How will you vote on Lisbon?

The BBC want to know… But if you are in the Republic, why not tell us whether you will, and if so which way, and why?

  • Voting No. Mainly because of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which will massively expand the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Article 6 of the TEU as amended by Lisbon states that the Charter has “the same legal value as the Treaties”. Under the proposed Articlr 29.4.6. of the Irish Constitution as amended by the referendum if we vote yes, all Irish law supersedes national law. The ECJ interprets EU law, so with the Charter becoming EU law, that means the ECJ, in the final analysis, will interpret it. That is too much a blank cheque given the enormous codification of human rights law in the Charter – much of it worded in very general terms – and therefore it becomes very difficult to anticipate how it will be interpreted by the Charter. That puts the ECK in too powerful a position for comfort as far as I am concerned. Article 15(1) of the Charter states that: ” Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.”. It is inevitable that this will be used to challenge Ireland’s ban on asylum-seekers working. Because the UK has an optout, that would place Ireland in which I consider the unacceptable position of being – with Malta – the only country in the EU to allow them to work. In a recession this is not acceptable – especially for the 420,000 unemployed. The last thing we should be doing at this point in our history is open the labour-market to even more cheap labour than we already have to. A study by the Migrant Rights Centre last year found that 53% of migrant workers in the restaurant-sector are paid below the minimum wage. We have 80 labour-inspectors for a workforce of 1.9 million people. The government just wants cheap labour for their fatcat friends. Article 19(1) of the Charter would be used to challenge Irish deportation-orders in the ECJ. It states: “Collective expulsions are prohibited.”. This can be expected to recreate the baby-tourism loophole that existed before the 2004 Citizenship referendum, in the sense that while the children might not automatically return to getting Irish citizenship on the basis of birth on this island, they could well be used in the ECJ as justification for arguing that deporting parent and children would constitute a “collective expulsion” and should therefore the deportation should be struck down. I’m also concerned that Ireland will be prevented from cracking down on sham-marriages by illegal immigrants for the purpose of gaining residency in ireland because of Article 9 (The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed in accordance with the national laws governing the exercise of these rights).

    The Government, in P{aragraph 7 (iii) of the referendum wording, is giving itself the power, with the consent of the Oireachtas, to abolish our right to optout from common policies in the area of Justice and Home Affairs by abolishing Protocol 21. Paragraph 7 (28th Amendment to the Constitution Bill 2009) would become Article 29.4.7. of the Irish Constitution if passed, and it says:

    “The State may exercise the options or discretions—
    i to which Article 20 of the Treaty on European Union relating to enhanced cooperation applies,
    ii under Protocol No. 19 on the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the European Union annexed to that treaty and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly known as the Treaty establishing the European Community), and
    iii under Protocol No. 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, so annexed, including the option that the said Protocol No. 21 shall, in whole or in part, cease to apply to the State, but any such exercise shall be subject to the prior approval of both
    Houses of the Oireachtas.”

    The optout Protocol has existed since the Amsterdam Treaty came into force in 1999. Dermot Ahern stated last year (as Foreign Minister then) that the government would “review” the optout in 3 years and optin in some areas. Lucinda Creighton, in her blog on 1st April, stated that the government should scrap the optout Protocol when she said: “I urge the Taoiseach to reconsider the matter of justice and home affairs. This is too important for Ireland to opt out of and we must acknowledge that a mistake was made with that Cabinet decision. I hope it will be reconsidered in the context of the forthcoming Lisbon treaty referendum.”

    So if we vote yes, the optout Protocol on Justice and Home Affairs is gone, regardless of which party is in power. They wouldn’t be including this empowering-mechanism if they didn’t intend to use it. I regard Lisbon as part of the race to the bottom. The agenda is clear: bring in more cheap labour for FF’s friends, and make sure they can’t be deported afterwards.

  • Will vote no in the interest of balance as voted yes last time

  • Mick Fealty

    That seems very… em… fair… MM…

  • Dermot

    Voting yes.

    EU has, is and will be good for Ireland. Pissing all over Europe (and that is the effect of voting no) is not a good thing.

  • Ulick

    Made a point of getting myself registered to vote in the south for the first time so I can take part in this. I’ll be voting ‘No’ as I see the treaty as an erosion of Irish sovereignty.

  • Cripesonfriday

    I’m spoiling my ballot this time around, I voted “no” the last time, because the “yes” crowd didn’t give me a good enough reason to side with them.
    I can’t, in good conscience vote “no” this time because people I trust have told me that a “yes” vote is the right way forward, and I can’t stand being on the same side as the Youth Defense backed COIR.
    I believe the right to vote is an incredible privilege, people died for me to have that right, so I don’t believe not voting is a choice I can ever make.By taking time to attend my local polling station and spoiling my ballot I am still taking part in the process, and voicing my disapproval at the same time.
    I do think that asking us to vote on almost the same treaty again smacks of being made sit at the table until we eat our vegetables, I don’t believe we should be voting on this issue again.

  • wee slabber

    No the last time. No this time. And, if necessary, No the next time/s!

  • Greenflag

    I was one of the 48% who sat it out last time and took a Yes vote for granted . I won’t be making that mistake again.

    I’m none to keen on SF’s grasp of economics or it’s non existent prescription for economic development and I’m even less impressed by the credentials of Ganley’s shadowy Libertas .

    I’ll be voting YES and even encouraging other’s to vote Yes which is a change to my normal electoral practice.

  • Voting NO for the 2nd time – lets get a couple of things straight – Coir are religious whackjobs, Jim Corr is a clearly a new age whackjob and Ganley/Libertas are to be avoided at any cost – BUT, this does not detract from the core of what is wrong with this reheated rehash of a rejected EU constitution – IT WILL MAKE EUROPE A LESS DEMOCRATIC ENTITY. Anyone on the Yes side (particularly those who are fooling themselves into thinking that they can change from voting NO because of the so called ‘binding garauntees’)who feel that the refusal by the European pro business political orthodoxy to recognise and accept a democratic decision is a bogus fear should ask themselves the simple question “why are we being put to the vote on this issue again?” bare months after delivering a clear response. If the Yes camp prevail, and the EU political elite foists the war criminal Tony Blair on us as EU President, with stand alone EU foriegn policy and an arms industry bent on murder and destruction I for one hope that its not my children in the firing line.

  • A N Other

    Not voting at all.

    Neither side deserve my vote.

  • Greenflag

    morgan c jones ,

    ‘bare months after delivering a clear response.’

    I would not call a 28% of the total electoral vote clear response and certainly not with a 52% turnout?

    As for Tony Blair being a war criminal ?

    ‘I for one hope that its not my children in the firing line.’

    Neutrality won’t protect your children . Larger powers have always found ways around ‘neutrality’ particularly when those neutral states can’t defend themselves or find themselves in the ‘way’.

    Sweden’s neutrality was respected in WW2 and so was Ireland’s and Switzerland’s -all of them for different reasons . The Swedes provided iron ore for the Germans , the Irish provided food, labour and volunteers for Britain and Switzerland provided a safe haven for the loot grabbed by all sides .

  • The Lisbon Treaty will mean your aborted baby will be conscripted to fight in Afghanistan for €1.84 an hour.

    Well, that’s about as much sense as I can make out of the No campaign, anyway.

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    The No’s have been getting hounded for that €1.84 figure, Sammy.

    It’s now accepted that the fighting foetus will now get at least €2.50 an hour (with €5 compensation for each limb lost).

  • Mick Fealty

    Focus guys, focus!!

  • RepublicanStones

    Voted no already. Like last time. I have heard several people (who voted Yes last time) claim they will vote no, because whilst they would prefer a yes, the people spoke last time and the govt didn’t listen. Admittedly these would be an insignifiant number, but you’ve got to admire their respect for democracy, which those who advocated a re-run don’t seem to have.

    The manner in which the ammendment will affect Irelands voting weight is the major turn-off for me. Our voting power should reflect our population size I hear you cry, but if any country should be wary of a union where it has little say, its Ireland. The double majoritarian system envisaged – 55% of states encompassing 65% of population of Union, is weighted in favour of the bigger states, who can use the carrot method with smaller states to get the 55%. The EU could end up becoming like the UN, with the 5 permanent members dictating to everyone else and the smaller states mere bystanders.

    That said I fear Lisbon fatigue will be the deciding factor helping the YES side to win.

  • Greenflag

    Greenflag,

    ‘The EU could end up becoming like the UN, with the 5 permanent members dictating to everyone else and the smaller states mere bystanders.’

    We’ll have to bring in more members then. Iceland and some more of the Balkan countries should help reduce the leverage exercised by the larger countries . Even the Germans with 83 million people have only 17% of the total EU population as it is, and their percentage will be smaller still as the EU expands with more members .

    The EU needs ‘reforming’ no question .

    The UK needs to join the Euro and work with the rest of Europe to bring more democratic accountability to this still developing new ‘experiment ‘ in shared ‘sovereignty ‘ between nations .

  • Greenflag

    Ooops .
    Error above,

    Post should have been directed at Republican Stone thrower .

  • RepublicanStones

    I gathered that Greenhornflag.

  • Greenflag

    ,

    RS,

    ‘That said I fear Lisbon fatigue will be the deciding factor helping the YES side to win. ‘

    I’m more scared of the bumbling efforts of our western politicians particularly those in the anglophone countries who along with the Wall St experts and neo conservative penchant for overseas wars almost brought us back to the 1930’s and who may yet even succeed in doing so.

    I’m voting for Mother Merkel & Frere Sarkozy and not Gerry Adams or Charles Ganley or Brian Cowan /Fergus Kenny /Gilmore 😉

  • john o connor

    this is my first ever blog!! all this talk about ireland keeping its commissioner is crazy. the fact is that the european commission is an independent body and throughout its 5 year term of office, commissioners must remain independent of the governments of the member states AND the council of ministers. so why such a big deal about voting yes to keep our commissioner?it wont effect us one bit. The yes side again trying to fool the people. if the treaty is more democratic then europe would’ve taken no for an answer the first time! all big business reps advocate yes! why? not for us workers thats for sure! michael o leary has been promised aer lingus if the treaty passes. Intel has been promised the 1 billion it is owed by europe. siptu and ictu say yes, but their 300,000 grand a year leaders dont represent workers anymore( 5 of the last 7 heads of the top unions went on to become government consulants). finally, we owe it to all the europeans who wern’t allowed to have their say. save ireland, europe, and democracy by voting NO

  • RepublicanStones

    You make a good point there Greenie, although I suspect Sarko may yet demonstrate a bit of the corsican about him as regards Europe….time will tell.

  • Yes. Because I honestly believe that Lisbon is an improvement over the status quo. Not as much as I’d like, but it’s better than nothing.

    Submit word “Europe”. You’d almost think it knew…

  • Already voted (postal vote) and said Yes. Can’t even remember what I voted last time (shame on me!) but I think it was probably a yes as well.

    I think this treaty will in the long-run be good for Ireland in Europe, and also how could anyone vote with Cóir, et al. (Having said that, it’s difficult to vote with the government, too, but if Michael O’Leary can do it, so can I).

  • Dave

    I’ll be voting yes because I believe that all failed and expired national politicians deserve to be appointed to a supranational body where they are no longer subject to victimisation at the polls by the cruel electorate who rejected them. Why should the ‘careers’ of political hacks like Tony Blair or John Bruton, et al, expire in tender middle age when no other career expires so early? We must have pity on our rejected unemployables, and give them a career extension in the form of the EU.

    Okay, so the EU imposes extra costs on European businesses to the tune of 600 million a year in the form of red-tape while the advantages of its Single Market only amount to 150 billion euro a year, but isn’t 450 billion euro a year a small price to pay for such a noble cause of extending expired political careers?

  • Dave

    Typo: “…the EU imposes extra costs on European businesses to the tune of 600 [b]b[/b]illion a year in the form of red-tape…”

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Yes Yes Yes!

  • Dave

    Vote early and vote often, eh?

  • 0b101010

    I know it’s almost redundant to quote this many comments and it’s very much playing the “men” not the ball…

    Will vote no in the interest of balance as voted yes last time

    Pissing all over Europe (and that is the effect of voting no) is not a good thing.

    I can’t, in good conscience vote “no” this time because people I trust have told me that a “yes” vote is the right way forward

    Neither side deserve my vote.

    finally, we owe it to all the europeans who wern’t allowed to have their say.

    how could anyone vote with Cóir, et al

    …but is this really the logic people are deciding constitutional matters on? That’s fucking scary.

  • “I would not call a 28% of the total electoral vote clear response and certainly not with a 52% turnout?”

    What a bogus argument. I didn’t hear you complaining at the 51% turnout for Nice II when it passed. Double-standards. And in any case, there is zero evidence that the non-voters would have voted yes in any differing proportions from the actual voters.

  • “…migrant workers in the restaurant-sector are paid below the minimum wage…” A not so welcome help: wage of low standard is tantamount to adding salt to an already excruciating pain.

  • Erasmus

    As James Joyce would say:
    ‘yes it is, yes’

  • Greenflag

    future ex taoiseach ,

    ‘ there is zero evidence that the non-voters would have voted yes in any differing proportions from the actual voters. ‘

    A case of the absence of evidence being evidence of the absence of voters . Well we’ll see soon enough how the previously absent voters vote this time

    ‘I didn’t hear you complaining at the 51% turnout for Nice II when it passed’

    I’ve said before that we should have minimum turnouts of at least 70% for referenda to be considered valid or passed or rejected .

    Referenda have their limits and when issues are as complex as Lisbon it would probably save a lot of time and money to have the issue settled by the Dail as is /was the case with almost all of the signatory countries