14 June 2008

The Irish Vote "No"

In a referendum held yesterday, voters in Ireland rejected the so-called Lisbon treaty, i.e. a package of proposed amendments to the institutions of the European Union.

Eureaucrats have been touting this treaty as the key to a "more democratic and effective" continent. It seems intended chiefly to make the EU a single player on the world stage, with a unified foreign policy. This is part of the slow movement of sovereignty out of the national capitals such as Dublin and London. [Anarchist though I am, I'm thinking within-the-box this morning, so I'll use words like 'sovereignty' without quarrel.]

So: what happens now? Do the changes require unanimity? And if so: is the Lisbon treaty dead?

The answers seem to be, "a lot, yes, and no."

The Eureaucrats are saying that they'll continue to press the "ratification process," the results of which now stand at 18 to 1, with 8 member countries not yet accounted for. Evidently, the treaty enthusiasts want to rack up as many "yes" votes as they can, so that they can go back tot he Irish and say, "it came out 26 to 1, you contrary slugs" or words to that effect, in hopes of getting a second vote there. Where better than Ireland for a "mulligan"?

Lisbon will likely be dead if there's a second "no" vote somewhere. One country standing alone against aspirations for One Europe has a problem. Two countries standing together mean those aspirations have become the problem.

Ireland, in compliance with its own constitution, is the only country in the EU that scheduled a ratification referendum at all. In the other countrues, ratification is by legislative act, although in the UK, the Tories are demanding a referendum, though prime minister Brown and his Labour government apparently plan to ratify via Parliament.

Anyway: why the "no" vote? Were the Irish rebelling against the loss of national sovereignty? Was it just the extremely complex character of the treaty ... and their sensible unwillingness to support something they couldn't understand?

Ireland's PM, Brian Cowen, who supported the treaty, now it appears supports the result of the vote, opposing a do-over. He'll meet with EU honchos next week and discuss where things go from here.

[Here I go outside the box again] The whole idea of sovereignty, at ANY level, national or continental, is perhaps unravelling. We can hope.

Anarcho-capitalism. Catch the fever!

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.