Voting on Lisbon
Yesterday was a big day for Peter and me - we were both voting in Ireland for the first time. It was a bigger day for Peter, in a way, since this was the first time he was voting ever. He moved to the States shortly after becoming eligible to vote and Ireland does not do absentee ballots. (Sadly, we didn't get our acts together to get registered in time for last year's election.)
Voting on the Lisbon Treaty was perhaps not as exciting as voting on the Divorce Referendum or voting in a general election in a tight race, but it was an interesting exercise. The Lisbon Treaty is as long as a phone book, only it's less interesting to read. Trying to figure out how to vote was unreasonably difficult for me. I vacillated wildly and with absolute conviction.
Yes - I'm voting Yes because look at the loonies who are saying to vote No.
No - I'm definitely voting No because of the whole commissioner thing.
Yes - Wait a minute, the commissioner thing seems to have been set in the Nice Treaty, so that would happen anyway.
No - Oh no, I'm totally voting no. I don't like the possibility of moving to majority voting. I'm suspicious of aggregating power in a central government.
Yes - Hold on, if John Bolton is against it, I must be for it. The fecking wingnut.
No - Ah, but what about the unified tax rate. How is that even fair unless there's also a unified minimum wage?
Yes - Look at the Irish Examiner. Is that a picture of daft eejits dressed as gorillas encouraging people to vote No? How can I be a part of that. (I wish I could find a link for this - I saw it in the actual hard-copy paper edition of the Examiner on Monday.)
No - Back to the unified tax rate. Oh and the possibility of increased military spending.
After a long discussion with Peter, I started to lean back to Yes. A friend of ours said that he was voting "yes, but with reservations." Peter said there should be a box for "Fine, alright, YES. But I amen't happy about it." I'd have ticked that box in a second.
I seriously debated spoiling my ballot, but discarded the idea as a coward's way out. In the end, I voted Yes for reasons that are perhaps superficial and ungrounded:
1 - I couldn't shake the fact that voting No would be throwing my lot in with shadowy, bizarre gorilla-suit-wearing lunatics
2 - I had nagging doubts about where a No vote would leave Ireland in Europe. It just felt better to take my chances with what was on stage, rather than risk it on whatever was behind Door 2.
I'm interested in seeing the referendum results, but I still don't feel terribly invested in the outcome. (Unlike, say, the 2008 US Presidential Election.)