Green party leader, John Gormley, out canvassing in a working class area of Dublin, has surely advanced the most bizarre argument for a Yes vote (Drivetime, 1.10).
He was asked by a woman – Does it mean we’ll get less say in things?
“I think we have a huge say in the European Union. One on the reasons we have a huge say is that we speak English and that’s a huge advantage at the moment because all of the discussions take place in English, you know, say at lunchtime. We have a fantastic opportunity there.”
Let’s be charitable to Mr. Gormley here and assume he was suffering from a bout of sunstroke and not treating this group of women as if they were a herd of morons.
5 thoughts on “The most bizarre Yes argument”
With sincere respect to Anthony and those contributors to this forum who are likely to vote NO for honest reasons, is it not ironic to the point of being odd that those campaigning loudest that a NO vote will hurt democracy in Ireland are absolutely NOT democratically elected by anyone. Sinn Fein are the only voice on the NO side which I feel I can listen to with any degree of comfort for that reason.
I’m not sure that’s a valid argument.
This is a referendum. It is a yes or no question. Whether or not the people advocating one or other viewpoint is elected, is to me irrelevant.
Why should it be relevant?
It’s relevant in an ironic sense Gavin; the thrust of the NO campaign has been that the Lisbon Treaty will reduce or even undermine democracy in Ireland and the rest of the EU. The voice of the Yes side which they decry, is comprised almost to a man by our democratically elected representatives present and past. You don’t have to be Dick Tracy to smell a rat!
Don’t forget to Vote!
The Lisbon Treaty – Main points summarised from the Referendum Commissions Booklet
The usual way in which EU laws are made is called “co-decision”, which involves a proposal by the Commission, a discussion between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament and a final decision by the Council and the Parliament. The Treaty proposes to redefine the decision making procedures and extend the power of the European Parliament.
– Concerning the European Commission, at present, each Member State nominates one member of the Commission. We will have a commissioner for 10 of each 15 years in future.
– Concerning the Council of Ministers, at present, it takes decisions in private but if the Treaty is ratified, the Council will meet in public. Qualified Majority Voting will be applied to new areas except decisions on defence and taxation which will continue to be made unanimously.
– The European Council will be chaired by a President instead of the head of government of the member state holding the six month rotating EU Presidency.
– The European Parliament will make decisions jointly with the Council in more areas and over the entire EU budget.
– The Treaty would give National Parliaments 8 weeks after the publication of an EU legislative proposal to vet that proposal and offer an opinion.
– The Treaty proposes that a citizens’ initiative of at least one million citizens from a significant number of member States would oblige the Commission to bring forward proposals on a particular issue.
The Treaty would give the EU joint competence with Member States in a number of new areas, including energy and aspects of the environment and public health.
– Ireland is not obliged to take part in, or be bound by, decisions in what is known as the “Area of Freedom, Security and Justice”. The opt-out for Ireland and the UK is to continue.
– Concerning religion, the Treaty states that the EU respects the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.
– Regarding common foreign and security policy, the main decisions in this area must be made unanimously. The proposed change to the Constitution would continue the present arrangements for Ireland’s military neutrality.
– There is also a solidarity clause in the Treaty which states that member States are obliged to assist each other if one is the victim of a terrorist attack or a natural or man made disaster.
Finally, the Treaty proposes to give the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union the same legal value as the main treaties. It is proposed that the Charter will apply to the EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and to the Member States when they are implementing EU law. Individuals who believe that their rights under the European Convention have been breached by the EU could then bring a case against the EU before the European Court of Human Rights.
I don’t think one has to be elected in order the give an opinion on democracy, or lack thereof. Nor does one have to be elected to give a view or opinion on a referendum.
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