The Irish No

June 14th, 2008 at 11:35 am by David Farrar

The European Union has had voters in Ireland reject the Lisbon Treaty, after the earlier Constitution was also rejected by voters in several countries.

Only was allowing (in fact was forced to) their citizens to vote on the Treaty, but the rejection by that one country means the Treaty is dead (unless they want to throw out of the EU).

The no vote was 54.3% which was more decisive than expected. Both the major parties plus the major media in Ireland were campaigning for a yes vote.

Not surprisingly the EU Referendum blog has lots of commentary and coverage.

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9 Responses to “The Irish No”

  1. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    Yay go the Irish (if only they could have won the rugby too) This is why Helen and co are so opposed to referenda – they reflect the popular will and put a wheel in the spokes of our political masters’ attempt to coerce us into submission.

    Can we start having a few here in NZ too!?!

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  2. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    The voters in a number of other countries in Europe (most notably France) also wished to have a referendum on this major constitutional change. They were all ignored, Ireland being the only country with the guts to actually put it to a referendum rather than just signing it behind closed doors. Ireland rejecting the treaty is a great success not only for Ireland but also for the voters throughout the rest of Europe who also wished to reject it but did not get a say.

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  3. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    Having said that it is not necessarily a guaranteed victory. Expect the EU to now change the rules and try to push it through regardless, lots of commentary seems to be going in that direction. The power-hungry politicians all want a chance to be EU President in my opinion, whatever the people want. Shameless.

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  4. ghostwhowalks3 (368 comments) says:

    From NY times..
    Kick-started by Europe, which poured billions of dollars into Ireland beginning in the late 1980’s, Ireland was able to transform itself from an insular, impoverished agrarian society to a European powerhouse with an enticingly low corporate tax rate and some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical plants. But, having been the beneficiary of European money for years, Ireland now finds itself in the position of having to help finance the newer, and poorer, countries that have recently joined the union.

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  5. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    I do not believe it was a matter of guts for the Irish to go to a referendum. I seem to recall hearing that they have a provision in their constitution which means they MUST go to a referendum when they commit to certain changes. Ratifying the new EU constitution actually necessitated a referendum. It wasn’t really a choice for the politicians. They were legally required to. At least, that is my understanding. I could be wrong.

    That being said, it is somewhat ironic that they voted against its ratification, given how much they have benefited from participation in the EU, as ghostwhowalks3 says. Prior to their participation in the EU, it could be said that Ireland’s greatest export was Irelanders. Nowadays, in great part due to its participation in the EU, this is not the case.

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  6. bearhunter (822 comments) says:

    Jive kitty, you’re right. Had the Irish Govt. had its way they would have bypassed a plebiscite and safely passed the legislation required to accept the treaty. However, they cannot change Bunreacht na hEireann without a referendum, simple as that. One of the joys of having a written constitution as opposed to an assumed one like NZ.
    And as for Ireland’s benefits from the EU, that’s fair comment, although it is important to note that Ireland has been for some years now a net contributor. Also, if it was only EU cash that made the place what it is, how come Portugal and Greece aren’t similarly rich?

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  7. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    Ireland has gained a lot financially from the EU. However it is also losing a lot of sovereignty to the EU. This is especially evident in agricultural environmental regulations, where Europe-wide limits on stocking rate on farms and other regulations are applied with little knowledge of the local relevance of these regulations. Sometimes the regulations are just plain ridiculous (e.g. you must have two pitchforks – one to dung out your cowshed and one to work with feed. Someone actually wrote a law specifying this!). I understand the laws in other places are being unduly interfered with too but these are not my area of expertise.

    The EU as an economic arrangement was a great idea for Ireland, as others have pointed out. But when the ability to run your own country is being handed away to bureaucrats elsewhere that is something else. Ireland fought for hundreds of years to gain independence from Britain. Now this independence is being taken by stealth through the EU. Ironically, Ireland actually had a greater representation in the UK parliament when they were under British rule than they now have in the EU parliament, so they are rapidly being put in a worse situation to the one thousands died not so long ago to rebel from. This is why, in my opinion, it is vital for Ireland to maintain its independence, even if only out of respect for those who died for Ireland’s freedom.

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  8. BrunoFromParisFRANCE (1 comment) says:

    One thing I would like to know is : WHY did the Irish vote NO or YES !

    Incredible, there are NO EXIT POLLS AVAILABLE !

    Is it a choice of NOT showing WHY they voted NO ?

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  9. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,760 comments) says:

    Good to see the Irish vote the correct way. Too bad we aren’t allowed to vote in the UK. Well not until 2010 anyway.

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