Some tips for Brian Cowen

european union coloursImage by friendly-fire via FlickrFionnan Sheahan had an excellent column in yesterdays Indo on how Cowen et al could actually pass Lisbon the 2nd time round. I have to agree with him on most of his points.

1 Read the “bloody” Treaty.
This was a major one. Something I came across on the canvass and considering I actually read the treaty, its not impossible. But of course Cowen is not the only one, Mary Coughlan also needs classes on EU basics, especially the commission.

2 The Green Party, the IFA and SIPTU need to back the treaty from the start.
The Green Party because they are in Government! The IFA will probably back it because of the pork debacle and that. SIPTU need to be given reassurances on their issues, but it needs to be done behind the scenes not in public.

3 The same blood, sweat and tears put into a general election is needed to canvass for votes in this referendum.
That is something that every party is at fault for. Labout putting up posters with small yes’. FG putting focus on Enda and the MEPs. FF for not doing much canvassing. All sides need to convince their supporters and make sure they are well briefed to deal with questions.

4 Give people a reason to vote Yes
Anyone could write reams on why to vote no, but the yes arguments never stuck. This is something they need to work on.

5 It’s the economy, stupid
Europe is in a recession, can we face it better as a group which might lessen the effects of that terrible budget? Its a “twin-edged sword” which is mainly the fault of the Government.

6 Run your own campaign has to be the message for the political parties.
FF and FG should not be co-operating too much in the public eye. FF and Greens working together and FG and Labour working together is natural. But all the parties doing a united campaign won’t wash it.

7 Tighten up funding laws
This will lower the hassle after the vote if another “libertas” type group crops up.

8 No own goals
Can the government stop making stupid moves? I don’t know. But it will be critical if the Government want to get this passed.

9 Challenge the No camp claims
A lot of time was spent trying dispel “myths”. Try challenging them to back up their claims and people will see the truth.

10 A coherent Yes campaign wouldn’t actually go astray
Okay so dont work in public but work together behind the scene. No point in replicating work, and that it just wastes time and resources.

11 Reach out to reassure specific groups
Certain groups had certain issues, no harm in targetting them.

12 Stop patronising people
Convince them! Dont tell them what to do.

13 Speak plain language
In other words, dont tell Brsin go off on his trip to jargon-land. The EU is confusing enough, with out using obscure and strange terminology.

Anything else you add?

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Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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