EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Green Light from the Emerald Isle? Questions and Answers about Ireland’:

In their paperPdf external , Hierlemann and Heydecker underline the important duty of Irish politicians to ensure that their citizens approve the Lisbon Treaty.

So politicians should tell us ho to vote. How interesting. What happened to democracy? I thought the electorate told the politicians what to do, not the other way around?

To quote Bertolt Brecht, if Ireland rejects the treaty: “Would it not be easier, in that case for the government, to dissolve the people, and elect another?”

The Irish political establishment has been telling us to vote “yes” to Lisbon, without even attempting to explain the issues. Our Taoiseach has admitted that he has not even read the Treaty. Yet he tells us to vote for it. There has been no democratic debate on the Treaty.

Politicians and civil servants across Europe should stop treating citizens like sheep. Like most other Irish people I am strongly pro-EU, though I have some concerns about certain aspects of the Treaty.

What concerns me more is the anti-democratic way that this issue has been handled in Ireland. Your article highlights this reversal of democracy, which is a grave source of worry to many Irish people. Our politicians would have been better off encouraging true democratic debate, rather than telling us what to do.

The EU and Irish politicians should prepare for the electoral backlash. If the treaty is rejected, the EU and political establishment and should start planning with democracy in mind when amending the treaty.

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