Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Please vote. I suggest 'no'.

I've done a lot of reading about the TREATY ON STABILITY, COORDINATION AND GOVERNANCE IN THE ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION BETWEEN Treaty Establishing the European Stability Mechanism.  I have to admit, that I went in to most of that reading already having decided to vote no.  But nothing has come close to making me change my mind on that.

I am voting no because:

  • The main mechanism the treaty offers for correcting the problem of countries not having enough money to cover their expenses is to fine them.  Which hardly seems logical.
  • This treaty being in place wouldn't have stopped any of the foolishness that got our country into this position in the first place.  It's dealing with countries spending money they don't have.  We were spending money that we did have.  But we said we'd keep spending it.  And now we don't have it any more.  Ireland is like someone who treated a once or twice off bonus as a raise and signed up for a bunch of new expenses they couldn't really afford.
  • Voting no doesn't stop us getting a further bail out, if we need one.  It just stops us getting a bail out from the fund which the treaty sets up.
  • The rest of the European Union would be affected too badly by Ireland defaulting on its debt to refuse us a second bail out just to 'punish' us for voting no.
  • A yes vote is irrevocable, a no vote is not.
  • Structural deficit is not properly defined, but it is referred to.  That allows space for it to be redefined in some way we don't like and/or didn't anticipate.
  • I am not voting for anything that gives anyone immunity to legal proceedings.  No.  (Articles 32 and 35)  - EDIT - This is not the right treaty.  Our Government signed this one without asking us in July 2011.  Thanks guys.
  • The long list of muppets and loonies arguing for a no vote isn't actually a good reason to vote yes.  Funny as that idea might be.
  • 'Vote yes because they'll only ask us again anyway' is a bad approach.  That is a really bad reason to vote yes.  And it's actually more likely that our Government will accept a no for this than it was for Nice and Lisbon.  Unlike in those cases, this treaty CAN go ahead without us.
  • The turmoil in Europe and the many countries saying 'hm, maybe we should fix this a bit before we ratify it' was completely ignored by the Government.  The treaty should have been postponed.
  • The only sort of stability I can see this treaty bringing in is stability in the sh*t state we're currently in.  Where mostly only people who have computer science degrees have jobs, everyone my age has lost a bunch of friends to emigration, everyone is paying more tax than they'd like or expect to and is never sure when they're going to start paying more tax and where they're expected to get the money to pay it.  You know, like this.

If you don't want to take my word for it, here's a bunch of stuff I watched or read:
A video explaining what the treaty is.
A little bit 'yes' biased, from my point of view anyway.  But about as close to neutral as possible.

Reasons to vote no, Ireland in Europe perspective.
A good read, author clearly doesn't like Angela Merkel much.

Arguing for a yes vote.
Mostly seems to be saying 'ah here lads, we need to do this stuff anyway, so let's not rock the boat and p*ss off potential allies'.  Calls Angela Merkel by her first name.

Why VinB is voting no.
Why VinB is voting no.  His reasons are not my reasons.  But they're not bad reasons.

"Treaty a mere clause in contract yet unseen."
Many great nuggets, including the idea that 'we have no choice' is not a reason to vote yes, it's a reason to spoil your vote.

Someone I know and really respect in real life.
Arguing that we should vote yes to take more power from the Irish Government, because the Irish people can't elect a good one

I don't normally find myself agreeing with Libertas.
But this is well worth reading.

And a few I didn't, but heard were good:
'Guide to the Fiscal Treaty'

ESM Treaty & Stability (Fiscal Compact) Treaty
Seriously long and detailed.  Has been summed up as 'we'd be off our heads to vote Yes, but we're going to anyway. FFS.'

Aaaand last but not least:
The text of the treaty itself. the treaty itself.
Edited on 31/05/2012 to fix typos.
Edited again on 31/05/2012 because the treaty with the scary article 32 is a different one that the Government already signed without asking us.

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