Posts Tagged Politics

Last post on Lisbon Treaty II

Population growth of European countries
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I know I’m posting this a little early since the voting doesn’t start until Saturday Friday. But I’m already sick of Lisbon II. I’m not sure what annoys me most, the lies from both sides of the debate or the blatant disregard for what the treaty really means to those who are about to vote.

At this stage, it looks like the Yes vote is going to get the thumbs up from Ireland. What’s strikingly different about this campaign and the last is that people voting Yes because they are afraid of what will happen if we vote No. Last time around it was that they didn’t understand what it was about.

This change is obviously due to the fact that we are in the midst of the worst recession most of us have ever seen. People are searching for that element of security that even our own elected government can’t give us. The fear of not knowing what is around the corner, is driving most people to take what they feel is the safest bet.

Everyone knows Europe has been good to Ireland and everyone wants to be a part of that. The reality is that in a small country like ours, you would be mad not to want to be part of it. Most people I’ve talked to seem to think that a No vote is a No to being involved in Europe, which clearly isn’t the case.

If the Yes vote wins through on Friday – it will be a really sad day for democracy. We’ll never get the chance to Vote on anything as significant as this again and all because we were greedy, ignorant and lazy. So greedy that we felt the only way to line our pockets with cash again would be to vote yes. So ignorant towards what is in the actual treaty to vote Yes and so lazy to take the time out to actually see how the treaty will affect us in the future.

A simple look at how much of a difference our No vote made the last time round is just a sign of what is to come. When we ratify this treaty, they won’t have to ask us what we think again, they can just go ahead and do whatever the hell they like. The voice of the people will not be heard when it comes to Europe making decisions that could affect all of our lives.

Is that what you call democracy?

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Fianna Fail website developed abroad (again)? While we should do our patriotic duty!

Fianna Fáil
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“Fianna Fail confusing leadership with unpopularity” were the words of Independent TD Joe Behan and I think he hit the nail on the head. The government, that we elected it must be added, show their leadership by being so hypocritical and not taking their own advice on board. When we complain, the say it’s because they have to make hard choices that makes the unpopular. Well I’m sorry it’s not as simple as that.

A true leader treats everyone equally, makes tough decisions and leads by the example they are trying to set. Yet, while the government question our Patriotism while we search for a better deal by shopping up North, they do the complete opposite. I mentioned one example  few weeks ago – but now, if I am reading this correctly, it looks like they are still shopping abroad for a better deal.

Taken straight from Cllr Damien Blake’s website :

“I’ve been working with Fianna Fáil and Blue State Digital on a new website and a new web strategy for the party.”

Blue State Digital are the company that helped create the web campaign for Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Right, I’m an online marketer, so I can see how well the Obama capaign went and would love to see an Irish Political Party use the web so proactively. BUT we have plenty of talent in this country and I could easily name a handful of people that could have done a much better job with their website.

Arrrrggghhh they annoy me so much with their hypocrisy. Why are we unpatriotic when they are not?

Anyway, there are other more intesting discussions if you read the comments on Damien Blake’s blog….

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Lisbon Treaty, here we go again…

Second round of the French presidential electi...
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So it looks like we’re off again, the Government looks set to ask us to go to the polls again and vote on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.

What’s different you may ask? Well it hasn’t been officially announced yet, but so far it looks like it’s just going to containt a set of declarations but not actually change a single paragraph of the Treaty.

Surely no-one is going to be fooled by this move, are they???

According to recent polls, it looks like they will. It will be a sad day for democracy if this goes through. Obviously “no” means nothing to the Government this country elected…

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Why I’m voting No to Lisbon

BERLIN - MARCH 25:  The heads of state of the 27 European Union nations pose for a family photo around German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) Front row (L - R) European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Romania's President Traian Basescu, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, Poland's President Lech Kaczynski, French President Jacques Chirac, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Middle row (L - R) Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi , Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Slovenian Prime minister Janez Jansa, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Top row (L -R) Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, Malta's Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Austrian chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, Finland's Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, in front of Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate, at the end of weekend celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which laid the foundation for the EU March 25, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. European Union heads of state are converging on the German capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which laid the foundation for the current European Union.  (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

I promise that this will be my last post on the Lisbon Treaty before we take to the polls. I just need to get this out of my system!

Last night, whilst enjoying my dinner, my door bell rang and I said “that better not be some campaigner looking for my vote in the referendum”. Reluctantly I answered the door with the intention of taking their flyer and saying “thanks”.

However when I opened the door it wasn’t just a normal campaigner, it was our local Fianna Fail councillor Pat Vance. This was my golden opportunity to ask someone that should know what the treaty is all about some questions that might answer my lingering doubts.

In fairness to Pat, he seemed to have his story very straight. Although, he did do the usual politician tact of avoiding answering the tough questions. He seemed like a nice guy and he had his own reasons why he was voting yes, which I respected.

But I’m sad to say, that after nearly 20 minutes of conversation, I was still non-the-wiser why I should vote yes in the upcoming treaty referendum.

So I’ve decided to vote no and I guess it would be fair to say my reasons are solely based on principle. Here’s why:

  1. Democracy
    When a treaty which is more than 90% unchanged from an original treaty that was categorically turned down by countries with a combined population of over 80 million, there is something undemocratic about the way this treaty is being forced through.If it’s fair to use polls as a guide to what people are thinking, why when over 70% would have liked to have voted on the new Lisbon Treaty there was not a Europe wide vote? Is that not what democracy is?
  2. Reading the Small Print
    Our own EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy (who I have a lot of respect for by the way) reckons it would be insane for someone to read the Lisbon Treaty in it’s entirity. Well I’m sorry, I just don’t agree with this. We elect these people to handle our affairs, they should be looking at the “small print”. Would you buy a house before employing a solicitor to read the “fine print” and ensure that you are protected? I know I certainly wouldn’t. I know I wouldn’t even sign up for Broadband without reading the small print. So the pure arrogance of this statement is one that annoys me a lot.So what happens in the future when something pops up that the government overlooked because we would be insane to read the treaty in its entirity???
  3. Positives
    I have yet to see any positives from any side of the arguments on the treaty. Let’s face it, I do want Ireland to be part of the EU. I do believe it has been really good for our country and I do believe it would be bad not to be part of it.All I hear from the Yes voters is that it will “send out the wrong signal”, “make us look bad” etc etc. But no-one is telling me why I should vote yes. All I get is “It will streamline how the European Commission works”.So what??? Why should I vote Yes when two countries much larger than Ireland have already voted it down!!?
  4. Neutrality
    Ok a lot of people just think this is an idealistic dream. A country that says it’s neutral – ah bliss. But I’m sorry I am actually proud that we don’t get involved in other peoples fights. That’s the way I have been brought up and that’s the way I’d like it to stay.If someone wants to pick a fight with a small country like us, shame on them, but at least we would still have our pride. If someone wants to help us, we will be grateful. What do countries fight for at the end of the day? Greed, that’s all, pure greed!Pat Vance and I had a good conversation over this, but his attitude was “What’s neutrality, if someone wants to nuke the UK, we are effected”. Yes we are, but then we have to protect ourselves, that’s called “defending”, it doesn’t mean that we have to become allies.
  5. Ireland is a small country
    Another point Pat Vance had was that Ireland is a small country, we think we are bigger and more powerful than we actually are. Yes, maybe we do, but that doesn’t mean we should be the poor small Irish paddy’s sitting in the corner with no voice. If we are to be part of something, we need a voice not matter how small we are in the overall picture. Our voice in my opinion is being quitened with this new treaty.

The way the government are pushing this on us as a dooms day situation if we say no, in principle, is wrong. They should focus on what we are gaining. If they can also give us a balanced view of what we would be losing that would also help everyone understand what indications this will have for us. But if our own government can’t read the treaty – how can we trust them.

Libertas seem to be the only party that actually know anything about this treaty – but they are doom and gloom at the opposite side of the scale.

I don’t know enough to vote Yes to this treaty, I do want to be part of the EU. Government – if you fail on this one, you need to take a serious look at the reasons why!

EDIT: I just needed to add this to the debate as it’s quite ridiculous.
The recent results posted by the Irish Times/MRBI polls show that 36% of the people who have decided to vote yes, have so for the following reason and I quote from todays Irish Times (page 9) – “To keep Ireland fully involved in the EU/not to embarrass Ireland”.

What a ridiculous reason – “not to embarrass Ireland”…. OMG!

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Jim Corr joins the “No To Lisbon” debate

I don’t know what way to take Jim Corrs take on the Lisbon Treaty. Jim appeared on TodayFM in an interview that sounded at times like a hysterical dooms day prophet. None-the-less, I do think he has some points that people should be made aware of… so here you go… draw your own conclusions:

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