Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ireland rejects Lisbon Treaty

Colm Tóibín, in a column titled "A godsend to every crank in Ireland - on the left or on the right", says
I support the European project as a way of protecting me from Irish politicians. I voted for Lisbon, not because I wanted to follow the Irish political establishment but because I despise it and need protection from it.

Well said.

"It's such a toxic cocktail of anti-globalisers, neocons, the clergy and Trotskyists. Frankly, we're in a big mess," observed Andrew Duff.

Micheál Martin, the Irish minister for foreign affairs, told of a voter who was leaning no, based on a leaflet from the anti-treaty campaign group Libertas. Martin suggested she read the information from the neutral referendum commission. But she had no idea what he was talking about. "We up here in the elites have the idea that everyone is listening. But it didn't register."

As Fintan O'Toole notes, "But to remove most of the things people objected to in the treaty, they would have to have been there in the first place."

Indeed, all too much does not "register". I've heard various complaints about the low turnout in the last Alberta election, but frankly, I see that as a total red herring. You could have 90% turn-out but what does that mean if people are not "listening" and engaged in the issues?

There's no shortage of people who believe that empowering supra-national organizations like the WTO disempower individuals. Yet the WTO has never started a war, never enslaved a people, never done anything that national governments have done except stand up for the right of individuals and freely associated individuals to conduct commerce without interference from national governments.

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