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Press Cycle 15 - Lisbon Treaty Referendum

The fact of the matter is the Lisbon Treaty is further centralizing power to the EU Bureaucracy at the expense of our Sovereign Parliament at Westminster. While those supporting this treaty have declared that it strengthens the European Parliament--the fact remains that the central EU Bureaucracy and the European Commission will retain the greatest authority and be given even more power to override the decisions of national elected legislatures. 

If the EU wants to take on more power and authority, it must also subject itself to greater democratic accountability. This is plainly lacking from a treaty that doesn't give the European Parliament the power to present its own binding legislation, requiring instead that Parliament consider bills presented to it by the all-powerful European Commission. Therefore, with regret, I must oppose this treaty and encourage the EU to go back to the drawing board to make the EU more accountable to the people it ought to represent.
Sir Clyde Brown
Conservative MP for Bosworth
Traits: Media Darling (+)/Campaigning Guru (+)/Finite Resources (-)
[Pro-Treaty] Let's be honest - the Conservative argument is that the EU does not currently have enough democratic accountability. I have long argued this myself - as essential as the EU is to our prosperity and stability, it is still a work in progress, and it needs to be improved on these areas. But here we get to the true ridiculousness of the Eurosceptic anti-Lisbon argument - here we have a Treaty that makes things more accountable, more responsive, more democratic, and the Conservatives are opposing it. Why? They are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon
Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon (1983-present)
Liberal Democrat leader (2007-)

Fundraising Extraordinaire, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Media Darling, Maverick 
[Anti-Treaty] The Lib Dems and Labour have been touting that the status quo is good enough that we are going to be stuck with the treaty with no real reforms, but what it does do instead power to an unelected body of individuals responsible for drafting EU legislation and for responding to national legislatures who disagree with their bill. This is not reform but a rehashing of the undemocratic ideals of the European Constitution and giving all the power to a body of people who and I didn't vote for. The question before us is clear do we want to allow the EU to continue to gain unchecked power or do we want a treaty which actually delivers reform not pay lib service to it.
Padrig Havard MP Monmouth (2005-Present)
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Traits: Media Darling, Campaign Guru, Maverick
[Anti-Treaty] Where are the actual substantive proposals for reform then? The fact is, this treaty moves us in the right direction, paves the way for whatever future reforms might be necessary, and does a LOT of good in the here and now increasing accountability and making the EU work better for ordinary Europeans. Again Padrig Havard's main critique seems to be that it does not do enough - so he would rather, it seems, tear up the whole thing and do nothing at all.
Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon
Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon (1983-present)
Liberal Democrat leader (2007-)

Fundraising Extraordinaire, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Media Darling, Maverick 
Closed, late submissions shall be accepted, no new submissions please.
Hi! I'm marking today. Don't panic too much. 

The press cycle starts really strongly for the pro-Lisbon side. The PM comes in and makes some broadly good points in support for the Treaty, but the Liberal Democrats come in and knock it out of the park with press comments that both make a positive vision for the Lisbon Treaty and pick apart the opening eurosceptic gambits with some effectiveness.

The Tories respond by... shooting themselves in the foot, I guess? Look, in this referendum you're going to need to win some people over - you don't do that by calling them unpatriotic and to win people over to your side, you need to understand why they may be convinced by the other side of the argument so you can comprehend their motivations and turn them on their head to you. Dunk slams Knight effectively for his unapologetic and uncompromising view, which may fire up the hardcore of the anti-Lisbon base but will do very little in the way of actually winning the referendum. 

More effective Tory arguments start trickling in - the general power grab arguments that aren't exceptional but are an improvement to what has been said before from the Shadow Foreign Sec and the same argument framed in more concise, effective terms from Sir Brown. Dunk rehashes his argument slightly in response but adds a good flavour to it - it increases accountability, so why oppose it? The Shadow Foreign Sec responds with his best PR of the night, pointing out that the treaty (in his view) does little more than to reshuffle the deckchairs to distract from a power grab. Dunk responds by demanding the Tories take a more mature approach and offer reforms of their own. This is an effective party point against the Tories, but I'm sceptical it wins or loses votes in the ref campaign as the public are scrutinising and voting for what's on the table rather than debating what the alternatives could be.

Overall, a solid but not quite landslide win for the pro-Lisbon side. The Tories/anti Lisbon side gained some ground in the end, but their arguments still weren't strong enough in comparison to Dunk's very effective arguments with the PMs strong case on top, and the patriotism row completely undermined the anti-Lisbon case and shot it in the foot. 

XP for Brown and MacMahon

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