Lisbon Treaty Open Thread

by Henry Farrell on October 2, 2009

So the polls are open in Ireland for the Lisbon Treaty Mulligan referendum. Early reports suggest that “more people are voting than the last time”: in Dublin, but that turnout elsewhere in the country is very low. I’m predicting a win by somewhere in the 6%-8% range (more predicated on ‘No’ voters being discouraged and not voting, than on any great sense of positive enthusiasm for the referendum). Also worth noting in passing that Wolfgang Munchau “who suggested last year”: that the Irish could (and perhaps should) be kicked out of the EU for their impertinence in voting No the first time around now seems to “have gone quite cold”: on the Treaty himself. He fails to tell us whether major European member states are monitoring his shifting beliefs against the likelihood that they might soon have to pull out of the EU and reconstitute themselves in a new organization that would specifically exclude Wolfgang Munchau. Perhaps his column next week will reveal more – in the meantime, feel free to speculate about the vote, provide updated information, opinions etc in comments.

Update: Looks as though I seriously underestimated the swing – the Treaty passed by a 17% margin.

Just like the January sales …

by Chris Bertram on October 2, 2009

From the “Times Higher Education Supplement”:

bq. Fights broke out as law students queued for up to 11 hours last night to secure the dissertation supervisor of their choice at Brunel University. More than 100 students queued outside Brunel Law School overnight in the hope of working with their preferred academic, after the school introduced a first-come, first-served supervisor-allocation system. ….“There are some people you just don’t want. If everybody in the school were a good supervisor, we wouldn’t have to do this. You’ve no idea how distressing it was to see people punching each other in the queue,” said the student.

Read the whole thing, as they say.

Tom Russell on Juarez and El Paso

by Chris Bertram on October 2, 2009

I was kind of surprised to see that the wonderful Tom Russell has a long essay on some new blog called The Rumpus, all about Juarez, El Paso, drug wars, borderlands, corruption, et cetera. I love his music, and I like his writing too, so I’m always pleased to see some more of it. The content, though, the content is shocking.

bq. I turned that page in section B where there was a short item about two El Pasoans slain yesterday in a Juarez bar shooting. Back page stuff. Hidden near the end of the story was the astounding body count: _nearly 2900 people, including more than 160 this month alone, have been killed in Juarez since a war between drug traffickers erupted January 2008_ . John Wesley Hardin wouldn’t stand a chance.

Jesus. You’re probably safer in Kandahar.