People must be careful with this referendum because the question is not presented properly at all. Even though we only have one vote, there are two distinct aspects to the proposal that will be on the ballot paper when we vote.
There are only two sentences in the text:
“The State may ratify the Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union done at Brussels on the 2nd day of March 2012. No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of the State under that Treaty or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by bodies competent under that Treaty from having the force of law in the State.”
In the first sentence they are asking us to accept the Fiscal Treaty, but:
- For 90 years now, since the foundation of the state, the rights of citizens in this country have been denied. Effectively, we are excluded from the democratic process and we are never asked to decide anything if it can be avoided. This government, and the previous one, made every effort to try to have no referendum, but thanks to our Constitution, they had to. Lack of democracy and threats are to be seen in the way this referendum is presented to us, that tells its own story.
- It is the political parties, working for vested interests (in Ireland and abroad), that are responsible for the economic problems of our country as it is, and it is the same vested interests groups that are asking us to vote in favour of this Treaty. They betrayed us before, the same betrayal continues – we should not accept it.
- If political power was in the hands of the people, as is proper for any country calling itself a republic or which stands for democracy, we would not be facing this referendum and we wouldn’t be wiped out economically either. We should not give in to them anymore, our country has great wealthy which is not used in the interests of our people.
In the second sentence … the lack of democracy stands out more clearly. They want to give greater authority to any future demands of the ESM or the European Union – that is, a higher status than ANY OTHER ARTICLE in the Constitution of Ireland. For example, they would be able to enact any new laws simply if someone at the ESM said they were required – and we would have no defence against it.
In the end of the day, we must stand against this referendum, but however we vote both domination by vested interests and the party system will continue. There will be no solution until the people of Ireland come together to put an end to both and organise for our own empowerment.
A PDF copy of this statement is available here in both Irish & English