by Frank Schnittger
Wed Jul 1st, 2009 at 08:38:36 PM EST
I wrote in the Irish Independent that:
EU participation an ongoing evolution - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie
About the only remaining argument against the Lisbon Treaty the 'No' campaigners have left is that they dislike being asked to vote on the same treaty twice.
Well I was wrong. Paul Kelly, in yesterday's Irish Times nobly offered his support to the poor oppressed peoples of France and Holland as his main reason for voting NO to Lisbon again. Obviously, the poor oppressed peoples of Spain and Luxembourg don't count as much, so I responded:
Lisbon Treaty referendum - The Irish Times - Thu, Jul 02, 2009
Madam, - Paul Kelly (July 1st) states that he will again be voting No to "support my fellow European citizens in France and Holland who rejected Lisbon in their democratic processes" and that "We are either in Europe together or we are not".
First of all, he is profoundly mistaken in that the French and Dutch voters rejected the Constitutional Treaty and not the Lisbon Treaty.
Secondly, he neglects to mention that Spain and Luxembourg voted Yes in even greater numbers on the Constitutional Treaty, and that if you combine the votes in all four member states you get a majority of 27 million to 23 million votes in favour of the Constitutional Treaty.
It thus seems that Mr Kelly is selectively for a minority of European voters who voted No in preference to the majority of European voters who voted Yes.
As he says himself, "We are either in Europe together or we are not"! - Yours, etc,
But isn't it charming how much the NO voters have taken the political plight of their European brethren to heart - being better able to provide them with the appropriate "democratic processes" than their own Governments have been able to muster. Indeed, given that both the Czech and Polish Presidents have made their ratification of the Treaty subject to the will of the Irish people, perhaps we should hold a referendum in Ireland any time the people of Europe need to make a particularly difficult decision.
Organising elections/referenda in all 27 member states is so complex, difficult and expensive, it would be so much easier to hold a referendum in just one small member state like Ireland and then make our decision binding on all. After all if an opinion poll can give an accurate indicator of the popular will based on just a small sub-sample of the population, why not just hold a referendum in Ireland every time and be done with it. We are, after all, the truest Europeans on the planet, and are better able to represent the will of the people of France and Holland, (though not Spain or Luxembourg) than their own Governments.
Indeed how dare the Government of countries like France fail to adopt our obviously superior system of direct democracy in preference to their own Byzantine methods of Governance. Sarkozy may have been elected on a promise to ratify Lisbon, but politicians only keep their promises when it suits them. It was pure opportunism on his part to keep his promise on this occasion, and goes against the long-standing democratic precedents and traditions of politicians breaking every promise they can.
Just as well the French people have brave and noble Irishmen like Paul Kelly to stand up and be counted for them. We'll show Sarkozy he'll have to answer to the Irish people if he keeps his promises to the French! Poland and the Czech Republic have already bowed to our superior wisdom and procedures in these matters. Soon we will rule all of Europe!