Problems with the “they’ll pass it now that we’re f*cked” Yes-vote assumption
You’d swear Lisbon wasn’t on the cards. It’s not in the papers.
I read Saturday’s Irish Times, it has one Lisbon article on page 8. Today’s Sunday Business Post has nothing. Looking at their website, The Sunday Times has a piece about the spending involved from private groups – not the politics though. The Tribune has something about Pat Cox being set for a big job if Lisbon passes, again, nothing actually about the vote on the Treaty. I haven’t seen the Sindo but a site search brings up zilch.
It’s just over a month before polling day, where are all the politicians (and subsequent coverage)?
I also read this post from Deaglan DeBreadan on the Irish Times’s Politics blog. Quoting someone in Leinster House, he wrote…
“Lisbon is a dead duck, a goner, not a hope in hell”. I protested that, surely the people would vote Yes out of sheer naked fear of making the economic situation even worse.
Nope, I was told by a highly-experienced (and pro-EU) Fianna Fáil backbencher. The farmers are voting against en bloc and don’t pay any attention to what their leaders are saying. (I should point out that the executive council of the Irish Farmers’ Association has voted unanimously to recommend a Yes to Lisbon.)
But surely the possibility of negative economic results will deter people from voting No a second time, I suggested? Another TD, from the Labour side, said he believed there was a “death-wish” among the electorate.
Interesting, I’m sure you’ll agree. What are we to make of the source’s assertion?
The problem with Lisbon for the media is the Treaty’s amazing abilities to get people to ignore it. It’s boring. Very boring. It was boring first time round and now it has reared its ugly head again so the boredom can be repeated. The arguements have been had time and again, people don’t really want to hear them again. The media throws it a bone now and then but avoids anything in depth, it can’t really anyway, it was all done last time ’round.
Politicians have to deal with that and a multitude of other problems. People don’t like them, they’re not popular, Fianna Fáil TDs especially risk doing more harm than good when speaking on the Treaty. Rural TDs are dealing with constituents over the REPs scheme, hospital services, jobs cuts and the continuing retoric from ‘D4 economists’. Of course, there’s also the proposed cuts in social welfare, the constant protests. NAMA. The Commission on Taxation Report (which the Union rep didn’t sign). The Unions and the crumbling social partnership. The continuing aftershocks from An Bord Snip. The Programme for Government. Backbenchers. The Greens’ members. The Opposition. Oh, and the budget trundling towards Leinster House from the horizon on course to smash into the coaltion.
In short, Lisbon is low on the “to-do list” so politicians are leaving it on the back burner. When politicians do that, the media have little option but to do the same, or at the very least, leave it to the op-ed pages. The question is, with that happening, could the establishment be in for another shock?
The No vote came out last time, the Yes vote didn’t. Post-Ganley it’s hard to tell what will happen the No side, but it’s equally hard to tell post-dawn-of-economic-crisis if the Yes vote will show up. I think this one will be a close run thing. Still going with Yes, but it’ll be nothing more than 60/40…