..back to "Off the Record"
- 3. Judicial Behaviour and Impeachment
Information and Comment:
Now postponed to later in the year.
Because Dáil parties could not come to a consensus on it! Obviously, a debate on the subject is the last thing they want. So, what is now going before the people are the referendums on which no political debate will take place! Isn't that a cosy arrangement?
3 May 2001
Because they would have been asking the public to endorse two opposing principles, ie, more accountability for the judges already under some control at home, and no accountability for international judges.
In fact, it gets worse. The ICC judges are immune from prosecution for life!
26 June 2001
Removal of references to Death Penalty in ConstitutionResult of referendum, & comment
- Irish Catholic, 15 March
- Catholic groups welcome removal
The Referendum passed 62/38%
Similarly to the other two referendums, 35% of the electorate voted.
What is interesting about this referendum, is that so many voted against the proposal to remove references to the death penalty in the Constitution, ie, 38% of those voting or 370,000 voters. Some 20,000 less voted against the ICC, on which there was a NO campaign.
This is astonishing, considering:
1. There was no campaign for the NO side.
2. The media was unanimously in favour of YES. In fact, it took a brave soul (and there was one) to argue NO.
3. The Catholic Church rowed in strongly behind the media.
4. The referendum was considered a non-event. A reasonable predition would have been 5% against such a worthy and politically correct objective.
So why did so many vote NO?
Could it be that the majority thought they were voting in the opposite direction?
If so, it is an indictment of the Government for loading 3 referendums at short notice and simultaneously on the public.
This referendum carried almost no consequences. But the other two did.
The referendum on the Nice Treaty dominated the scene. There was some information and debate on Nice, and it occupied people's minds, to the detriment of the other two referendums.
So, where does all this leave the International Criminal Court?
While the YES/NO confusion was probably not a factor in the case of the ICC, it still leaves the question as to how much attention were the public able to give to finding out and analysing the issues. As we remark elsewhere, there was little to "find out" about the ICC. Realising that one is not getting the information one should, calls for particular attention to a subject. With such a complex subject as Nice also on the go, spare attention was in short supply on this occasion.
26 June 2001
Referendums likely on 7 JuneAccording to infromation obtained by IMR from Dept of Foreign Affairs, c 11 April, the likely date of the referendums will be Thursday, 7 June, the same date as the UK elections.
No announcement has been made by the Government on this up to 18 April.
Thes supercedes earlier report.
18 April 2001
on the Quadruple Referendum
A national coalition of pro-women's rights, pro-family, and pro-life groups
Irelands National Sovereignty at stake
A deluge of referendums
After much media speculation, the Government has announced that there will indeed be a referendum on the Nice Treaty, and also on the International Criminal Court (ICC). Both referendums, plus two more, are likely to be held on the same day, on Thursday 7 June.
It is curious that the Government has:
Both the Nice and ICC are highly complex issues, with considerable implications, each meriting individual attention of the public.
- Announced the holding of the referendums in such a low key manner.
- Is holding so many referendums on the same day. As MEP Patricia McKenna has put it, why is the Government looking around for referendums to run on the same date?
- Promised, but not arranged for a Referendum Commission 7 weeks from the date of the Referendum on the Nice Treaty.
- Not indicated any intention of arranging for a Referendum Commission on the ICC, or on the two other Referendums. Are they afraid of the facts on the ICC in particular?
As they stand, neither the Nice nor the ICC proposal will benefit Ireland.
18 April 2001
Friday 23 March 2001
McKENNA CRITICISES MULTIPLE REFERENDUM
In a letter to The Irish Times, 23 March, MEP Patricia McKenna took issue with the Government's intention to tie in up to three unrelated issues with the referendum on the Nice Treaty.
The mainstream parties have gone out of their way to criticise, undermine and get around the McKenna judgement. (This judgement, for which Ms McKenna was responsible, struck a major blow for democracy in outlawing unequal state support in referendums, which had been favoured by the mainstream political parties)
Multiple referendums will drastically reduce the amount of public attention that can be given to each issue, she said.
The Treaty of Nice required in-depth analysis and debate.