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Thursday, October 02, 2008

A lifelong problem with democracy

According to Le Figaro today, Nicolas Sarkozy "considers that the Irish - 53.4% whom voted 'No' in June - should go to the polls once again in autumn 2009."

Presumably he feels the Irish government needs a whole year of hard propaganda work to turn public opinion around to the Treaty.

However, despite the general forecast that Ireland will eventually vote again sometime before spring 2010, yesterday at an Open Europe event at the Conservative Party Conference the Telegraph's excellent Brussels Correspondent Bruno Waterfield warned it was "naive" to assume that a second Irish referendum of some kind definitely won't happen until after the European elections in June.

He warned: "Don't underestimate how quickly they might find a fix", predicting an "intensive, short and sharp information campaign when the time comes."

It certainly seems wise to keep on our toes. After all, at the same time over in Brussels, former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene was busy telling a meeting of the Brussels-based European Policy Centre that the Irish parliament should simply ratify the Lisbon Treaty without a referendum before the EP elections.

He said: "Whoever thinks that a vote in parliament is less democratic then a referendum has a lifelong problem with democracy".

Take nothing for granted.


*** said...

I think Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene has a lifelong problem with democracy if he thinks the will of the people should be overruled by a bunch of MPs when none of them were elected to their jobs on an EU constitution stand.

Open Europe blog team said...

Agreed. What a hypocrite!