After yesterday’s poll results were announced, with respect to the opinion of voters on the Lisbon Treaty, the “no” vote has almost doubled since the last opinion poll. Am I surprised? Well frankly no, I’m not. It’s like I have said to many people on numerous occasions in the past. Those swinging towards a “no” vote are doing so because of educating themselves by reading the treaty and/or supporting literature that has come from independent sources. God knows with the support for Sinn Féin in this country that it’s certainly not because of their efforts. However, since the last opinion poll literature has been sent to homes, information has been made available on the web and people who are actually interested in what the treaty means have gone to the trouble of creating brief summaries of main points for those who don’t have the time to read fully. The net result of this information burst is a massive swing towards a “no” vote whereas previously people were happy to tow the party line and vote whatever way they were being encouraged to do so. While I am happy to see that with the advent of clear information to people who generally have no exposure to such material has allowed them to reassess their opinions it does sadden me that should this treaty be rejected in the vote, it will no doubt be brought back for vote again just like the Nice Treaty; yet again undermining our democratic principles. Plenty of political parties had a dig at the government over that fiasco and I really hope they remember their reasons should the same thing emerge again, irrespective of their unilateral support on the issue currently. source: Irish Times
I have taken the time to read some of the literature that has come through my door in recent weeks and whilst much of it claimed to be simply written and easy to understand, I would have to disagree. I found it hard going and terribly boring.
That said, from what bits of it I did take in and from discussing with friends, I too have formed the opinion that the Lisbon Treaty (as I see it) would not be good for Ireland, for many of the same reasons as you outlined in your previous post. I just don’t see what the benefits are for Ireland and it would appear to me that we are giving up a lot for very little gain.
The Irish Times poll indicates that people are informed enough to know they don’t know what the treaty is about and they aren’t going to be bullied into supporting something they don’t understand. The treaty makers will have to work harder to make a treaty for the people, not for politicians.
@paul: that’s a reasonable take on it I guess but there are an increasing number of people reading things that they don’t like the sound of.
@james: your last line is exactly it. We are already in the EU, we already benefit from it and we don’t stand to lose out by rejecting this as we will continue to benefit in the same way as we always have. The most worrying piece of positivity coming from the yes camp at the moment is “sure we can veto anything we don’t like anyway”. Now personally I don’t believe that this would be the case if the ECJ started functioning as the super-power of the EU but if it was, one really has to ask the question of why we want to vote for change when we supposedly can reject all the results of change? It doesn’t add up and just comes across as yet more EU pandering by the political folk. We can still make great progress in the EU by rejecting this and until such time that a more harmonious solution is found the EU won’t fall over and cease to function to the best of its ability, it sure as hell isn’t performing badly at the moment!