "well, we won't do that again". However, the idea that referendums are being 'denied' is hogwash - what's happened is a reversion to normal practice, both in the format of the Treaty (as a series of amendments) and in the form of ratification.

Ah, perhaps, but isn't that instructive in itself?...

What, that there's a good deal less political courage around Europe than would fill a small paper bag? That peole hate stepping outside their comfort zones? Or - heresy of heresies - that the EU needs to be led by governments, because by and large governments are actually less reactionary, conservative, nationalist, xenophobic, and downright suspicious of deals than their electorates?

toxic avenger wrote:
(I am a Europhobe cynic, by the way, you can say it. Even intended as an insult it fills me with joy to be called it...)

Fair enough - you Europhobe cynic. Makes a pair of us, mind you - I'm a Europhilic cynic.
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:53 am

ibis wrote:


What, that there's a good deal less political courage around Europe than would fill a small paper bag? That peole hate stepping outside their comfort zones? Or - heresy of heresies - that the EU needs to be led by governments, because by and large governments are actually less reactionary, conservative, nationalist, xenophobic, and downright suspicious of deals than their electorates?

I see it more as a set of ideologically zealous elites (sorry FT) that have bought into the integrationist hysteria to such an extent that the common sense of (some) electorates performs a valuable service in checking their Governments' more absurd follies. But that's the romantic side of me...
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PostSubject: Re: The "Irish Guarantees" on Lisbon - are They Enough?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:56 am

ibis wrote:
heresy of heresies - that the EU needs to be led by governments, because by and large governments are actually less reactionary, conservative, nationalist, xenophobic, and downright suspicious of deals than their electorates?
And so the “electorates” are not to be trusted with a decision, but rather led by “progressive” politicians and others, who know what’s in the best interest of the great unwashed, despite whatever the unwashed themselves, in their own little way, might think. Thank you for that.

Democracy my arse.
Jesus, I’m on the verge of changing my mind again and we’re not a day into it.
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