Upp som en sol... 2009-05-23
...och ned som en pannkaka. Det nya EU-partiet Libertas är på väg mot ett fiasko i EU-valet.
I Sverige har Libertas redan gett upp och i flertalet andra EU-länder får det nya EU-partiet mycket lågt stöd i opinionen.
Partiet har ofta lierat sig med påtagligt högerinriktade kandidater - men inte ens på Irland verkar det gå det bra för Declan Ganleys parti.
Där har dessutom två av partiets kandidater förklarat att de vill stänga Irlands gränser för polacker och andra EU-medborgare.
Det är inte ett särskilt populärt krav i Polen - där Libertas annars lyckats få den gamle Solidaritetsledaren Lech Walesas stöd, vilket möjligen skulle ha kunnat leda till en valframgång.
I folkomröstningen för ett år sedan fick Declan Ganley Lissabonfördraget på fall - men nu går han mot ett rejält misslyckande i EU-valet. Veckans nummer av tidskriften The Economist har en förklaring:
" In referendums party loyalties are put to one side, but in elections voters revert to what they know. And Libertas is suffering from the structural hurdles facing pan-European parties. Mr Ganley’s success last June was a piece of political arbitrage. Previously, Irish opposition to EU treaties had been based on indigenous worries over abortion or neutrality. He was the first person to import the full panoply of British Eurosceptics’ talking points to Ireland, with their core message that hard-to-read EU texts like Lisbon are a plot to transfer sovereignty from national governments to unelected Eurocrats. But then comes a big difference. In Britain Eurosceptics dream of clawing back sovereignty. Mr Ganley’s solution is electing Eurocrats: he wants commissioners to be elected either by national parliaments or directly by voters in each country. He also wants the European Parliament to have power to initiate EU laws. That adds up to more Europe, not less. Such arguments resonate in Ireland, a basically pro-European place. But they make Libertas incoherent in countries like Britain, France or the Czech Republic, where the people who hate Lisbon tend to dislike the EU in general.
What of the second referendum on Lisbon this autumn? Looking at the polls, a Yes vote is widely expected. The government is deeply unpopular, but the European and local elections next month may allow voters to vent their anger. The next Lisbon campaign will not be headed by politicians or big businessmen: expect lots of wholesome young people from European-studies courses. Micheal Martin, the foreign minister, thinks the concession that Ireland will keep its commissioner, to be ratified by an EU summit in June, robs the No camp of a key argument. But Mr Martin also notes that polls before the first Lisbon referendum showed the Yes camp way ahead. With 19% don’t knows, he concedes that “there is a campaign to be fought yet”.
The economy is also getting steadily worse. That may increase anger about immigration from eastern Europe, suggests Ruairi Quinn, a Labour politician who headed a Yes campaign group last year. Such worries were around in coded form last year, he thinks, when voters asked about Lisbon and “workers’ rights”. To their shame, two Libertas candidates in Ireland have called for the closure of Irish borders to EU migrant workers (though not Mr Ganley), much to the annoyance of their Polish allies, who thought Libertas believed in the free movement of labour."