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Cranky Irish Voters Reject EU Reform Treaty

From those one-worlders at the Los Angeles Times:

Irish voters appear to reject EU reform treaty

By Donny Mahoney and Kim Murphy, Special to The Los Angeles Times
June 13, 2008

DUBLIN, Ireland — In a stunning setback to efforts to draft a modern new European constitution, voters in Ireland today appeared to reject a new reform treaty, throwing the European Union’s future governance into doubt.

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern conceded the referendum on the new Lisbon treaty, which requires ratification by all 27 EU members to take effect, was headed for near-certain defeat, though official results had not yet been declared.

"To a certain extent, we’re in uncharted waters," he told reporters. "Obviously, it’s disappointing. It’s quite clear there’s a very substantial no vote."

More than a dozen countries so far have ratified the complex treaty, which establishes the EU’s first full-time president and allows many decisions in the recently expanded union to be taken by qualified majority vote, rather than unanimous consent.

Ireland was the only nation whose constitution required a public vote, and the result is that the Emerald Isle’s 3 million voters have thrown a wrench into a constitution for more than 490 million residents of Europe.

It was unclear how the EU would proceed in light of the results of Thursday’s voting; some analysts have suggested the treaty, signed at Lisbon in December, could be reworked and put to a new vote.

The apparent defeat followed a major push for approval by the Irish government, which argued that Ireland’s economic boom over the past decade has been fueled by access to the European market and the availability of billions of euros in EU subsidies for Irish agriculture and infrastructure.

"It is an important issue for the country. A referendum by its nature is about change in our constitution, and our citizens should take that seriously. We’ve conducted a positive campaign, an honest campaign," Prime Minister Brian Cowen said as he cast his vote in the town of Tullamore.

A coalition of Irish nationalists, right-wing Catholics, pro-Americans and groups leery of the treaty’s potential impact on taxes and agriculture argued against the treaty, and in the end, many voters appeared suspicious of a 300-plus-page document that many said they did not understand

Oh, we see. Only "crackpots" and stupid people are against this enlightened reform.

And worse yet, they are throwing a "wrench" into the utopian hopes and dreams of 500 million more evolved Europeans.

But one wonders why Ireland is the only country which allows its citizenry to vote on the matter.

[S]ome analysts have suggested the treaty, signed at Lisbon in December, could be reworked and put to a new vote.

Luckily they will keep voting until they get it right.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 13th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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