Feature

Ireland: Treating the voters like children

Shocked by voters' rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, the government is now presenting the referendum a second time&mdash;and in the most cynical way, said Gene Kerrigan in the <em>Irish Independent.</em>

Gene Kerrigan
Irish Independent

What part of “no” doesn’t the government understand? asked Gene Kerrigan. Last year, Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty, the new European Union constitution. Silly us. We didn’t realize “that the ‘No’ box was on the voting paper purely for decorative purposes.” Shocked by the result, the government is now presenting the referendum a second time—and in the most cynical way.

It isn’t treating us like adults and offering coherent reasons why we should change our minds and agree to further subordinate Irish sovereignty to the EU. Instead, “the strategy is to tell us that Serious People have decided what’s best for us, and the world will fall down around our ears unless we do as we’re told.” Perhaps we’d be willing to believe that, if the powers that be “hadn’t so recently made such a pig’s mickey of the country.” These are the people, after all, who didn’t see Ireland’s financial collapse coming.

If the political establishment wants us to change our votes, it will have to come up with a better argument than “Trust us.”

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