IN fact, Irish voters more than most have reason to support restraints on the behaviour of their leaders. Twice in 40 years, venal politicians and incompetent or cowardly officials have brought the country to bankruptcy.
There is little sign that things have changed sufficiently to make one think it could not happen again. Although the details are open to criticism, the general terms of the fiscal compact are what any responsible government should do.
Outside surveillance is a loss of sovereignty -- but largely of the sovereign right to be irresponsible.
There is another sense in which this one is different. In past votes, governments have argued that nothing further is coming down the line, and 'No' campaigners say they can see the train coming.
There is more coming down this line. The Taoiseach recently attended a private dinner with Chancellor Merkel to discuss exactly that. A really secure euro will require more integration and that will require new political structures. Unless they can word this one very cleverly, more referendums are on the way.