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Lesson for politicians: voters are the true elite

THE booklet issued by the Referendum Commission on the Lisbon Treaty clearly states in its introduction: “If a majority of the voters vote no, then the constitution will not be changed and Ireland may not ratify the treaty.

The treaty will come into effect only if it is ratified by all member states. The EU would continue to operate under its present rules.”

When the French and Dutch electorates rejected the proposed EU constitution, that measure did not proceed. Now that a clear majority of the Irish electorate have voted no, the Lisbon Treaty cannot legally come into effect.

One would think Brian Cowen has some clear and simple messages for the meeting in Brussels today.

* He is communicating the will of the majority of the Irish electorate.

* The electorate have used their democratic right to reject ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

* The Lisbon Treaty is therefore legally dead.

* The Irish electorate cannot be asked to vote again on the now defunct Lisbon Treaty.

* Legally, the EU must continue to operate under its existing rules.

* The EU must produce a new set of rules if it wishes to change its operating processes.

* Any proposed changes to EU operating rules that effect the constitution of Ireland will require a new referendum.

* Decisions made by citizens of member states, including the rejection of the proposed EU constitution by electorates in France and the Netherlands, and the Lisbon Treaty by the electorate in Ireland, must be accepted by public representatives in all states.

* EU politicians and bureaucrats cannot reject the democratic decisions of the EU citizens to whom they are all accountable.

If politicians can learn something from this referendum it is that the electorate are the true political elite and supreme decision-makers in our State.

Donal Fellows

Cois na hAbhainn

Bailick Road


Co Cork


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