Upcoming Events

National | Politics / Elections

no events match your query!

New Events

National

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link Russia Offering Massive Salary for 3-Mon... Wed May 25, 2022 13:58 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Zelensky Estimates 50 to 100 Ukrainian M... Wed May 25, 2022 10:34 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Training Ukrainians for US Artillery Gun... Wed May 25, 2022 00:11 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Denmark to Send Missiles to Ukraine to S... Mon May 23, 2022 23:17 | Sam LaGrone

offsite link Scott Ritter Is a Fraud Sun May 22, 2022 22:20 | Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Grains of deceit Wed May 25, 2022 13:15 | amarynth
Grains of deceit There are several evolving issues that are being watched regarding plans and developments made by the West to open Ukrainian Black Sea commercial ports. A medley of

offsite link Yellow Vests: At worst, the most important French movement for 100 years Wed May 25, 2022 12:37 | amarynth
by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog At the very worst they will be as forgotten as the sit-ins, factory occupations, strikes and marches of 1936 have been: 1936 was,

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2022/05/25 ? Open Thread Wed May 25, 2022 12:00 | herb
2022/05/25 11:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link NATO vs Russia: what happens next Tue May 24, 2022 23:55 | amarynth
In Davos and beyond, NATO’s upbeat narrative plays like a broken record, while on the ground, Russia is stacking up wins that could sink the Atlantic order. By Pepe Escobar,

offsite link Quick update from Andrei on this and that Tue May 24, 2022 20:51 | The Saker
Dear friends, It has been almost a month since you heard from me, so I decided to post a short update. As I indicated in my initial post, I had

The Saker >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Nick Hudson Coming to London ? Get Tickets Now Tue May 17, 2022 18:00 | Will Jones
Nick Hudson of PANDA is coming to London on Thursday May 26th to deliver ?The Quest for Open Science?, after which he will be interviewed by Jeffrey Peel from the New Era and take questions from the audience.
The post Nick Hudson Coming to London ? Get Tickets Now appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Don?t Panic Mr Monkeypox! Social Distancing Returns Due to New Viral Panic Tue May 17, 2022 16:53 | Toby Young
At least one medical practice in West London has reintroduced social distancing to reduce the risk of patients contracting Monkeypox. This, in spite of the fact that there are only nine cases so far in the U.K.
The post Don’t Panic Mr Monkeypox! Social Distancing Returns Due to New Viral Panic appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Are All Britain?s Current Woes Traceable to a Group of Entitled ?Tory Toffs? at Oxford in the 1980s? Tue May 17, 2022 13:00 | Toby Young
Simon Kuper's book about how a small group of 'Tory Toffs' who were at Oxford in the 1980s masterminded the Brexit project to reclaim their aristocratic birthright is highly entertaining, but not convincing.
The post Are All Britain’s Current Woes Traceable to a Group of Entitled ‘Tory Toffs’ at Oxford in the 1980s? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Forget Science ? Climate Now Has a Central Role in The Culture Wars Tue May 17, 2022 11:26 | Chris Morrison
You might think that if you debunk patently silly extreme weather claims, the entire fear agenda will go away. Think again. Climate change is now firmly embedded in the culture wars surrounding race, identity and gender.
The post Forget Science ? Climate Now Has a Central Role in The Culture Wars appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Would the U.S. Side With Ukraine?s Far-Right Against Zelensky? Tue May 17, 2022 10:10 | Noah Carl
Why didn't the US back Zelensky? The New York Times wrote earlier this year that his government could be overthrown by far-right groups if he ?agrees to a peace deal that in their minds gives too much to Moscow?.
The post Would the U.S. Side With Ukraine?s Far-Right Against Zelensky? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Chinese Hypothesis on US Military Biological Experiments Wed May 25, 2022 21:41 | en

offsite link ?House of Russian War Crimes? inaugurated at Davos Tue May 24, 2022 17:19 | en

offsite link US Armed Forces will have to pay with their blood: General Milley Tue May 24, 2022 16:36 | en

offsite link A new war is being prepared for after the defeat in the face of Russia, by Thier... Tue May 24, 2022 10:00 | en

offsite link Eichmann's hours-long interview partially unearthed Mon May 23, 2022 21:56 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Referenda: A Strategy for Success?

category national | politics / elections | opinion/analysis author Wednesday January 18, 2012 10:22author by Andrew Report this post to the editors

The idea that calling for a referendum is a good strategy for winning significant reforms often crops up in campaigns. It seems logical, as a referendum is a chance for the population to directly make a decision on the issue to hand. But the reality is that the demand for a referendum is seldom, if ever, the best way to build a struggle for a reform. Here are five reasons why:

Lobbying


Under the Irish constitution a referendum can only be held after a bill has been passed by the Dail and the Seanad setting out the proposed amendment to the constitution. In other countries and some US states a referendum can be called if enough people sign a petition. That is not the case in Ireland. So in Ireland a referendum will only happen if you convince the government parties to call one while allowing them control over the wording that will be voted on.


Influence


The nature of a referendum debate is such that it will be almost completely dominated by those with money, power and influence. Independent media group, which owns the Evening Herald, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Sunday World and the Irish Daily Star, as well as 14 regional titles and two free newspapers, has been dominated by the O’Reilly family since 1973 and has the ability to put the equivalent of a long leaflet in everyone’s hand every day.


Isolation


The nature of referenda is that we make our decisions in the isolation of the ballot box, an isolation designed to amplify the influences of the political parties and media. Outside of family & pub arguments there is no process of collective debate and discussion. We observe the opinions of the wealthy 1% and their hirelings and then choose between them.


Result


The nature of a referendum is that once the vote has happened the vast majority of people will consider that issue to have been settled for a number of years. That means referenda are not good ways of building a struggle because if you fail to win them many will see it as being all over. From that point of view, there is no point in a referendum being called unless there is reasonable confidence of winning.


Power


A referendum is only another state process by which we face the power of the 1% and, like all the other processes of that type from court cases to elections, has been designed to maximize the influence of those who have power and money over the results. All these processes are designed to give the impression that all are equal before them but in all cases this is not true.


Our struggles for change that are based around using tools designed by the masters will be weak and powerless. We need to develop and use tools that do the opposite, that build on our strength and make us powerful. These are the sort of tools that are based on mass collective discussion and action rather than either listening to or following the actions of the few.


Our tools are the strike, mass demonstrations, assemblies and mass organisations that we build and have some control over. When we fight for reforms it may well be that when we show our strength, the state will seek to compromise and diffuse that through offering referenda but, if so, that is something we have won not through seeking a referendum but by frightening them into calling one.

© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy