Next October the Irish people will be asked to vote once again on the European Union’s (EU) Lisbon Treaty. This is despite the referendum held in June this year, when 1.6 million people turned out and rejected the treaty by a margin of over 110,000 votes.
All Ireland’s parliamentary parties (apart from Sinn Fein), big business, the media and even the trade unions joined together to back a yes vote.
But they were beaten by a grassroots anti-treaty campaign. People voted against the treaty because it endorsed a neoliberal vision for Europe.
Now the government hopes the recession will shift people into voting yes out of fear that Ireland might be cut loose from the EU. But a lot can change in the next nine months. Ireland is already seeing a mass rebellion against education cuts.
People resent being told how to vote by the entire establishment – and they quite rightly resent being told to keep voting until they deliver the result that the establishment desires.