Tim Black, Spiked
‘Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black’, declared car-maker Henry Ford a century ago. With such an attitude to consumer choice, he would surely appreciate the European Union’s shameful parody of democracy: this October, as the Irish prime minister Brian Cowen revealed yesterday [July 8 .ed], the Irish people will once again be asked to choose whether or not to ratify the de facto EU constitution known as the Lisbon Treaty. Or, as Mr Ford would have it, they will be allowed to vote any way they choose just so long as it is ‘yes’.
The Irish electorate ought to be familiar with this simulacrum of democracy, having rehearsed the charade once before. On 12 June last year, 53.4 per cent of them voted against the treaty. That is, a greater percentage of Ireland’s electorate chose to reject the Lisbon Treaty than proportion of Americans voted for Barack Obama. There is rightly no question of asking Americans to have another go in order to get the correct result. Yet, in the second Irish referendum on 2 October this year, that is exactly what the Irish are expected to do.
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Vote ‘Yes’ or the economy gets it