Fiscal Compact Referendum: A comment round up…

Is a class based politics emerging? Jason O’Mahony seems to think so. Complaints that it was the middle class and rural voters wot one it against the poorer classes is part of a limiting contempt that some sections of Irish politics have for the people who always broker political power in the Irish state. – Ross O’Carroll Kelly (can Ireland really sustain such an expensive stereotype any more), waiting on the seventh tee at Portmarnock: O,” THE OLD MAN GOES, …

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Fiscal Treaty Live blog…

Fiscal Treaty Referendum I will be blogging on other things today, but if you want to join the crack and the gossip I shall mostly be found inside the live blog… Could be a helluva roller coaster ride… Keep an eye on Donegal for a major V gesture to the Yes side… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest …

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Ranking the winners and losers of #EUREF2012?

So before the actual result of the Referendum on the Fiscal Treaty is announced, here’s a run down of  how I think each of the parties have fared. It’s less a beauty line up, and more an attempt to grade them in terms of how they have managed to improve their positioning as a result.  Finally, you’ll be relieved to hear, that I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. In fact, I’d welcome your own grading of the parties performances with …

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#EUref: Great editorials are built on great journalism: Ireland’s desperate choice…

I don’t always see eye to eye with the Guardian newspaper. For one thing, their line between comment and news is often a little too blurred for my tastes [But you run a bloody blog! – Ed] Yes, but, well I’ve come to praise the Grauniad, not to bury it. Those of you who’ve been following Pete’s tight commentary on the Euro crisis, will have noted frequent references to their Eurozone crisis live blog. That blog has done almost exactly …

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Mr Justice Hogan bins Sinn Fein’s entire case against referendum commission…

Last kick of the Referendum campaign was Pearse Doherty’s appeal to the High Court aimed at… …having the Referendum Commission withdraw remarks it made earlier this month concerning Ireland’s veto over the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). In fact, what he argued – and failed to convince the High Court of – was that the Commission was misdirecting the public on their potential to enact a veto over the ESM. Chairperson of the Commission Mr Justice Kevin Feeney on May 3rd …

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Do the govt need a No vote in #euref…

..and, to provide similar political cover, does the No side need a Yes vote? The only thing that is clear from the lead-up to the referendum on Thursday is that neither the changing political and economic context of the Austerity/Stabilitytreaty nor it’s relatively bland content has really generated much energy, despite the ramifications of ratification. The value of referenda has been disputed on here before. Indeed, Minister of State Leo Varadkar suggested that referenda were not democratic at the start of the campaign, as he:  …

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Public opinion and the setting (or unsetting) of Irish foreign policy…

Nice letter in the Irish Times today on the wisdom of dictating foreign policy by referenda: Sir, – The use of referendums in the formulation of public policy-making is a well established feature of Irish politics. But is this wise? Public opinion is fickle, ill-informed, contradictory and mainly responsive to the ephemeral issues prevailing at the time. Are the chattering classes in the village square really up to the job of separating the wheat from the chaff in complex issues? …

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It is possible to put a precise figure in euro of the effects the so-called “austerity treaty”. Zero.

The problem with any referendum is the need both sides always feel to exaggerate the importance of whatever binary is involved. In the case of the Fiscal Compact it is clear that most of the decisions have already been taken both in principle and practice by democratically elected governments and the measure is nowhere near a solution to the ongoing problem(s): …one of the striking features of the referendum campaign has been the strenuous efforts made by the No side …

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It’s Labour’s way or….?

Didn’t take a lot of technical know how, but this is a great digital reproach to the Irish Labour party… you just have to wait for a bit after you get there… [He he he – Ed] http://laboursway.com/ Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

#Euref: Underlying questions too big for a simple Yes or a No. What about a ‘Not Yes’?

Last night’s avalanche of advocacy for the NO campaign on Vincent Browne was remarkable. Watch it though, especially for Sigrun Davidsdottir‘s remarks on why Ireland is not Iceland that seemed not to come to the notice of our eponymous host. Hint: neither includes the fact that Ireland is hemmed in by the EU, nor that Iceland is blessed with endless quantities of valuable natural resources. So first, try this fascinating little vignette on P.ie on why you might question one …

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#EUREF: Will vote crystallise the real left right divide (with Labour on the wrong side)?

Interesting piece by former FF point man for Willie O’Dea, Derek Mooney in last night’s Herald which hits several nails on the head re the Fiscal Compact referendum… WITH less than a week to go the referendum campaign seems more and more to be about less and less. If you believe the posters, the choice is to vote Yes to achieve stability or to vote No to end austerity. But do any of us really believe these claims? Regrettably, like …

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#EUREF: Real political price of the Treaty is “shift from community to union”…

Very good piece in the Irish Times today by John O’Brennan of NUI Maynooth, on the scale and dimensions of the democratic deficit that attaches to the Fiscal Compact… In effect he argues that it will dramatically sideline European Commission where smaller countries like Ireland can at least broker some national influence on the EU: It is important to point out that the fiscal treaty represents a dramatically significant break with the existing EU governance architecture. Chancellor Merkel, in particular, …

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Euro crisis: When “earth’s proud empires pass away”…

Andrew Roberts in the FT with a little touch of cold realism on the Euro crisis. He also picks out the underlying political and economic problem here, and advises the EU to prepare for a big bang he argues springs from a federalist overreach of the original Treaty of Rome that never fitted such an enlarged area: …here we are in the endgame, and it is certainly not all right. Greece has now lost almost a quarter of its gross …

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#EUREF: Souveraineté ou survie du déluge?

FitzJamesHorse was in Dublin yesterday. His description of the way the yes camp (by his lights, ‘the establishment’) for Referendum on the Fiscal Compact as a Hobson’s Choice”: The legacy for European democracies is that their politcians have actually managed to restrict REAL CHOICE. In Ireland for example, no mainstream political party has been articulating the “No” case…it has fallen to Sinn Féin …..still somewhere between the margins and the mainstream……to rail against the notion of Austerity and loss of …

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#EUREF: Sentiment swings towards a Yes vote (whilst FF and SF consolidate)…

The only extraordinary thing about yesterday’s Red C poll results for the SBP, was the clear swing towards Yes, by six per cent age points. That’s probably reflective of a poor campaign thus far, and the degree of uncertainty thrown up by the chaos in Greece… And, as Stephen Collins noted on Saturday: …far from undermining the Yes campaign, the arrival of Hollande on the scene with his emphasis on growth should actually be a help to it in the …

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#EUREF: “Voting No would rapidly expose how unimportant we now are”

Vincent Browne notes in the Sunday Business Post (£) today that neither the yes nor the no camps have done their cases credit thus far. In the case of the government he rightly notes “claims that this treaty is about investment, jobs, growth and the stability of the euro are wild exaggerations in part and just wrong in part”. In line with Micheal Martin’s early criticism (“the problem with this treaty is not that it does too much, it is …

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#EUREF: Heart saying ‘no’; but will the head say otherwise?

Right, you cannot put much store by one trip out with a couple of canvassing groups, in two very different parts of north side Dublin; Ballymun with Sinn Fein and Sutton Park (on the Dart line to Howth) with Fianna Fail… Harry McGee makes a very interesting observation: Party leader Micheál Martin has joined Senator Averil Power on the hustings. Compared to the Lisbon and Nice treaties – where indifference was the predominant mood on the doorsteps – there is …

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Martin asks who on the No side will fill Ireland’s €18 billion shortfall?

A broadside from Micheal Martin the Irish Times today… He warns the Yes campaign not to get bogged down in a rebuttal game, but instead make its own case for a yes vote: namely that “for Ireland to recover we need Europe’s support”… And he explains why he thinks that: Any alternative funding would lead to billions in extra interest payments, meaning more taxes and less spending. To be fair, some No parties are being honest in admitting that they …

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Ireland’s impending experience of its own ‘Total Perspective Vortex’?

It’s probably true that there is no such thing as a hard way and an easy way out of Ireland’s dilemma, but there’s no shortage of denial to go around… Expect there to be some good for the No camp in the Red C poll coming up this weekend… But in his business column in the Irish Times today, Dan O’Brien characterises some of what’s driving the No campaign as something akin to the denial over the housing bubble in …

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Is a Yes vote in #euref absurd?

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has already signed the European fiscal compact treaty along with 24 other European Union leaders at a ceremony in Brussels, although it still has to go to a referendum in the republic (at an as yet unknown date). The text of the treaty is provided here and is relatively short. A couple of extracts from Article 3 (below) give the real substance of this. ARTICLE 3 1. The Contracting Parties shall apply the rules set out in this paragraph …

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