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 Lisbon on the TV

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PostSubject: Lisbon on the TV   Wed May 28, 2008 12:00 pm

Primetime 27 May

Yes side represented by Brian Lenihan TD and [chap from IBEC]
No side represented by Declan Ganley (Libertas) and Mary Lou McDonald (SF MEP)

Report by Donagh Doolaigh ? raised the loss of Commissioner, vetos, neutrality and taxation.

A total failure to agree on any of the issues raised.

I don't understand how two sides can interpret the same documents so differently.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon on the TV   Wed May 28, 2008 12:43 pm

The football player who said it all was going to come down to interpretation I think hit the nail on the head. So I'm off to try to find a copy of that Secret EU History book on the Book Club thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon on the TV   Wed May 28, 2008 1:40 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Primetime 27 May

Yes side represented by Brian Lenihan TD and [chap from IBEC]
No side represented by Declan Ganley (Libertas) and Mary Lou McDonald (SF MEP)

Report by Donagh Doolaigh ? raised the loss of Commissioner, vetos, neutrality and taxation.

A total failure to agree on any of the issues raised.

I don't understand how two sides can interpret the same documents so differently.

I've argued elsewhere that the No side feel that whatever it says in the Treaty, our neutrality, tax, etc are threatened simply by virtue of having been put in a position where they're up for discussion.

In other words, it's not that the Treaty says "we can change your tax" but that we're involved in a Treaty where it would be possible for that to be written.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon on the TV   Wed May 28, 2008 1:41 pm

Is there a repeat of this on at all? Or a recording of it on the rte website?

As for interpreting the same document differently: I think it's a matter of interpretation of the text against possible outcomes in future - take abortion, could it become legal for us to have abortion here in future without reference to our Constitution because it might be passed in Europe by QMV or something and become binding here? Or that a case for abortion could be brought to the European Court of Justice by a group that would bypass our laws? Not that I agree or disagree with abortion it's just an example - ibis has given other examples above.

Can the Treaty be amended later once this one is passed and ratified that will debar us in future from reference to our own constitution? These questions apply to tax and god knows what else too and no one seems to have worked out if x happens somewhere (like another X case) then are the mechanisms and paths through the mechanics worked out or can they be worked out to see how it might apply to laws and constitutions? I know there are several stipulations in the text with overt reference to this kind of thing for example with the militarism there is an overt reference, hard-coded in, but you know code, if the case is not tested for then something can sneak by. That's fine for code but can the Treaty be amended if something sneaks past that we don't want? Or that some other country doesn't want?

Why this wasn't built up gradually over the years in a democratic and consultative way with a broader base of people is what bothers me though I understand why of course.

Democracy should be based on very simple principles - as someone said, if you take more than 30 seconds to describe democracy then it's not democracy...


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Wed May 28, 2008 1:43 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to reference ibis)
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon on the TV   Wed May 28, 2008 3:34 pm

Quote :
Why this wasn't built up gradually over the years in a democratic and
consultative way with a broader base of people is what bothers me
though I understand why of course.

Two answers - first, that to a large extent it was. The "Reform Treaty" process called for, and got, extensive consultation with citizen's groups.

Second, the answer to the general 'democratic deficit' in the EU is that it suits nearly all national governments and political parties that it should exist. This article has a good analysis:

Quote :
Democracy's pantomime-horse

Inter-governmentalism has a further, presumably intended consequence. It continues to keep the citizens of the EU
at arms length from its institutions and impedes their becoming a demos
with political consciousness at the European level. As we have seen,
the stripping away of the symbols was about this. But there is a deeper
contradiction. Both the EU and its member-states are treaty-bound to
support democracy and popular participation, but have very different
ideas on what this actually implies.

For inter-governmentalists, identification, popular participation and
legitimation should be structured around the member-state, leaving
dealing with the EU to the elite and the government of the day. For the
integrationists this involvement should be direct. Indeed, the logic of democracy
supports this latter position - if it is accepted that the EU exists as
an autonomous field of political power, then both popular participation
and legitimation should be at that level.

In effect, what the inter-governmentalists say is that there is no such autonomous field, but equally they blame Brussels when it suits them, implying that there is. They claim that there is no European demos,
only a series of member-state "demoi" and so should it stay, but at the
same time operate as if the EU does function autonomously of them. This
makes the inter-governmentalists free-riders on EU power. They have
assented to it, but then deny that it exists. They silently welcome the
democratic deficit and then blame the EU for being undemocratic. The
member-state demos should not have much direct access to EU
institutions, because that would erode state-level legitimacy. Equally
a weak mediated relationship between the EU and a European demos will pre-empt the possibility that the local demos might use EU provisions against the member-state. The charter of fundamental rights, from which the UK obtained an opt-out, is a good illustration.

Besides, the more the state-level demos gains knowledge of the EU, the more
difficult it becomes for member-states to use the EU as a scapegoat for
their own unpopular policies. This use of the EU is reminiscent of the
communists in east-central Europe in the 1980s who were wont to say,
"we would like to reform, but Moscow will not allow it". The
inter-governmentalists have constructed an EU for their own purposes
and want to keep it that way, because it suits them to have a weakly
legitimated integration process that they can denounce as undemocratic.

In essence, think of the Water Directive and the water charges on schools. It absolutely suited FF to be able to blame a remote and 'undemocratic' EU.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon on the TV   Wed May 28, 2008 3:41 pm

ibis wrote:
In essence, think of the Water Directive and the water charges on schools. It absolutely suited FF to be able to blame a remote and 'undemocratic' EU.

Similarly, look at some of the government responses to claims by No campaigners that Lisbon will lead to privatisation in health and education - sure we've been doing that for ages here.
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