There is an urgent need for meaningful political reform of both our political culture and the political system. The choice is between the continuation of the old boys’ club that protects and promotes its own and legislates for the few, not the many and a new type of politics that respects the democratic will of the people and operates with transparency, equality and fairness.
Power is centralised in the hands of a small number of Ministers. The Dáil, Seanad and Oireachtas Committees are denied any meaningful role in the legislative process. Local government continues to be stripped of what little power it once had. People have even less opportunity to influence the decisions that affect their daily lives.
Politicians pay and expenses reflect a culture of privilege and entitlement that was inappropriate during the boom times and is simply immoral today.
The banking crisis showed the Irish people that a circle existed where people were appointed on the basis of who they knew and public money could be used to pay for financial gamblers’ debts – our hard- earned cash used to bail out banks.
Sinn Féin Would:
Our health system is in a state of crisis. This crisis can be boiled down to two key failings on the part of successive governments: firstly, an extreme depth of fundamental inequality in how patients are treated, differentiated on ability to pay and location; and secondly, the sheer incapacity of the system to deal with even demographic pressures, evidenced particularly in our Emergency Departments and maternity care.
Sinn Féin is committed to the realisation of a world-class system of universal health care, accessed on the basis of need, free at the point of delivery, and funded by progressive taxation for the Irish state. We believe there is no greater good worth striving for.
The coming election will be about who can deliver a fair recovery for all our citizens. At present we have parties that imposed austerity, punished those most in need and are now claiming a one sided and unfair recovery. Sinn Féin offers a republican vision of Ireland, deliverable policies for a fair recovery and a new form of politics. An Irish language version of this document is also available here.
The political system has failed the people of Ireland. Public disillusionment has grown as the role of the Government and the Establishment parties in bringing about the economic crisis has become more apparent. This has been exacerbated by revelations of corruption, outrageous expenses claims and an ineffectual Oireachtas. Sinn Féin believes that it is time for fundamental political reform.
Young people across Europe were hit hardest by the economic crisis. If young people are to be given a fighting chance to remain in this state and attain decent work for decent pay there needs to be better cross- sectoral co-operation between departments. This requires political will and imagination. This 2014 document makes a series of proposals to tackle youth unemployment and face down emigration.
Sinn Féin has a longstanding position of support for LGBT equality in all dimensions of life and law. This includes the equal right to legal recognition of same-sex marriage – a right for which Sinn Féin campaigned passionately and successfully in the 2015 referendum - and the equal right to found a family, including by adoption. It also includes full legal recognition of the preferred/acquired gender of transgender people. In this 2014 document we make 10 key proposals for LGBT equality.
There are approximately 70 million citizens across the globe who claim Irish roots. Over the centuries the Irish have been forced to leave our homeland in order to find work and a better future for their families. We take huge pride in our diaspora. It is of profound importance that we do all in our power to foster and ensure the strengthening of positive relationships and connections. To do so, Sinn Féin believes that we need a diaspora strategy which is government-led and fully resourced.