After consultation with the Senate and Congress, the people must now decide.
The referendum will be held on January 25th & 26th, i.e. this Friday and Saturday.
The question to be asked is "Should Ireland join the Circle of Trust under the following terms?"
Ireland shall phase out all its existing alliances (Finland, Sweden, France, China, Canada, Portugal, India, Argentina).
Ireland shall phase in alliances with full Circle of Trust members (for which the Department of Foreign Affairs has a plan to ally quickly with the big three CoT members and slowly increase the MPPs over the next few months).
What about Asgard?
My government has not engaged with Asgard due to our diplomats being told in fairly straightforward terms that we would not be wanted in their alliance by key members of the Swedish government. This occurred during the last administration.
Furthermore, there were military and diplomatic concerns over the strength of Asgard as an alliance, and the implications for closer relations with the British.
However, with the entry of Canada into Asgard, as well as the attitude of certain figures within that alliance, the possibility of Ireland entering does now exist. Should the referendum on joining the Circle of Trust fail, the Asgard option remains open.
Why not have a multi-option referendum?
Such an option is flawed in that it does not deliver a clear majority in favour of any one option normally. I do not wish to bring Ireland into any alliance without a real majority at least in favour of doing so. Should this figure be reached, the result and referendum process will be debated by the Senate, and either accepted or rendered null.
Note that a 2/3 majority is required in order to join the Circle of Trust under the terms of its charter. Should a majority of people vote in favour of joining, but the result not reach the 2/3 mark, the vote will move to the Congress, which shall vote upon it, again with a requirement of a 2/3 majority as stated in the CoT Charter. Should that vote fail, Ireland will cease attempts to join.
Regulations for debate on the referendum:
1. The debate shall remain civil at all times.
2. Any excessively manipulative or malign action on public opinion is not permitted, i.e. presenting false evidence that Asgard/CoT plans to harm Ireland, etc.
3. Due respect is to be given to our current allies in the course of this debate.
4. None of the above shall restrict campaigners from making truthful statements.
Failure to comply with these rules will lead to public naming and shaming, and if serious enough, the abandonment of the referendum entirely.
The Government's Position:
Members of government shall be free entirely to campaign in favour or against as they see fit. The Government is to remain neutral on the debate, barring serious factual errors.
The choice is now yours, my fellow citizens. I hope to see a large turnout for this, and a good debate.
On behalf of the Senate and People of Ireland,
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