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 Good video on the Lisbon Treaty

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PostSubject: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:01 am

This is a very good video - which appears to have been made by Sinn Fein - at least Marou Lou MacDonald features prominently. Whatever about that, it gives a very clear picture of how the Treaty is a determined assault on limiting democratic influence in the EU. No two ways about it, but the governments of the EU are fortifying themselves against the people.



http://www.bebo.com/FlashBox.jsp?FlashBoxId=6998602492&MID=3611618708


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added video so it can be seen on Portal - Audi)
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:24 pm

Even as a No voter, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there on several counts.

Firstly there is only one side of the argument put. I appreciate that it's a No video, but the arguments of the No side make no sense unless (and I know that some here would argue that they make no sense at all) they are in the context of specific proposals based on the treaty. It's easy put forward just one side of the argument.

Secondly, while Jens Peter Bonde has interesting points to make from the perspective of an MEP, I'm loathe to believe that as an MEP he does not have access to materials proposed by the (no less than) 3,000 committees that feed into the council/commission. That and other statements beggar belief and there is no way for the viewer to verify what he is saying or to put them in any kind of context whatsoever.

Thirdly, listening carefully to Mary Lou McDonald whom I have heard make far more solid speeches than what is on the video, is a waste of time because there is almost nothing concrete in her presentations. There is a total lack of referencing. Instead she relies on rhetoric and emotional blackmail - neither of which I consider to be useful in promoting rational discussion or a No vote based on some kind of reasoned conclusion.

In summary what the video does is give a very clear picture of Jens Peter Bonde's determined assault on the EU for what he perceives to be a limiting democratic influence in the EU. I'm not prepared to take his unchallenged word for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 1:51 pm

Kate P wrote:
Even as a No voter, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there on several counts.

Firstly there is only one side of the argument put. I appreciate that it's a No video, but the arguments of the No side make no sense unless (and I know that some here would argue that they make no sense at all) they are in the context of specific proposals based on the treaty. It's easy put forward just one side of the argument.

Secondly, while Jens Peter Bonde has interesting points to make from the perspective of an MEP, I'm loathe to believe that as an MEP he does not have access to materials proposed by the (no less than) 3,000 committees that feed into the council/commission. That and other statements beggar belief and there is no way for the viewer to verify what he is saying or to put them in any kind of context whatsoever.

Thirdly, listening carefully to Mary Lou McDonald whom I have heard make far more solid speeches than what is on the video, is a waste of time because there is almost nothing concrete in her presentations. There is a total lack of referencing. Instead she relies on rhetoric and emotional blackmail - neither of which I consider to be useful in promoting rational discussion or a No vote based on some kind of reasoned conclusion.

In summary what the video does is give a very clear picture of Jens Peter Bonde's determined assault on the EU for what he perceives to be a limiting democratic influence in the EU. I'm not prepared to take his unchallenged word for it.

I have to say I completely reject your arguments against that video and think you have significantly misrepresented what it says. Both speakers point to specific provisions and circumstances surrounding the introduction of the treaty. MaryLou McD quotes driectly from documents and JPB refers explicitly to the 68 new areas to be governed by QMV and a further 105 new competences, to give just two examples.

And if we are talking rhetoric and emotive appeals - I'm confident that any consistent analysis of the Lisbon Treaty debate would find the 'Yes' side has been forced, de facto, to rely far more significantly on that sort of approach than the 'No' side.

Notwithstanding the lush music and the obvious plug for Mary Lou (and by inference, Sinn Fein) - the video still makes some informative and persuasive points. Clearly you don't much like Mary Lou but I think your characterisation of her here is stridently unfair and unnecessarily attacking. I am not a member of Sinn Fein and hold no brief for them whatsoever. But objectively speaking and compared to most of the men and women who currently populate the Dail, Mary Lou is actually a far more competent and interesting speaker than most.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:15 pm

I think that's a brilliant video. The music was a bit 'terms of endearment', but it was well cut. I'm not a Shinner either, but MLD came across really well in that. She, like all politicians, is in the business of getting people to agree with her, and sh's doing a damn fine job at it.
Kate, I don't see anything wrong with making a one sided video. Or a one sided TV programme. There's plenty of other side videos out there for people who insist on balance.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:54 pm

Listened to Peter Sutherland again on the radio today, and again given a prime opportunity to sell the pluses of the Lisbon Treaty, he used his time to remind us that Europe has been good for us in the past and we will be the black sheep of Europe if we don't vote Yes.

The conundrum that supporters of the Treaty face is that

- either the Treaty is really important - in which case why hasn't it been explained (beyond less unwieldy committee sizes) exactly what in it is so important to pass ?

- or the Treaty is not really important, in which case what harm if we vote No ?

What would the adverse consequences to the EU of not making the Treaty be?
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:59 pm

Are we watching the same video?

Quote :
Both speakers point to specific provisions and circumstances surrounding the introduction of the treaty.

Bonde makes reference specifically to Article 48.6, Mary Lou hints at Article 28.

Mary Lou makes the following points
1. Is there a fear of referendums in the states?
2. Lisbon gives EU a free hand to militarise - perhaps that is why countries are not being asked to vote.
3. Lisbon is carte blanche for further erosion of (democracy, I think, didn't note the word) - she believes in democracy, peace and public services.
4. Her only quote is from a media report of something Margot Wallstrom said re collusion within EU to avoid any controversial decisions until after the referendum.
5. Two rhetorical questions in conjunction with vague reference to Article 28 whose language she does not use - why do we persist in emulating the USA?
6. Myth that the EU values workers rights - Irish Ferries and Vaxholm,
7. She's an Irish woman and a proud European but this is a bad deal for ...

So I stand over my comment that "there is almost nothing concrete in her presentations. There is a total lack of referencing. Instead she relies on rhetoric and emotional blackmail".
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:15 pm

Bonde, on the other hand says
1. There is virtually no difference between the constitution and the treaty - that is not disputed. However, he says that there are 68 new areas for QMV and 105 new competences - both of which are roundly disputed.

2. The Treaty is a political agreement that it was agreed would not be put for referendum. The only other person I've heard say this is Kathy Sinnott, who, interestingly, is sitting at Bonde's left shoulder.

3. It is self-amending, there is no area that cannot be touched by the Lisbon Treaty (a whopping and unsubstantiated generalisation) and that we should fear the treaty and fear the court in Luxembourg. Why, precisely?

4. The Treaty can't be read because it is a series of amendments - what's new in that? There are now consolidated texts but I have the original document and while it's not easy, it's relatively readable because the amendments are clearly stated. Frankly, I didn't know what was there before and now I know what's going to be there in the future. I'd rather take issue with that.

5. Democracy is moving from smaller to bigger states under QMV. I'm not a maths-head but I have to say that it's impossible to argue against it on the basis that the smaller countries have less power. The 55% and 65% rule negates that perspective completely BUT, and here's my problem, EVM, someone looking at this video who doesn't know that, is missing out on an important piece of information.

6. If the following is true then we are all in trouble. As are the hundreds of other MEPs who seem not to have noticed that this is the case: "85% of all laws are decided by civil servants in 300 secret working groups in the Council prepared by 3,000 secret working groups in the Commission. As an MEP, I have no access to the documents." To me several elements of that statement are outlandish and I'd certainly have appreciated the voice of someone else to clarify what this means - is the EU really a bevvy of secret societies? Is it actually that opaque in its workings? I'd like to know.

7. Power is moving from small to big countries.

8. The core of democracy is not evident in the EU, because elected representatives cannot change laws.

I do have a difficulty with the last point - but it's not because of Lisbon except in so far as Lisbon was an opportunity to take the proposal-of-legislation power away from the unelected commissioners. I've no doubt but that even in this country, much legislation comes to the Dáil via the workings of Government departments - but it is at least presented and stood over by an elected representative. There is serious work to be done to reform the commission.

So, Aragon. That's more or less what the speakers have said. I don't dispute that Bonde raises interesting points but it's not enough to leave those points unchallenged.


Quote :
And if we are talking rhetoric and emotive appeals - I'm confident that any consistent analysis of the Lisbon Treaty debate would find the 'Yes' side has been forced, de facto, to rely far more significantly on that sort of approach than the 'No' side.

That was never at issue here and I agree with you entirely. But the failings of the Yes side do not make this a better video.


Last edited by Kate P on Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : tidying up language)
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:16 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Listened to Peter Sutherland again on the radio today, and again given a prime opportunity to sell the pluses of the Lisbon Treaty, he used his time to remind us that Europe has been good for us in the past and we will be the black sheep of Europe if we don't vote Yes.

The conundrum that supporters of the Treaty face is that

- either the Treaty is really important - in which case why hasn't it been explained (beyond less unwieldy committee sizes) exactly what in it is so important to pass ?

- or the Treaty is not really important, in which case what harm if we vote No ?

What would the adverse consequences to the EU of not making the Treaty be?

For the EU as an institution? Not much - a fair bit of the institutional streamlining was already built in to Nice, such as the Commissioner and MEP reductions. The power balance will remain over towards the unelected end, so there's a long-term legitimacy deficit.

For the EU politically? Energy policy will be a bit trickier, because the retention of the veto there allows Russia to put pressure on the Eastern European states (which are almost completely reliant on Russian gas) to block anything it doesn't want. Similarly, the energy veto plus leaving out the climate change objective will allow member states to block climate change objectives they feel are hard to sell domestically. However, lacking the clear boundaries established by the Lisbon definition of competences, it's possible these can be added by ECJ rulings.

For the citizen? Well, we won't get the ability to challenge EU legislation via the Charter, and we don't get a petition mechanism or a proper subsidiarity mechanism. Our elected MEPs will remain rather less powerful than they might be. Of course, we won't be being conscripted into an EU army of conquest either, which is a bonus.

For Ireland? Who knows? Hopefully, the other member states will simply say "no bother, you're well within your rights there".
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:01 pm

Kate P wrote:
Good afternoon ibis.

Could you clarify something for me please in the light of the above video? Does QMV apply to co-decision and to council-only decisions? If it applies to co-decision, how does that work? Maybe I misheard/misunderstood Mr Bonde.

Merci.

Well, QMV applies to Council decisions in non-veto areas. Since co-decision requires both the Council and the Parliament to accept legislation before it's passed, the Council bit of it may well be taking place by QMV (well, theoretically, anyway - it's only used in about quarter of the cases it's applicable to).

In the case of the co-decision procedure, QMV can also come up where the Council and Parliament have been unable to agree amendments and have to enter what's called the 'conciliation procedure' where Council delegates and MEPs meet to try and thrash out the differences. Each delegation has to agree the final changes for them to be OK, and the Council delegation will operate by QMV if that's what's appropriate.

(See, not a single 'pft'!)
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:23 pm

What is the proper subsidiarity mechanism in the Treaty, Ibis?

I was encouraged listening to a German journalist and Danish vox pop on RTE radio today that neither thought the world would end with an Irish No vote - one of the Danes made the point that they were doing very nicely without the Euro. They all appeared to respect our right to come to a decision based on Irish preference. If only our politicians were so reasonable.

A Yes vote still seems quite possible given the Red C Poll.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:25 pm

Thanks for that - and for being entirely 'pft' free. I was a bit narked by that yesterday - and was subsequently unkind. Sincere apologies for that.

I'm studying hard today - Lisbon and the EU in general, and I think that I know more about the former than the latter which is rather ridiculous.

Did you watch the video above? I'd be interested in your opinion on it, particularly Bonde's contention regarding secret committees at work within the Council and the Commission.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:28 pm

cactus flower wrote:
What is the proper subsidiarity mechanism in the Treaty, Ibis?

I
was encouraged listening to a German journalist and Danish vox pop on
RTE radio today that neither thought the world would end with an Irish
No vote - one of the Danes made the point that they were doing very
nicely without the Euro. They all appeared to respect our right to come
to a decision based on Irish preference. If only our politicians were
so reasonable.

A Yes vote still seems quite possible given the Red C Poll.

Thusfar only 15 countries have ratified the Treaty - it may (though it's unlikely) fall elsewhere even if we do pass it.

Someone posted elsewhere about the level of funding that Libertas has - twice that of FF.

What Libertas doesn't have, and what FF won't have to pay for, is getting voters out between now and Thursday. The question is whether getting the party faithful out is enough.

I'm wondering should we split this to another EU thread and keep this one for Aragon's video?
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:23 pm

cactus flower wrote:
What is the proper subsidiarity mechanism in the Treaty, Ibis?

It's the system set up in the "Protocol On The Role Of National Parliaments In The European Union", where all draft legislation is forwarded to national parliaments for study, as are the agendas for and the outcome of meetings of the Council, including the minutes of meetings where the Council is deliberating on the draft legislation. The national parliaments can then issue an opinion on the draft legislation as to whether it respects the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

Lisbon Treaty wrote:
Where reasoned opinions on a draft legislative act's non-compliance with the principle of subsidiarity represent at least one third of all the votes allocated to the national Parliaments....the draft must be reviewed.

The bit I've left out there (...) is the bit that states that each national Parliament gets 2 votes - in our case, one for the Dáil, one for the Seanad.

Lisbon Treaty wrote:
After such review, the Commission or, where appropriate, the group of Member States, the European Parliament, the Court of Justice, the European Central Bank or the European Investment Bank, if the draft legislative act originates from them, may decide to maintain, amend or withdraw the draft. Reasons must be given for this decision.

Further, where the legislation would be subject ot co-decision (95% of law under Lisbon), then if more than 50% of the 'national parliament votes' are against the legislation, and the Commission decides after review to keep the legislation as is, it can be defeated by a vote of either 55% of the Council or a straight vote in the Parliament.

---------------------------------------------------------------

In summary, each national parliament gets 2 votes. If a third of the votes are against a proposal, the proposal must be reviewed. If it's to be kept, it must be defended.

If more than half the votes are against it, then not only must it be reviewed, and defended if kept, but the legislation is singificantly easier to defeat in either the Council or the Parliament (bearing in mind it will usually have to pass both).

---------------------------------------------------------------

As usual, there are two obvious viewpoints:

1. if you see the EU as a supranational institution that imposes itself on the member states, you get to say "yeah, yeah - the legislation will always be 'maintained', and the Commission has to 'defend its opinion', so what?".

2. if, on the other hand, you see the EU as a cooperative club of nations, then this is a direct-input subsidiarity check - and the best bit is that it's the parliaments, not the governments.

In defence of the latter position, consider the rather easily missed point that the EU is binding itself to give information about draft legislation, and minutes from the Council meetings dealing with that legislation, to the national parliaments - to those in government and those in opposition.

It's not dissimilar to agreeing that all draft government legislation can be viewed in advance by the whole of the Dáil and the Seanad, along with the relevant Cabinet minutes. Why would a dictatorial EU do that?*

*Not rhetorical - feel free to offer your conspiracy theories.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:45 pm

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
What is the proper subsidiarity mechanism in the Treaty, Ibis?

It's the system set up in the "Protocol On The Role Of National Parliaments In The European Union", where all draft legislation is forwarded to national parliaments for study, as are the agendas for and the outcome of meetings of the Council, including the minutes of meetings where the Council is deliberating on the draft legislation. The national parliaments can then issue an opinion on the draft legislation as to whether it respects the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

Lisbon Treaty wrote:
Where reasoned opinions on a draft legislative act's non-compliance with the principle of subsidiarity represent at least one third of all the votes allocated to the national Parliaments....the draft must be reviewed.

The bit I've left out there (...) is the bit that states that each national Parliament gets 2 votes - in our case, one for the Dáil, one for the Seanad.

Lisbon Treaty wrote:
After such review, the Commission or, where appropriate, the group of Member States, the European Parliament, the Court of Justice, the European Central Bank or the European Investment Bank, if the draft legislative act originates from them, may decide to maintain, amend or withdraw the draft. Reasons must be given for this decision.

Further, where the legislation would be subject ot co-decision (95% of law under Lisbon), then if more than 50% of the 'national parliament votes' are against the legislation, and the Commission decides after review to keep the legislation as is, it can be defeated by a vote of either 55% of the Council or a straight vote in the Parliament.

---------------------------------------------------------------

In summary, each national parliament gets 2 votes. If a third of the votes are against a proposal, the proposal must be reviewed. If it's to be kept, it must be defended.

If more than half the votes are against it, then not only must it be reviewed, and defended if kept, but the legislation is singificantly easier to defeat in either the Council or the Parliament (bearing in mind it will usually have to pass both).

---------------------------------------------------------------

As usual, there are two obvious viewpoints:

1. if you see the EU as a supranational institution that imposes itself on the member states, you get to say "yeah, yeah - the legislation will always be 'maintained', and the Commission has to 'defend its opinion', so what?".

2. if, on the other hand, you see the EU as a cooperative club of nations, then this is a direct-input subsidiarity check - and the best bit is that it's the parliaments, not the governments.

In defence of the latter position, consider the rather easily missed point that the EU is binding itself to give information about draft legislation, and minutes from the Council meetings dealing with that legislation, to the national parliaments - to those in government and those in opposition.

It's not dissimilar to agreeing that all draft government legislation can be viewed in advance by the whole of the Dáil and the Seanad, along with the relevant Cabinet minutes. Why would a dictatorial EU do that?*

*Not rhetorical - feel free to offer your conspiracy theories
.

30 second rule successfully applied. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:10 pm

Aragon wrote:
This is a very good video - which appears to have been made by Sinn Fein - at least Marou Lou MacDonald features prominently. Whatever about that, it gives a very clear picture of how the Treaty is a determined assault on limiting democratic influence in the EU. No two ways about it, but the governments of the EU are fortifying themselves against the people.



Ah, that was good.

Mary Lou McDonald wrote:
The Lisbon Treaty will be subjected to democratic scrutiny of [sic] the people of Ireland alone. There's clearly a fear of referendums in other states and I find myself asking why? Why so when we talk so much about democracy? Who here fears the voice of the people?

That was enough for me.

More on the Europarl links, for and against..
http://www.youtube.com/user/europarl
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:19 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:


Ah, that was good.

Mary Lou McDonald wrote:
The Lisbon Treaty will be subjected to democratic scrutiny of [sic] the people of Ireland alone. There's clearly a fear of referendums in other states and I find myself asking why? Why so when we talk so much about democracy? Who here fears the voice of the people?

That was enough for me.


Yep, I wouldn't call that emotional rhetoric. That was a well aimed and worded serious question. Although ML knows how to draw on the emotions too, but that's why she's an MEP and not say...me for instance.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:37 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:


Ah, that was good.

Mary Lou McDonald wrote:
The Lisbon Treaty will be subjected to democratic scrutiny of [sic] the people of Ireland alone. There's clearly a fear of referendums in other states and I find myself asking why? Why so when we talk so much about democracy? Who here fears the voice of the people?

That was enough for me.


Yep, I wouldn't call that emotional rhetoric. That was a well aimed and worded serious question. Although ML knows how to draw on the emotions too, but that's why she's an MEP and not say...me for instance.

I believe foreign countries also often suffer from a fear of painting their letterboxes green and putting the harp on their coins.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:39 pm

Audi,

Why is it good enough for you? The combined peoples of Europe are not out on the streets complaining that they don't have a referendum (although there are some Austrians and Germans who are unhappy). They should be fighting their own battles if it means so much to them. I think it's daft to assume a responsibility for the battles that others don't see worthwhile fighting.

In any case, we're voting on this treaty because of the impact that it has on our constitution, not because of the impact it will have on that of any other nation.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:51 pm

If this Treaty goes through we will all be EU citizens and I suppose we'll be fighting each other's battles in every sense of the words.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:53 pm

cactus flower wrote:
If this Treaty goes through we will all be EU citizens and I suppose we'll be fighting each other's battles in every sense of the words.

We are already EU citizens, that was codified in the Treaty of Maastricht and it was a very good decision.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:53 pm

Kate P wrote:
Audi,

Why is it good enough for you?
That has been my gut feeling for a while and I'm going with that because there are too many clouds over this thing and I believe a project like this should be built up over time and with more knowledge of it and of the EU among other things.

Quote :
In any case, we're voting on this treaty because of the impact that it has on our constitution, not because of the impact it will have on that of any other nation.
I'm not.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:55 pm

I can't say I'm impressed with the argument that we should vote no because other countries didn't get a referendum. This referendum should be decided on Irish issues, not foreign ones. If no one else got a referendum then that's between them and their own governments. Badgering us seems like emotional blackmail to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:57 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Audi,

Why is it good enough for you?
That has been my gut feeling for a while and I'm going with that because there are too many clouds over this thing and I believe a project like this should be built up over time and with more knowledge of it and of the EU among other things.

But many of these countries have no tradition of referenda, referenda just aren't a part of their constitutional make-up. Ireland, in fact, is unique in requiring that all constitutional changes require referenda.

Germany has turned its back on plebiscites for the very reason that they can be mis-guided, overly influenced by populism and distracted from the central points of that which is to be voted on. Hitler used referenda to devastating effect in seeking "legitimacy" for his crimes against humanity and democracy.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:04 pm

Quote :
Quote :
In any case, we're voting on this treaty because of the impact that it has on our constitution, not because of the impact it will have on that of any other nation.

I'm not.

I'd argue that you are because that's what a constitutional referendum is all about.
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PostSubject: Re: Good video on the Lisbon Treaty   Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:06 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Audi,

Why is it good enough for you?
That has been my gut feeling for a while and I'm going with that because there are too many clouds over this thing and I believe a project like this should be built up over time and with more knowledge of it and of the EU among other things.

But many of these countries have no tradition of referenda, referenda just aren't a part of their constitutional make-up. Ireland, in fact, is unique in requiring that all constitutional changes require referenda.
In the case of Britain though, it seems like they were shafted badly.
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