Last Thursday I voted no to the Lisbon Treaty and I thought that I did that understanding the full significance of the decision. I am a cheery, weight-pulling citizen who doesn’t mind nerding up to make an informed decision.
Yet over the weekend, two friends convinced me I made a mistake. And Ireland made a mistake.
Is there someone I can write a letter to to get my vote taken back?
I had somehow understood that commissioners in the new system would be proportioned based on population so that while we would all lose a commissioner one cycle in three, France, Germany and the bigger boys would have more than one so they would always be represented. This is not the case. Every one gets one. But the commission will be made up of eighteen people at any given time.
What makes this convoluted system so attractive to me is that is not just that the weighting is geared towards the small countries but that a decision can only be made with a 75% positive vote. The Treaty envisages a decision making process whereby 55% of the Member States must agree and those Member States supporting the decision must represent 65% of the EU population.
Finally, an aspect of the Lisbon Treaty that then becomes attractive is that for eight weeks after any proposed legislation is published, the national parliaments can vet and propose changes. In advance of something passing into law (the sadly, still occasionally closed door sessions in Europe) will have to listen to our Republic’s representatives.
Lisbon II may be coming down the road. I am back in the yes camp. Maybe next time, politicians will start making arguments and stop treating the referendum like a chance to advertise their candidacy in local elections. There’s a lot of myth bouncing around this campaign, none more present than the one that says this Treaty is unintelligible. It isn’t. I just am fed up that I find this out four days too late.
Your Correspondent, Asked God what he thought but didn’t hang around to listen.