The re-run in Ireland
By Jens-Peter Bonde
President of the EU Democrats
Member of the European Parliament from 1979-2008
Has published 60 books on European integration
I am reading the EU cuttings from Irish newspapers every day. It is interesting to see how the Irish elite now prepare the re-run of the referendum 12 June.
Ireland voted a strong “no” to the Lisbon Constitution, as the French and the Dutch. However, they don’t take no for an answer. Ideally there shall be no referendums at all. If necessary the choice should only be between now and later.
Yes or Jawohl.
First the Irish government has spent a lot of money to prove that the Irish citizens are badly informed and silly. They pose a question on conscription which was mainly raised in the public by criticism from the foreign minister. I never met that argument in my many meetings in Ireland.
Then they forgot to ask about the main argument from the different spokespersons on the no side: the lack of democracy in the Lisbon Treaty. Since people could not answer “lack of democracy,” they were instead presented as badly informed.
The hidden premise is that the government will then be psychologically allowed to inform them to have a new answer in a second referendum.
But a second referendum is a risky option. So why not just simply ratify the important part of the Constitution through the national parliament and leave some small points to be decided by the voters?
The institutional side of the Constitution can be placed in the agreement on Croatian membership. Then Ireland can vote on their own possible participation in the Charter of fundamental rights and defence policy. The Charter and defence will be carried anyway.
Ireland will have nice words (with no new content) on neutrality, abortion, taxation, agriculture and every thing the government needs to cheat the voters. In real terms they will only be permitted to opt out.
This could make sense if everyone else had approved the Lisbon Treaty by referendum. But the prime ministers I know about are absolutely right when they privately admit that the text could never be approved in their own country, as well.
We need a short treaty – or constitution – which can be read by prime ministers before they sign and can be put for referendums in all EU countries. Why not the same days?
All friends of democracy should now prepare for the re-run in Ireland and to turn the European elections for June 2009 into an all European referendum against the Lisbon Constitution.
The EUDemocrats will have our next congress in Brussels 17 October to prepare our part of the work. You are welcome to follow our work at the website: eudemocrats.org.