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  #81  
Old September 7th, 2008, 2:11 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Yeah, people here are still not sure. It's almost as though they don't want to talk about it. It was all down to poor campaigning and an instance where the present government took it for granted that we would just accept it without question.

It's not that we chose to have the referendum. As Eamon de Valera made sure, this country is based entirely on a democracy. Any change to be made to the constitution must be voted for by the people. But we weren't given enough information to make sure we could vote abjectly.

There are rumours everywhere at this stage. A new vote... it will be passed anyway... We have no choice... Out of the EU... It's madness. I just don't see how any of this helps the situation, you know?

I'm a yes voter, but I did have my doubts. Lisbon was only allowed due to a tiny article in the Nice Treaty, which said that when membership reached 27 states, the commission would be downsized. I never really thought that at exactly 27 states, it would happen. it made me wonder what else we had missed that's seen as so vital.

At the moment, I suppose we don't know. But in time maybe we'll vote again. I know we look like an anti-EU branch of the organisation, but I don't think that's true, necessarily. I think it's more that we weren't sure what to do.


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  #82  
Old October 2nd, 2009, 7:02 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

*bump*

Ireland is having a new referendum today. There seems to be some expectations that the 'for' side will win this time.


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  #83  
Old October 2nd, 2009, 10:47 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

I'm sure that if the voters of a nation voted "no" on the treaty/constitution, they would be subjected to another vote, and another, and another until the EU supporters in government got the result they wanted.

Shame it doesn't work the other way.

It'd be nice if we, the British public, were deigned worthy enough to be asked our opinion in a nationwide vote.


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  #84  
Old October 2nd, 2009, 11:40 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Hmmmm... I am usually all for direct democracy, but I think politicians are just too cynical and manipulative about this. The EU is such a good way of blaming something else for all evils (some of which are obviously home made). In fact, I am not sure whether something coinstitutional like this really *should* be decided by referendum, especially when the debate simply doesn't allow proper scrutiny of the actual content.


In any case - however people feel about the EU, it seems to me that it needs to be organised differently, and I think the Lisbon treaty is a start. I think it's a piuty that such fuss is made over each decision, so tyhat they can't go further, make the goivernment of the EU properly democratic (which it isn't now) and properly accountable, too.

With the pointless kerfuffle (which usually sidesteps the actual issues in favour of domestic issues) in all the member states proper reform simply doesn'tseem possible.

I am realy not fussed about the absence of a referendum (I think it's a mere matter that allows politicians to make a big noise as 'champions of the people' for very little risk) - but I *am* concerned about the less than ideal constitutional structure of the EU.


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  #85  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 12:36 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

I think making it easier for the EU to make decisions simply makes it easier for them to mess things up.


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  #86  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 2:03 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
I'm sure that if the voters of a nation voted "no" on the treaty/constitution, they would be subjected to another vote, and another, and another until the EU supporters in government got the result they wanted.

Shame it doesn't work the other way.

It'd be nice if we, the British public, were deigned worthy enough to be asked our opinion in a nationwide vote.
People are likely to vote "yes" this time due to scaremongering regarding economic recovery from the government.

Personally, I think it flies in the face of democracy to expect people to vote again on the same Treaty after 15 months because the Irish government and the EU didn't like the democratic decision of the people.

I find it interesting that you would like the British public to have been given a decision on this. What do other EU COS Members here think on that matter? Do you think there should have been a referendum in your country? I know it's a bit late for shoulda/woulda/coulda, but what do people think? Ireland had to have a referendum, as it is a part of our constitution to consult the people on new Treaties.


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  #87  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 6:56 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

My country had a referendum about joining or not joining the EU, but not about this. Personally I'm perfectly content with not having a referendum but that may be because I'm for it. Those who are against would probably have been happier given a chance to say no.

My two main reasons to be for are:
1. The consensus principle for decisions simply doesn't work with 27 member states (and more to come).
2. For all I know the EU is less democratic now than it would be after implementing the Lisbon treaty.

The Lisbon treaty certainly isn't ideal. It's the best they managed to agree upon after the first 'constitution' was shot down. If we wait for ideal solutions, we'll never get anywhere. Not one of the member states' democracies are ideal either.


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  #88  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 8:55 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Thing is - I'd realy like a *real* discussion on the EU, based on proper information and proper arguments. To be honest, I have yet to see a Eurpean country where this is possible, since the EU is such an easy target to divert criticism from national issues.

In the UK the Murdoch press doesn't help, either.

To me, Aldebaran's ost above, stating that better decision making would just mean they mess more things up, is a sign of this. The EU doesn't get everything right, but in my opinion it makes no sense to suggest that it gets everything wrong.

Of course, no-one ever shouts about the many thingsw it gets right - they just make our lives work smoothly, and we tend to forget about those benefits once we have learned to take them for granted.

I know that my life, l as someone who travels a lot in Europe, has worked on research rojects in other EU countries, and of course, is now a resident in an EU country other than her home country, this may be more apparent.



Still - I sometimes get very angry that veryone remembers the regulation about curved cucumbers (which was obviously stupid and is now abolished), but few people know clearly how much they do which makes sense for us all....

I don't want to convince everyone, but I'd like to see a proper, even-handed and less polemic debate, particlarly in Britain.


A Referendum campaign at this moment would obviously not do that.


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  #89  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:21 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

I do not read Murdoch's tabloids or watch his TV channels. My skepticism towards the European integration movement comes from my own independent opinions on the matter.


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  #90  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:24 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

That's fine with me - but a independently formed opinion is hardly ever just black or white. Look, I have no problem with disagreement, and I don't want to come across as interrogating you: but I'd like to know why you think the EU is so bad. I haven't read the whole thread, but so far I know that you don't trust them, and I'd be interested to hear why you think they are so bad. What do you think the alternatives would be?

As someone who follows the news in a number of countries (at least on and off), I think that in the UK it is very difficult to get good quality information about the EU (and good quality doesn't always mean positive, obviously). I am not even saying that I am as well informad as I'd like. But the thing is, the discourse in this country has never actually be interested in actual realities, it seems to me - more like soundbites on both sides, and an acceptance that the tone has to be Eurosceptic to appeal to the public. I'd say that even the BBC can't really make up for that general tone of the debate. It bugs me, because I'd like to see a proper debate, and not something so heavily tinted by that instinctive feeling of insularity that seems to pervade so much of that discourse without people actually noticing properly.....


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Last edited by Klio; October 3rd, 2009 at 10:29 am.
  #91  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:28 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

My opinion regarding this matter isn't black and white. I do support the concept of cooperation between European nations. But I do not support the level of integration that the EU is at, nor do I support further continental integration. I say this in a British context only. If other European nations want to merge into a wider European state and economy, so be it. But I do not want the United Kingdom to be part of anything more than simple free cooperation in matters beneficial to the British people.


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  #92  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:35 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Fair enough - that's still failry simplistic rhetoric. In a world with a globalised economy as ours 'simple free cooperation in matters beneficial to the British people' isn't ever going to be simple.

And too much desire to stay out of close co-operation with other states out of a sense of independence actually leads to restrictions... the UK is a big country, but in a globalised world, it isn't THAT big. ...

Anyway... I think that it is easy to underestimate the complexities of globalisation, and the impact this would have on us in a dog-eat-dog world where we didn't co-perate within the EU. Britian isn't any longer a big power or even, comparatively speaking, THAT a big a country, although in people's minds (as far as I can see the discourse) this still hasn't registered entirely... Changes will come, and I can't see the world order of the Security council and the G8 which benefited the small WWII winners like the UK and France disproportionally to survive for much longer. Eurpe will almost certainly the body which will have to speak for all those countries which simply aren't on the same plane as the US or China.

And as someone who remembers things like restrictive border controls, restrictions on trade and on the movement of workers I have to say I wouldn't want to go back to that, because I believe that it made everyone worse off....

and obviously, that's my personal opinion that I am not expecting anyone to share...


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Last edited by Klio; October 3rd, 2009 at 10:38 am.
  #93  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 7:04 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

The result is in and it was a Yes vote. Last year there was a 53% turnout with 46% in favour. This time it was 58% turnout with 67% in favour. It's a pretty big jump. I'll be interested to see if research is done again to find out why people voted the way they did (they did this after the last referendum).

I wasn't involved in the campaign this time (blame illness and exile) but I expected a Yes. In the first campaign there was a lot of emphasis on the actual treaty but this time the Yes side moved the campaign to the EU in general. This wasn't a tactic I really approved of because the referendum was, rather obviously, on the Lisbon treaty not on EU membership. They tried acting as if the recession was caused by the No vote in 2008. Em, no? There was the whole issue of the entire economy being based on the building sector which was running on massively inflated house prices. Not something Lisbon affected.

There was also a lot of interviews in papers and on t.v. with EU politicians who pretty much said Ireland would find it very difficult to do anything in the EU if we voted no again.

Once again there was all focus on Libertas (right-wing, pro-business) and Cóir (right-wing, ultra-Catholic) groups and what they were saying when there were large numbers of other groups who had posters, canvassed, and held meetings. I think the media really did put a spin on the crazy no groups and didn't bother to ask what the sane people or academics were saying.

So yeah, I think those things had a bigger affect than the treaty itself.


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  #94  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 7:41 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

And now we wait for the presidents of the Czech Republic and Poland to finally endorse the ratifications of their countries.


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  #95  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 7:48 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klio View Post
As someone who follows the news in a number of countries (at least on and off), I think that in the UK it is very difficult to get good quality information about the EU (and good quality doesn't always mean positive, obviously).
I totally echo this sentiment! I can't really say whether I'm for the Lisbon Treaty or against, because I haven't seen enough neutral, detailed information on it.

Also, it really frustrates me the way that the mainstream parties fight EP elections on domestic policies, without really trying to explain to the electorate what they would do for us in Europe and what they think the benefits of the EU are.


  #96  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 8:37 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

I am relieved, I really have to say it.

I just hope they don't make Blair the President of the EU. That might just turn the UK so eurosceptic that a Cameron government might be able to think about getting us out of the EU. And IMHO that would be a total disaster.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheInvisibleF View Post
(...)

Once again there was all focus on Libertas (right-wing, pro-business) and Cóir (right-wing, ultra-Catholic) groups and what they were saying when there were large numbers of other groups who had posters, canvassed, and held meetings. I think the media really did put a spin on the crazy no groups and didn't bother to ask what the sane people or academics were saying.

I wonder - did you (or any other Irish people here) notice the activities of UKIP (the UK Independence Party) in Ireland? They started campaigning, sending out anti-EU leaflets and so forth.

Apparently they didn't notice that a strongly British patriotic party (their logo is the £ pound sign!!!) should perhaps not presume to get involved in Irish affairs? I thought that they were being outrageous. They behaved almost as if they considered Ireland as a kind of dependency of the UK. GRRRR.


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  #97  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 8:44 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Quote:
Fair enough - that's still failry simplistic rhetoric. In a world with a globalised economy as ours 'simple free cooperation in matters beneficial to the British people' isn't ever going to be simple.
To be honest, this itself sounds like rhetoric. A "globalised economy" with each country integrated deeply with others is not necessarily a good thing.

Quote:
And too much desire to stay out of close co-operation with other states out of a sense of independence actually leads to restrictions... the UK is a big country, but in a globalised world, it isn't THAT big. ...
Norway manages perfectly well to maintain its independence without being part of the EU and that's an even smaller economy than the UK's

Quote:
Anyway... I think that it is easy to underestimate the complexities of globalisation, and the impact this would have on us in a dog-eat-dog world where we didn't co-perate within the EU. Britian isn't any longer a big power or even, comparatively speaking, THAT a big a country, although in people's minds (as far as I can see the discourse) this still hasn't registered entirely... Changes will come, and I can't see the world order of the Security council and the G8 which benefited the small WWII winners like the UK and France disproportionally to survive for much longer. Eurpe will almost certainly the body which will have to speak for all those countries which simply aren't on the same plane as the US or China.
I don't mind Britain not being a "big" power. In military terms I'd prefer us to not get involved in international conflicts. In economic terms, "small" and efficient is also good. Britain losing its Security Council seat to a "European" collective body is absolutely unacceptable and is another factor which would increase my opposition to British participation in an EU "state"

Quote:
And as someone who remembers things like restrictive border controls, restrictions on trade and on the movement of workers I have to say I wouldn't want to go back to that, because I believe that it made everyone worse off....
Again, we can have border, trade and employment cooperation without unifying into a single state.


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  #98  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 8:50 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klio View Post
I just hope they don't make Blair the President of the EU.
I sure agree with that. But maybe for reasons somewhat different. I simply don't trust his will to work in the interest of the entire union.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
Norway manages perfectly well to maintain its independence without being part of the EU and that's an even smaller economy than the UK's
There is quite a difference between those two nations. Oil. Without that Norway would be a very vulnerable economy.


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Last edited by Alastor; October 3rd, 2009 at 8:57 pm.
  #99  
Old October 3rd, 2009, 8:58 pm
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

I just wonder how the rest of Europe would react to Blair as "President of the European Council". He didn't seem to be the most popular of leaders around the world due to his Iraq War role. I just can't see Europe accepting it, not that they'll have much of a say of course.


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  #100  
Old October 4th, 2009, 7:48 am
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Re: The Lisbon Treaty

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
Norway manages perfectly well to maintain its independence without being part of the EU and that's an even smaller economy than the UK's
I used to negotiate in Brussels for the UK government and outside every meeting there were Norwegian and Swiss (occasionally Icelandic) officials attempting to influence the debate. As part of Europe but not of the EU they have virtually all the obligations of EU membership with none of the influence. This is the position the Europhobes here want to put us in.


 
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