Irish Voters Go to the Polls on Austerity Treaty, as Europe Dies
May 30, 2012 • 9:04AM

In less than twenty four hours from the time you read this, Irish voters will go to the polls to vote on the austerity treaty referendum. The vote takes place as the whole trans-Atlantic financial system is past the point of disintegration, which makes it even more ridiculous that the government pushed for a 'yes' vote by calling the treaty, which was written in incomprehensible language for them by the Sherpas in the EU, a stability pact. How is it possible to call for stability in a country where, even before the financial crash of the last few days, nine people emigrate from Ireland PER HOUR, desperately looking for work in other parts of the world?

While Irish voters are bewildered by the language and lies of this treaty, and it is not yet certain which way the vote will go, with many polls showing a large 'don't know' proportion, one thing is certain — the voters have become absolutely fed up with, especially, the Labour Party junior party in the government coalition. Articles in the last several days show a major loss of support for the Labour Party, with a huge swing of support for the Sinn Fein opposition. One article, in the U.S.-based Irish Central, even reported that Gerry Adams would be the next Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland. This is astounding to Sinn Fein supporters and enemies alike, given that as recently as 1988 the Irish media was banned from showing pictures or the voice of Gerry Adams, the result of a broadcast ban imposed by British then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It wasn't until 1993 that then-Minister of Arts and Culture, and now Irish President, Michael D Higgins, overturned that ban. Sinn Fein has worked hard on building its support in both the North and the South of Ireland.

But all the nervous articles about their surge of support are leaving out the reality timetable that exists as the nation goes to the polls. The government has done nothing but act as poster boys for the EU since they were elected in the swift crash from power of the long-ruling Fianna Fail party. They will not be able to stand up to the coming chaos in Ireland from the effect of the death of the eurozone economies, no matter what the referendum vote tallies end up with. Sinn Fein has the courage and the experience to step into the breach and immediately, as they have been saying, burn the bondholders — that is, stop paying the bailout to the banks — and move quickly to implement Glass-Steagall.

In the final hours of the election, the fight intensifies. Just on Monday, three unions, who had been silent on their stance on the referendum, succumbed to the scare-mongering of the government, and came out for a 'yes' vote, saying their continued pay and pensions depend on a 'yes'. Those unions are the Communication Workers Union, IMPACT, and the Charter Trade Union. The bigger unions — Mandate, Unite, The Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) and the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) — have been campaigning heavily for a 'no' vote since April. The Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) uncharacteristically declined to take a stand and tell their member unions which way to vote, back in April. Whichever way the vote goes on Thursday, the Irish citizens will be working on rebuilding their decimated country the day after.