Speech by YFG President Patrick Molloy at Fine Gael Rally

 

Paddy Molloy, President YFG Source: http://yfg.ie/euref/?p=769

The following is a speech by Patrick Molloy, President of Young Fine Gael at the National Fine Gael Rally on Sunday 27th of May.

 

On the 31st of May we have an opportunity.

An opportunity to banish uncertainty and cast aside the doubt that has plagued the country for many years and could plague this generation for years to come unless we vote yes.

In voting yes on the 31st of May we continue on the path to recovery. A path where Young Irish Men and Women will look to Ireland for their future, no longer looking for opportunities to leave, but rather taking and creating opportunities here at home.

For generations of Irish men and women Thursday’s vote will determine their future. On March the 9th 2011 Fine Gael and Labour entered into Government and took it upon themselves to reconstruct our country and our economy. We are building a new beginning.

This treaty is the continuity and certainty that this country needs but most importantly it is the certainty that my Generation needs.

We must provide a basis for strong fiscal governance that does not lend itself to short term gain at the price of a generations future. People starting their careers will have the opportunity to progress and further their ambitions in a confident and competitive Ireland. An Ireland in which fiscal governance ensures our economy can grow in a stable way.

What is being advocated by others, constitutes an act of simple self-promotion, driven by political ambition. We have a real alternative of smart fiscal governance and an insurance policy which will generate investor confidence.

People keep talking about stimulus packages but in small open economies, building investment and jobs are the only stimulus packages which work, and work right now.

We have seen many large Multi-Nationals invest in Ireland and setup or expand here. 13,000 new jobs have been created since January 2011, since 2010 jobs numbers are up 20% and for the naysayers, in the same period job losses down 25%.

These are the jobs that young Irish people want and need. These are the places where the future job creators and innovators learn the skills that help build the indigenous Irish business of tomorrow. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Paypal, LinkedIn, Intel – job creators, innovators, inspirers who instil confidence in the Irish economy and hope in the minds of my friends and I. These companies believe in Ireland and believe in the workforce we are training.

Our strength has always resided in our work ethic, our ability & willingness to trade & our openness to the future. For generations gone by, Ireland has always depended on these strengths, for our generation these are supplemented by a complete willingness to be a part of a new beginning. We must build on this new beginning and not let a single opportunity pass our country by. For my generation, these opportunities are crucial.

Young people in Ireland are deeply committed to the future of Ireland, they are innovative and invested in fixing Ireland.

We have an opportunity to build this new beginning , to compete once again on a world stage, to build towards a sustainable future where the choices people make are not dictated by the fluctuations in our economic cycles but by their own free will.

Secure this New Beginning,

Secure this future.

Secure our future,

Vote yes

Great speech!

 

Generation YES is back!

The logo of Generation Yes, a group of young, ...
The logo of Generation Yes, a group of young, Irish people campaigning for a Yes vote on the Lisbon Treaty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

YOUTH campaign group Generation YES is back and is saying ‘Yes’ to the referendum on the stability treaty. The group, which formed to burst the bubble on myths around the Lisbon Treaty, have re-launched to challenge what they see as fear-mongering on both sides of the debate on the stability treaty with an online campaign.

Andrew Byrne, Executive Director of Generation YES, says: “We want to present the facts on the stability treaty in a no-nonsense way and we are determined to take on lies and mistruths that anyone else – on the Yes or No sides – spreads in the campaign.

“We’re not going to waste anyone’s time with slogans like “Yes to Jobs”, with baseless threats or poorly informed statements.  We know this treaty isn’t a solution to all of Europe’s problems but after taking the time to read carefully through the text, research the economic, legal and political arguments, we have no doubt that voting Yes is the right thing to do.”

The Generation YES campaign will focus on the online space to reach their 18-35 year old audience. Generationyes.ie went live yesterday and will post the facts on the treaty that no one else is talking about.  What marks the website out among Yes campaigns is its forceful, no-nonsense arguments backed up with solid evidence. The GenYES facebook page, which has over 4,000 followers, and twitter accounts have already been reactivated.

“The members of Generation YES have come together again because thus far no other group is answering our questions or discussing the issues we want raised.   We want a realistic, frank debate on the facts and we will make sure that our generation gets that debate, “ adds Byrne.

A group of young people formed Generation YES in 2009 out of a sense that the political establishment had failed to speak to them during the first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.  The group’s objective is to bring the debate on Europe back to the facts.

Do read the their pages “Why vote yes?” and “3 Questions for the No Side

It is great to see Gen Yes back!

Pollwatch: Sunday Business Post/RED C May 14th

Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post had a poll on Party Support and the upcoming treaty referendum. For the referendum the Yes side has much to be comforted by. The results are:

  • Yes: 53% (+6)
  • No: 31% (-4)
  • Don’t Know: 16% (-2)

When you exclude the Don’t Know yes side lead 63% to 37%. This shows the strength of the Yes side before the entry of Declan Ganley to the debate so it will be interesting to see if his contribution makes any difference.

In terms of party support the only major statistical movement is drop below 30%. The party support is as follows:

  • Fine Gael 29% (-3)
  • Labour 13% (-1)
  • Sinn Fein 21% (+1)
  • Fianna Fail 19% (+2)
  • Others 18% (nc)

Fianna Fail, who have been in the news a lot lately thanks to Eamonn O Cuiv, seems to have gotten a bit of a bounce from that. Sinn Fein remains the second most popular party in Ireland, but I still believe transfers will still be hard to come by for them.

The Government Parties have seen a drop in support which is probably due to the treaty campaign as much criticism has been laid at how the country is being run.

But over all, the movement is all within the margin of error, but trends are starting to set in.

Memes, Cow’s and The Yes Vote

Staying up late on Facebook (admit it you do it to), I came across a conversation between two of my friends (Lucy and Fran in UCC YFG), who have obviously being concentrating on the upcoming Treaty Referendum on May 31st as much as their exam in the morning! They produced some great Memes from a conversation about canvassing at a mart and putting rug on a calf (I’m now informed they are called calf jackets – thanks Tom!) with a slogan on it! This is what the conversation produced! I wonder what else will come out of their exam riddled brains during the campaign!

Keep up the good work girls! Good luck in the exams also!

Why I am Voting Yes – For Stability

A number of people have asked me why I am voting yes in the upcoming referendum on the Stability Treaty (Fiscal Compact, whatever you want to call it!), so I have decided to do a series of posts on why I am voting Yes. Here is the first part of the series.

One of the main reasons I am voting yes to the 30th Amendment to the Constitution on May 31st is to ensure Ireland has stability in the future. If we do not have access to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) we put this at risk, in my view.

We are going through a tough time as a country at the moment, with the Troika (IMF, ECB and the EC) here telling us we have to cut spending and raising taxes to meet certain targets. We need to hit these to enable us to return to the markets.

If we do not accept this treaty we will not have access to the ESM, which will have more money available to us then the IMF.

While we will still have access to the IMF, we will not get the same level of funding as we did last time. It could mean a tougher time for us as citizens. UCD Economist Karl Whelan recently explained this on Morning Ireland

Ireland could apply to the IMF for funds. However, people need to  understand that the IMF has its procedures in which is assesses how much money it’s willing to lend to a country. How much money they’re normally willing to lend a country, depends upon what’s called the size of a country’s IMF Quota. They normally will lend maybe three, four, five times a country’s Quota. They’ve already loaned Ireland, fifteen times our Quota. So that is well beyond their normal behaviour. Now why did they do that? They explained why they did that. They said that because Ireland has this additional support from Europe, they think that they’re not in as much, in as risky a situation. So we are now talking about, in addition to those loans that we already have from the IMF, will they give us far more than that, because now instead of being one third of the current bailout, they would have to be all of what’s afterwards. Most likely in that situation, what the IMF would do is deem Ireland’s debt situation to be unsustainable. The only way I think that they would be willing to lend to us, is if they say oh yeah, these guys are not going to be able to pay back all their debts. So you will see the existing debts, the sovereign bonds that we’ve issued to private investors, will at that point most likely be restructured. At that point they may be willing to think about, after a default, and we are shut out of financial markets for a number of years, they may be willing to give us a small amount of money.

So that means we have the possibility of a default if we do not vote Yes. Also possibility of a default means that we have a chance of having more austerity then less. As Karl Whelan again pointed out on Morning Ireland,

I think a most likely outcome of a No Vote that isn’t in any way reversed, and we just say we don’t want to borrow from the ESM, the most likely outcome from that is a large scale sovereign default, followed by possibly a small IMF Programme that would see the country have to run a zero budget deficit very very quickly. In other words, far more Austerity. So people who think they’re Voting No because they don’t like the Austerity, need to understand that it is more than likely that a No Vote would being us more Austerity in the near term than a Yes Vote.

So to avoid this scenario and to provide stability to the Irish Economy in Future, I am voting Yes on May 31st.

YFG Launches YES Campaign

Young Fine Gael today launched its Yes campaign for the Referendum on May 31st. The campaign is titled “Secure our Future, Vote YES”. The official launch will take place this evening in UCD.

The campaign is structured around 3 messgaes:

  • Ireland Needs Stability & Growth
  • We need an Ireland that Competes
  • Ireland needs Real Certainty

There is a Website (with a blog), Facebook page, a Pinterest page (a first that I know for a referendum campaign in Ireland) and they are doing the Treaty in 21 tweets on Twitter!

There is also a few video’s from members:
Una Clarke

Patrick Molloy, President of YFG

Frankie Mulqueen,

Pollwatch: Sunday Business Post/Red C April 29th

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 16:  Garda traffic cones...
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 16: Garda traffic cones prevent parking in central Dublin in advance of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's visit on May 16, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. Dublin is preparing for the Queen and Duke of Edinbugh's historic visit tommorow, the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Yesterday’s Sunday Business Post had a Red C poll on the treaty referendum and on party support, so it made for interesting reading on the way home from Dublin (hence why this post is late). On the treaty it has shown some slight movement and it is the same story with party support.

The headline figures on the treaty are:

  • Yes 47% (-2)
  • No 35% (+2)
  • Don’t Know 18% (nc)

When the Don’t Know’s are excluded the figures are:

  • Yes 58% (-2)
  • No 42% (+2)

With the changes all within the margin of error, it is still all to play for. And with the campaign getting officially underway today expect a lot more polls!

In terms of party support the figures are as follows:

  • Fine Gael 32% (-2)
  • Labour 14% (-1)
  • Fianna Fail 17% (+1)
  • Sinn Fein 19% (+1)
  • Others 18% (+1)

All the changes again are within the margin of error.  So no major changes. Interesting to note that Government Parties support is down, while opposition is up. But with no major changes its hard to make any long term predictions on it.

Fiscal Treaty will NOT lead to permanent Austerity

austerity
austerity (Photo credit: 401K)

One of the mains arguments being used by the No side to the Fiscal Compact Referendum is that this treaty will lead to permanent austerity.

A senior IMF official has said that adopting the fiscal treaty does not mean permanent austerity, the complete opposite!

Speaking after an event in Brussels, IMF deputy divisional chief Xavier Debrun told reporters that once a government had a more balanced budget situation then belt-tightening was no longer necessary.

Mr Debrun said the treaty simply meant that governments adhered to “common sense” housekeeping rules.

He said Ireland passing the fiscal treaty would improve the country’s chances of returning to the international markets to borrow.

Mr Debrun said: “Fiscal rules are about fiscal responsibility, the fact that over the long-term governments make sure that on average they can pay for the policy measures they implement. This is just common sense.

“This is called the budget constraint: you are subjected to it, I am subjected to it, the government is subjected to it.”

Mr Debrun said austerity was caused by governments ignoring the budget constraint and then being faced with fiscal shocks which required belt-tightening.

He said: “The belt-tightening is the austerity, but you do not have to tighten your belt forever, obviously.”

This is what the Yes Campaign has to get across. The Fiscal Compact is formalising rules we have been subject to since the Masstricht Treaty, the Growth and Stability Pact, the Six Pact and now the Fiscal Compact. If those treaties and pacts were about permanent austerity, why did we not have it since 1992?

Its time we got real with our finances and learned to live within our budget, just like every other household, business and country.

Pollwatch: Sunday Times/Behaviour and Attitudes April 22nd

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05:  A polling st...

Yet another poll! Thats the way I’m feeling at this point anyway, but back to this poll which does have some interesting details on the Referendum. The poll by Behaviour and Attitudes survey of 946 over seven days ending on Tuesday.

The topline figures on the Treaty Referendum are as follows:

  • Yes: 42%
  • No: 27%
  • Undecided: 31%

When undecideds are excluded the the figures look more familiar:

  • Yes: 61%
  • No: 39%

So no major news there. The interest is when people were asked to they understand the treaty, the responses were as follows:

  • Understood Very Well: 6%
  • Understand Quite Well: 12%
  • Understand to some extent: 27%
  • Do not understand it particularly well: 23%
  • Do not understand it all: 32%

The big task on the Yes sides now will be to get the 55% of people who don’t understand to understand! If the Yes manages that will win the referendum on May 31st!

The Referendum Question wording

Campaign posters in St Stephen's Green, Dublin
Campaign posters in St Stephen's Green, Dublin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The wording of the Referendum was published in the Dáil Order Paper for today (PDF) .

You are being asked if Ireland may ratify the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union.

The Thirtieth Amendment of the Constitution (Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union) Bill 2012 proposes to insert the following subsection after subsection 9° ofArticle 29.4 of the Constitution:

‘10°The State may ratify the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union done at Brussels on the 2nd day  2012. No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of the State under that Treaty or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by bodies competent under that Treaty from having the force of law in the State.’.

IF YOU APPROVE of the proposal, mark X opposite the word YES on the ballot paper.

IF YOU DO NOT APPROVE of the proposal, mark X opposite the word NO on the ballot paper.

So now we know what we will be voting on.