by Frank Schnittger
Mon Sep 14th, 2009 at 09:22:24 AM EST
My brief snide LTE has been published...I'm afraid that is about the length and depth of argument that we can expect letters page editors to publish these days.
In Brief: Anti-NAMA . . . FAS. . . Swine flu. . . Ganley. . . Tradition - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie
- Declan Ganley has re-activated his 'No' campaign on the Lisbon referendum, reportedly on the grounds that it is profoundly undemocratic for the Irish Government not to accept the last 'No' vote as final. Given the result of the European elections, it appears that Declan Ganley, too, has difficulty in accepting 'No' as an answer!
Whether this helps or hinders the No campaign is open to debate, but there is no doubt that he has spotted an opportunity to defeat the Treaty created by the unprecedented unpopularity of the Government as a result of the economic collapse, proposed cutbacks in government spending, increased taxes and the Nama debate.
Speaking on Irish radio today, Ganley continued in a fact free vein...
Ganley warns of Lisbon 'catastrophe' - The Irish Times - Mon, Sep 14, 2009
Libertas leader Declan Ganley has warned that a Yes vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum would be ‘catastrophic for the Irish economy’
Speaking on this morning’s edition of RTÉ’s Pat Kenny radio programme, Mr Ganley said Ireland was giving Europe exclusive competence in the country’s economic affairs without receiving corresponding democratic accountability.
“This is about democracy. It is about protecting Ireland’s economic interests. It makes no sense to transfer exclusive competence in foreign direct investment policy, commercial policy, industrial policy to people you can never vote for or against.”
“We’ve a big enough problem with the Government that we have. If you vote yes you reinforce Brian Cowen’s sellout of this country’s interests to unelected elites in Europe,” Mr Ganley concluded.
Trying to capitalise on Brian Cowen's unpopularity and loss of trust is a no brainer. But isn't Ganley the "unelected one" whilst the elected EU Parliament and Council members go about their business? And where does the Lisbon Treaty require Ireland to transfer "exclusive competence in foreign direct investment policy, commercial policy, industrial policy" to the EU?
Ganley to spearhead second anti-Lisbon Treaty campaign - The Irish Times - Sat, Sep 12, 2009
Irish businessman and Libertas founder Declan Ganley is to launch a fresh campaign against the Lisbon Treaty referendum.
A Libertas spokesman told The Irish Times this afternoon that Mr Ganley would hold a press conference tomorrow to outline his reasons for re-entering the debate on the Treaty.
The Tuam-based businessman, who played an important role in the first referendum campaign, claimed in a newspaper interview on Thursday that it was "profoundly undemocratic" to ask the Irish people to vote again on the Treaty.
"The Irish people had a vote on the Lisbon Treaty. They voted No. A higher percentage of the electorate voted No than voted for Barack Obama in the United States of America. No one's suggesting he should run for re-election next month," Mr Ganley told the Wall Street Journal .
"Not one comma has changed in the document," he added.
Following his defeat in the June European Parliament elections, Mr Ganley said he would not be involved in a campaign against a second Lisbon Treaty referendum.
"I will not be involved in the second Lisbon campaign, I've said that up front," he said at the time.
Mr Ganley, however, also told the Wall Street Journal he was "a committed European".
"I am not a Eurosceptic, not in any way, shape or form. I believe that Europe's future as united is the only sensible way forward."
When asked about Mr Ganley's possible return to the campaign trail yesterday, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said: "Mr Ganley is free to campaign. I have no information about his intentions - that's a matter for himself."
Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche said he did not think a decision by Mr Ganley to re-enter the Lisbon debate would provide any new momentum to the No campaign.
"He tramped around Europe saying the European elections were a referendum on the treaty and he didn't win a seat. So he got his answer," he said.
The argument that it is undemocratic to put the same Treaty to a vote a second time is a very tired one, and one I have addressed in an LTE before:
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.
But we have also voted in referendums on proportional representation, divorce and the Nice Treaty twice, and voted no less than four times in abortion-related referendums.
In fact, we seem to be making a habit of revisiting the same issues to be sure, to be sure.
Politics is an ongoing process of change, not a once off, once and for all exercise. So the 'No' campaigners had better get used to it.
Many of them have campaigned against every European treaty referendum since our accession into the EU in 1973. They have become creatures of habit and will no doubt oppose the next treaty (likely to be the accession of Croatia) as well.
We cannot have too much democracy, consultation and participation in the ongoing evolution of the European Union.
Let us rejoice that we have the opportunity to vote when so many have not, both inside and outside the European Union. But let us also not be afraid to change our minds and amend the Constitution if circumstances warrant it, as we have done on no fewer than 23 occasions before.
Our Constitution is a living document, and is the better for those amendments.