The Irish have had their say in the ongoing process of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty much to dismay and obvious surprise of their government. I say surprise simply because the Irish government seemed to think that all they had to do was tell the electorate to “trust us” and vote “Yes”. Then when it became apparent that this might not happen, out came the threats and scare tactics of not voting the way the government had indicated they should, the dire consequences of not following along with the other countries who have already voted in favor of the treaty. Considering the fact that the current “quality of living”, economy, housing situations and crime rate seem to at their worst with the government who wishes the Irish people to “trust them” constantly turning a blind eye to these issues, I find it singularly ironic that such a government would actually believe that their electorate would “trust them” to anything.
Of course, since the voting was complete, there’s been all sorts of accusations from all corners including the one’s who voted “Yes” bashing the ones who voted “No” and everyone else bashing the ones who abstained but that’s to be expected. However, there’s also been quite a lot of chastising of folks who voted “No” simply because they couldn’t make heads or tails of the Treaty itself and after downloading and attempting to grind my way through all the vague wording and political “corp-speak” of said Treaty myself, I can’t say as I blame them. If the “Powers That Be” can’t make it any clearer than that…
Be that as it may, in doing some additional research after the fact, it looks like either “Divine Providence”, “Fate Intervened” or just “Murphy’s Law” working against the Government of Ireland (or certain powers of the present EU perhaps?), saved the Irish people from giving away their right to have any say in future issues of EU treaties or the like by allowing the Irish equivalent of the Senate (the Dáil and Seanad) to make decisions on any future EU issues without consulting the Irish people in any way, shape or form:
If the change [referring to an amendment to the "Irish Constitution"] is passed this will be the last referendum we have on anything to do with the EU. The last members of the voting public which can ratify or reject EU treaties will be gone. I guess the government figure something that important can’t be left to idiots that voted them in in the first place.
I strongly suggest you read the rest of the above article for the full explanation but to quickly sum up; by voting “Yes”, the Irish electorate would have (mostly unknowingly by what I’ve read) given their permission to their government, the same government who expected the Irish folks to “trust them” and vote Yes, to add an amendment to the Constitution of Ireland which, as explained in the above quote, strip away any future right of the Irish people to vote on any future EU treaties or issues thereof. This would be akin to the voters in Vermont (where I live) telling their State government; “Okay, we’re going to do away with all the traditional, annual town meetings thereby giving up our right to vote on State matters and all matters involving the Federal government and let the State government handle it all from now on“.
Although that’s not an exact, direct comparison, it’s a close equivalent of what the Irish people would be giving up by my way of thinking.
I’m going to end this now and leave you with a three links to certain other posts by Irish folks that I’ve read, one of which I’ve been able to comment on so far (wireless router kept going down this weekend so it’s been catch as catch can) and there’s some good links in these posts and comments to follow for those interested in knowing more. And please, do read the comments as well. One of the best ways to find out what the people involved with this are going through and how they’re feeling about the vote and their place in it is to read their comments. After all, the world is changing faster now than people can keep up and you never know when you yourselves might be facing a similar situation.
Update: (I would have included this earlier but it took me some time to find it again.)
I had to admit I found this BBC News article an accompanying video(s) somewhat amusing as I watched David Miliband as he danced around the continuing ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty while at the same time saying that the Irish vote and the meaning of their rejection of the Treaty could not be ignored (IE: By law the Treaty should now be dead in the water). Good Lord, could he get any more transparent? Political BS at it’s best.
Check out the other videos in the small sidebar of the article, especially Brian Cowen’s reaction to the final outcome. Here’s the man who supposedly stated earlier that he hadn’t even read it himself yet he wanted the Irish people to vote “Yes” on it??