Sinn Féin welcomes robust citizen engagement at Constitutional Convention
January 27, 2013
The Sinn Fein delegates to the Constitutional Convention have welcomed the successful conclusion of the first substantive sitting of the deliberative body, calling the engagement “a very positive start”.
Senator David Cullinane, who is representing the party along with Senator Kathryn Reilly and MLA Caitríona Ruane said:
"We are pleased that the Convention has decided to take an expansive approach to the issues before it, using the full powers of its mandate, right from the outset of this process.
“For over a year we have been arguing for a broadening of the Convention’s scope and it is great to see that the Convention membership is up for this, and is not allowing the government’s pre-determined questions to limit either its deliberations or its conclusions.
“This is fully in keeping not only with the public appetite for comprehensive constitutional reform, but also with what the coalition parties promised."
Assembly Member Caitríona Ruane said: “It is significant and very welcome that the four participating northern parties all had delegates present and voting. I believe that this new type of intensive and robust engagement between citizens, elected representatives, academic experts and civil society advocates represents a working model for future public deliberation processes.’
The three Sinn Féin delegates voted in favour of reducing the voting age to 16 and reducing the term of the presidency from 7 to 5 years. The delegates also voted in favour of introducing citizen nominations for the presidency.