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 The Lisbon Debate Continues

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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:58 pm

Kate P wrote:
I'm inclined to disagree with you too, Zhou_Enlai.

I spoke to FF supporters yesterday who had been out trying to sell the Treaty without having read it and without really knowing what was in it. one said that they had been "briefed - in more ways than one" about it. In other words, they knew damn all and found it very difficult to deal with questions.

The leadership change was an issue but a general election campaign lasts three weeks. Theoretically it should have been possible for FF to run a blitz on information and canvassing in that time and they simply got the campaign wrong.

It happens over and over again that people complain they don't know enough about the issues and don't know how to vote on that basis. If FF and the others were serious about this, they would have combined their efforts to produce an information document that would quote parts of the Treaty and explain to people very clearly what the issues were. God knows the questions were being asked at national and local meetings since Christmas. The Yes response was naive and complacent in that regard.

There's no reason why the strategy couldn't have been in place before BA left. Remember, Cowen only came to power in May but for three weeks previous to his accession he had been Taoiseach in waiting. Plenty of time to be getting your act together.

The Yes side was far too slow in providing responses to the questions raised by the No side which gave the information a chance to become entrenched in the minds of some people. I was flagging this on p.ie for ages as an observation from the Forum meetings long before the campaign started.

I absolutely agree with you. The FF campaign was lost in March and April, before it even started, and because it hadn't started. I'm more than slightly amazed they apparently managed to repeat their Nice I mistakes, but they seem to have done so.

Nor was there any coordination between the campaigns. Concerned individual TDs and MEPs seem to have set off in their own directions before the main campaigns, but there was no 'message' as such, and approaches to the EU itself for information or clarification were extremely late in the day.

Little attempt seems to have been made to digest the Treaty and render its advantages intelligible at the same level as the 'objections' - instead, the Yes campaigns were still scrambling around trying to refute falsehoods that should have been refuted months before. By the time the Yes campaign was trying to counter the various myths, people had heard them from their friends, a source given far more credibility than politician's bland assurances.

The other thing the late campaign achieved was to allow brinkmanship by groups like the IFA (entirely predictable) insufficient time to be reversed. The position of people like SIPTU should have been worked out well in advance, not in doubt the week before the vote.

Finally, of course, the "bullying" attitude predictably backfired, and almost immediately made it impossible to actually discuss whether there were downsides to a No vote, and what they might be, without a chorus of indignant shrieks.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:31 pm

ibis wrote:
Kate P wrote:
I'm inclined to disagree with you too, Zhou_Enlai.

I spoke to FF supporters yesterday who had been out trying to sell the Treaty without having read it and without really knowing what was in it. one said that they had been "briefed - in more ways than one" about it. In other words, they knew damn all and found it very difficult to deal with questions.

The leadership change was an issue but a general election campaign lasts three weeks. Theoretically it should have been possible for FF to run a blitz on information and canvassing in that time and they simply got the campaign wrong.

It happens over and over again that people complain they don't know enough about the issues and don't know how to vote on that basis. If FF and the others were serious about this, they would have combined their efforts to produce an information document that would quote parts of the Treaty and explain to people very clearly what the issues were. God knows the questions were being asked at national and local meetings since Christmas. The Yes response was naive and complacent in that regard.

There's no reason why the strategy couldn't have been in place before BA left. Remember, Cowen only came to power in May but for three weeks previous to his accession he had been Taoiseach in waiting. Plenty of time to be getting your act together.

The Yes side was far too slow in providing responses to the questions raised by the No side which gave the information a chance to become entrenched in the minds of some people. I was flagging this on p.ie for ages as an observation from the Forum meetings long before the campaign started.

I absolutely agree with you. The FF campaign was lost in March and April, before it even started, and because it hadn't started. I'm more than slightly amazed they apparently managed to repeat their Nice I mistakes, but they seem to have done so.

Nor was there any coordination between the campaigns. Concerned individual TDs and MEPs seem to have set off in their own directions before the main campaigns, but there was no 'message' as such, and approaches to the EU itself for information or clarification were extremely late in the day.

Little attempt seems to have been made to digest the Treaty and render its advantages intelligible at the same level as the 'objections' - instead, the Yes campaigns were still scrambling around trying to refute falsehoods that should have been refuted months before. By the time the Yes campaign was trying to counter the various myths, people had heard them from their friends, a source given far more credibility than politician's bland assurances.

The other thing the late campaign achieved was to allow brinkmanship by groups like the IFA (entirely predictable) insufficient time to be reversed. The position of people like SIPTU should have been worked out well in advance, not in doubt the week before the vote.

Finally, of course, the "bullying" attitude predictably backfired, and almost immediately made it impossible to actually discuss whether there were downsides to a No vote, and what they might be, without a chorus of indignant shrieks.

Kate P says FF sent its members out to "sell" the Treaty to us with the idea in their heads that they didn't need to read it. The Government apparently negotiated it on behalf of Ireland and steered it through in their Presidency without having read it. And even if you accept that we could read it for ourselves without their help are we are supposed to trust these people to deal with the interpretation and implementation issues after it was passed? Am I on my own in feeling we have not had a Government since the election. With the exception of the Green Ministers (leave them for another day) what sign of life has there been from any of them ? While the economy is crash landing in the middle of a world wide economic storm there has been a deathly hush. How could someone as focused on his own wheelings and dealings as Ahern be governing well? And how can the people who protected him and like Cowen remained uncritical of him have credibility themselves?

What is striking me listening to the vox pops of people after they voted is that the level of knowledge of the Treaty is reasonably good, and the reasons for No are not pot holes and conscription. I wonder how good a knowledge of it there is in the countries whose parliaments have ratified it?

The reaction of the French and German governments and Barroso - who have discussed it together - is that Ireland's No vote is a leaf in the wind and can be ignored. The issue has moved on from the contents of the Treaty to the question of the credibility of the EU as a institution that abides by its own legal frameworks or a simple coup d'etat by the main european powers.

If this is their reaction to a clear and legal No vote, how do you think we would have done in any dispute over interpretation of the Treaty?
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:57 pm

This is my first post on the post mortem and it'll be my last, as I want to leave it behind me (I'm still pissed at both sides' propaganda about neutrality etc.).

I agree with Joe Higgins when he said on Tuesday that there were groups on the 'no' side of the debate that were putting absolute nonsense (I'm paraphrasing) into the public domain, that the Government and the rest of the yes side were focussing on it, building it up, just so that they could knock it down again. He said this facilitated (again I'm paraphrasing) the yes side being seen to move forward and at the same time, avoiding and having to recognise or deal with genuine concerns.

I think the people of Ireland are very far from being the poor and befuddled bogger population that they
are being, and will be described as. I think apathy should never be confused with stupidity.

I think the powers that be ought to be self reflecting rather than searching for the cause for "what went wrong." Yesterday's voice of the people expressed more than an opinion on the Lisbon Treaty. It expressed an opinion on those who see themselves as representing the people of Ireland.

It said: "Wake the fuck up!!!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:04 pm

Good idea Hermes to put it behind everyone and get on with it.

Do you know if the socialist party or anyone else is going to organise meetings or anything now about what's going to happen next? Cowen needs feedback and I think a lot of people are interested in voicing their involvement and I just don't want the buzz to stop which I'd started getting into towards the end, attending meetings etc.

If there is news of ANY meetings then don't hesitate to post them here will you?
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:06 pm

Maybe we should all just email the Department of the Taoiseach with our reasons for voting and he and his staff can move forward based on that information.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:12 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Maybe we should all just email the Department of the Taoiseach with our reasons for voting and he and his staff can move forward based on that information.

There is a massive legal issue here the poor euro judges have not been let go to bed since the vote trying to cook some way of passing the Treaty without Ireland - the needles are out for the stitch up.

This is so outrageous I can hardly type. Surely Cowen can't agree to a stitch up over our heads after the vote ???? Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:42 pm

Why are you blaming the government for the mess we now find
ourselves in? The No campaign won by lying to the Irish people about the Lisbon
treaty. The media refused to challenge them, Eamon Dunphys pathetic interview
of Mr. Ganley this morning is an example of this. Where’s the Irish version of
Jeremy Paxman or even one journalist who doesn’t just read off press
releases. Let the No side suggest the next way forward now that they got
their way, or is it the case that the No side have led us up a cul de sac just so
that they could give the government the two fingers?
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:51 pm

Art wrote:
Why are you blaming the government for the mess we now find
ourselves in? The No campaign won by lying to the Irish people about the Lisbon
treaty. The media refused to challenge them, Eamon Dunphys pathetic interview
of Mr. Ganley this morning is an example of this. Where’s the Irish version of
Jeremy Paxman or even one journalist who doesn’t just read off press
releases. Let the No side suggest the next way forward now that they got
their way, or is it the case that the No side have led us up a cul de sac just so
that they could give the government the two fingers?

Hey Art! You must talking about some other referendum. There is no way that anyone could claim the print media was not firmly biased towards the yes side - and what coverage it did give the no side put so much emphasis on Libertas that the bulk of no voters had very little access to the newspapers, by comparison.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:09 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Maybe we should all just email the Department of the Taoiseach with our reasons for voting and he and his staff can move forward based on that information.

There is a massive legal issue here the poor euro judges have not been let go to bed since the vote trying to cook some way of passing the Treaty without Ireland - the needles are out for the stitch up.

This is so outrageous I can hardly type. Surely Cowen can't agree to a stitch up over our heads after the vote ???? Shocked

I can see why you consider it outrageous, but it's always been on the cards. Sure, people didn't want to believe it, and anyone who mentioned it was shouted down as a scaremonger - but, yes, the other 26 countries have the option to simply go forward without us. We can decide later whether we want to catch up again.

To claim that they can't or shouldn't isn't "democratic", it's legalistic. It says that for the sake of the rules they must do what a tiny minority has decided.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:10 pm

In my neck of the woods the Libertas campaign was not a factor in my opinion - one comment by Ganley on Q&A left my father wondering about it alright and as a Fianna Fáil supporter I wonder was he more concerned that Michael Martin had no answer for him. That was the casual extent and breadth of Libertas down here.

Another man - a shopkeeper in Kilkee (West Clare tourist destination for Limerick folks and others) told me that people were annoyed that they weren't even asked on the doorsteps to vote ?? Is it that simple? Just clone Edo (lock up your daughters) ? Was the government so oversighted as not to pick up on this or did they fail to do it on purpose because they might have been asked bad questions? Either way they didn't do it so this vilification of Libertas has imo been out of all proportion to the result.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:17 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Good idea Hermes to put it behind everyone and get on with it.

Do you know if the socialist party or anyone else is going to organise meetings or anything now about what's going to happen next? Cowen needs feedback and I think a lot of people are interested in voicing their involvement and I just don't want the buzz to stop which I'd started getting into towards the end, attending meetings etc.

If there is news of ANY meetings then don't hesitate to post them here will you?

Joe Higgins said that if the treaty failed that those on the left should get together. To paraphrase once again: the victory should be used to grow a movement.

It might be possible to get Joe to write a guest post for MN?

I'll certainly keep ye posted on any upcoming developments and/or meetings should I hear of them.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:27 pm

Aragon. Sure the editorials of the main Irish dailies were
pro treaty but the content of the paper wasn't. The English papers were
anti-treaty. The free paper, metro, as far as I am aware only published
anti-treaty letters. RTE was a farce with no attempt to explain the treaty
until the Tuesday evening before the vote, on Primetime. To give an example I
was interviewed by RTE in Naas and the reporter asked me to voice my concerns
about the treaty to camera, when I said I was reasonable happy with the treaty,
she then asked was I not concerned that it will introduce abortion and lead
to a militarization of Europe etc. When
I said the treaty had nothing to do with these things she looked lost. They didn’t
use my clip in the end, (I asked was it possible that the other countries could
push us out of Europe as a result of the treaty just to keep her happy, they
can't.) The media should have investigated the lies being spread by the No side
and proved them wrong that’s their job in a democracy. To my mind one of the view media people to do their job properly was Vincent Brown in Village magazine, incidentally
he was a No voter.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:29 pm

Hermes wrote:
It might be possible to get Joe to write a guest post for MN?

I'll certainly keep ye posted on any upcoming developments and/or meetings should I hear of them.
Jaysus ... Could we get Patricia McKenna too at all? What a Face

It would be amazing if he did. We'd have to tidy the place up though.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:45 pm

Is it just me, or was there no massive billboards for yes, or even television advertisements for the yes side? Where were the large sheets in papers refuting arguments and outlining the benefits of lisbon? Ganley was certainly able to put his message across. Did the government not realise that you can't win elections on style and slogan alone, that substance is required.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:00 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
In my neck of the woods the Libertas campaign was not a factor in my opinion - one comment by Ganley on Q&A left my father wondering about it alright and as a Fianna Fáil supporter I wonder was he more concerned that Michael Martin had no answer for him. That was the casual extent and breadth of Libertas down here.

Another man - a shopkeeper in Kilkee (West Clare tourist destination for Limerick folks and others) told me that people were annoyed that they weren't even asked on the doorsteps to vote ?? Is it that simple? Just clone Edo (lock up your daughters) ? Was the government so oversighted as not to pick up on this or did they fail to do it on purpose because they might have been asked bad questions? Either way they didn't do it so this vilification of Libertas has imo been out of all proportion to the result.

I wasn't canvassed by either side - which is a pity because I would have been glad of the discussion.

Now onto something more controversial...

...is it just me or is there a degree of irrational paranoia in response to one-line comments made by those in power?

I see it like this - and am, as always, open to correction on the detail.

Lisbon was not due to be fully implemented until 2014. A considerable number of other countries have not yet ratified it. Assuming that other countries can immediately go on without us is a bit like suggesting that the QE2 could do a three point turn in a bathtub. The pace of change is slow and while emotional reactions may be swift, there is no need, I feel, to be getting knickers (or whatever you're wearing) in a knot before all of the other countries have reached their decision if they still wish to. We are not in the position that has been implied in some commentary in the last 24 hours.

That is not to say that there won't be politicking going on and that narky French officials won't turn up their noses at Irish proposals about sheep or biofuels - they probably will in the short term.

We are in danger of grossly over-estimating our importance by jumping to conclusions before there has been any decision by the remaining countries to ratify the treaty or not.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:36 pm

Kate P wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
In my neck of the woods the Libertas campaign was not a factor in my opinion - one comment by Ganley on Q&A left my father wondering about it alright and as a Fianna Fáil supporter I wonder was he more concerned that Michael Martin had no answer for him. That was the casual extent and breadth of Libertas down here.

Another man - a shopkeeper in Kilkee (West Clare tourist destination for Limerick folks and others) told me that people were annoyed that they weren't even asked on the doorsteps to vote ?? Is it that simple? Just clone Edo (lock up your daughters) ? Was the government so oversighted as not to pick up on this or did they fail to do it on purpose because they might have been asked bad questions? Either way they didn't do it so this vilification of Libertas has imo been out of all proportion to the result.

I wasn't canvassed by either side - which is a pity because I would have been glad of the discussion.

Now onto something more controversial...

...is it just me or is there a degree of irrational paranoia in response to one-line comments made by those in power?

I see it like this - and am, as always, open to correction on the detail.

Lisbon was not due to be fully implemented until 2014. A considerable number of other countries have not yet ratified it. Assuming that other countries can immediately go on without us is a bit like suggesting that the QE2 could do a three point turn in a bathtub. The pace of change is slow and while emotional reactions may be swift, there is no need, I feel, to be getting knickers (or whatever you're wearing) in a knot before all of the other countries have reached their decision if they still wish to. We are not in the position that has been implied in some commentary in the last 24 hours.

That is not to say that there won't be politicking going on and that narky French officials won't turn up their noses at Irish proposals about sheep or biofuels - they probably will in the short term.

We are in danger of grossly over-estimating our importance by jumping to conclusions before there has been any decision by the remaining countries to ratify the treaty or not.

Again, I agree with Kate - well, except for the last point. So far, it does look like the remaining countries will go ahead with ratification.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:13 pm

Quote :
We are in danger of grossly over-estimating our importance by jumping to conclusions before there has been any decision by the remaining countries to ratify the treaty or not.

I dont think it's got to do with overestimating our importance but with the fact that ratification of the treaty must be agreed to by all member states. Clearly that agreement is now out of the question. So when ministers nevertheless continue to talk about solutions to the 'problem' of the No result, they are really talking about reneging on the legal terms of negotiating EU Treaties. There has been a chorus of European leaders and others insisting that they are going to disregard the necessity for unanimous ratification. That's what has got people riled - that the EU assures us that it respects all of the measures and rules it has introduced to safeguard democracy and national sovereignty - and then says it will do what the hell it likes anyway, it only goes to show that much of the reason people voted no was entirely justified.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:46 pm

Aragon wrote:
Quote :
We are in danger of grossly over-estimating our importance by jumping to conclusions before there has been any decision by the remaining countries to ratify the treaty or not.

I dont think it's got to do with overestimating our importance but with the fact that ratification of the treaty must be agreed to by all member states. Clearly that agreement is now out of the question. So when ministers nevertheless continue to talk about solutions to the 'problem' of the No result, they are really talking about reneging on the legal terms of negotiating EU Treaties. There has been a chorus of European leaders and others insisting that they are going to disregard the necessity for unanimous ratification. That's what has got people riled - that the EU assures us that it respects all of the measures and rules it has introduced to safeguard democracy and national sovereignty - and then says it will do what the hell it likes anyway, it only goes to show that much of the reason people voted no was entirely justified.

Once again, this involves confusing the EU, which is the joint project of the member states, and the member states themselves. They're sovereign nations, and if they want to go ahead without us, they can do so. To claim that they should be bound to respect the rules of the EU in ratifying a treaty between states is nonsense.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:48 pm

You may draw that conclusion, Aragon but I'm going to hold back for a while. It's only worthwhile 'going on' - whatever that means, if all of the 26 countries are behind it. If not, then Ireland is not the scapegoat.

If and when there is definitive action to 'go on' then the ramifications will be felt not just in Ireland but in every country that realises that there is a more powerful machine there than was supposed which is capable of overriding the democratic mandate of a member state and the legal requirements of one of its own documents.

When the smoke and bluster have cleared, we'll be left with a much better picture of where progress lies. We must also remember that the media will want to get solid value out of this for a couple of weeks before the Dáil goes into recess. There will be some cooling off time during the summer when everyone can consider their position. Drawing any conclusion before September is, in my opinion, counter productive. I don't think the present hysteria is helpful.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:49 pm

Kate P wrote:
You may draw that conclusion, Aragon but I'm going to hold back for a while. It's only worthwhile 'going on' - whatever that means, if all of the 26 countries are behind it. If not, then Ireland is not the scapegoat.

I think the Czech Constitutional Court is going to examine the Treaty after our No vote.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:50 pm

Quote :
Once again, this involves confusing the EU, which is the joint project of the member states, and the member states themselves. They're sovereign nations, and if they want to go ahead without us, they can do so. To claim that they should be bound to respect the rules of the EU in ratifying a treaty between states is nonsense.

Can you clarify this, ibis? - specifically what is meant by 'going on' - because I'm very unclear on what that means, and also where Lisbon fits in terms of 'going on.'

Merci.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:28 pm

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Once again, this involves confusing the EU, which is the joint project of the member states, and the member states themselves. They're sovereign nations, and if they want to go ahead without us, they can do so. To claim that they should be bound to respect the rules of the EU in ratifying a treaty between states is nonsense.

Can you clarify this, ibis? - specifically what is meant by 'going on' - because I'm very unclear on what that means, and also where Lisbon fits in terms of 'going on.'

Merci.

I think we're discussing it in advance of any consensus forming, so it's difficult to say, really.

However, one thing we know is that the member states have agreed that the Union has certain problems (I know, people disagree). The Constitution was intended to solve those problems (and add all sorts of fancy twiddly bits courtesy of d'Estaing), and Lisbon looked like the Constitution because it was intended to solve the same set of problems.

That means that there is certainly a strong pressure to solve those problems - so something like Lisbon must go ahead, because otherwise those problems simply remain unsoved.

As I say, there are plenty of people who disagree that the Union has the problems that the member state governments perceive it as having. Without a lot more analysis of how the Union is working, and what the problems are, I don't think that's a judgment I would be comfortable making - it's like pretending one can solve the problems of a company because you've bought its products a few times. We're being asked to either trust the 'insiders' - the people who deal with the EU every day - or we can make our own informed judgment. In the latter case, though, we have to recognise that we will still not have as accurate a picture as direct experience would give us. At some point, we'll have to make decisions based on trust.

The other question, of course, is whether the EU is going in the right direction anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:03 pm

ibis wrote:
Aragon wrote:
Quote :
We are in danger of grossly over-estimating our importance by jumping to conclusions before there has been any decision by the remaining countries to ratify the treaty or not.

I dont think it's got to do with overestimating our importance but with the fact that ratification of the treaty must be agreed to by all member states. Clearly that agreement is now out of the question. So when ministers nevertheless continue to talk about solutions to the 'problem' of the No result, they are really talking about reneging on the legal terms of negotiating EU Treaties. There has been a chorus of European leaders and others insisting that they are going to disregard the necessity for unanimous ratification. That's what has got people riled - that the EU assures us that it respects all of the measures and rules it has introduced to safeguard democracy and national sovereignty - and then says it will do what the hell it likes anyway, it only goes to show that much of the reason people voted no was entirely justified.

Once again, this involves confusing the EU, which is the joint project of the member states, and the member states themselves. They're sovereign nations, and if they want to go ahead without us, they can do so. To claim that they should be bound to respect the rules of the EU in ratifying a treaty between states is nonsense.
I've just read on through your posts ibis and find no answer to the questions looming from the point Aragon has raised: as far as I can see there is no confusion because the EU is a collection of member states and the Treaty is a legal document. Laws are only valid by consensus between two or more entities, thus what I read in the Independent today about the Treaty being dead holds true and I hope Fine Gael and Labour stick to that line that they are reported as taking.

If I'm confused on this still your explanations if you advance them might serve the questions of others as well because I certainly can't see further ratification as having any credit legally.

ibis wrote:
The other question, of course, is whether the EU is going in the right direction anyway.
Now there's a question and a half.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:28 pm

Kate P wrote:
You may draw that conclusion, Aragon but I'm going to hold back for a while. It's only worthwhile 'going on' - whatever that means, if all of the 26 countries are behind it. If not, then Ireland is not the scapegoat.

If and when there is definitive action to 'go on' then the ramifications will be felt not just in Ireland but in every country that realises that there is a more powerful machine there than was supposed which is capable of overriding the democratic mandate of a member state and the legal requirements of one of its own documents.

When the smoke and bluster have cleared, we'll be left with a much better picture of where progress lies. We must also remember that the media will want to get solid value out of this for a couple of weeks before the Dáil goes into recess. There will be some cooling off time during the summer when everyone can consider their position. Drawing any conclusion before September is, in my opinion, counter productive. I don't think the present hysteria is helpful.

But Kate aren't you are overlooking that the Treaty must be ratified by all the member sates? I dont understand why people are acting as if this inconvenient fact were unimportant - as if our no vote was in someway an annoying but minor skirmish to be quelled as soon as possible. You imply, if I understand you rightly, that if all 26 of the other states ratify the Treaty despite the requirement for unanimity, then the unamimity rule could be ignored? Picture trying to argue that point if the French and/or the Germans had held referenda and voted no as decisivley as we have!


Last edited by Aragon on Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling error.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:36 pm

You don't understand me rightly. I don't say that the unanimity rule can be ignored, rather my point is that, as with the Constitution, we may not be the only country not to ratify the document. In which case, we won't be the sole scapegoat. It may well be that the other nations will continue to ratify - others may not bother, just as we didn't with the Constitution.

In terms of 'going on,' if Ireland is not the only country behind Lisbon, then the 'going on' process will hit another obstacle. Apart from that, it will require some grand degree of agreement among states who previously decided that unanimity was the only basis for such decisions as this, to change their perspective to allow for 'going on' (and I still don't know what that's meant to mean) without Ireland. To do so would be a grave and far reaching undertaking which would fundamentally alter the ethos of the Union. So there are practical and ideological considerations to be borne in mind.

The No vote is anything but an annoying skirmish - and I thought I'd made that quite clear, apologies if I haven't - because it will require an about-turn in the ethics of the EU as subscribed to by each member state should some or all member states decide to 'go on.' That's bigger than Lisbon by far, imho.
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PostSubject: Re: The Lisbon Debate Continues   Today at 6:56 pm

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The Lisbon Debate Continues
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