Monday, April 28, 2008

The Treaty of Lisbon

As has been mentioned before on this journal, the Irish electorate will vote in a referendum to be held in about six weeks’ time on whether Ireland shall ratify the Treaty of Lisbon.

Melancholicus will not here and now delve into the intricacies of European integration, or what ratification of this latest treaty will do for Ireland or for Europe generally. That is not the issue. For he has already made up his mind, when the time comes for him to exercise his suffrage, to reject the Treaty of Lisbon. He shall vote No, and he encourages any of his fellow countrymen that might be reading this to do the same.

Ireland is the ONLY European nation the government of which is holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Melancholicus thus feels he has a moral duty to vote No, not only for the sake of Ireland, but for the uncounted millions of other Europeans in this allegedly democratic age whose governments have denied them the opportunity to do so themselves.

Even if there were no urgent political reason to reject this treaty — and there are reasons aplenty — Melancholicus would still vote No, if only out of sheer bloody-mindedness, for he has found the arrogance and the high-handedness of the Yes campaign to be insufferable. This very morning en route to the university, he listened to an unsatisfactory radio debate between John McGuirk of Libertas and Dick Roche TD, Minister for European Affairs. This debate was unsatisfactory because it was not calm and reasoned, but a shouting match, and Melancholicus was shocked by the arrogant and dismissive bluster of Minister Roche. Even if every word spoken by the Minister were true, Melancholicus was repelled by the attitude of the man, who seemed to be personally affronted that a No campaign should even exist in Ireland.

So much for democracy.

This high-handed attitude is not unique to Minister Roche, for Melancholicus has observed it also in the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and in Eamonn Gilmore, leader of the Labour Party, and in several other Dáil deputies from a broad spectrum of political backgrounds and beliefs. Yet — with the singular exception of Sinn Féin — all seem to be united in an unduly vehement (not to say desperate) insistence that Ireland MUST ratify the Treaty of Lisbon and that consequently the Irish electorate MUST vote Yes in the forthcoming referendum.

Who are these politicians to tell us what to do? We are not accountable to them, or to the EU commissars in Brussels. On the contrary, isn’t the whole principle of democracy founded on the notion that we elect these people to respresent us? Are not they, then, accountable to us? And should we decide to say No in June, whence comes the justification for their righteous indignation?

Moreover, the government of this Republic of Ireland has not provided its citizens with any information whatever on even the most important consequences of the Lisbon Treaty. The government is aware that most Irish people haven’t the foggiest idea what they are voting for, yet there has been no official attempt to assist members of the public in making an informed decision. The only attempts to do so have proceeded from the No campaign, from groups like Libertas that have been so stridently denounced by our political leaders on the airwaves. Can it be that the Irish government doesn’t want the people to know what is contained in the Lisbon Treaty? Can it be because if the Irish people knew what they were voting for, they might possibly vote No? The failure of the government to provide the electorate with any information on the Lisbon Treaty, as well as its treatment of us as mere children in the most condescending manner imaginable, is more than reason enough to defy our politicians and most resolutely vote No. Who votes Yes to ratify a treaty they know nothing about?

In any case, there is hardly any point voting at all. In the exercise of their democratic rights, the Irish electorate rejected the Treaty of Nice in a referendum held in June 2001. As this result was unacceptable to the EU, the Irish were required to repeat this referendum in October 2002. On this second occasion, the desired Yes vote was achieved, but even if it had not been, the referendum would have been held repeatedly until the Irish electorate finally agreed to ratification.

It is likely that ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon will be achieved in the same way. Even if the Irish electorate reject the Treaty this coming June, the referendum will be put to us again and again until we agree to ratify the thing, so the EU commissars need not be overly disturbed by an initial rejection.

And so the future of Europe shall, for the average citizen of countries such as Ireland, be characterised by steadily diminishing representation, steadily diminishing powers of suffrage and self-determination, and the steady increase of soft totalitarianism, as unaccountable and unelected commissions and appointees gradually replace parliaments and elected representatives, and as referenda are emptied of their democratic purpose by being repeatedly put to the electorate until the desired result be achieved.

Under such conditions, what need of a referendum at all?

2 comments:

Modesto said...

Stop terrorism media. France and the Netherlands voted against (when voters voted and not elected) and not anything happened to these 2 countries. For all these threats against Ireland?: Terrorism (act of intimidation). The Irish must vote freely and that will be voting for Europe because in other countries was not the 'people' to vote and certainly in more than one country would vote NO. NO to the dictatorship politics. If they vote no, "Christian Europe" is what appreciate. If Ireland voted NO, will be the voice of those who could not freely choose. Corage and tell the politicians that do not scare!

"Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and the rest you will be given in addition" (Mt 6,33)
“He who is ashamed of Me and of My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes into His glory.” (Lk. 9:26)

For the honour and glory of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, say no to the Treaty of Lisbon and you will be saying yes to a Catholic Ireland and yes to a Christian Europe.( www.isfcc.org )

By saying “No” to the Treaty of Lisbon, we will force the architects of European unification to return to the drawing board and renegotiate the main issues at stake taking into account the real aspirations of the European citizens.
By saying “No” to the Treaty of Lisbon we will be giving to our brothers and sisters in the Faith and to all Christians in Europe the opportunity to express themselves on issues they consider non-negotiable.

Let us be the voice of the almost 500 million Europeans who were undemocratically deprived of their voice!

Melancholicus said...

Thank you, Mr. Modesto, for your comment.

I presume you are male, or your name would be Modesta?

Ireland has indeed been threatened with disaster both by her own leaders and by the Commissars in Brussels if the electorate should reject Lisbon, but “terrorism” is too strong a word for this psychological intimidation; I should prefer to call it bullying.

You make an excellent point regarding Ireland having the obligation to vote No on behalf of the millions of other Europeans who were denied a voice by their own governments, but as far as building a Christian Europe goes, this is a complex task which will not be achieved simply by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty.

Europe once had a Christian civilisation and it has now definitively rejected that civilisation. Call me a pessimist, but I do not believe that Christian Europe will ever be recovered (at least not as long as the Church continues to cling to Dignitatis Humanae). In my more gloomy moments I foresee the future of Europe ... and it is Islamic.

Are you Italian, by any chance?

Or French, maybe?