Today was a very good day for democracy.
It demonstrated very clearly that the government, if they hadn’t had their hand forced would have voted on an issue against the wishes of the people. This begs the question as to what the outcome would be if Lisbon were to be put to a referendum in all the participating countries?
I think one lesson we should learn from this is that maybe the Lisbon Treaty is inherently flawed, as it does pass the power into hands of people who may be completely out of touch with their people.
Of course the politicians are now all running around like headless chickens claiming that the sky has fallen on their heads, and Biffo ‘Chicken Little’ Cowan must be taking a fair bit of flack from Brussels. Frankly, he deserves it.
Where did it go wrong for them?
The first thing the result shows is just how out of touch our government is with the people. I include all the parties in that, not just the ones in power.
Bertie started the rot when he started the campaign by saying that only “loo-lahs” would even think of rejecting Lisbon. This was a childish and frankly insulting thing to say about his own electorate. The three main parties then sat back on their laurels and decided that their say was enough for us. If they say vote yes, then of course we will all tag along. Job done.
But they underestimated the Peoples’ intelligence and maturity.
We wanted to know what the treaty was about and they couldn’t tell us. It even transpired that some who were advocating a yes vote hadn’t even read the treaty, including our Great Leader.
This, of course let the door open for the real “loo lahs” who started screaming about abortion and conscription, which threw the issue into further confusion.
So why did Ireland vote No?
First and foremost, the government failed abysmally to explain to us what the whole thing was about. The are enough people confused about European affairs as it is without throwing a very complex document at us. The onus was on them to explain clearly and concisely the pros and cons of the document but they failed. They instead had the arrogance to ask us to just trust them and vote Yes.
The general mood of the People is not good at the moment. We are facing massive price hikes, and unemployment. Our public services are in a shambles. The housing market has collapsed completely and the government is doing little or nothing about it. Instead we have them granting themselves massive pay rises, and we have our recent leader in the dock over corruption. The last thing the government should do is ask us to trust them. We don’t.
When the government started to see [too late] that things weren’t going their way, they started threatening us. They warned us of dire consequences if the treaty failed. They pointed to the No advocates, and called them loonies, lefties, anti-Europe and God knows what else. They said there was no alternative. Some even said we would be thrown out of Europe.
In my opinion, today was not necessarily a vote against the government. It was certainly not a vote against Europe.
It was a quiet rebellion by the People of Ireland for being treated like fools.