An occasional Lisbon II blog reader…

Kicking off, with a slightly dated piece from Jürgen Habermas written in the wake of last year’s Referendum, nevertheless, and regardless of where you stand on Lisbon itself, got to the nub of a perennial problem with the European institutions:

With the exception of three members of parliament who voted “no” on the issue, the Irish people and the entire Irish political class are entirely at odds. In a sense, it is also a referendum over politics in general, making it all the more tempting to send “politics” a message. This temptation is one felt everywhere today.

This, though, is little more than unadulterated cynicism on the part of the decision makers, especially given their protestations of respect for the electorate. It is also wind in the sails of those actively wondering whether semi-authoritarian forms of pseudo-democracy practised elsewhere are perhaps more effective after all.

– That perceived lack of democracy is the reason Tom Doyle is voting no again…

– UKIP’s Nigel Farage exchanging subtexts with Brigid Laffin in Dublin recently…

– Open Europe have a number of short slug pieces from an event they convened with an interesting spread of anti Lisbon voices in Dublin, which appears to have similarly ended up in a slanging match

– And No Ordinary Fool records a similar sentiment, even though they plan to vote yes:

The EU will never be perfect. It will always be a broad church of conservatives and progressives of many different hues working together in ways unimaginable prior to the latter half of the twentieth century. On the whole, I can see the merits of what much of the Lisbon Treaty has to offer and I am not afraid of a greater pooling of sovereignty as part of that package. I will be voting in favour of adopting the treaty.

At the same time, my vote is not meant as an endorsement of any Establishment party. This vote is being cast despite their endorsement of the treaty, not because of it.

– Gaelick, brave soul that she is, is actually going to read the whole damned thing from start to finish and has a bumper set of links (one even comes to here!!)

– Bock knows what he’s against, and it doesn’t include the Treaty…

– Miriam senses a right turn ahead and doesn’t like it…

– Veronica McDermott reckons 90% of economists says Lisbon is good for you… Well we know one says it won’t make a jot of difference

– Conor’s got a good EU blog from an Irish pov, and has just joined ‘Bloggers for Europe‘…

– Suzy’s got a clip of Mr Ganley tidying away old glory before the cameras (were supposed to) start rolling…

– Jim Murray has a neat way of dealing with the Commissioner formerly known as the Minister of Finance:

The No campaign is also effective – lying in some cases but effective. Their messages are wrong but simple – Lisbon will bring down the minimum wage in Ireland. (It won’t, although the government might.) 95 % of Europeans would vote against Lisbon, if they got the chance (misquoting Commissioner McCreevy, who anyway doesn’t know what he is talking about.)

– And Gerry’s futuring on a lost Referendum takes him to weird places on ‘the dark side’ of Irish politics:

A more cynical person than myself might suggest that FF could use this opportunity to finish Fine Gael off for good. Here’s the scenario – Lisbon is lost, the economy is still in freefall and the whole Nama business is up in the air. FF call an election, knowing they will lose, and in the process throw the incoming FG/Lab coalition a mother and father of a hospital pass. Enda and Eamonn now have to make all the difficult decisions, and FF wait in the wings for a term, happy that FG and Labour have done the dirty work for them. At the next election, they step over the carcasses of Fine Gael and Labour and back into power, just as the economy is starting to pull out of recession.

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