[Sinn Fein]

8th October 2002

Dublin Sinn Fein to canvas 100,000 homes in next ten days

Sinn Fein TD for Dublin South West Séan Crowe today announced that the party will be canvassing 100,000 homes in the city over the next ten days. He said that with the first phase of the campaign now concluded the party will have more than 500 activists out nightly canvassing for the rejection of the Treaty for the second time. Deputy Crowe said:

``Over the next ten days Dublin Sinn Fein will be canvassing 100,000 homes across the city. With the first phase of the campaign now concluded we will have more than 500 activists out nightly canvassing for the rejection of the Treaty for the second time.

``So far in this campaign Sinn Fein members on the ground have focussed to a great extent on distributing over 250,000 Nice newssheets.

``From the initial canvass returns we have been receiving so far, three key issues have been coming up on the doors. neutrality, trust and deregulation of essential services.

``As with the last referendum neutrality remains an issue on the doorsteps. People are not fooled by the legally worthless Seville Declaration, and while there is some confusion about the neutrality amendment, people can certainly see that it does not go far enough in that it permits membership of the European Army and the continued use of Irish facilities by the American military.

The government's own actions have introduced the issue of trust on the doorsteps. Voters are angry at the very idea of being asked to put their trust in a government which lied to them during the election campaign and which is tarred with the fallout of the Flood Tribunal. While Sinn Fein believes the debate around Nice should be based on the Treaty itself, it is clear from early returns that a lot of people voting will be doing so out of anger against establishment parties, and establishment politics.

Lastly, deregulation is an issue that seems to be especially prominent in rural areas where people who might be more dependent on quality public services, especially transport, are very worried about the privatisation agenda in the Nice Treaty. The implications of Article 133 are getting a very angry reaction from voters at the idea of privatisation being Osmuggled in the backdoor' as one of them put it.

We are very satisfied with the way our campaign is going and with the response on the doorsteps. Our membership has mobilised and, as we expected, we are seeing few signs of Yes parties on the ground. While the latest MRBI poll indicated a significant advantage to the Yes side, the polls were wrong last year and our analysis is that they are set to be wrong this year as well and we remain confident that the people will reject Nice, again, on October 19th.''

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