Friday, 13 June 2008

Final Result of Referendum on Lisbon

The final results are in.

YES: 752,451

NO: 862,415

Lost by 53.4% to 46.6%

It was a day when Irish radio and television did not distinguish themselves. for most of the day RTE radio sounded like a wake house. then on both TV and radio came the whingeing, petulance and arrogance of bad losers.

The no campaigners were inavariably taken to task by presenters with barely concealed anger. they were repeatedly challenged to provide Taoiseach Brian Cowen with a blueprint with which he could approach his colleagues in Europe. The bias of many RTE presenters, so obvious throughout the campaign ,was now translated into an attack on the winners, their motives, their campaign, even their finances.

It looks as if the Establishment has not received the message that the electorate had tried to pass on to them. One of these, in my opinion, was that arrogance in high office is unwelcome, and that people honoured with the right to represent others must not take the people who elected them for granted. That they should shed that arrogance which makes them believe that election to the Dáil every five years gives any Government a mandate to act ruthlessly, pushing the favoured agenda of a few.

It was that kind of arrogance that (during the campaign) caused one prominent member of Government to describe the No voters as Loolahs and (on today's Radio) two other pro-Yes people to declare that the vote of the people reflected class division.

Aligning themselves with the already establised arrogance of the Government parties (Fianna Fáil and the Green Party) in pushing this opaque Treaty on their voters with a minimum of real, well thought-out reasons for doing so, will have done nothing to help the Fine Gael and Labour Parties.

The win for the NO vote should be a salutary lesson for those who walk or swagger in the corridors of power both in Dublin and in Brussels.

Looks like a NO to LisbonTreaty


Early indications from around the country are that the Lisbon Treaty will be defeated in the referendum with a resounding NO vote.

If the trend continues, it will be an amazing result. The three major political parties Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour went on an all out blitz of postering and propaganda to ensure a Yes vote. Also supporting were the two minor Government parties - the Greens and Progressive Democrats. The only political party against was Sinn Féin. The anti-war movement, left radical groups, and right radical groups aso opposed. Libertas, new on the block, was one of the latter.

At 11.20 RTE announced that it appears that only three constituencies in the country have the appearance of having a Yes majority. The final result might be 55% to 45%.

The unexpected No vote will be interpreted in many ways - a No to an unexplained and almost unreadable treaty, anger with an arrogance of power, dismay with obfuscation, annoyance at the partiality of much of the mainstream media and a genuine suspicion on the part of the man and woman in the street that "this crowd" are up to no good.
The Irish Commissioner in Europe, Charles McGreevey, while supporting Lisbon, admitted that he had not read it and that anyone who did must be insane. The hint of forcing Ireland to increase military spending did not go down well.

There are sore losers on the Pat Kenny show already - including Pat himself - who usuaually can hide his anger and disappointment better than he is doing today. An avid No campaigner, Patricia McKenna, who broke ranks with her party leaders, is especially singled out for attack.

But the result appears, even while they speak, to be a NO verdict from the Irish people. This, in spite of reports (at noon) that there may be a chance, although a very slender one, of a Yes victory.

Whatever the outcome, those who tell us so often that "the people have spoken" after they patch together a Coalition of losers, must accept the democratic will of the people. This time, not as in an election, the people will have spoken.