Machine Nation

Irish Politics Forum - Politics Technology Economics in Ireland - A Look Under The Nation's Bonnet


Devilish machinations come to naught --Milton
 
PortalPortal  HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  GalleryGallery  MACHINENATION.org  

Share | 
 

 Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 6:10 pm

Ok, so I tried to do my dilletante thing again, i.e. tried to have a debate with somebody on a topic that I only had a cursory knowledge of. The topic, as you can see, was Lisbon, the person I debated with was a friends boyfriend, who has just received his law degree, which was possibly a bad choice.

I'm far from an expert on lisbon, but I had read a bit from this site and p.ie, so I felt it was time to try out what little information I had gathered and produce a rather basis yes argument. (This is beginners stuff so bare with me).

Now, as with all written communication, (this was done by IM), one does not always get the tone of the conversation, or one is completely oblivious to how heated the discussion has become.

Firstly we spoke about the loss of influence. I made the point that all states, technically, had lost influence due to the treaty, Ireland was indeed one of the worst, however, no state had gotten away with less than a 20-25% loss of influence.

Then we spoke of the democracy deficit. I pointed out that the competencies of the directly elected ep would be increased by lisbon, and that technically two of the main functioning arms of the EU were directly elected, i.e. the ep and the council of ministers. He tried then to claim that the council was not directly elected, and that they were all government appointees, often of unelected individuals. I presumed then naturally that he had confused the council of ministers with the commission, and made the point that the council was made up of the elected ministers of each state.

I then brought up qmv and unanimity. I admitted there was a reduction in the amount of areas where qmv was allowed, but that essential areas such as defence and taxation could only be decided by unanimity on the council. He then claimed there were only 25 seats on the council, despite being 27 members of the eu, that the seats were rotating. I took issue with this, as essentially it would mean that if Ireland was not on the council after rotation, that our veto would be null and void. I asked him once again was he confusing the council with the commission, as the commission was going to be based on rotation due to its reduction to 18 commissioners. I also covered my backside by saying this wasn't a reduction in influence due to the fact the commissioners are meant to represent the eu as a whole, and not national interests.

He also stated that qmv for us would be a bad thing in most cases, as out interests are entirely out of step with the rest of europe, and therefore we would be an island. I tried to use the cap issue as an example of how we could create voting blocks across the continent to prevent anti-cap legislation being implemented on such issues, that out interests and that of France and eastern europe are not differentiated by geographical position.

Further to the QMV, we also brought up the tax issue. He stated that the unanimous voting on tax, could merely be a temporary thing, and could in the near future be changed. I stated that it was true, that in the council of ministers it could be changed from unanimous voting to qmv voting on the council, however such decision could only be decided by another treaty, or by a vote on the council in which we would still have our veto. He tried to point out that ff pandering would mean this was only a matter of time, to which I replied that no government would commit economical and political suicide by implementing such a decision.

From there we moved to the ecj. I tried to claim (without much foundation) the the ECJ has already stated it cannot rule Irish corporation tax rates anti-competitive. However, I could not back it up with case references. On further research, I found out that there doesn't seem to have been such a statement, but that direct taxation cannot be deemed anti-competitive by the ecj. (I'm still unsure about this). However, he made a response (to which I can't find an answer) that the free movements acts (he mentioned a81 and a82???) could be compromised by such tax rates. I asked him how, (merely out of curiousity) and we came to an abrupt end.

Apparently, then he told me I was a know it all who actually knew nothing (and he could be right) and shouts people down.

Should I not have bothered? Was I off the mark much? If so I'd be happy if people correct my misconceptions. Should I limit my pro-lisbon activities to nodding and ticking the box? Or just not engage in any debate with him again?


Last edited by riadach on Thu May 15, 2008 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 6:16 pm

"A know all who knows nothing".... well regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation he'll have learnt very little about QMV in a law degree. I have a degree in politics (where you learn lots about that sort of thing) and will have a diploma in law which is based on the law society syllabus (where you learn very little about that, but lots about competition and free movement).

I really doubt that tax rates could compromise free movement under article 82. Article 82 deals with discriminatory tax measures on the basis of goods moving across borders within the Community (as well as customs duties and quantitative restrictions by virtue of the same). It can be invoked where such a measure either exists actually, or by effect. For example, you could impose a higher tax on the sale of French Beef than Irish Beef in Irish shops, that would be a measure which ran contrary to article 82. Equally, you could enforce a law, which although did not do that, had the same effect of doing that. An example of that is where the French Government enacted a car tax band which no French car fell into (by virtue of engine size) but alot of German cars did.

Corporation tax could never, certainly in my analysis, achieve a breach of article 82.


----

The Lisbon Treaty hasn't exactly raised its head much with my friends yet. With my friends from history and politics we tend to talk about more global issues and most of us are too busy with exams at the moment to be worrying anyway!

There are some people who you just cannot debate with regardless of the subject....

----

Aimless ramble ends...


Last edited by johnfás on Thu May 15, 2008 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 6:29 pm

Fair play Riadach - you were actually spot on all that you said

This chap has obviously made his own mind up about this and I hate to say this, like the majority of the No side - is rearranging the facts and figures with a bit of confusion thrown in ,to suit his opinion.
The fact that he lost it and resorted to verbals shows you actually had him.

I find most of the No sides arguments spring from visceral dislike of the EU and the concept of the EU (It is de rigeur to slagg off the EU at the moment in trendy circles) and most pertinently a growing deeply personal fear of becoming irrelevant in a increasingly complicated and impersonal world - nationalism in an increasingly interdependent,intermingling and borderless world is fast becoming an outdated concept - but for many - with the collapse of religious belief and the extended family ties - its has become an emotional blanket to hold on to - a feeling of togetherness and belonging.

Its very hard to fight emotion with cold detached rational logic .

Dont give up Riadach - you were spot on in what you have picked up - I have work colleagues coming up to me asking about the treaty now as the posters are obviously having an effect on visibility - they are asking about the treaty and what it entails and as the known politico in the company I try to give them as honest an opinion on it as possible and answer their questions - still have absolutely no idea how they will vote tho.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 6:38 pm

Firstly, you won't make friend with people by being smarter than them. If you want to get on with this guy because he is in your group then ask him questions instead of contradicting him.

If he told you to your face that you are a know it all who actually knows nothing and shouts people down then he must be pretty ignorant bloke himself (unless you went way over the top and really had it coming). What he said was aggressive and I wouldn't give somebody like that the time of day let alone revisit the Lisbon Treaty with him.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 6:42 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Firstly, you won't make friend with people by being smarter than them. If you want to get on with this guy because he is in your group then ask him questions instead of contradicting him.

That's what I'm afraid of, that I was coming across as being pompous. I began it, because knowing he had a legal background, I thought he would be able to put across no points that I was unfamiliar with. I did indeed ask questions, but this may have come across as questioning his knowledge, as opposed to sincerely looking for more information. When I asked, for instance, how freedom of movement could undermine our tax laws, it may have come across as 'how could freedom of movement possibly undermine our tax laws' which is what I'm worried about.

As well as that, I did point out he had confused the council of ministers with the commission, which more than likely came across as a put down.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:18 pm

Well, no matter how much you unwittingly got his goat up it was all cancelled out by his insult. I wouldn't worry for a second about it. Once he came out with that kind of attack one would have to be happy to have annoyed him.

Hard to believe he has a law degree and he confused the Commission and the Council. It must be some kind of University of Panama jobbie.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:19 pm

Here is a question for you Edo seeing that you go door to door. What is the divide percentage wise between those who want to vote no and those who would want to withdraw from the EU entirely.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:22 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Well, no matter how much you unwittingly got his goat up it was all cancelled out by his insult. I wouldn't worry for a second about it. Once he came out with that kind of attack one would have to be happy to have annoyed him.

Hard to believe he has a law degree and he confused the Commission and the Council. It must be some kind of University of Panama jobbie.

Unless you're specialising in EU law I'm not sure the subject would be covered in any extensive way?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:34 pm

Well, I don't know how the Panamanians do it but most Irish law degrees explain the legislative process as part a degree. This spreads across Legal Systems and Methods, Constitutional Law and EU Law - all core subjects. Also, you would need to know the different legal effects of a Treaty Article, a Regulation, a Directive, a Decision of the Commission and a Ruling of the ECJ and a Ruling of the Court of First Instance. The basis behind the roles of the different bodies would become clear in learnign that, particularly the role of the Commission. Furthermore, in reading ECJ Judgements and Advocate General Opinions the differences would be further illuminated. I'd check under that lad's fingernails for engine grease.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:39 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Well, I don't know how the Panamanians do it but most Irish law degrees explain the legislative process as part a degree. This spreads across Legal Systems and Methods, Constitutional Law and EU Law - all core subjects. Also, you would need to know the different legal effects of a Treaty Article, a Regulation, a Directive, a Decision of the Commission and a Ruling of the ECJ and a Ruling of the Court of First Instance. The basis behind the roles of the different bodies would become clear in learnign that, particularly the role of the Commission. Furthermore, in reading ECJ Judgements and Advocate General Opinions the differences would be further illuminated. I'd check under that lad's fingernails for engine grease.

Hmm...yes, UCD law degree, EU Law is at the beginning of second year. On the other hand, I know people who did science with me at UCD who came out with little more understanding than they went in with. It remains possible to pass exams by rote.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:44 pm

Ah now, can we not insult the chap. I do know he worked hard, perhaps eu law just isn't his area of expertise.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:50 pm

riadach wrote:
Ah now, can we not insult the chap. I do know he worked hard, perhaps eu law just isn't his area of expertise.

Ah come on, he is a third party who insulted you and who is not a member of this website. As Mick Galwey said of Biarritz - f_ck 'em. Seriously though, you're being a bit too fair to a guy who gave you gip- it is not good for one's self esteem to always allow the other guy an excuse.

This reminds me, very tangentially, of a joke I heard the other day. Two sociologists are out walking when they come across a guy barely breathing, thrown in a ditch beside the road, who has clearly taken a vicious beating and still has a knife sticking out of his back. "Oh my God," says one to the other, "we have to help whoever did this to him".
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 7:57 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:


Ah come on, he is a third party who insulted you and who is not a member of this website. As Mick Galwey said of Biarritz - f_ck 'em. Seriously though, you're being a bit too fair to a guy who gave you gip- it is not good for one's self esteem to always allow the other guy an excuse.

Ah yeah, but he's still a friend like. The only reason I started this discussion, was to discover if I had said anything wrong in what I outlined, for fear I had been pompous and arrogant and if he was correct.. I wouldn't want it to turn into a discussion where you attack and individual, who for the most part is a kind, decent, and funny individual, on the basis of one conversation. As for me, I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially those I'm friends with. It may be my downfall however.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 8:09 pm

Well, being right does not make a comment any less pompous or arrogant. In fact, the more right you ae the more you wil annoy people. Essentially it is a matter of tone and manner.

Interrupting is not on - it turns a conversation into a speech rather than a dialectic. I know some lovely people who interrupt all the time.

If I know the person very well I will be downright rude to them and tell them that their interrupting is ruining our conversation and making it unenjoyable. If I don't know them very well I will be less inclined to get into a conversation with them again. If I see them with drink on them, like them or not, I will actually avoid them.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 8:13 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Well, being right does not make a comment any less pompous or arrogant. In fact, the more right you ae the more you wil annoy people. Essentially it is a matter of tone and manner.

Interrupting is not on - it turns a conversation into a speech rather than a dialectic. I know some lovely people who interrupt all the time.

That's very true, and I feel it may very well have been the case in this instance, unbeknownst to myself at the time. That said, of course, it is very difficult to interpret tone in a written converstaion, as it is to determine if you are interrupting, as it is difficult to know whether they have finished their point or not. (By being him being correct in this instance, I meant in his assertion that I knew nothing, not in any implicit assertion of arrogance or more explicitly know-it-allism.)

Quote :

If I know the person very well I will be downright rude to them and tell them that their interrupting is ruining our conversation and making it unenjoyable. If I don't know them very well I will be less inclined to get into a conversation with them again. If I see them with drink on them, like them or not, I will actually avoid them.

Well considering that was one of his complaints (I presume that's what he meant by shouting down), perhaps it is something that I should be aware of in the future.


Last edited by riadach on Thu May 15, 2008 8:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 8:20 pm

Hmm. You seem very polite by text here, though - and the very fact that you're concerned you might be a "know-it-all who shouts people down" suggests that you're not.

You may have run into a position in which your friend realised that his reasoning was shaky, but his emotional position fixed. Under those circumstances he would want you to shut up and stop asking questions (particularly if there was someone looking over his shoulder) - and the more that he is generally a decent guy, the more that would be the case. Cognitive dissonance is always uncomfortable.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   Thu May 15, 2008 8:23 pm

riadach wrote:
....it is very difficult to interpret tone in a written converstaion....

It is impossible. In fact, people often display a belief that others are prejudiced or agressive by misconstruing things. I didn't realise it was a written conversation. You can't fall out over them.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends   

Back to top Go down
 
Warning- Don't debate Lisbon with friends
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Looking for old friends
» Warning Dreams
» old woman in dream warning me
» Family/friends thoughts on WLS
» Element warning light flashing

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Machine Nation  :: Politics and Current News :: The Open Europe Forum-
Jump to: