On May 31st, you will be asked to vote in a referendum to decide if Ireland is to ratify the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union/TSCG, otherwise known as the Fiscal Compact Treaty or the Stability Treaty. But, if polls are to be trusted, many people are somewhat at sea when it comes to the treaty, knowing what it is about, what a 'yes' or 'no' vote might mean, and consequently unsure as to how they themselves will vote.
So, to get you started on the path to understanding, let us point you to a few online resources that might help get you to where you need to be come polling day!
First up is the official government website, just launched, where you will find the full text of the treaty, in both English and Irish, an FAQ section, and presumably over the next four weeks news items and other information. The official site has a presence on Facebook and one on Twitter if you are in those spaces. The European Council also has a point of entry on the treaty.
Citizens Information, the website of the statutory body the Citizens Information Board, provides some great information about the treaty and the forthcoming referendum, telling you precisely what you will be expected to vote on.
Should you want to monitor news sources for information and updates regarding the treaty and the treaty debate, you might check this Google News search.
In trying to locate in online newspapers a short, 'what is' fact and not opinion article about the treaty, we come across this article in the Irish Times, dated February 28 last, 'What is the fiscal compact treaty?'.
In the Twittersphere you might want to check out the following hashtags: #stabilitytreaty, #fiscalcompact, #euref, or just search on the words "fiscal treaty" (or variations of).
(Tip: Want to monitor multiple hashtags all at the same time? Use Monitter or Twitterfall.)
(Newly added, 18 May):
- Fiscal Treaty Referendum (Irish Times).
- Referendum 2012: Fiscal Treaty Guide (RTÉ).
- Fiscal Treaty News (Independent.ie).
So, be informed and use your vote!