Sinn Féin can be largest party in Government - Carthy
Addressing the opening night Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin, MEP Matt Carthy has urged delegates to make the party the largest component of the next Government and said this aim was achievable.
Speaking to a section of the Ard Fheis entitled 'Sinn Féein in Government', Carthy told those assembled:
"Sinn Féin wants to be in Government.
"Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael also want to be in government. But we want to be in government for different reasons.
"They want the mercs and the perks and the benefits of the system. We want to change the system – because their system isn’t working.
"Increasing numbers of children are growing up homeless.
"Thousands of working people who, in any previous generation would be living in their own home, are instead struggling to meet crippling rents. Our health service is crumbling.
"Families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. They are losing hope.Sinn Féin must offer them hope.
"The next election can and must be fought on alterative visions of the future.
"A Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael vision of the status quo. More of the same. Boom & Bust economics. Or a Sinn Féin’s vision of a better, fairer, united Ireland.
"Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil won’t want to talk about visions. They’ll say there is no alternative to the path they’re on.
"No alternative to the system they created, even as it collapses it front of our eyes. Many within the media will play their game.
"They’ll try to convince voters the only choice is between a Fianna Fáil or a Fine Gael led government.As if there was any difference.They’ll want to talk about polls instead of policies.
"Delegates, don’t play their game.Let’s fight the next election on our vision.
"Our vision of a united Ireland. Of free, accessible healthcare. Of every family having a home.Of an economic system that creates sustainable jobs.
"Of a society where taxes are used to provide quality public services.A society where wealthy individuals and corporations actually pay their taxes.
"Sinn Féin has the policies to implement our vision. The best way to realise that vision is not just to get into government but to lead a government.
"Following the next election our members will decide how best to use our mandate.
"In the meantime, let’s not entertain any notion other than leading a progressive, republican government.
"Leave the speculation to the parties of the speculators. Do not allow anybody undermine our ambition, our passion or our determination to create a better Ireland.
"Just seven years ago we only had four TDs. Today we have 23.mSo, don’t let anyone tell us there’s an electoral point past which this party cannot go.
The only thing stopping us leading a government is our ability to convince people of the merits of our vision and of our commitment to deliver it.
"Sinn Féin can be the largest party of Government.
"We shouldn’t settle for any less and we shouldn’t get distracted by anything else before a vote has even been counted."