Saturday, January 29, 2005

Apathy rules in Eire

The ratification process in Eire is not going as smoothly as the government might have hoped.

According to The Irish Independent, the recent Eurobaromter poll shows that just 27 percent of the public have declared a willingness to vote "yes", indicating that Irish enthusiasm for the proposed constitution is amongst the lowest in the EU.

However, the findings offer little comfort to anti-constitution campaigners either. The "no" vote is also amongst the lowest in the EU, standing at 5 percent.

The vast majority of respondents, 67 percent, fell into the "don’t know" category. When asked about their knowledge of the Constitution's contents, 45 percent pleaded ignorance, compared with an EU average of 33 percent.

Although no date has been set yet for the Irish referendum, Irish Labour MEP, Proinsias de Rossa is calling for the government to launch a major campaign to explain the contents to the public. Perhaps she should be appealing to the commission for help.