Ireland Says No to Latest EU Treaty
Posted by Ryan on June 15, 2008
In a stunning defeat for proponents of the latest take on a future European Union Treaty, Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum Thursday, which has sent shockwaves throughout the continent and may derail this latest effort at union. While other nations have ratified this treaty, Ireland was the only country thus far that has actually let the people vote, rather than legislators or executives.
The Lisbon Treaty is highly complex, bureaucratic, cold, and top-heavy with confusing voter rules and qualifications. Simply, it’s typically European at a cool 271 pages! Those in Ireland who voted against the Treaty said it was too complex and too alienating. And they’re right. It’s huge, cumbersome, and easily has the capacity to squash local rights once approved by all and implemented. The Irish people were simply voting in their self-interest.
Any American can pick up the American Constitution and, though the language has oldened, can make pretty good sense of it: three co-equal branches with enumerated powers, rules about statehood and state interaction, an amendment process with 27 Amendments tacked onto the end. True, it’s purposely vague and broad in many spots, but the Founders left it to elected and appointed officials to figure out the details later through a republican/democratic process. With small, still readable writing one can fit the entire document and its Amendments on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper (front and back, of course).
Oh, and it’s lasted nearly 221 years, surviving a Civil War and the international upheavals of the mid-20th Century. Maybe Europe can learn something from America on the issue of individual rights and responsive government. Maybe then the people will rally around it, rather than bureaucrats who seemingly just want a new way to guarantee they keep their jobs at the end of the process.