REFERENDUM DIGEST

Tue, Jun 3, 2008, 01:00

More news and events on the campaign trail.

Today's events

Fianna Fáil:Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin and Minister for Education and Science Batt O'Keeffe will host a press conference at the Imperial Hotel, Cork, at 1.30pm.

Fine Gael:Leader Enda Kenny will be joined by Dr Garret FitzGerald at a public meeting on the treaty at the Westin Hotel, College Green, Dublin, at 8pm.

Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell and Lucinda Creighton TD will also address the meeting.

Labour Party:Proinsias De Rossa will be joined by Swedish MEP Jan Andersson to canvass on Grafton Street, Dublin, at 11.30am.

Party leader Eamon Gilmore will canvass in counties Louth and Meath. He will be in Drogheda at 10.45am, Ardee at 11.40am and Dundalk at 1.30pm.

The Meath canvass will begin in Stamullen at 3pm.

Progressive Democrats:Senator Fiona O'Malley will canvass at Sandyford Luas station from 8am to 9am, in Dún Laoghaire town centre in the afternoon and at the Merrion shopping centre at 5.30pm.

Victor Boyhan will conduct a Dart canvass, with stops at Dún Laoghaire, Monkstown, Blackrock and Booterstown during morning rush hour. He will canvass at Blackrock town centre at lunchtime.

Sinn Féinand trade union Unite will launch a Bill on collective bargaining at the Kildare Street entrance to Leinster House at 2pm.

The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA):The IFA national council will meet in Dublin to discuss its stance on the treaty.

Libertas:Chairman Declan Ganley will address a public meeting at the Mountain View Road community centre in Ranelagh at 8pm.

Irish Alliance for Europe (IAE):The IAE will canvass at Harcourt Street Luas station at 7.45am and at Stephen's Green shopping centre from 11am to 2pm.

The organisation will also bring its campaign bus to Kilkenny for canvassing.

Labour reworks 'weak' poster message with more obvious Yes

When the Labour Party launched its poster campaign calling for a Yes vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum, some wags wondered where the "Yes" was.

Posters featuring leader Eamon Gilmore came in for particular criticism, with the font size of the accompanying caption "Yes to Europe, Proud to be Irish" so tiny as to render it almost invisible to all but the most eagle-eyed. Other posters featuring individual local councillors came in for similar criticism. The party has now sought to remedy the situation by slapping red stickers with the word "Yes" marked out in white on the offending posters.

"We realised the message was weak and the Yes part was not as significant as it should have been," said party campaign director Joe Costello.

Andrews urges young to support treaty

Minister of State for Youth and Children Barry Andrews has called on all young people eligible to vote to come out in support of the Lisbon Treaty on June 12th.

An Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll last month found a narrow margin between those in favour and those against the treaty in the 18-25 age group.

One-quarter said they would vote Yes but 20 per cent said they intend to vote No. Speaking at the launch of the Women's Mini Marathon yesterday, Mr Andrews said young voters "should not be constrained by insularity".

A positive result in the referendum would confirm that "we wish to reach out to the rest of Europe", he said.

"Our young people abound with ambition and confidence . . . Their futures are best protected by a Yes vote."

Reality Czech by wary Civic Democrats

It's not just Irish farmers, trade unionists and hospital campaigners who are prepared to link apparently extraneous issues to their support or otherwise for the Lisbon Treaty.

The Prague Daily Monitorreported yesterday that members of the Civic Democrats were threatening not to support the treaty unless their Green Party colleagues in government supported a separate treaty on a US radar base in the Czech Republic.

"Some Greens are against the radar base, while some Civic Democrats are against the Lisbon Treaty that redefines EU structures," said the report.

Minister for education Ondrej Liska of the Greens said the two issues should not be linked.

Substitute "radar base" for "WTO veto", and it all sounds very familiar.