Saturday 2 May 2009

Who are Libertas? And what?

The Libertas web pages tell us that chairman Declan Ganley spoke at the Rome convention yesterday, but I have seen no record of when he was elected or by whom.

Was it the incoming chairman speaking, or the outgoing one?

Naturally, the convention is the place to elect the party leadership, its board or council and other officials and to approve its bylaws, as well as its political programmes.

At least in a movement obsessed by the alleged unaccountability and lack of transparency, openness and democracy of others.

The Libertas About Us page gives us a Brussels address and a telephone number, but not a word of the needed information about the party or its officials.

Did the convention vote? Who were voted in, and who failed? Where are the records of the votes?

Are there democratically legitimate office-holders?

It is astonishing. Reading the information provided by Libertas, we are unable to tell if it is a political party which follows democratic procedures or if it is the private puppet theatre of Mr Declan Ganley.

Democracy starts at home, even in the European Union. EU citizens have a right to require some proof of credibility from Libertas, intent on saving our continent in the European elections.

Ralf Grahn


  1. Typical comment of a Burocrat payed by Brussells!

  2. More and more this really looks like the Declan Ganley vanity project. That is very unfortunate. It would have been great to have truly pan-European party dedicated to constructive criticism.

  3. Anonymous,

    The level of argumentation tends to correlate with the level of anonymity, I have noticed during my blogging career.

    If you follow my blog, you might notice that I am quite critical and independent of "Brussels".

    But to state my motives clearly:

    I am not ill disposed towards Declan Ganley's professed belief in democratic EU reform as such.

    I just want to analyse the words and deeds, the recruitment and procedures of Libertas in the spirit of "consumer" protection, ahead of the European elections.

    You are not against interested and independent voters, are you?

    I am ready to acknowledge positive steps, if I see them, but prepared to point out the weaknesses and contradictions where they appear.

    By the way, I try to apply the same approach to EU institutions, national governments and other political parties as well.

    Now I happen to study Libertas, because it is a "new kid on the block" and because I was waiting for the first convention to bring clarity to a number of unanswered questions, many of which I have noted before.

    I am sad to say that the Rome convention offered much less than I had hoped for, but perhaps we will see more during the coming days and weeks.

  4. RZ,

    Yes, the contradictions between words and deeds, professed aims and potential effects, continue to disturb me.

  5. Libertas is turning out to be a strange party - national branches seem to be more aligned with Libertas than to be an integral part of it (at least to me as an outsider). The overall leadership remains Irish and practically unchanged from the pre-party Libertas.

    If the party membership don't engage in electing the party leadership and working out a party manifesto, then it is hard to see the party being cohesive enough to survive past the Lisbon issue. If there's no manifesto, then it's a legitimate question to ask if Libertas MEPs will stay together throughout the next parliament, or if they'll fragment.

    After all, UKIP didn't manage to maintain much unity in the EP, and I would consider it far more unitied (and has been around organisationally for much longer).

  6. You should check this out:

    Libertas is run like a sect. Beware if you dare contradicting the Guru.

  7. Eurocentric,

    Yes, I am wondering, too.

    One aspect was how separately the different national chapter figureheads communicated in their own languages, without translations provided. As if their different messages were meant for pure domestic consumption, not to disturb any supporters by showing real differences.

    The other thought is how mercenary the motives may be. Will the splits appear if and when Ganley's checkbook is closed?

  8. LCP,

    Yes, I have followed the story of Naoise Nunn these last days, and I recognise the name from the No campaign, when I responded that I would vote for the Lisbon Treaty (since my view of a democratic European Union seems to differ from that of Libertas, old and new).

  9. The anonymous commenters spam my blog too. File under Libertas employees and interns.

    I have offered Libertas a No.1 vote if they could tell me how much they had spent so far in Dublin, they did not respond.
    Libertas is a private party, the rally in Rome would have been the place for Ganley to be elected but alas democracy is in the backseat of the Libertas car.
    As of transparency and accountability they are pretending that they have raised all their funding from small donations, they did that for Lisbon too and later admitted to receiving loans from Ganley and others.

    Ganley also caused his action against the Village to be struck out at Dublin's High Court leaving the substance of the article unchallenged . The article is here

  10. People Korps,

    One stupid and factualy wrong anonymous comment here is not that much of a problem. Every movement has its idiots, not necessarily even useful.

    I have tried to draw Libertas' attention to exaggerated claims and existing contradictions during the Irish referendum campaign and since, but I have seen little improvement.

    Either they do not read my humble blog, or they are unwilling to take constructive criticism to heart.


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