Friday 20 March 2009

Diplomatic Incident

Of a minor kind, but you have to wonder why (continue to) post someone who makes such comments (and has caused a stir in Ireland before) to a country sensitive on the Lisbon Treaty issue?


  1. I didn't see a transcript but if you lift the quotes out of the article they don't seem that bad. The speed of Libertwats reaction was also a little opportunistic. Still not enough candidates??

  2. Well, it does depend on the way you look at it. And it can be seen in a number of ways. I know the last "incident", most Irish people agreed with him anyway. However, it's a delicate political situation at the moment, and though I personally think that "foreign" politicians should be included in the debate more, diplomats should be more careful in their words.

    Having said that, I have to admit I haven't seen the transcript either.

    If it indicates a further hardening of German attitudes to Ireland, then it's definitely a bad sign. In the end we may need them to bail us out. And thus we fall into the muddled pit of principles about the purity of democracy and not being bullied, etc, but when it comes down to it, we will have no right to expect German money if they don't want to give it. ...If it comes to that.

    It was very opportunistic of Libertas, especially since one of their "core values" on their website (referendums in every member state) would entail a constitutional amendment in several member states. So it's ok to campaign on a platform of changing other countries constitutions?

  3. Eurocentric,

    You are of course much better placed to assess if Irish voters should be treated like truculent teenagers or grown-ups, but I find it a bit sad if Libertas's sullen and defiant response is the true gauge of maturity with regard to the referendum debate.

  4. The referendum will be played out in the bubble of Irish politics, independent of European politics, as much as it would be desirable for it to be a European debate. At the moment Libertas has the political momentum behind it in terms of the Lisbon Treaty and framing the debate. Since the No side won the last referendum, they are able to ride the legitimacy of the vote to frame the debate.

    If their vision is not endorsed at the European elections, then their legitimacy will be severely damaged (especially in the case of Libertas if Ganley doesn't win a seat). Which is part of the reason for my "Referendum Strategies" opinions. Remarks hinting at exclusion or being in debt will be giving Libertas, etc propaganda weapons and could help them boost their profile, even for the elections.

    On the question of the "maturity" of voters, I think it is strange to ask or expect voters (in any member state) to be aware of all the political implications of such votes if they are constantly excluded from the decision making process. I support the Lisbon Treaty because it increases the scope for voter involvement, even if I wish it went further. That the Yes side has failed to highlight these strong points is inexcusable.