Friday, June 13, 2008

Lisbon Treaty Rejected

The primary question being asked in Ireland today and in Brussels and indeed all over Europe is simply, what happens next ? When the French and the Dutch rejected the European constitution last year the Lisbon Treaty was seen as Plan B. Now as Brian Lenihan just admitted on RTE news. "There is no Plan C". Will the EU try and carry on without Ireland bringing back fears of the old two tier Europe claims or is the Lisbon Treaty categorically dead. I do not know the answer to this. It appears to me to be a legal and constitutional nightmare for all concerned. One thing is certain, this is a massive embarrassment for the Irish government.


HotDog said...

What a Shame! 18 countries have ratified the Lisbon Treaty, 8 more are in the process of doing so and Ireland has said NO! Those who voted no because they really didn't know how to vote need to dedicate some time and attention to understanding Europe.

Europe should come up with a 'plan C', an ultimatum that leaves Ireland behind if it says no again. EU leaders cannot be left in limbo and will find a way to proceed with Lisbon with or without Ireland.

I think the Irish Government should give the Irish voters one more chance but this time the question should be 'Europe, in or out?

If 50 Billion Euro (That’s 50,000,000,000) of EU funding over the years won't make us say YES! Maybe a few months in un-chartered and stormy waters will change some opinions.


Hi Ted!

Ted Leddy said...

wise words Hot Dog

I agree with most of what you said. People who were unsure or ill informed about the treaty tended to vote know.

You say the EU should leave Ireland behind if we don't back a plan C. Its hard to argue with that. I mean imagine we came up with a perfect document that everybody in Ireland was delighted with and that met with approval in Europe too, and then Malta shot it down. We would be perfectly entitled to have the Maltese Prime Minister batterd. And I think the EU are perfectly entitled to be furious right now that we let a bunch of crazies on the left and the right as well as the shinners dictate the debate to us. We should have been strong enough to ignore them.

It really is hard to believe sometimes. We get 50 billion from Brussels yet their remains so many euro sceptics in the country. Its embarrassing really.

Thanks D.O.N

Confucius said...

Should the government not take a long hard look at itself and question there whole involvement in the process of the campaign for a Yes vote?

In my opinion they took far too much of a laid back attitude to the whole affair from the outside. Or was the government too involved in the financial accusations being made against Bertie Ahern and the transition of Taoiseach over to Mr. Cowen. It all seemed (to me) like the rally for a yes vote was far too little far too late.

Could some of this 50 billion not have been pumped into the campaign to ensure the Irish people knew exactly what they were voting for and had good time in making a well educated vote for this pivotal crossroads in our history?

Hotdog - to say that "the Irish Government should give the Irish voters one more chance" is a ridiculous statement. It is not about chances. It is about a vote and the majority wins. Yes or No, right or wrong, it is how it is. It is hugely inaccurate to say that we should be given one more chance, and if the government comes out with this type of re-campaign I will be sadly disappointed. To say “give us one more chance” would be taking a point of view that all the population wanted to vote Yes, but didn’t.

What is the point of giving the public the right to vote only to take that right back and make them re-vote? Is this not going against a democracy in the first place? Correct me if I am wrong here Gubu World, but the fact that the Irish population had a choice to vote is written in our constitution, is it not?

Constitution of Ireland - Bunreacht na h√Čireann: Article 1
The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable, indefeasible, and sovereign right to choose its own form of Government, to determine its relations with other nations, and to develop its life, political, economic and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions.

So, regardless of all the money we received, foreign workers that graced our country, beguiling corporation tax rates, Celtic tiger(s), booming property market, et cetera et cetera, the simple matter of the fact is; our Irish government wrote into our constitution that we have a right to vote on these decisions. Is making us revote not going against this constitution?

The people voted, and the vote was NO.


Ted Leddy said...


As always confucius you raise some clever points. You are correct in that the government most certainly should have run a more effective campaign. I wouldn't say they were laid back though, not after the failed 2001 Nice referendum which was also a massive embarassment. They did however approach it wrong. They adopted a "trust us" mentality when trust in the government is at a low point. They should have aggressively promoted the treaty for what it was, which in my opinion was nothing more that a tidying up excercise in the wake of massive expansion. The vague stance the yes campaigners often took allowed the conspiracy crowd to flourish and they often dominated the debate as a result.

However, Im with Hot Dog on this one. I think the referendum should be put to us again. When we rejected Nice in 2001 it was put to us again the following year with modifications (the Madrid declaration I believe it was that was added which supposedly guaranteed Irish neutrality). I personally have no problem with the referendum being put to the Irish electorate again with some changes such as a categorical guarantee about veto on tax, neutrality ect. You say this is undemocratic. I don't think so. People keep talking aout this referendum as if the Irish voters are incapable of acting foolishly. They most certainly are.

The Irish "right to vote" is sacred and the result is unchangeable. This is definitely the case with general elections. Ireland however has more referendums than any other country because of our unusual constitution. If people vote unwisely in a referendum and it harms Irish interests then the governmnet are in my opinion entitled to try again with some modifications.

The reason i think its ok to try again is because the status quo is unacceptable. The death of Lisbon will create countless legal loopholes and constitutional binds that could actually grind the EU to a halt. We are contributing to this uncertainty. We should either be at the center of the EU or out of it all together. Those that campaigned for a No know what they don't want but they havn't a clue what they do want. Like I said the status quo cannot be maintained. We should either ratify Lisbon or take a back seat.

annie said...

I don't understand why this is a massive embarressment .....ireland was asked what they thought of the lisbon treaty, the people said no so why the big deal? Surely our small nation of 'no' has to be respected, or is the embarressment there because our government didn't 'sell' it to us the way some of the european leaders would have like?
I don't know, help me understand PLEASE