Irish Independent
By Galway City

I ask the question: have we lost our voice on the issue of promoting Irish democracy?

In a few months’ time, Ireland will be asked to vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

The treaty seeks to establish the European Union on an entirely new legal basis.

In effect, its amendments to the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC) create a de facto constitution, comprising more than 90pc of the substance of the EU Constitutional Treaty rejected by the people of the Netherlands and France in 2005.

Under the treaty, more than 60 areas of legislation transfer from unanimous voting to qualified majority voting, which uses population as its principle criterion. Some of the areas where Ireland’s veto is lost, for example, energy, foreign and security policy, border controls and immigration.

There will be a new “president” of Europe and, quoting from the Lisbon Treaty, he/she will “ensure the external representation of the Union”.

The most alarming part of the treaty is Article 48. Article 48 makes the treaty self-amending in that it allows the European Council to broaden the areas in which the EU can legislate and make major changes to the functioning of the union by majority vote, without the need for a new treaty and, therefore, without the need for referendums in Ireland or elsewhere.

Why aren’t other countries voting on the treaty? The answer is their governments know that they would reject it.

These are just a sample of the changes the Lisbon Treaty will bring about and I encourage the Irish people to research the treaty themselves.

As Mahatma Gandhi famously said: “The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.”

Marie Nestor
Lakeshore Drive,
Galway City

– Galway City


If the NO vote is emphatic enough,they will not come back to ask again,The lies we have been told down the years by one puppet after another is beyond belief,From Reynolds through to Ahern our country and its and Industries,Fiseries,Farming,natural resourses have been sold down the river,If we respect our fellow Europeans we must Vote NO,They do not have an option.

Posted by Ruairi O’Tuaraisc | 05.03.08, 17:54 GMT

Please please Ireland vote against the EU Treaty/Constitution. Most of Europe are relying on you. Our fascist government in England completely ignores the wishes of the people. They promised us a Referendum but changed their mind when they realised they would not get a ‘Yes’ vote. You are our last chance of retaining our Democracy.Posted by B Wiltshire | 05.03.08, 17:51 GMT

Let’s vote ‘Yes’. That way, we won’t have to vote in any more of these pesky referendums. We won’t have to bother with all this democracy business – who needs that anyway? We can just let all those intelligent people over there in Brussels do all our thinking for us. They can feather their own nests, have their big ‘president’, help those they feel could do with a little ‘backhander’, and we can get on with the rest of our lives, paying taxes and being good little citizens of super-state Europe.There’s really no need to think or question these days, not when you have wonderful governments to do it for you. Vote ‘Yes’!

Posted by Eoin | 05.03.08, 14:29 GMT

Zack, you are absolutely correct. If we do not give the ‘right’ answer, we WILL be asked to vote again, and again, and again. So, we must vote ‘No’ again, and again, and again. It’s just a matter of being stubborn and persistent. Vote ‘No’ until the treaty is something we can accept and support. We must remember that governments are there to serve us. It is not, and must never be, the other way around.Posted by Dermot | 05.03.08, 13:55 GMT

Again, FF want to sell Ireland to their buddies in europe, watch the cloaking of facts in the coming months by fianna fail and the scare tactics that we’ll loose our jobs or be the laughing stock of Europe.
All rubbishLet me tell you this, if every european citizen was being asked to vote on this there would be a resounding NO.
If we vote yes..
WE WILL LOOSE our sovereignty, you will be European First, Irish last.
WE WILL LOOSE our own governing of our Taxation
WE WILL LOOSE our right to vote in European treaties in the future
WE WILL Loose our Neutrality (Already have to some extent)
WE WILL Be governed by bureaucrats in Brussels not Dublin implementing laws not decided upon nor voted upon by OUR Government addressing our sovereign state.
WE WILL BE DICTATED to by the largest European countries and states with larger populations.

Vote NO.

Posted by paulo | 05.03.08, 12:14 GMT

If the Irish electorate reject the Lisbon Treaty we will be asked to vote again until we give the ‘right’ answer. Democracy was destroyed in this country long ago.

Posted by Zack Lee Wright | 05.03.08, 11:25 GMT

By a huge majority (499 to 129) European MEPs, including Labour’s Proinsias
De Rossa voted against the motion ‘The European Parliament undertakes to
respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland’.Does that sound like respect for democracy? It doesn’t to me. Why would we vote ‘Yes’ to empower a body that has no respect for democracy? Wake up, people. We are being asked to vote ‘Yes’ so that we will be unable to vote ever again. With a ‘Yes’ vote, this will be the last referendum on European issues. If you value democracy, if you value Ireland’s sovereignty, vote ‘No’. If you value a huge super-state where Ireland is nothing more than an island out-post, ruled from Brussels, vote ‘Yes’.

Posted by Dermot | 05.03.08, 10:42 GMT

Remember the Nice Treaty, when we were told by our politicians that it would not pave the way for globalisation, loss of factories and jobs here going to eastern europe instead? We were lied to then; just ask the several thousand Irish people who have lost their jobs since. We are being lied to again for the Lisbon Treaty. It also promotes globalisation and reduces democracy. Ask your TD this question: “If we vote ‘yes’ to Lisbon, will we ever again be allowed to vote on future treaties, or does this one sign away our right to vote?” Why have the people in the other states not got a vote this time? Is it because they rejected it the last time they had a right to vote?Posted by Tim | 05.03.08, 10:35 GMT

If we vote ‘Yes’, we automatically lose our right to vote on anything like this ever again. That wil be it. The End. Good night. Democracy has left the stage.Posted by James | 05.03.08, 10:08 GMT

Fully agree with Marie. Previous generations fought to win our independence from foreign rule, why would we want to put ourselves back into the hands of foreign masters over whom we have next to no democratic control.Here is an example of what could happen if Ireland votes ‘Yes’. Under the structure of the treaty, the EU could (via the self-amending clause) decide to give itself power over the setting of taxation levels for all EU countries. They could then decide that Ireland’s favourable business tax rates give us unfair advantage over other countries, so they force us to raise our rates to French levels. With our veto over such matters removed by the Treaty, there is no way Ireland’s tiny voting power could oppose such a move. Foreign companies would then decide that the high cost of operating in Ireland is no longer worth bearing and decamp elsewhere.

Ask yourself before voting – would you be happy to give Brussels bureaucrats this kind of power over you?

Posted by Francis | 05.03.08, 10:02 GMT