Ken writes: Ireland will hold a plebiscite to decide whether to sign the Lisbon Treaty (the successor document to the failed European Treaty) in June. As a foreigner, I do not have a vote, but I do have an opinion. Here it is:
The treaty is supposed to be around 500 pages long. Most people will not manage to read this and wouldn’t have the legal competence to evaluate so complicated a document anyway, so it is not serving a genuine democratic purpose to give them a vote on it. In addition, the four and a half odd million Irish citizens represent around one and a half percent of the whole EU population. I think only Ireland is having a referendum, which means the few Irish will be making a decision that affects millions of others in other EU countries. That doesn’t seem very democratic. I would go so far as to say the Irish have no right to determine the resolution of this for the rest of the EU.
So the Irish should all abstain (fortunately, I think most people will anyway).