The Irish say "no" to the EU Treaty Posted by: McQ
on Friday, June 13, 2008
You recall the previous attempt to pass an EU constitution?
When put to a popular referrendum, the people of France, the Netherlands and if I'm not mistaken, Britain, said "no".
Politicians, being wily beasts, took that "no" as a mere setback, not as the final word. They knew that they would never get it past a popular vote. So instead calling it a "constitution" they decided a "treaty" was much better.
A constitution would require the people, the proles, the great unwashed, to vote on it. And every elite politician in Europe knows that the people never know what is best for them. That's why Europe has been such a peaceful place for hundreds of years - it's been ruled by the elite. And if there's one thing the elite know how to do in Europe, it's have their way - by hook or crook.
So the stage is set. The EU constitution is now cleverly disguised as the Lisbon Treaty, and because it is a treaty, there is no requirement for the people to ratify it. It can be passed by each country's legislative body.
It took years to negotiate, weighs in at 260 pages, is virtually unreadable — and now could be a dead letter.
Irish voters vetoed a painstakingly drafted treaty Friday that had been designed to streamline the European Union. Politicians from all of Ireland's major parties worked hard to sell the complex, deeply technical document to a confused and suspicious public.
Only Ireland put the treaty before the voters at all. The other 26 members are ratifying it through their parliaments, in part fearful of what happened to its predecessor, an even bigger, more ambitious constitution that French and Dutch voters torpedoed in 2005.
To become law, the treaty must be unanimously approved by all 27 EU nations. But Ireland's constitution requires EU treaties be put to a vote — a risky policy for the EU, whose powerful commissioners are not popularly elected and seem distant from the ordinary European.
The overwhelming majority of Ireland's politicians supported the Treaty of Lisbon, named after the city where the charter was signed by all member governments in December 2007. But they found it impossible to sell.
Now, I'm not saying that an EU constitution is a bad thing necessarily, nor am I contending that one shouldn't, at some point, be passed into law. But I do have to admit loving it when politicans who aren't at all as smart as they think they are, get their rear-ends handed to them.
So back to the drawing board pols. Want a constitution? Look at those which cover what, 3 or 4 pages instead of a 260 page technical monstrosity. Perhaps then the natural aversion of most people to fine print will be allayed by a short document that addresses liberty and freedom. Maybe you can actually sell that a positive achievement and something that will improve their lives.
In the world of constitutions (or "treaties" or whatever they choose to call the next effort), often less is better.
God bless the Irish! I was over to the Emerald Isle last year and spent a good bit of time speaking to ’commoners’. They really want no part in anything other than a common currency and ease of travel. I’m glad to see them reject this, as I’ve always hoped that is things continue to spiral out of control here, I might find haven back in the mother country.
Wow. Made it to page 12 before I couldn’t take it anymore.
In its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens. It shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.
Well, nothing like putting the supremacy of the UN in your constitution. Makes amendments pretty easy.