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 A French View of Lisbon

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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:34 pm

arnaudherve wrote:
EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Can someone explain to me why the French got a vote on the Constitution and not on Lisbon. Is it simply the downgrading from a Constitution to a Treaty that allowed this ?

It is relatively simple. The French voted No in 2005, and held a presidential election in 2007. Candidate M. Sarkozy promised a "simplified treaty" or "mini-treaty", with a more readable text, and removing all issues that did not create consensus.

As soon as he was elected, he came up not with a new treaty but with the constitution again. He also held meetings insisting that referendums should be organized nowhere, because the result would be a No in most countries.

From the formal point of view, the changing of a few phrases made the text a new treaty, liable to be ratified by parliament. If it had been possible, a referendum would not have taken place in Ireland either.

But even in 2005, they were at the beginning boasting over their "constitution', and as soon as polls showed the impopularity of the project, they hastened to rename it into "constitutional treaty" in all official documents.

Auditor wrote:
One of the pieces of information that contributed to me voting No was the rumour that their Constitutional requirements for a second referendum were bypassed by a simple renaming of the Constitution to 'Treaty'.

You are right. This is way some Brussels officials are now proposing to bring back the constitution (again), by hiding it in the next accession treaty for Croatia.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:39 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Perhaps if this Treaty was voted on on November 12th of this year, rather than June, would there have been a rejection? The Yes side could have got its act together by then.
The mechanism of a Referendum might not even be enough to support a project like this. I'm convinced we are all only half-educated on the basics not to mind the detail.

Democracy doesn't seem to have built into it the terms for its own update; surely as complication mounts then more complicated measures need to be taken?

I'll reiterate it: basic classes in the Irish and European system wouldn't have gone astray, with a little multiple-choice exam on a particular day after said classes by computer; there would be very little campaigning by political parties just a programme of education with some financial reward for participation funded by the political parties themselves with some room for promotion of their candidates in return.

The next levels of education wouldn't be launched until there were enough multiple choices with sufficiently knowledgeable results.

If they can do a driving test like that then why can't we do it with knowledge of our democratic institutions? Democracy is simple: representative rule of, for by the people; the institutions erected to facilitate that are not that simple and the onus should be on our educated and interested to explain that.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:43 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:

If they can do a driving test like that then why can't we do it with knowledge of our democratic institutions? Democracy is simple: representative rule of, for by the people; the institutions erected to facilitate that are not that simple and the onus should be on our educated and interested to explain that.

Do you propose that we should have to pass a theory test/practical in order to gain a licence to vote? Interesting...
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:59 pm

Sarkozy had a point. I think McCreevy was making the same point when he said the Treaty would be rejected in most countries. The fact is that the Treaty is more suited to a legislative process and parliamentary debate. It is not suitable for referendum.

That does not mean that it is ok to pass it by act of parliament in Ireland though. If they want to affect the constitution then they have to propose some thing that can be dealt with in a referendum.

I do not agree with preaching to other countries that they should have referenda. They have their own versions of democracy which they or their ancestors chose. They all have courts that allow the law to be challenged. I am happy however that we do have the protection of our Constitution.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:06 pm

I wonder Arnaud, if there is any debate opening up in France on the new situation, or is the interpretation that Ireland is a bunch of ungrateful little scuts still the main message?
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:29 pm

Breaking News . ie is saying that a Rumsfeld style French military is proposed, and that France will be returning to NATO.

Quote :
France is to cut tens of thousands of defence jobs as part of a new strategy aimed at adapting the country’s forces to new threats.
President Nicolas Sarkozy will present the plan – the biggest review in 14 years – to military and security officials tomorrow.
It calls for leaner but more high-tech fighting forces that can quickly deploy to battlefields in evolving conflicts from Afghanistan to Africa.

It is a long-term plan that seeks to defend France better over the next 15 years, and its effects may take years to be felt.

The document confirms France’s interest in eventually returning to Nato’s military command and its plans to work for a stronger European Union defense policy. Mr Sarkozy discussed both at a Nato summit in Bucharest in April.
The strategy, which goes to parliament later this month, foresees no expansion of France’s nuclear forces though says they will remain the country’s “life insurance.”

France has one of the world’s major military forces but the average age of its ships is 21 years and its Puma helicopters and Transall aeroplanes are “worn down to the tread,” defence minister Herve Morin said today.

“Our military tool must adapt to globalization and to new threats,” he said.
He called for more investment in anti-terrorist intelligence and technology to prevent cyber attacks. He warned of shifting “centres of gravity” in the fight against nuclear proliferation.
Spending in the region of 2% of GDP is expected.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:59 pm

A massive investment but spending in the region of 2% only? I thought Chicken Licken and the gang were putting around rumours of the war-mongers in France seeking a compulsory 6% spend to be enforced on all the peace loving nations of Europe?
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:08 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
A massive investment but spending in the region of 2% only? I thought Chicken Licken and the gang were putting around rumours of the war-mongers in France seeking a compulsory 6% spend to be enforced on all the peace loving nations of Europe?

Not this chicken-licken Zhou. 2% has been a widely publicised figure for a good while. Lisbon and the rejoining of NATO by France were intended by Sarkozy to be seamlessly intertwined. His intemperance on receiving news of the No vote may be related to disappointment.

Looking at Sarkozy's plan I would imagine that the arms manufacturers will be very happy and the army much less so.

The French plan may rely on plenty of French arms butwith footsoldiers provided by the less well equipped but willing nations like ....
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Today at 6:58 pm

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