Abortion, Lisbon and possibilities?

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FXR
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Abortion, Lisbon and possibilities?

Post by FXR » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:35 pm

This evening all over the news it was announced that our Glorious Leader Mr. Cowan will seek legally binding guarantees for Ireland from the EU on, among other things, abortion.

How will this will play out?

1. A legal guarantee will have the effect of copper fastening our present muddled inhumane laws in position.

2. The pro-choice advocates will have the foresight to bring about a debate and sort out the law or at least ensure a guarantee that meaningful discussion is still on the agenda.

3. The government will tell both sides what they want to hear and then ignore the issue when/if Lisbon is passed.

4. (add your own version of the scenario)

Is it possible that, given 1 and 2 being substantially valid propositions, people who voted Yes to Lisbon the first time hoping that it would lead to more relaxed abortion laws would now have a reason to vote No?
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
adamd164
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Re: Abortion, Lisbon and possibilities?

Post by adamd164 » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:51 pm

I'm hoping for option 2, but it is a strange one. I wouldn't like to have to vote no on the basis of the abortion issue given that the treaty itself is so broad-ranging, it'd be a real shame if people were forced to make that decision. But if the only "assurances" he gets are that the treaty won't directly have an impact on abortion then that's ok with me, we can tackle abortion on its own merits.

I saw pro-choice canvassers out and about the other day rallying up support... maybe there's hope yet of the real issue being brought to the fore. How long since the last referendum? (or has there ever been one?!) Opinions are changing so much faster in modern Ireland (even among people who still identify themselves as faith-heads or catholics) that it's something I'd be optimistic about.
FXR
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Post by FXR » Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:14 pm

Unfortunately people vote on the most simplist of options and miss the real issues mostly because they are too complex to be communicated in soundbites.

There must be a whole slew of powerful politicians across Europe who could be convinced that if this was eliminated as an issue by bringing in humane laws before the referendum then two religious birds would be killed with one stone.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
washington
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Post by washington » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:41 am

I suppose it depends on how legally binding these 'guarantees' shape up to be...will they have the status of opt-outs or will they be be more aspirational in nature...either way Cowan is running into a minefield and the legal mess created by Ahern's abdication on the issue will haunt him for the duration of the campaign and beyond until some government tackles the problem and legislates
DurErnil
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Post by DurErnil » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:36 am

I don't mean to sound ignorant, but what exactly was the Lisbon Treaty about?
FXR
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Post by FXR » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:09 pm

DurErnil wrote:I don't mean to sound ignorant, but what exactly was the Lisbon Treaty about?
............about a thousand pages.

It took seven years to negotiate. It was meant to streamline the EU or hand Ireland over to godless power elites, depending on who you ask.
The original treaty was not meant (they said) to accomodate the number of members the EU now has. Voting Yes would have made the whole EU more coherent and more efficient power bloc. We would have had an EU foreign Minister for example. The whole thing was pretty complex and it was hard to find a government minister who even read the whole thing.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
CelticAtheist
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Post by CelticAtheist » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:22 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisbon_treaty#Function
The diagram there shows what the Treaty does structurally to the EU lawmaking process.
lostexpectation
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Post by lostexpectation » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:50 am

im not sure it has much effect, these promises won't be legally binding till 2010 if at all.

whatever about the eu we need a referendum to change our abortion laws, the eu only maybe added time pressure to clarify those laws. that's only slightly reduced.

there has been a renewed fairly active campaign for limited abortion in the last two years. do they expect a need for ref in the next two years?

only if some tragic gets traction in the media.
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smiffy
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Post by smiffy » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:13 pm

lostexpectation is right to state that it would probably take another X/C/D case for any action to be taken to facilitate the availability of abortion in Ireland, although there is not need for another referendum to provide for this. The terms of the X case judgement explicitly allow for abortion in certain circumstance; it's simply a case that successive governments have been too cowardly to introduce the necessary enabling legislation.

However, on the wider point of the relationship between the Lisbon Treaty and abortion in Ireland, the answer is quite simple. There is none. The Lisbon Treaty would not have introduced abortion in Ireland. In fact, it could not have. The Protocol on Article 40.3.3 drawn up at the time of the Treaty of Maastricht explicitly states that no EU treaty (or associated instrument) can change Irish abortion law. This applies to Lisbon as much as to any previous Treaty.

The issue of the binding declaration is a red herring and shouldn't be taken too seriously. It changes absolutely nothing, and is only being introduced to counter the lies that were spread about Lisbon and abortion the first time round. It can be understood by using the following analogy:

Suppose Libertas (for example) claims that the Lisbon Treaty will mean that the moon is made of green cheese. Anyone who knows anything about the moon knows that this is nonsense, and that the Lisbon Treaty has no bearing on what it's made of. However, not everyone is a geologist and there is a 'difference of opinion' on the subject (which means that stupid people and liars spout off about it). The referendum is defeated, at least in part due to the votes of those who don't want the moon to be made of green cheese. The government then negotiates a 'binding declaration' stating 'Nothing in the Lisbon Treaty means that the moon is made of green cheese' and the governments of all other Member States agree it.

Now, even without this declaration, would the moon be made of green cheese and could the Lisbon Treaty ever have ensured that it was?
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washington
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Post by washington » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:46 am

Thanks Smiffy for your eloquent contribution...it's all much clearer to me now re the protocol miasma last round. Of course we need legislation for limited abortion in this jurisdiction.... which is the best we can hope for but sadly No politicians of any major party will risk sticking their necks out about this and probably never will...these inbertiebrates will forever let the Brits take care of the problem
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