Monday, July 28, 2008

No means no

Last week, an organisation in the UK commissioned a poll of 1000 people in the Irish electorate, to explore views regarding the Lisbon Treaty, which was rejected by a healthy margin in a referendum last month.

The poll revealed that 71% of those polled oppose a second referendum on the Lisbon treaty, with 62% saying they would vote “no” if asked again (an even higher margin in favour of voting ‘no’ than that achieved in the official referendum.)

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin has now accused the UK group involved (apparently a ‘eurosceptic’ think tank) of “meddling in [Ireland’s] national debate on the Lisbon Treaty”.

In what way is taking an opinion poll meddling?

As the electorate of Ireland have categorically rejected the Lisbon treaty, perhaps the government might like to spell out exactly what “debate” it is we are now supposed to be having?

Perhaps in this instance, it might be in the greater interest of Brian Cowen and his cronies to stand up straight and represent the views of the Irish people to the European politicians, rather than trying to impose the views of European politicians on the Irish electorate.

These would be the same European politicians who, when confronted with an amendment to the Lisbon Treaty stating “The European Parliament undertakes to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland”, voted “No” (499 to 129) to the amendment.

They may not respect the outcome of the referendum, but that doesn’t mean that the Irish cannot vote however they want.

Also, those parties in Irish government might like to reflect on the likely domestic political implications for them if they choose to go for a second referendum on Lisbon, and then fail to get it through.

No means no…

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