In particular, German parliamentarian Axel Schäfer’s comment that “With
all respect for the Irish vote, we cannot allow the huge majority of
Europe to be duped by a minority of a minority of a minority,” would
have a bit more credibility if, you know, the majority of the majority
of the majority had been given a chance to vote on the Treaty
I can imagine a few other lessons:
1. Give people a referendum on a big question and they will use it as a chance to voice their general displeasure with many other matters. New Zealand made that mistake on electoral reform. The Irish vote was strongly divided among rich-poor lines.
2. According to polls, the Irish are not especially Euroskeptical. I guess that is "Eurosceptical". In any case multilateralism has limits.
3. The option under consideration *was* Plan B. There is no obvious Plan C.
4. It worked last time (2002) to ask them to vote again. Few people think that gambit can be played a second time.
5. One Irishman opined: ""We’re told we can vote no, that the system requires unanimity. But
when (a `no’ vote) actually happens, every time, the EU tells us: You
really only have a right to vote yes," said Dublin travel agent Paul
Brady, who voted against the treaty.
6. Some deluded soul in the EU read a copy of John Calhoun instead of Buchanan and Tullock’s Calculus of Consent. Hadn’t they remembered the history of 17th and 18th century Poland and decided that a unanimity rule is a bad idea?
7. If European nations demand a unanimity rule (which I can well imagine), is that not a sign that they have a free trade area but nothing close to a real political union?