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Difficulties in a re-vote on the Lisbon Treaty

category international | eu | opinion/analysis author Tuesday June 24, 2008 12:13author by IshtarCelt Report this post to the editors

This Referendum had a majority turnout of the electorate. The reason the Nice treaty could be put to a re-vote is because there wasn't a majority turnout.

So the Lisbon treaty can't be put to a re-vote.

When the Nice Treaty was rejected the first time, less than a majority of the electorate voted (According to the constitution), This was why it could be put to re-vote. This time, it was a majority victory, with a majority of the electorate voting - so they can't legally run it again.

Which means we have a few years grace to push forward and work on the real issues, while they manufacture another treaty, (repackaging) and they'll probably put more flouride etc in our water.

I think it makes great sense to demand that an EU reform treaty contain nothing about fair trade, militarisation etc, but of course, the EU comes from the EEC, which was set up for economic reasons

One reason I voted NO, was not that I didn't understand the treaty per se, but that I was not given the oppurtunity or information to understand it. YESsirs think again, we Irish are canny enough, and quite a few 'ordinary 'people (as in, not anarchists or coir etc) have said to me that they thought that information given was incomprehensible, because if we actually understood it, we would vote NO. One man I spoke to was in and out of hospital, had great admiration for the nurses, but was very disillusioned by the state of the health services.

You YESsirs have to take into account rising dissatisfaction in Ireland, and the fact that the working classes have spoken. We working classes are not stupid, or uneducated, and are most certainly not unaware politically, socially or economically. Quite the opposite, in fact. The best and clearest political analysis I have ever heard is from working class people. Disillusionment rather than ignorance has led in the past to abstention from voting. We are increasingly more and more p*ssed off. However, we are not the Wrong people, we are entitled to vote, and we have spoken.
The question 'not understanding the treaty' should be rephrased to 'unable to understand due to misinformation and with-holding of information'.
Infrmation about the treaty that was circulated in the rest of the EU, was never distributed here. There is an increasingly growing blanket of censorship on this Island.
I voted NO based on the limited information I did recieve. I see no good reason for denying one third of Europe representation in the comission for five years, and plenty of ways it could be manipulated to serve vested interests. The booklet did not say who would decide which countrys are out, or how this would be decided. I also didn't like the idea of the EU becoming a legal entity in it's own right. Ireland originally joined the European Economic community for reasons of trade etc. not to create a superstate. The system in the US is failing badly, why do we want to create it again? look at the case of the Ballymun flats; when the Irish govt erected them, the whole high rise idea was already considered a failure in England And it failed here too.
I can see possible benefits in uniting europe, but only in terms of a utopian wet dream. The cynical reality is that multinationals and war-mongerers and vested interests are firmly entrenched within the structures and hierarchies of governments and EU institutions. I resist centralisation and increasing organisation for many reasons, but mainly because I think that representation leads to corruption, and that the larger the numbers get, and the more 'organised' something gets, the more that people and local communities lose out.
I also voted NO because I don't see why the EU constitution should supercsede the Irish constitution. i don't see this as necessary to help the EU run more smoothly. This is our constitution, that our ancestors fought and died for. That's one reason, but also, why do we have to stop being a sovereign nation (even if mostly on paper)? No good reason was given to me for this.
I also don't understand why so much had to be removed from the Irish constitution in order to ratify this treaty.

I am also concerned about ominous threats that the EU will be less nice to us now, or that we will be sidelined. That is an issue all of itself that could be dealt with in EU courts if it did occur, and in my opinion, this sort of statement supports the bullies, and is in itself bullying. It would be illegal to treat us any differently because we excercised our rights.. That's part of the guilt-tripping and scare mongering that already failed in the yes campaign, and will fail again. The disenfrachised are awake now, and empowered by this vote. We will vote again. The bullying tactics and threats won't work, because we see through them now.

I am aware of all the other reasons to vote NO, and although the possibility of these things being true did inform my decision, I based my vote on the information available to me (or lack of thereof!)
This is NOT A VOTE AGAINST EUROPE, it is a vote against bullying, hidden agendas, privitisation, etc. and it shows a growing disillusionment and distrust of governments and politicians. sHELL to sea, the destruction of Tara, rising food prices, shannonn airport, corrupt politicians lining their pockets while we have to tighten our belts, the issues of fishermen and farmers, the turf cutters, the state of the health service....I could go on, but I would hazard a guess that this is the bulk of the NO vote, and not the right wing catholics or eurosceptics. Pro Abortion groups and Euthanasia groups, if you want this allowed in Ireland (and I will support you), then take a case to Europe. we don't need to accept all the BS as well in order to acheive these things. It's like offering a starving person food, but only if they also take heroin....

I am now feeling prouder to be Irish

Tara Abu!!!

(BTW I am not a member of any political party or group. I speak as an Irish Citizen,and a mother,. Though I am also a protector of Tara, I left that out of this argument, because I dislike the pushing of agenda's, and how certain political parties jump up and claim the credit. Many thanks to them for helping the campaign, but it's not about you or your party, it's the will of The people)

author by paul o toolepublication date Wed Jun 25, 2008 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im sure theyll find some loophole, a tiny sliver of an idea. Which when enlarged and focussed upon long enough, and discussed and debated by Pat Kenny, Gerry Ryan,George Hook, RyanTurbidy, Joe Duffy, MarianneFinnucane, Kevin Meyers, John Waters and the rest of the right wing-nut free Irish army of press reporters to create a non existent loophole we will vote again.
Mabey we should boycott the damn thing to ensure another referendum will be invalid with a minority turnout.

One thing is for sure, if this thing gets through it will be the last vote we will ever have because our constitution will be invalidated.

author by Scepticpublication date Wed Jun 25, 2008 14:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“Maybe we should boycott the damn thing to ensure another referendum will be invalid with a minority turnout.” - Paul O Toole

This is wrong – there is no minimum turn out needed to make a constitutional amendment a valid poll.

“One thing is for sure, if this thing gets through it will be the last vote we will ever have because our constitution will be invalidated.” - Paul O Toole

This too is wrong and also alarmist. The constitution will continue just as before if Lisbon were ratified in a putative second poll. Moreover future treaties which would involve any transfers of sovereignty would also need to be the subject of a referendum.

author by RTBpublication date Wed Jun 25, 2008 14:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Afterwards, Mr Wheeler insisted he had high hopes of winning on appeal."

"Britain says it stands by the principle that the treaty cannot come into force without Irish consent, but other EU members are still entitled to proceed with ratification."


author by paul o toolepublication date Thu Jun 26, 2008 09:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Nice 2 was introduced on the grounds of a low turnout the first time- the majority diddnt vote (below 50% turnout).

You say..
...'there is no minimum turn out needed to make a constitutional amendment a valid poll'.... You are the one who is wrong...

Seems that there was in Nice 1. Seems that even now when the majority did vote, our government (and I use that term lightly) sees fit to disregard the will of the people again.

You also say...
.... 'The constitution will continue just as before if Lisbon were ratified....
You are wrong here also....This Treaty is 'self amending' which means that the architects of this constitution do not have the will of the people they claim to support at heart which is evidenced in several ECJ rulings thus far.
Our constitution in Irish courts is becomming more and more translucent, daily, and our 'President' does nothing to protect it..
These same people are the ones pressing for a yes vote even though some of the primovers havent even bothered to read it.

author by Scepticpublication date Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not wrong. You are. Nice I was a valid poll and result. No one suggested it was not. There was a political decision to put the question again but that does not mean that the first result was legally invalid. The fact that the poll was low did strengthen the case for putting it again however.

As regards the self amending issue of Lisbon the Crotty judgement still stands. A Treaty involving a transfer of more sovereignty would require another amendment. Less major issues could be dealt with by Government Decision or by legislation.

author by MichaelY - CAEUC/iawmpublication date Thu Jun 26, 2008 13:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a partial answer to Septic who is wasting our time in this and in many other threads

by Patrick Reynolds - Respect UK

The anti-democratic decision by the European elite to stuff the Irish and introduce the Lisbon Treaty regardless of the “No” vote in the Irish referendum on 12 June hands an invaluable campaigning tool to bodies like Respect which will be fighting on an EU-critical platform in elections to the European Parliament on 4 June 2009.

Brussels fury at this Irish lese-majesty has aptly been summed up thus: “The people have spoken, the bastards”.

Although alternative manoeuvres by the Brussels elite are possible – including simply ignoring the Irish vote and adopting the treaty changes piecemeal anyway by using existing EU procedures or tacking the changes on to next year’s accession treaty with Croatia - it is now a racing certainty that the Irish will be asked to vote again, on the same text that they rejected, in exchange for a few mealy-mouthed declarations or protocols that will not be incorporated in the body of the treaty and hence will have minimal legal weight.

At the EU Summit on 19 and 20 June, which focused on find a ways to undermine the Irish vote, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn admitted that Ireland would indeed need to have a second vote. “The question is, how can we prepare it so that it can be won?” he added.

This second vote is now traditional in the EU if electorates fail to vote correctly. The Irish and Danes have both been required to vote twice on earlier treaties because they failed to obey the Brussels elite first time round. Indeed, there is no theoretical reason why countries should not be required to vote a third or even a fourth time until they finally come up with the right answer.

Under EU rules, the treaty must be ratified by all 27 Member States. These rules were part of the deal given to Member States when they joined the union: no significant changes leading to greater integration would be introduced without the explicit agreement of all Member States so that individual countries would be able to retain as much as they wished of their constitutional independence. It was on this understanding, codified in law, that Member States joined the union. Hence, if even a single state fails to ratify the treaty, legally it is dead in the water.

Ireland has not ratified the Lisbon Treaty. So what is the reaction of Josė Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, which is specifically responsible for ensuring that the union’s laws are upheld. At a press conference on 14 June, he announced:“The Treaty is not dead. The Treaty is alive.”

Other European leaders followed suit. German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble: “A few million Irish cannot decide on behalf of 495 million Europeans”. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk: “Irrespective of the results of the referendum in Ireland, Europe will find a way of implementing this treaty”. The Euro-elite intend to respect the Irish vote by overturning it.

What none of these demophobes mentioned was the fact that only in Ireland were people given the right to vote on the treaty at all. In all other 26 Member States ratification is by national parliaments, where the unilateral decision of the Prime Minister is rubber-stamped by majority party MPs hopeful of preferment or fearing deselection. EU leaders cannot buy off the electorate so easily. Both France and Holland rejected a very similar text in referenda in 2005: this time their governments did not allow a popular vote.

The Irish rejection of the treaty is clearly a problem for the EU. Yet the crisis is being brazenly spun not as an EU but as an Irish problem – and the Irish Government is conniving with Brussels in accepting this line. The Irish are in the doghouse and have been graciously granted “time for reflection” provided that they come up with the correct solution by the autumn. However, this so-called “time for reflection” is just for public consumption. Even in the EU, it is considered indelicate to call for a second referendum immediately after the first one. In reality, however, the deal is already done. Come autumn, the Irish Government will accept a series of legally worthless declarations or protocols as satisfying the concerns of the Irish people. “It’s going to be a cosmetic exercise,” said Michael Youlton, national coordinator of the Irish Campaign Against the EU Constitution (alias the treaty). The Irish Government will then be required to re-run its referendum so that European Parliament elections next June are held under the new dispensation.

By the time of the 12 June referendum, 18 Member States had ratified the treaty. How did Gordon Brown, having reneged a promise to hold a referendum in the UK, show his respect for the rule of law and the democratic vote of the Irish people? By railroading through the UK ratification bill, which received the royal assent on 19 June. The other laggards bid fair to follow suit – allowing for possible upsets in Poland and the Czech Republic, where euroscepticism is growing healthily. The calculation is that Ireland can be bullied into repealing its “No” vote. “The idea is to isolate Ireland completely”, according to the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. The idea is that once the other 26 countries have ratified, the pressure on Ireland will become unbearable.

Clearly, the EU will now stop at nothing in its attempt to strong-arm the Irish to fall into line. EU money will flow like buttermilk in an attempt to prevent another “No” vote. Refusing to admit that the Irish rejected the treaty because of its content, Eurocrats are peddling the old chestnut that the EU message was not presented cogently enough. The “No” vote was won by a motley coalition of leftwing militants, rightwing free traders, opponents of common EU taxation rates for companies, Catholic anti-abortionists, nationalists, Sinn Fėin supporters, workers, farmers and fishermen. Eurocrats will now try to split the coalition by offering concessions to some of these heterogeneous groups provided that they encourage their supporters to vote “Yes” next time.

However, the naysayers have a powerful new weapon up their sleeve, according to Michael Youlton. This involves a series of recent rulings by European Court of Justice to the effect that foreign firms from low-wage Member States which set up in high-wage Member States and import labour from their own countries can continue to pay these workers the same low wages that they would have received in their countries of origin. The Irish trade unions, which held a variety of positions in respect of the first referendum, are now up in arms about this carte blanche for “wage dumping” and will hopefully encourage trade unionists to vent their spleen on the EU in the second referendum. It is by no means certain, therefore, that a second Irish referendum will result in a “Yes” vote.

If adopted, the Lisbon Treaty will create a European President, a European Foreign Minister and a European diplomatic corps and pave the way for the establishment of a European Army, the ultimate aim being to replace individual Member States in these areas; end the veto of Member States in between 40 and 60 areas, including climate change and energy; slash the number of European Commissioners so that one third of EU Member States (9 out of 27) have no Commissioner to represent them at any one time; prune the number of Members of the European Parliament; and, by changing the voting system in the Council, make it more difficult for Member States to block proposed legislation that they see as being against their vital interests.

This would be yet another step along the road to an “ever closer union” intended to culminate in a United States of Europe. Rejection of the treaty by the Irish – as of its predecessor by the French and Dutch – suggests that even where sentiment has been pro-EU in the past, today’s electorates believe that the process of political integration into a free-market EU has gone far enough and should now be rolled back.

author by Scepticpublication date Thu Jun 26, 2008 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not sure we need to take lessons in democracy from RESPECT born as it was out of Galloway’s unclean concoction between rabid SWP lefties and the worst of the UK’s Jihadists. If the Irish need guidance on EU matters I can think of better people to give it than Saddam’s former business partner/apologist in the UK who celebrated and manipulated the Tube bombings for his own ends and who supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Not so much “Stop the War” but quite pro wars he likes and indeed pro terror too.

That aside, the RESPECT text used the usual fallacy of identifying the “Brussels EU Elite” as the demons in all of this when it fact it is the European Council which is driving this one made of the member government including our own - all elected. RESPECT is not a government albeit their Baathist allies were the murderous Government of Iraq until 2003 and their fellow Islamists were the Government of the defacto Islamic Emirate of Falluja until November 2004 compete with wholesale amputations, stoning, beheadings and forced marriages and more horrors. It says something about Galloway that he pandered so much to Saddam and still does to Assad but is violently opposed to the programme of the elected European Governments.

People are within their rights to question Ireland’s continued membership of the union given the circumstances and there are political realities beyond the pure legal ones. Yes 27 are needed to ratify but if there is another way to part ratify later as a result of a political compromise that is neither bullying or antidemocratic or devious. It is multilateral politics within a framework of laws. Besides that seems to be what the Irish people want - not to block progress for everyone from a status quo which is untenable and going to change in any case.

author by paul o toolepublication date Mon Jun 30, 2008 09:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I guess we can all rest easy in our beds now because you assert that...
............ 'A Treaty involving a transfer of more sovereignty would require another amendment. Less major issues could be dealt with by Government Decision or by legislation. ......

Like the amendment itself, it is infested with obvious contradictions, even to the untrained reader..
'More soverigenty'.. and... 'less major issues'...if yiu could define this it woyld be helpful.

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