Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why 'Yes'?

One theme that has been discussed to death is why so many people voted 'No'. What seems to have been almost totally ignored is why so many voted 'Yes'. I haven't talked to that many people about the vote, but I haven't met anyone who even made the effort I made to read the treaty (that is, get a hard copy, read parts of it, get a soft copy and do a search for key words). So why were so many - over 750,000 people - willing to vote 'Yes'?

The only explanation I can come up with - and I think this is actually a positive reason - is that a lot people trust their government. They voted 'Yes' because they believe, despite all the bad press that politicians get, that the deal that their elected representatives made is one that is good for the country.

I have to assume that quite a few of those who voted 'Yes' would not vote for the government parties, which means that although they have some differences with Fianna Fail, the Greens & PD's they have faith that the government did actually get the best possible deal for Ireland in their negotiations with the other EU countries. 46% of the electorate was sufficiently trusting in the government to vote 'Yes'.

The opposite, however, is not necessarily true. People could have voted 'No' simply because they didn't like the deal or don't like the EU. In fact, only 17% voted 'No' because they didn't trust the government. Overall, there is a lot of trust in the government and our elected officials. That's not a bad thing.