Direct Democracy Ireland Presentation

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Direct Democracy Ireland Presentation

  1. 1. Ireland is a republic. Its constitution is influenced by the ideas of the French and American revolutions
  2. 2. We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
  3. 3. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Declaration of Independence 1775
  4. 4. “All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good. Irish Constitution Article 6
  5. 5. So according to our constitution, government cannot govern without the consent of the people..................
  6. 6. So how do we go about getting that consent?
  7. 7. We hold an election!
  8. 8. This type of election is supposed to be the act of the people giving consent to government.
  9. 9. But “Consent” means consent to decisions or proposals doesn’t it?
  10. 10. But how can we give real consent, five years in advance when we don’t even know what we are supposed to be “consenting” to?
  11. 11. We can’t. An election like this does legally remove your power of consent, and gives it away to 166 individuals, who all claim they have been given a mandate from you for every decision they make.
  12. 12. These people will then vote whatever they want to for the next five years. In that time they are legally unaccountable to you.
  13. 13. Even though legally they can vote whatever they want , in fact, they almost never do.
  14. 14. In reality Irish “representatives” only vote the way they are told to vote, by their parties.
  15. 15. This is done by the use of the “whip” system.
  16. 16. In reality every decision made in the Dail is in fact made by 3 people, the party leaders. Who tell everybody else how to vote.
  17. 17. This is not therefore a democracy it is an oligarchy.
  18. 18. oligarchy–noun, plural    1. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
  19. 19. The Dail is in fact a rubber stamp assembly because it almost never initiates legislation. It is not independent of government and does not hold it to account.
  20. 20. It has, in fact failed in its constitutional function.
  21. 21. “Unfortunately, the model of government set out in the Irish Constitution has become more of a fiction than a reality. In practice the Dáil, and to a slightly lesser extent the Seanad, is controlled very firmly by the Government parties through the operation of the whip system. For all practical purposes, and I very much regret having to say this so bluntly, parliament in Ireland has been side-lined and is no longer in a position to hold the executive to account. With the exception of the election of a Taoiseach, almost all decisions of importance are taken by the executive and are rubber-stamped by parliament.” Ombudsman Speech 4th April 2010
  22. 22. DDI will work to create a mechanism by which all the voters of a constituency will select a candidate to represent their wishes. Our program
  23. 23. The candidates selected by this mechanism will be DDI candidates. Our program
  24. 24. If elected, these representatives will bring back each bill or other proposal for decision to a constituency structure. Our program
  25. 25. If elected, these representatives will bring back each bill or other proposal for decision to a constituency structure. Our program
  26. 26. They will be obliged to abide by the decisions of this structure on every issue or proposal that go through the Dail or local council. Our program
  27. 27. DDI will campaign to write Direct Democracy into the Irish constitution. This will entail at a minimum, the right of the people to: Our program
  28. 28. Initiative – Any citizen can collect a certain number of signatures, (a certain % of the population), to call a referendum. Our program
  29. 29. Referendum – The referendum will empower the people to veto ministerial decisions, or government legislation, such as NAMA, Anglo Irish Bank etc Our program
  30. 30. Recall – A mechanism will also be introduced whereby politicians can be ‘removed’ if they are not performing their job to the satisfaction of the electorate. Our program
  31. 31. Take power back from politicians! Let them be the secretaries of those they represent, voting on the will of their constituents. Not the party politics of what Fintan O'Toole describes as our "parody of a democracy" where party whips, vested interests, banks, buddies, backhanders, lobby and pressure groups reign supreme over political decisions and our supposed freedom.
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