Wednesday, 16th May 2012
The news that the Yes side in favour of the Fiscal Referendum have seized the momentum with the majority of Irish voters is just an indication of how the debate over this issue is beginning to shape up. That Declan Ganly has weighed in on the side of the No vote also shows that there is still a lot to play for until the Irish electorate give the final decision later on this month. The Government parties as well as the main opposition party, Fianna Fail, are in favour of the Yes vote but so far little has really galvanised the electorate. It so far seems that both the Yes and the No vote, mainly backed by Sinn Fein, are using the same arguments to back their respective positions. What is clear so far is that it all comes to down to that feared of all words; Austerity. It seems that both sides are using the bogeyman of Austerity to promote their own positions. The Yes side are saying that Austerity will be the least of our problems if we don't pass the referendum while the No side is saying is that all we will get is years more austerity if we do. What is interesting however is the sheer apathy of most of the electorate. From reports of encounters on the doorsteps it is being reported that while many people hold strong opinions on the various issues involved there is a big question mark over whether people will actually come out and vote on the day of the referendum itself. One source in Sinn Fein has said that it is a big worry that a lot of their supporters who are so disillusioned with politics and the ongoing policy of austerity will actually come out to vote No on the day in question. He also said that there was a big class split in Yes and No voters with the majority of Yes voters seeming to come from middle class areas while the No voters were in the majority in working class areas. However there is a long way to go in the referendum yet and as we have all been shown from the Presidential election a lot can happen in a couple of days. While there has been a lot of talk about the referendum and a lot of newsprint spilt there has yet to be the spark that will galvanise the voting public. What is interesting is that that spark might not necessarily come from within Ireland. If there was any example of how we now really live in an inclusive European environment then it has to be what has happened since the election of Francois Hollande as the new President of France. A leftist politician Hollande is quite clear in his policies. He was elected because he quite clearly and quite categorically said that he would bring an end to austerity. He expressed the sentiment that austerity just wasn't working and that people were really suffering. It was the banks that caused all of this mess so why then was it up to the French public to bail them out year in and year out and suffer for it. It was a sentiment that struck a chord with the electorate and Sarkozy was duly ousted. There has been much made about the former French President Sarkozy. It seems that for some reason we were all sold a pup. Without really knowing what his policies were it was generally thought that he was a good thing, a good politician. The same goes to some extent for Angela Merkel. The two of them, known as Merkozy, were held out as somehow being the saviours of Europe. But if you look a little closer it is all not what it seems. The two of them are right wing politicians with a conservative agenda. In a time of upheaval that might be reassuring but when things just aren't working and clearly shown not to be working the same old mantra of austerity just doesn't cut it. Its no wonder Sarkozy was thrown out. Now there is someone else there and more particularly someone who is not banging the austerity drum. Quite the opposite in fact. So it will be interesting to see what impact he might have on our referendum. As it stands though there is little to excite or interest the electorate. It all seems to come down to the question of who do you trust?
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Google AlertWhen a company which has it's European Headquarters here in Ireland is called 'evil' and 'immoral' by M.P.s in The House of Commons you tend to sit up and take notice. The particular company that was being referred to was Google and the reason it had enraged M.P.s in London was because even though it has a big operation there and conducts a lot of business there it pays no corporate tax. It does this by having all of its financial transactions finished here in Ireland. And the company here is …
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