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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link The Wisdom of Forecasters (and their Critics) Thu Dec 02, 2021 19:00 | Toby Young
Check out this useful compendium of aphorisms, as compiled by financial analyst Alexander Ineichen. Example: "The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.? ? Edgar Fielder
The post The Wisdom of Forecasters (and their Critics) appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Kenyan Nurses and the Crisis of NHS Nurse Staffing Thu Dec 02, 2021 17:45 | Luke Perry
We're publishing a guest post on the Daily Sceptic by Dr. Ann Bradshaw, a retired Lecturer in Adult Health Care, about the scandal of the Government's failed efforts to import nurses from Kenya.
The post Kenyan Nurses and the Crisis of NHS Nurse Staffing appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Angela Merkel Demands Mandatory Vaccination Law as Germany is Set to Impose Restrictions on the Unva... Thu Dec 02, 2021 16:29 | Luke Perry
In a series of new restrictions, the German Government will ban the unvaccinated from entering 'non-essential' shops, with the Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for the vaccine to be made compulsory.
The post Angela Merkel Demands Mandatory Vaccination Law as Germany is Set to Impose Restrictions on the Unvaccinated appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link NHS Faces Its ?Biggest Cancer Catastrophe Ever? Due to Pandemic Backlog Thu Dec 02, 2021 15:43 | Luke Perry
The National Audit Office has recorded that close to 750,000 GP referrals for suspected cancer received no further attention over the course of the pandemic.
The post NHS Faces Its ?Biggest Cancer Catastrophe Ever? Due to Pandemic Backlog appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Pilots ?Out of Practice? After lockdowns are Risking Passengers? Lives Thu Dec 02, 2021 15:07 | Toby Young
Commercial airline pilots have done so little flying during the past 21 months we may be about to witness a fatal plane crash. That is the message of air accident investigators after a "serious incident" in Scotland.
The post Pilots ?Out of Practice? After lockdowns are Risking Passengers’ Lives appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Launch of the Inter-parliamentary Alliance Against Kleptocracy Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:30 | en

offsite link The tragic farce of the Summit for Democracy, by Manlio Dinucci Wed Dec 08, 2021 09:24 | en

offsite link China building military base on Atlantic Wed Dec 08, 2021 07:53 | en

offsite link Ian Fishback died penniless at 42 Wed Dec 08, 2021 07:17 | en

offsite link Towards a boycott of Beijing 2022 Olympic Games Tue Dec 07, 2021 20:01 | 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.

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