Friday, 13 February 2009
There's a good article on EurActiv about Libertas and Germany. With the Bundesverfassungsgericht throwing doubt on the Lisbon Treaty's democratic credentials, there may well be a niche there that Ganley can exploit, if it was done well.
Even more interesting though, is the assertion that Libertas is not just a one-issue party: something that the pronouncements about making the elections into a "referendum on Lisbon" indicated. This would seem to run counter to the strategy of picking up extreme right-wing conservatives as supporters, though if he really has as big a list of candidates as he claims, then this might not be such a big deal. But then why risk the image by enlisting such right-wing support...? Perhaps Ganley is just that right-wing on his own convictions. If so, are his candidates as well?
Anyway, considering Libertas' gaff-ridden start, it will be a big test to come up with an actual manifesto, and it will be very interesting to see what's in it, and how it will be viewed. It would have to be a lot more moderate than the supporters he's gained (well, kind of gained) so far if he's to gain any support of significance beyond the anti-Lisbonites dissatisfied with national Eurosceptic parties. And how cohesive will the party be? I thought that Libertas was a one-issue party; do the current candidates? Will they have much input into this manifesto? Will they promote it, agree with it, etc? Or will it be centrally set and cause a loss of candidates?
Ganley also protests that Libertas is not all about him. Well, since there's so much uncertainty about him running, and there is no sign of a deputy chairman who can runs if Ganley doesn't, there is a distinct lack of a viable substitute candidate if he doesn't run. And the Fine Gael poll in the article doesn't sound too promising for Mr. Ganley. A second problem for Ganley running for election himself is that the leader of the opposition and Fine Gael, Enda Kenny has challenged him to run in his constituency. Will Ganley run there if he decides to run or risk being called a coward if he runs in a different constituency?
Anyway, there is a distinct lack of a strong "front bench" Libertas team for it to be seen as anything but a one-Ganley show. There are not even any candidates trying to build up a public image which will be vital in the elections.
Also: Libertas has updated their site with this article. Still no sign of a Finland page in Finnish, though.
They are "mildly amused that the other Libertas signatories have not been persuaded to suffer from amnesia"? I'm a bit confused over the choice of "mildly amused" as a choice of words - why not praise them for upholding democracy, etc, etc? The article isn't exactly a very mature and considered sounding rejection of the allegations, and the proof of Kuminev's signature is... well, I can't see it well enough to judge (I can't even see his name there in print, though I can see "Sofia"), and I don't know enough about Cyrillic alphabets and Kuminev's signature to judge either. And the allegation was that if they had a signature, it was forged.
I will take a look at the Libertas manifesto when (if) it comes out, and who knows, I may change my mind about them. However, I have little faith that there'll be a big change (not even I am that naive), so I'll stick to my position 'til then.