Why do I have to wait this long, and go this far for cogent analysis of Ireland’s EU treaty defeat?

Here it finally is, a cogent explanation for what happened when arrogant Irish politicians put the Lisbon Treaty, a new agreement among EU countries to streamline decision-making, to a vote. The Japan Times points out that the fears of many “rural and working class voters” were not addressed.

And while EU politicians try to devise a way around this defeat, the Japan Times points out that there isn’t a way: The agreement can only come into force if all member states ratify it; one of the “reforms” in the treaty is the elimination of this stumbling block, in which less than 1% of all European citizens–a group that includes the Irish voters against–can block a decision.

What EU politicians, and the Japan Times both fail to understand is what the US population lost long ago. Europe has a population of approximately 500 million; the US has a population exceeding 300 million. In the US, the individual vote is meaningless, heavily outweighed by vagaries of the electoral college, gerrymandering, and influence peddling. A more powerful Brussels will be at least as bad for the European voter as Washington, DC, is for the US voter.

The Japan Times editorial observes that wealthy and educated Irish voters largely supported the treaty; it claims opponents of the treaty campaigned on false information. But democracy cannot exist on such a scale; claims that the treaty would not infringe member state sovereignty ring hollow when 1) states and 2) Indian tribes in the US are also supposedly sovereign; and when an objective of the treaty is to be able to push through initiatives affecting even member states who oppose them.

I don’t think it was the Irish working class or rural voters who were dumb, this time. Rather, it appears to me that they saw through yet another attempt by the elite to pull the wool over their eyes.

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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