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Ferris calls for Waterford bye-election to be held

19 May, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin North Kerry TD Martin Ferris has supported calls for the Waterford bye election to be held. He was speaking during a Dáil debate on the failure of the Government to move the writ for the bye-election this morning.

Deputy Ferris said: “I think the first point that needs to be made in relation to the overall delay in calling the bye-elections which are due in Donegal, Dublin and Waterford is that Seanad bye-elections have been held quickly. One would assume that the same considerations apply to Dáil as to Seanad bye-elections in terms of the logistics of organising them so we must assume that there are other factors at work other than the ins and outs of actually organising a poll.

“It is clear that the factor which applies to Dáil bye-elections is that this Government is absolutely terrified of facing the electorate in any constituency in the state in the current climate. The polls have indicated that support for both Government parties is low, and that Fianna Fail are facing their worst election outing since the party was founded. That would place them with little or no hope of winning seats in any of the bye-elections that need to be held. However that is not a sufficient reason in any democracy for not holding an election.

“The reason why popular support for both Fianna Fail and the Green Party is so low is of course to do with the current state of the economy and the high and rising level of unemployment and all the problems associated with that in terms of people slipping into poverty and debt.

“There is also, of course, massive anger over the manner in which public sector workers’ pay has been undermined, the overall slashing of public services and of course, on the other hand, what is perceived to be the Government’s kid glove approach to those actually responsible for the current mess, particularly the fall out from the financial and property speculation.

“Instead of punishing those responsible however this Government has shifted the onus for the crisis onto those who have no power over the Government’s ability to attack their wage packets and living standards.

“The only power people do have potentially is their right to exercise their vote. They will do so in no uncertain manner I believe when this Government faces the overall electorate in the next general election whenever that is held but in the meantime the Government ought to facilitate the electorate in Waterford and the other constituencies where bye-elections are due to be held by moving the writs and to allow people at least in those constituencies to give their judgement.” ENDS

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