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Updated: Declan Ganley to return

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.

Frank Schnittger

Well, this should come as a surprise to no-one.
by det on Sat Sep 12th, 2009 at 11:43:00 AM EST
Two new polls are out, both encouraging:

RTÉ News: Martin warns against complacency on Lisbon

Red C poll in today's Sunday Business Post...

The poll shows that 52% of all those surveyed said they will vote for the Treaty, with 25% saying no and 23% undecided.

...Meanwhile, the Red C poll also shows support for Fianna Fáil has increased by three points to 24% since the last Red C poll at the end of May. Fine Gael is down one to 33%; Labour gains one at 19%, while the Greens are up one to 5%.

Sinn Féin drop two points to 8% and Independents and others are also down two to 11%.

FF hits new poll low but Lisbon looks like a 'Yes' - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

THE popularity of the Taoiseach has shown a marginal upswing to 23 per cent in the latest Sunday Independent /Quantum Research poll, carried out on Friday, but Fianna Fail continues to slide and now sits at an historically low 14 per cent.

...those who say they would vote 'Yes' in the Lisbon Treaty referendum rising to 63 per cent compared with 54 per cent in April, 55 per cent last January and 39 per cent last December.

The proportion of those polled who say they will vote 'No' amounts to 15 per cent, with 22 per cent in the 'Don't Know' category...

The figures for the 'No' camp have been falling steadily over the past nine months -- 37 per cent in December last, 30 per cent in January and 24 per cent in April.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 13th, 2009 at 06:32:16 AM EST
Thanks for this update.  I have been out of media reach for 24 hours.  These polls seem to contradict the earlier Irish Times poll and I would be surprised if Ganley hadn't done some private polling before launching a comeback attempt.  I had become worried because relatively prominent commentators who might otherwise have bee expected to promote a yes vote, had begun to say that a No vote was a legitimate form of protest against the Government.

However generally speaking the Irish electorate can be quite discriminating in how it votes and most people will have no difficulty voting yes whilst still being very angry at the Government. The problem is that there is no way of channelling that anger at the moment and the referendum is the only outlet there is.  So it comes down to how motivated the respective camps are to actually go out and vote.

Overall I would still be reasonably confident in my long-term prediction of a 60:40 vote in favour.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 13th, 2009 at 02:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A win by the Yes side is probable. The two best indicators of this are(i) the bookmakers are increasing the odds and (ii) the Daily Telegraph has started its campaign to force Cameron into a corner on holding a referendum, even if the Lisbon Treaty has come into force.

Ever crack-pot in Europe has been surfing on the negative votes in France and The Netherlands on the failed European Constitution. The parties responsible, notably Chirac and Giscard, for selling a false version of what they were about, have yet to face a rigorous historical examination of their roles. (While more than a "tidying-up exercise" it was never a constitutional convention in the manner imagined and presented by Giscard).

In the event of the Lisbon Treaty going through, they will probably never have to.

That's history for you.

by DOCM on Mon Sep 14th, 2009 at 03:06:59 PM EST
Welcome to ET, DOCM!

I am looking forward to read your comments and diaries...

"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 15th, 2009 at 01:07:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron will be praying for a yes vote then - as the only way of avoiding a referendum in the UK (and possible secession by Scotland).

Yes, Chirac/Giscard have a lot to answer for, but will be but footnotes in history is this thing goes through.

Either way, Ireland has played it's trump card once too often.  Our day of having an outsized influence in the EU are numbered...

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 15th, 2009 at 03:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cóir accused over gay rights - The Irish Times - Wed, Sep 16, 2009

Several "fundamentalist" groups in Ireland are opposed to the Lisbon Treaty "precisely because" it protects the rights of gay people and other minorities, it was claimed today.

The Labour Party's Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Rights (Labour LGBT) said the Charter of Fundamental Rights included in the treaty sought to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Speaking at the launch of the Labour LGBT'S campaign for a Yes vote in Dublin today, Labour's Joe Costello said: "It is because of these human rights commitments for gay men and women in the European Union treaties and in Lisbon, in particular, that the fundamentalist group Cóir is so vehemently opposed to the Lisbon Treaty".

The Dublin Central TD welcomed the addition of Labour LGBT to the list of groups campaigning in support of the treaty, which he said was an indication of the diversity of support which exists for Lisbon.

He said the gay community in Ireland should be to the forefront in this campaign as the EU was founded on the values of respect for minorities.

"And the Charter of Fundamental Rights further enhances the human rights and equality provisions," he said.

Mr Costello said the European Parliament was debating a controversial Lithuanian legislative proposal which would ban "public information that agitates for homosexual relations".

He said MEPs were concerned that the proposed law would contravene fundamental human rights and therefore the values on which the EU is based.

"Already the EU takes very seriously its commitment to human rights. The Lisbon Treaty will enhance and copperfasten that commitment," he said.

Under the slogan "Lisbon is Good for Gays", Labour LGBT said several articles in the charter relating to the prevention of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and guaranteed rights to assemble represented "major steps forward".

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 16th, 2009 at 10:16:42 AM EST
by det on Sun Sep 20th, 2009 at 02:53:52 PM EST
LOL! Truly a symbolic moment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 20th, 2009 at 03:58:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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