Government was warned over guide


FISCAL TREATY CAMPAIGN:The Commission formed to conduct the information campaign for the Fiscal Treaty referendum in May warned the separate Government guide to the issues could create “confusion” among voters.

In a report completed in August and sent to the Minister for the Environment by Commission chairman Mr Justice Kevin Feeney, an issue is raised about the Government’s decision to mount a separate information campaign.

“The Government guide had already begun to be distributed well before the Commission guide was ready. The distribution of two guides of similar size and appearance led to confusion among voters.

“This was compounded by the fact that the Government guide contained no contact details.”

These and other issues also arose during the Children’s Referendum relating to the Government’s campaign. Dublin man Mark McCrystal legally challenged the campaign, and this was upheld by the Supreme Court, which found the campaign was not balanced.

Mr Justice Feeney and his colleagues conclude they were satisfied the commission had fully performed its statutory role and remained independent and neutral.