Monday, July 21, 2008

The USofE - Take II

Oh I gloated when I read this article about Sarkozy saying that the Irish will have to vote again after they shot-down the Lisbon treaty back in June. Why? Because back in July I wrote this post.

Principally Sarkozy had no right to mandate that the Irish vote again, but I can't help but understand his position. Most of the reasons the no-campaign in Ireland used to reject the Lisbon Treaty were not actually valid concerns, but that's not the issue. The issue is that a big part of the no-voters actually voted this way for issues not related to the Lisbon Treaty. The fishermen wanted better terms and the farmers wanted more subsidies. So in essence the no-voters manipulated the system for their own benefit. And in in doing so they derailed a very delicate EU-wide process.

If a government abuses its powers, just like what the Irish no-voters did, it would be quickly called a dictatorship and everyone would rally against it. But what happens if the citizens abuse their rights? Nothing, they will eventually be asked to vote again. Ironic isn't it?

14 comments:

madwomaninatic said...

dude, i haven't read the article yet, and i'm not into politics, but one point, citizens can't abuse their rights, cuz if they're law abiding and within the limits of their rights to vote or decide, then they can do no wrong... the whole purpose of a government is to cater to their needs!

Feshfesh said...

Yes, technically they did nothing wrong. They were asked to vote and they did. But they were asked to vote on the Lisbon Treaty, so if they vote no just to push the government to fulfill some of their other needs, which are totally not related to the Lisbon treaty, isn't this morally wrong?

madwomaninatic said...

no i don't think it's morally wrong, it's a bit twisted and manipulative, but the way they see it is that they have no other choice to get their rights than to put pressure on the government in a different way, sort of like strikes... i wouldn't call strikes immoral, would you?

Munqy said...

Power to the people!!

Munqy strips nekkid and dances around a fire.

Feshfesh said...

A peaceful strike or lobby groups are acceptable ways of voicing what you want. Maybe that is what Irish voters needed to do to put pressure on their governments.

But to hijack a referendum and shoot down a piece of legislation when you actually have nothing against it just to 'send your government a message' is blackmail in my opinion. And that is morally wrong.

Feshfesh said...

*Fesh slaps Munqy...

What does your intellectual alter-ego think about this moral dilemma?

Munqy said...

A democracy is designed in order to give power to the people and allow them to govern themselves through the use of elected officials. This takes for granted that the populace is educated and intelligent enough to be able to weigh things and make their own decision, so whether you regard the Irish as stupid or not capable of making this decision is irrelevant, they are the population in a democracy and they call the shots.

I don't see it as a moral dilemma. They were obviously unable to express their wishes through another channel (or tried and were ignored), so they used another channel, making enough of a nuisance of themselves that their voices were heard. It is slightly cutting off their nose to spite their face (if you consider the Lisbon treaty good for them, more on that next sentence), but they obviously feel strongly about it so I feel what they did was perfectly valid. Also, wouldn't the Lisbon treaty have forced upon the farmers and fishermen EU standards for subsidies etc? In which case, wouldn't their voting "no" actually be them rejecting the treaty for very valid reasons (by your own argument)?

It's not an abuse of the system, it's a perfect example of the system working as it was supposed to.

Is that intellectual enough for ya? Now can I go back to dancing nekkid?

Feshfesh said...

Dude, stop with the freakishly long comments.

I have two issues with your argument. First, it has an "end justifies the means" feel to it. Irish voters were not heard or couldn't find the right venue for them to voice their valid concerns so it's fine that they hijack this referendum. I don't agree with that and for sure I wont see that as the system working correctly as you put it.

Second, about your point that they feel strongly against Lisbon. I'm not sure what's your sources here, but all the analysis I read says that the most of the Irish voters didn't know enough about Lisbon. The Irish prime minster even commented that he didn't read the whole document! The no-campaign used this to put a long list of things they want (most of which have no relation with Lisbon) to campaign for a no-vote.


and yes pls commence the nekked dancing.

madwomaninatic said...

Personally,i think peaceful protest is great. I only object when massacres and genocide start, that's truly immoral. lucky irish don't need to murder each other anymore cuz they now have a democracy...

and are you pro-dictatorship? that would be truly disturbing. now, if you will, I have to run cuz i have a bus to catch! see ya after my short break!

Feshfesh said...

Oh yes, I'm all for dictators man.. That's the way to go, really. Didn't you figure that out from my post? :D

AND DONT BOARD THE BUS! IF THE BUS SLOWS DOWN THE BOMB WILL EXPLODE!

*ahm*

sorry about that...

madwomaninatic said...

hey! I'm back safe and sound, no bombs, no explosions, just lots of sunshine, sea, and a very dark tan! and i hate being back in evil old Cairo!

Feshfesh said...

ugh.. I envy you... I want to be in evil elCairo too..

madwomaninatic said...

are the frozen wastelands that bad?

Feshfesh said...

extreme shrinkage man.... extreme...