Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Updated: Countdown to Lisbon Referendum

by Frank Schnittger Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 09:49:11 AM EST

Ireland votes on the Lisbon Treaty on Friday and the political temperature is gradually heating up.  Denis MacShane, former British European Minister had this to say in Tuesday's Irish Times:  Voters should beware the advice of false friends across Irish Sea - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 29, 2009

IT WAS British Conservative prime minister Lord Salisbury who grandly announced in a debate in the London parliament at the end of the 19th century that he would "no more give the vote to the Irish than to the Hottentot". That vulgar imperial Old Etonian racism has today been replaced by a crude Old Etonian anti-Europeanism in the ruling circles of the English dominant classes and especially in the Conservative Party.

Far from thinking the Irish unfit to vote, much of England's elite think the Irish people's vote is a capital thing - provided of course they use it to vote down the Lisbon Treaty. In London's club land, in the editorial offices of many newspapers and in the massed ranks of the Conservative Party, there is a fervent hope that the Irish will do the right thing for their long-gone rulers and vote No to Europe.

If the Irish vote No, they will be the heroes of the hour for Rupert Murdoch, for former pornographer Richard Desmond, who owns the Daily Express , and for the Barclay Brothers, the offshore owners of the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator. The Daily Mail and the Sun , whose rabid anti-Irish columnists and cartoons have been a feature of British "journalism" these last decades, will find nothing but praise for the sagacity of the fine men and women of Ireland if they vote No.

promoted - with an edit - by nanne


Meanwhile the chief No campaigner, Declan Ganley, has run into a spot of bother...

Ganley accuses Lenihan of untruths over funding - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 29, 2009

Citing a newspaper report, Mr Lenihan said one of Mr Ganley's main backers was "a London-based hedge fund which would hardly be described as being interested in  the economic wellbeing and future of this country".

He said that, in fact, "quite a number of these hedge funds have taken out specific bets" on the insolvency of Ireland.

"Clearly they see a No vote as assisting a bet which is now failing for them because of the growing international confidence in the country which has taken place in recent weeks as a result of the Nama announcement."

He called on Mr Ganley "to confirm that this particular outfit who are funding him has no bets on Ireland". The Minister was referring to a report in the Sunday Independent that a leading British investor, Crispin Odey, who "made hundreds of millions of euro" short-selling Anglo-Irish Bank, had donated almost €18,500 in money and services to Libertas.

Ganley has accused (Finance Minister) Brian Lenihan of telling lies and claimed that the donations in question referred to last June's European election campaign.  However since Ganley has not disclosed the sources of funding for his current Anti-Lisbon campaign, can we not assume that his sources of funding are similar to the last time around?

Ganley accuses Lenihan of untruths over funding - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 29, 2009

Mr Odey, who contributed £3,000 in cash to Libertas.eu and made three non-cash donations totalling £13,964 received an annual bonus of almost €28 million last year from Odey Asset Management, which he founded.

That was largely because he took short positions on banks - ie bet that their share prices would fall.

snip-----

Oxford-educated Mr Odey is married to Nichola Pease, the chief executive of JO Hambro Capital Management and part of the family that founded Barclays Bank.

The couple are listed at 272 in the Sunday Times list of the richest people in Britain and Ireland, with a combined worth of £204 million. Mr Odey has threatened to leave London over personal tax rates.

Mr Odey has contributed £25,000 to a political organisation described as "the Christian Party Proclaiming Christs Lordship" this year and £57,000 to the Conservative Party since 2007.

Meanwhile a sample from today's Irish Time's letters page gives some illustration of the level of argumentation being employed by the yes and no sides in the debate: While the No side make ludicrous assertions about "Ireland [militarily] commanding the western approaches to Europe" and "letting the EU come begging to us" the Yes side is forced into somewhat more detailed argumentation refuting No claims that Ireland's voting representation will be much reduced and that Lisbon will make Irish law subordinate to the EU for the first time. It really is a question of whether reason or xenophobic chauvinism win out in this debate...

 Lisbon Treaty referendum - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 29, 2009

A chara, - Jamie Smyth's article (September 19th) on Lisbon's double majority voting system is very illuminating. However, it contains a myth repeated so often by Declan Ganley, Anthony Coughlan and others that it now seems to be taken as a fact: that Lisbon would reduce Ireland's voting weight in Europe from 2 per cent to 0.8 per cent. The 0.8 per cent figure corresponds to Ireland's population share, but not its voting weight.

The new double majority rule requires that an action be supported by a majority (55 per cent) of states that represent a majority (65 per cent) of the EU population. This rule involves a "country" criterion that weighs all states equally and a "population" criterion that gives more weight to bigger countries. If only the country criterion were used, Ireland's voting weight would be one in 27 or about 3.7 per cent; if only the population criterion were used, Ireland's weight would be 0.8 per cent. But both are used and so Ireland's weight lies somewhere between these two extremes.

In fact, analysis of the rule using one of the most common measures of voting power (the Banzhaf index) shows that Lisbon places approximately 41 per cent of the weight on the country criterion and 59 per cent on the population criterion; this gives Ireland an overall voting weight of 2 per cent. So once you take account of both criteria you find that Ireland's weight is virtually unchanged by Lisbon.

What the Lisbon rules do change for Ireland is how easily the EU as a whole can make decisions: under Nice rules only about 2 per cent of all possible coalitions of countries could pass a law; this jumps to 13 per cent under Lisbon. So what is really at stake is not how much power we would have but what type of power we want: the power simply to make sure that things stay much as they are or the power to improve them. - Is mise,

MACARTAN HUMPHREYS,

Associate Professor of Political

Science,

Columbia University,

New York, US.

Madam, - It is sickening the way the Yes to Lisbon camp crawl with begging bowl to the big EU states. It would be the other way round if we but stood up for ourselves!

We have a magnificently wealthy 200-mile economic zone around us, though our fisheries are plundered by the EU. Our neutrality remains highly respected at the United Nations and around the globe. Above all militarily we have a vital strategic position commanding the western approaches to Europe.

We have said No once, let the EU now come begging to us, let them alter the real terms of the this greed-based treaty, rather than throw us a few unenforceable protocols. - Yours, etc,

JIM DIXON,

Ballincollig,

Co Cork.

Madam, - Dr David Honan (September 26th) claims that the wording for Friday's referendum will emasculate our Constitution, rendering it subservient to the EU. Dr Honan omits to mention that the wording to which he objects is, save for the addition of the words "Treaty of Lisbon," the same as was inserted into the Constitution in 1972. Ireland and the other member-states have assigned certain areas of responsibility to the EC and the EU. Within those areas, the law of the EC and EU is supreme. It would be impossible for the EC and EU to function as we expect if this were not the case. Nothing in the Lisbon Treaty changes this.

Too much of the Yes campaign has involved debunking such misunderstandings rather than providing people with reasons to vote yes. One positive aspect of the treaty has received little attention in the debate. Member-states must comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and, if applicable, bills of rights in their own constitutions. However, the EC/EU institutions have not been subject to any written human rights guarantee. Lisbon's effective incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the proposal that the EU itself sign up to the ECHR both address this situation. If Lisbon enters into force, fundamental disputes about European law will be resolved by reference to human rights provisions and not just the criterion of market efficiency that has tended to guide the European Court of Justice in the past. A further reason to vote Yes. - Yours, etc,

ORAN DOYLE,

The irony of ironies of the whole campaign is that the most extreme nationalist party, Sinn Fein, is campaigning alongside the most nationalist British party, the UKIP, in arguing against greater European integration as contained in the Treaty.  Given that Sinn Fein is a mostly Northern Ireland based party, could it be that they feel more comfortable living under British rule?

The polls have been very favourable to the yes side...

RTÉ News: Boost for Lisbon Yes campaign

The last major opinion poll of the Lisbon Referendum shows growing support for the Treaty with just six days to go to polling day.

The Red C poll in tomorrow's Sunday Business Post shows that, excluding those who have yet to decide, the Yes lead has stretched to more than two-thirds of voters.

More than 1,000 voters around the country were surveyed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The results show that 55% of adults said they would vote Yes, up one point since the last poll two weeks ago.

27% said they would vote No, up two points and 18% are undecided.

When the 'undecideds' are excluded, the Yes side leads by 67% to 33%.

Technically, of course, the headline is misleading - if the Yes side has increased by one point, and the No by two. There has also been some evidence of the gap narrowing in another recent poll...

Irish support for Lisbon Treaty up - poll | Top News | Reuters

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish support for the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty rose two points to 48 percent on Friday but the latest opinion poll also showed the opposition gaining some ground, as the number of "don't knows" shrank.The "no" camp was up four points to 33 percent, a week before votes are cast. The Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll saw the undecided category drop by six points to 19 per cent.

At a similar stage before last year's referendum 35 percent of voters polled remained undecided

Another misleading headline, but with the undecided (who broke NO last time) being down from 35% to 19% there is much less scope for that to happen this time. There is also a shift within camps to those "strongly yes" increasing as a proportion indicating that Yes turnout may be higher on this occasion.

I have been predicting a 60:40 yes since the beginning of the year and see no reason to change that at this stage. The major factor behind this c. 15% swing to yes is the economy and the feeling that we need Europe more than they need us.

It is hard to say whether the slightly more effective Yes campaign has also been a factor. More likely, it is the NO campaign which has been more ineffective - with Ganley having lost his novelty factor and his credibility by his U-turn on his promise not to campaign this time around. The greater (if slightly covert) involvement of the UKIP may also be a negative factor.

A lot of people will judge the issue not by the content of the treaty, but by the composition of who is for and against. Almost the entire political and business establishment has lined up in favour - but their credibility is badly damaged by political scandal and economic melt-down. However the NO campaign is made up of extreme Nationalists (Sinn Fein), British Nationalists (UKIP), religious fundamentalists (Coir) and left wing groups and individuals like Joe Higgins (MEP) Patricia McKenna (ex Greens and MEP) who collectively would normally get less than 5% of the national vote.

So on this occasion I think the ayes will have it.

Display:
Thanks for this diary, Frank. For all of us Europeans, this referendum is a cliffhanger! What are the last voting trends?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 02:34:09 AM EST
ET wants to go home look at numbers.

Last polls I saw linked had the yes side at a comfortable lead by 50-55% to 25-30%, but that was weeks ago.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 06:01:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That still seems about right: bit of a rise in "undecideds" switching to "no", but other than that, it looks like it will pass. If people bother coming out to vote - No voters are generally more motivated than Yes voters, I think, so I'd expect the vote to be rather closer than that - though the Yes may turn out given it failed last time.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 06:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RTÉ News: Boost for Lisbon Yes campaign

The last major opinion poll of the Lisbon Referendum shows growing support for the Treaty with just six days to go to polling day.

The Red C poll in tomorrow's Sunday Business Post shows that, excluding those who have yet to decide, the Yes lead has stretched to more than two-thirds of voters.

More than 1,000 voters around the country were surveyed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The results show that 55% of adults said they would vote Yes, up one point since the last poll two weeks ago.

27% said they would vote No, up two points and 18% are undecided.

When the 'undecideds' are excluded, the Yes side leads by 67% to 33%.

Technically, of course, the headline is misleading - if the Yes side has increased by one point, and the No by two.  There has also been some evidence of the gap narrowing in another recent poll...
Irish support for Lisbon Treaty up - poll | Top News | Reuters

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish support for the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty rose two points to 48 percent on Friday but the latest opinion poll also showed the opposition gaining some ground, as the number of "don't knows" shrank.

The "no" camp was up four points to 33 percent, a week before votes are cast. The Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll saw the undecided category drop by six points to 19 per cent.

At a similar stage before last year's referendum 35 percent of voters polled remained undecided,

But with the undecided (who broke NO last time) being so much less there is less scope for that to happen this time. There is also a shift within camps to those "strongly yes" increasing as a proportion indicating that Yes turnout may be higher this time.

I have been predicting a 60:40 yes since the beginning of the year and see no reason to change that at this stage.  The major factor behind this c. 15% swing to yes is the economy and the feeling that we need Europe more than they need us.  

It is hard to say whether the slightly more effective Yes campaign has also been a factor.  More likely, it is the NO campaign which has been more ineffective - with Ganley having lost his novelty factor and his credibility by his U-turn on his promise not to campaign this time around.  The greater (if slightly covert) involvement of the UKIP may also be a negative factor.

A lot of people will judge the issue not by the content of the treaty, but by the composition of who is for and against.  Almost the entire political and business establishment has lined up in favour - but their credibility is badly damaged by political scandal and economic melt-down.  However the NO campaign is made up of extreme Nationalists (Sinn Fein), British Nationalists (UKIP), religious fundamentalists (Coir) and left wing groups and individuals like Joe Higgins (MEP) Patricia McKenna (ex Greens and MEP) who collectively would normally get less than 2% of the national vote.

So on this occasion I think the ayes will have it.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 07:23:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have incorporate this comment into an updated main diary because any discussion of the Countdown to Lisbon should have included a discussion of the latest state of play in the polls.  Thanks Melanchthon!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 07:50:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Libertas criticised as 'anti-worker' - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 29, 2009

The chairman of the Charter Group, Des Geraghty, said the Libertas articles of association suggested it would contribute funds to anybody resisting interference in its business by strike movements or organisations.

Mr Geraghty said that Libertas, which is campaigning for a No vote, was anything but pro-worker.

Meanwhile, the Charter Group, which comprises trade union activists campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum, said that it was essential for jobs and workers rights

Mr Geraghty said that Ireland's future depended on export-led growth and that this required a strong economy in Europe.

"Only Yes can help to achieve this, and a No will only weaken Europe economically".

The secretary of the Charter Group, Blaire Horan, said it was "absolute lies" to suggest the minimum wage would be affected as a result of passing the Lisbon Treaty.

He also said controversial European Court of Justice rulings such as the Laval case - which had been highlighted by the No side - would have no impact here.

He said Ireland had extensive minimum wage protection, not just a basic minimum wage of €8.65 per hour, but also higher legally enforceable rates in a range of sectors such as construction, hotels, retail and catering.

"These minimum wage rates apply to all workers in Ireland irrespective of their nationality. Workers are fully protected on pay and the Laval judgement has no impact here. The claims of a race to the bottom are just not factual", Mr Horan said.



notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 08:36:20 AM EST


notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 11:12:37 AM EST
I should perhaps have stated that the actor playing all the roles in this video is a noted Irish comic and satirist...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 05:00:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Declan Ganley has accused Brian Lenihan of telling lies about the British Hedge Fund manager's donations to Libertas and claimed that the donations in question referred to last June's European election campaign.  

However as Ganley has not disclosed the sources of funding for his current Anti-Lisbon campaign, can we not assume that his current sources of funding are similar to the last time around?

And given that the Irish Banking crisis was in part precipitated by Hedge Fund managers betting against Irish Banks (and making hundreds of Millions of Euros in the process), is it not reasonable for Mr. Lenehan to ask whether any of Libertas' current donors might benefit financially from a no vote?

Whatever the merits of the Treaty itself, it seems that the most immediate beneficiaries of a no vote may be the British Hedge funds who have placed multi-million bets against the Irish economy and the UKIP which has bet its political future on forcing a UK referendum on Lisbon and the EU.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 04:01:37 PM EST
Are now appealing to naked nationalism in making their case...

Cox warns of impact of No vote - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 29, 2009

Mr Cox referred to the British Conservative Party, newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch and "anti-European non-Irish" media when he spoke at Ireland for Europe's final press conference ahead of the vote on Friday. Mr Cox is director of the civil society group.

"It's not in my view in Ireland's interest or Europe's interest for us to become the Trojan horse for outside forces, and there are many of them, political and media, who are seeking to influence our outcome in their end," he said.



notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 29th, 2009 at 04:14:37 PM EST
Well, yeah, but so are the other side.

Almost none of the debate has actually been about the treaty, it's all been around the treaty.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 12:50:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the other side of both sides ;-)!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 12:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh. Subject lines here so seldom contain information that I never read them.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 01:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 03:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it useful to keep track of comments when in summary view - it also challenges you to step back and ask yourself what the key point of your comment is

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 03:28:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oxford-educated Mr Odey is married to Nichola Pease, the chief executive of JO Hambro Capital Management and part of the family that founded Barclays Bank.

Latest news on the British ruling caste:

No Change.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 30th, 2009 at 02:05:31 AM EST
I'm just back from my local village where three energetic young No campaigners are busy distributing papers and speaking into megaphones begging the Irish people not to hand more power away to Europe to a crowd of - well just me.  Why do so many no campaigners speak with English accents?

When I asked which group they were supporting they said it was the vote NO alliance.  The paper they handed out is called the Sovereign Independent which seems to have a conspiratorial radical left nationalist editorial line.  I'm not sure how much the association with those more general political positions and views will help the NO vote.

I will say one thing, however: Coming so soon on the heels of the June elections, the amount of energy and money being spend on posters and canvassing is remarkable.  Whatever else one might say about the quality of much of the debate, there is no doubt that there is a degree of popular engagement with the EU and the Treaty that other countries can only dream of.

There is a lot to be said for direct democracy even if it often leads to lowest common denominator mudslinging and grossly misrepresentative propaganda.  It forces a level of popular engagement that indirect "leave it to the experts" style democracy rarely achieves.

I may sometimes not like the result, but I do admire the process especially when not totally manipulated by money and media monopolies.  Whilst the British media is increasingly influential in Ireland, it has not entirely supplanted a still vibrant local media industry.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 11:15:32 AM EST
I'm a big fan of direct democracy, but I think it also comes with an obligation for the society that practices it to enable the citizens to make informed choices.

(this is also my theory on why direct democracy works in Switzerland but not in California)

With regard to Ireland, Tony Barber had this to say:

One day I'll break the habit of only visiting Ireland when there's a referendum on a European Union treaty.  It can easily mislead you into thinking that the Irish people like nothing better than a passionate "national conversation" (as the latest faddish expression puts it) about Europe.  In fact, it is closer to the mark to say, as Eamon Delaney does in an article for the Irish magazine Business & Finance, that "Ireland is an island with a self-absorbed political culture which is not all that interested in overseas affairs".

How does that strike you?

[ed. note: I deleted the last paragraph of your exerpt of the MacShane column]

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 11:43:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
with the Delaney quote.  From my experience of other countries, Irish public debate is far more concerned with overseas affairs than any other country I know.

We all have relations in the USA, UK, Europe or Australia; many have worked overseas, Britain still occupies part of our country (as far as many are concerned), we have a long history of high profile engagement with the UN, the EU has been central to political discourse since before our membership.

Delaney must be "a self hating Irishman" - to coin a phrase - and Tony Barber a typical English hack who hears what he wants to hear about the paddys.... aren't they so provincial compared to the urbane British ruling class...well at least they have had their comeuppance now...come running to the EU and ECB when they can't manage their own affairs...

Unfortunately there is some truth in the latter sentiment!

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 12:17:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"(this is also my theory on why direct democracy works in Switzerland but not in California)"

I think you've been listening to too much right-wing and American east-coast propaganda. As a resident of California, I feel that direct democracy works extremely well here. Contrary to all you've heard, California is actually doing very well. The standard of living here is very, very high. That's why over 10% of Americans choose to live here, a percentage which is growing, not declining. The problem isn't too much democracy in California, it's a lack of it in the rest of the country.

California's economic problems are primarily caused by the federal government's voracious sucking of hundreds of billions of dollars from California to subsidize the rest of the country. We send hundreds of billions of dollars back east every year. That's the source of the budget deficit, not any "excess of democracy."

by mikep on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 01:58:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's only normal that the richer parts of the country subsidise the poorer ones. It's not as if California's current wealth is unrelated to federal spending in the past. The fact is that California is unable to balance a budget because of its direct democracy, and has only managed to postpone its current collapse by borrowing against the future.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 02:34:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The greater irony is that relatively liberal and Democratic California is subsidising conservative Republican mid western and southern states which are against higher public expenditure and "Federal" interference in State affairs.  Maybe California should secede...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 02:53:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, but mikep might be right inasmuch as you (plural) base your view of California direct democracy too much on a few (even if very important) decisions, while there have been hundreds of other referendums. (And to cherry-pick those I like too, on the day of the 2008 Presidential elections, half a dozen pro-rail propositions passed, each with explicit costs involved for the citizens.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 01:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've also seen sales tax increases to pay for road expansion pass easily.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 01:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is my understanding that these kind of 'bond' measures have to be proposed because the Californian government has no leeway to invest in anything.

One test of a system of government is whether it can continue functioning. The Californian system - in which simple majorities in referenda can amend the constitution to the point of a government breakdown - evidently can't.

It might also be due to the meta-rules, as askod indicates, and the point that there is no direct democracy in much of the rest of the US is also valid, although I don't necessarily know how it is relevant.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 03:56:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The HSR one was a bond measure. IIRC all the others (all of which were local) involved sales tax increases.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 04:32:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne:
I'm a big fan of direct democracy, but I think it also comes with an obligation for the society that practices it to enable the citizens to make informed choices.

(this is also my theory on why direct democracy works in Switzerland but not in California)

I am more working under the hypothesis that it comes down to making good meta-rules. As I understand it (and I expect Fran to correct me), in Switzerland you can have a referendum on any legislative non-budget decision (for example: should X be illegal) and you always have a referendum on budget decisions (raising tax Y to fund more police to fight X).

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 05:39:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. They just had one last weekend, increasing VAT from 7.6% to 8%. It passed, but was a close call.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 03:13:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, Frank, what about some liveblogging on the Irish referendum?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 07:21:59 AM EST
They'll start counting tomorrow morning, I believe.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 07:34:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reports of slower voting so far than last time, which is bad for Yes, though the weather hasn't been helping -and it's October, rather than June, so people are less likely to want to get up early to vote in the dark.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 07:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My time availability is a bit constrained but I'll do my best.  Should I open a separate new diary or just use this thread - which has gone a bit dead?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 07:40:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could post an open thread on the FP, if you and others could then chip in with news?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 07:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK - I'll do what I can while I'm around - turnout figures vs. last time should be out shortly, the count won't start until tomorrow, with early indications mid morning and a result late afternoon/early evening.  By lunchtime tomorrow we should know result unless its very tight.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 07:55:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Done.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 08:08:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]