Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A final thought before the Irish Lisbon vote

One thing has always undermined the will of the people in passing legislation they believe to be beneficial: the riders included in the legislation. It's not the issues one votes for as much as it is the terms within the legislation one does not know about.

Irish people (as well as Americans) should be well acquainted with the technique, e.g. propose peace between the Republic and Northern Ireland (who would vote NO on this?); but include other terms which the people of Ireland would not approve of if the issues were voted on separately.

The Patriot Act in the US was passed with glee by a Congress who never read it. All the nasty little caveats in that piece of legislation I do not think have yet been activated. The Treaty of Lisbon is another such manipulation of voters: give the EP more co-decision power (all would say YES), but, turn over national foreign policy and taxing to the EU; or supercede national policing function with a Brussels ordained protocol.

This is a problem in the structure of legislation in a democracy: bills should be brief and transparent enough for all to understand EXACTLY what they are voting for or against. For this reason alone, I will vote NO...to let Brussels know that the democratic approval of the people will only be given to legislation presented in a clear and understandable format.

If these means chopping monster treaties up like Lisbon into bite size pieces; then Brussels had better start figuring out how to do this.

One thing is for sure: the EU will not stand long as a political power without the support of its citizens. Denying referendums to the member states is either very foolish or suicidal.
The union will not stand long as its foundation has a huge crack which Lisbon will not solve: the democratic deficit this treaty creates for all EU citizens.

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