On 2nd October 2009, the people of Ireland will be given their second opportunity to vote on The Treaty of Lisbon, i.e. the European Constitution Mark II.
The very fact that they have to vote again after rejecting the treaty (which must be ratified by all EU member states to become binding) speaks volumes, but many predict that this time the 'yes' campaign could clinch the deal.
The economic crisis and the idea that Ireland would be cast out of the European Union in every meaningful sense if they vote no a second time seems to have somewhat overshadowed the flagrant bullying and double standards meted out since the people last spoke their minds.
Most of the threats are implicit; "What would Ireland's place in Europe be if it rejected the Treaty a second time?"
Never mind the right of the Irish people to decide the fate and direction of their own nation. Never mind the blood spilt in the struggle for Irish sovereignty, independence, freedom, nationhood. Never mind that the voters of France and The Netherlands have already rejected the thing, resoundingly, when given the opportunity.
This time, once more, the Irish are the only voters in the entire EU who get a democratic say on the ratification of a document which purports to 'tidy up' the EU's powers, but will actually see powerful centralisation and further integration occur.
We have already had an unelected Prime Minister speak on our behalf, despite promising a referendum on the Treaty.
Despite all of this, as I said, many have predicted the 'yes' side have it all sewn up this time. Of my two Irish friends, one is in favour of 'yes' and already jubilant at the scent of victory, and the other favours 'no' - but still thinks it is a lost cause.
But is it? The latest poll results look promising:
A new opinion poll shows that there has been a massive surge in support for the No side, which, if it holds till voting day would result in the Lisbon Treaty being heavily defeated by a margin of 59% NO ‘V’ 41% YES.
In one of the largest polls of its kind ever carried out: Gael Poll polled 1,500 respondents in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny, Galway, Athlone, Tralee, Dundalk and Letterkenny over the course of six days last week.The respondents were asked one single question: How do you intend to vote in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum?
A substantial 723 (59 %) said they intended voting No as opposed to 502 (41%) who indicated that they would vote Yes. The survey also showed that 15% percent of voters were still undecided. When pollsters discounted the don't knows: an overwhelming 59% of people would vote No in the referendum as opposed to 41% who indicated that they would vote Yes.
The last Gael Poll which was published in the Irish Sun (June 4th 2008)
accurately predicted that the Lisbon Treaty would be defeated by a margin of 54 % for the No side versus 46% for Yes campaigners.
On the day of the count -which took place nine days later- the actual result was 53.4% No and 46.6 % Yes.
The uncanny poll prediction which was out by only a half a percent was the
most accurate poll in the country.
It seems there is certainly cause for hope.
For any undecided Irish voters who may stumble across this, I urge you to watch Daniel Hannan's appeal to the people of Ireland:
I too have faith in the outcome - the people of Ireland know more than most the price of freedom and the cost of servitude.