Lisbon II an exercise in democracy

IN his letter (January 1), Michael O’Driscoll, in common with nearly all anti-Lisbon people, wheels out the usual misinformation in his objection to allowing the Irish people to have a second chance to vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

His first point is that re-running the referendum “undermines democracy” and lacks “moral right”.

Since when do decisions by democratic governments to hold any kind of plebiscite lack moral right and undermine democracy?

We had three elections in two years some time ago and had a different result each time.

There was nothing immoral or undemocratic about that.

He also accuses the political elite of bullying all of us into a federal superstate. We, more than most, should be able to recognise bullying by a political elite in a federal superstate.

We belonged to such, in which we had little or no say, for nearly 800 years.

In contrast, 27 democratically elected governments negotiated the Lisbon Treaty over a period of seven years. Nearly all have used the usual method in representative democracies, ie, parliamentary majority, to ratify it.

How can politicians elected in free and fair elections be called the political elite? How can negotiating for seven years be called bullying?

How can an organisation of 27 countries with democratically elected governments be called a federal superstate?

The EU is probably the greatest example of peaceful international cooperation ever.

It has achieved major cooperation on a continent in which, during the lifetime of many, the decisions of two tyrants decided the fate of ordinary people and condemned millions to be slaughtered.

To me that means a second vote on the Lisbon Treaty, which underpins this cooperation, is a wonderful opportunity for the people of this small democratic republic to support the historic effort peacefully to regulate relations between countries.

As the collapse of the Icelandic economy recently highlighted, it also has the advantage of giving us an opportunity of supporting an international organisation — the EU — that has been of major economic benefit to each and every one of us in this small country.

Anthony Leavy

1 Shielmartin Drive


Dublin 13

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