Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Irish Problem

Armalite rifle
Police duty, eh?
Armalite rifle
Irish jokes on the BBC
--Gang of Four

The Irish have rejected the toned down EU constitution, known as the Treaty of Lisbon:
The centre-right German daily Die Welt, which is sometimes critical of the European project, welcomed the vote. In an editorial it wrote: "The Irish have rejected the EU reform and that is a good thing. Why should they not vote against a constitution, the benefits of which no-one could explain to them properly? If the political elite of Europe are clever, they will not try to force Ireland to vote again and again until they are happy with the result. It would take legitimacy out of the very principle of a referendum, as well as the project of Europe as a whole. And this project is, despite what the elite is trying to say, in no way dependant on the Lisbon Treaty."

Actually, this reminds me of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords. The elite were for both, and especially the Meech Lake accord, but the people were against it.

Now, some in Europe are coming close to digging out their Irish jokes, blaming Ireland as holding up the European project, but so far the Irish are the only country to hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. All the other ratifications have been through parliaments, but not referendums.

If the Irish elite had their way, no referendum would occur, but Irish law states referendums are needed where the constitution would be changed, so here we are.

Consensus style governing takes patience, I guess.

Some in Europe are taking this a chance to move on without Ireland in the ever closer union of states, but that would be a mistake. If European leaders take the union places the populus does not want to go, trouble will occur and ugly, populist and nationalist sentiment may rear its head. The mistake would be to treat the only referendum holding country as a pariah rather than the canary in the mineshaft.

Here's Vampire Weekend channeling Paul Simon.....

Here's the master himself...

...Zimbabwe looked a little different then, no?

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