Ireland has passed the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty
Ireland has passed the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty with an overwhelming majority of 67 per cent in favor.
Ireland was the only EU member state to hold a referendum on Lisbon, though there have been calls for referendums in several countries. Last year 46.6% of Irish voted "Yes" and 53.4% "No", and the rejection of the treaty plunged the EU into political gridlock so the Irish Government undertook to hold a second referendum.
The second referendum took place yesterday (October 2) and the voted were counted today.
Yesterday's turnout was 58 per cent with 1,214,268 people voting for the treaty and 594,606 voting against. This was higher than the 53.13 per cent turnout for the first referendum on Lisbon.
The No side were much better resourced for the first Lisbon campaign and they ran an excellent poster campaign while the Government campaign was half-hearted and unfocused. The majority of the Yes posters were photographs of local and national politicians and some did not even appear to indicate how they wanted the public vote.
In 2009 the No side seriously misjudged their poster campaign, they suggested that the minimum wage would drop to Euro 1.84 per hour and that Ireland would become an aircraft carrier for a European superstate. Some posters implied that Turkish workers would invade Ireland taking Irish jobs and forcing the Irish to seek employment abroad. Sinn Féin claimed that voting yes to Lisbon would result in an increase in military spending which was a bit of an own-goal.
A Coir ad and poster campaign claimed that Lisbon effectively provides a backdoor for the introduction of euthanasia to Ireland. Spokeswoman Niamh Ui Bhriain said the treaty would give EU courts the right to decide on abortion and euthanasia.
Sinn Féin vice-president and anti-Lisbon campaigner Mary Lou McDonald said the vote should not be seen as an indication of support for the Government parties.
Nigel Farage the UKIP MEP and leading Eurosceptic described the result as "a victory for big money, a victory for thuggery and a travesty of democracy".
Brussels, Saturday 3 October 2009 Statement
José Manuel BARROSO President of the European Commission
on the outcome of the Irish Referendum
"It's a great day, for Ireland and for Europe" said president Barroso after the positive outcome of the Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum. "I see the yes vote as a sign of confidence by the Irish people in the EU, as a sign of their desire to be wholehearted members at the heart of the EU. A sign that Ireland recognises the role that the EU has played in responding to the economic crisis." Commenting the campaign, the mass of information available for the citizens and the legal guarantees - including the retention of a commissioner per Member State – president Barroso believed these played a significant role in helping people make up their minds and in meeting the legitimately expressed concerns voiced by the Irish people in June 2008. "Now that all Member States have democratically approved the Lisbon Treaty,” he concluded, “I hope that the necessary procedures for its entry into force can be completed as quickly as possible in Poland and the Czech Republic."
Statement By An Taoiseach, Mr, Brian Cowen T.D., Remarks on the Lisbon Treaty Referendum, Saturday 3rd October 2009
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
I am very pleased to be able to say to you that the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will be carried decisively.
Today the Irish people have spoken with a clear and resounding voice. This is a good day for Ireland and a good day for Europe.
We as a nation have taken a decisive step for a stronger, fairer and better Ireland, and a stronger, fairer and better Europe.
Today we have said to the other countries of Europe that we stand with them as we seek to move forward together. We do this because we know that we are better together and stronger together.
We will now work with all our partners in ensuring that the reforms this treaty will bring are implemented. The Irish people have supported reforms so that the EU can become more efficient and more effective in dealing with the global problems we all face. Challenges such as climate change, energy, international crime and of course the economic difficulties in which we find ourselves now. This is what the European Union is all about - States working together to achieve the common good.
Today, we have done the right thing for our own future and the future of our children. We have taken another step on a journey that began 36 years ago when we first joined Europe. A journey that has strengthened and deepened our relationship with our neighbouring nations - their people and their cultures.
I want to recognise and thank all those who contributed to this resounding Yes vote, beginning with the other parties in the Dail who stood with us in this campaign. You have put the nation ahead of party politics and I thank you for that.
I want to thank the members of my party and of my partners in Government who supported the Treaty’s passage by knocking on doors and doing the hard work of canvassing. Your neighbours could see and hear from you how important it was for Ireland to vote “Yes”, and your effort was a decisive factor in this victory.
I want to recognise and thank the civil society groups who campaigned so hard. Business, trade unions and community leaders from all walks of life played their part in helping to pass this referendum. Your powerful voice and passionate support helped convince the Irish people that much was at stake in this referendum.
While the campaign during the last month was very important, this result marks the culmination of a 15 month process. After last year’s vote I was determined to ensure that the people of Ireland received a comprehensive response to their concerns. I want to recognise the great work of those who helped secure the guarantees that dealt with these concerns.
When I wrote to my colleagues in the 26 other member states that a strong and comprehensive response to the Irish people was required before we could have another referendum they responded positively. They listened to the people of Ireland and acted in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect that defines the European Union. That helped us to secure the vital guarantees that made today’s victory possible.
But on this day, the full and final credit for this victory rests with the Irish people. They showed an Ireland embracing her future in Europe. Ireland is ready to grow and to prosper. Today’s vote will help us achieve a common aim – a prosperous, productive and forward looking Ireland. We will now apply ourselves to achieving this with imagination, determination and courage.
The European Union is shaped by its peoples and nations to serve its peoples and nations. Today’s vote is a declaration of intent by the people of Ireland to remain at the heart of Europe, where our future belongs.
Thank you all for standing together, and for standing with Europe. We are better together. Ní neart go cur le chéile. Go raibh mile maith agaibh.