Ireland’s Vote for Democracy
Although all the votes have not yet been counted as I write, it seems certain that the people of Eire have given a ‘NO’ to the EU Treaty. This treaty is all but the same as the proposed Constitution rejected in a vote by France and Holland and on which we in the UK were promised a vote and were then denied.
In many ways I am in favour of the EU, on economic and social co-operation, free trade, unrestricted travel between member states and a more effective combined voice on such matters as Global warming and the environment. Together we are a powerful force in combating human rights abuses and in providing aid when needed in the developing world.
The one big drawback for me is that the EU is in no way democratic. It is argued that I can vote for my MEP and it’s true, I can indeed vote for a representative who has a high salary but virtually no power. Real decisions are taken by the Council of Ministers. I think it was Tony Benn who said something like “I can’t support anyone who I can’t vote out” and that is the trouble with the EU, we can’t vote out those with the power. I am also opposed to Europe increasing it’s military expenditure which is included in the amended treaty.
The Irish have written into their constitution that no major changes can take place without the consent of the people and it is that enshrined piece of democracy that has saved the people of Europe from having this, all but in name, Constitution forced upon them.
Three cheers and a pint of Guinness for every Irish NO voter I say.