BBC Reporting Insults Irish Democracy

When the result came in yesterday Mark Mardell looked shocked and sounded exasperated. The BBC has continually been running this line in its reporting of Ireland’s historic vote on the Lisbon Treaty:

Just over three million Irish voters are registered – in a European Union of 490 million people.”

The implication is clear. Those beastly Paddies are depriving everyone else in Europe of the benefits of the Lisbon Treaty. They want to convey the image of a minority running rough shod over every one else. The BBC fails to mention that Ireland is not depriving Europeans of their say. It is the only member state which gave its people a say on the matter. It is the other member states who are depriving their people of a say lest they give the wrong answer. In those states, like Britain, it is their legislatures who decide what is best and hang what the people feel.

The BBC’s comparison is bogus because it is comparing an electorate with a population – many of whom will be young babes in arms who have no say anyway. A Scottish co-conspirator has taken time and trouble to tot up the legislators in the other member states so we can see the reality of who decides on our European future. 15 member states have unicameral legislatures:

    LEGISLATURE MEMBERS
    Austria 245
    Bulgaria 240
    Cyprus 59
    Denmark 179
    Estonia 101
    Finland 200
    Greece 300
    Hungary 386
    Latvia 100
    Lithuania 141
    Luxembourg 60
    Malta 69
    Portugal 230
    Slovakia 150
    Sweden 349
    TOTAL 2,809

And the remaining 11 are bicameral.

STATE LOWER HOUSE UPPER HOUSE TOTAL
Belgium 150 71 221
Czech Republic 200 81 281
France 577 321 898
Germany 613 69 682
Italy 630 315 945
Netherlands 150 75 225
Poland 460 100 560
Romania 332 137 469
Slovenia 90 40 130
Spain 350 264 614
United Kingdom 646 745 1,391
6,416

In total there are a mere 9,225 people deciding the European future for 490 million people outside of Ireland.

The real comparison with Ireland is even far more dramatic and much less democratic than the image the BBC has been projecting….




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