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Reduction of TDs a populist move that will undermine democracy – Ellis

24 July, 2012 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has said the government’s decision to reduce the number of TDs to 158 is a populist move that will undermine democracy.

Deputy Ellis said the constituency commission report was flawed as it had a pre-determined outcome of reducing the number of TDs.

Deputy Ellis said:

“Sinn Féin is in favour of constitutional reform. However in order to strengthen democracy we must ensure that there is proper and full representation. Reducing the number of TDs while the population is rising only restricts representation, consolidates power around larger parties and further restricts minority views.

“We would ensure the Dáil is more representative by increasing constituencies to 5-7 seaters. One third would be elected through a list system. The review of constituencies should have looked at the issue of reducing the number of TDs but should not have had a pre-determination to do so.

“The reduction of TDs from 166 to 158 at a time when the population is rising is a populist move that will undermine democracy. It is based on a report from the constituency commission that was fundamentally flawed as it had a pre-determined outcome of reducing the number of TDs.”

“This government got elected on a platform of reform. Its decision to implement the constituency commission report clearly undermines its credibility on this issue.”

On the issue of local government reform Deputy Ellis said:

“Minister Hogan has promised that he would have written proposals on local government reform and regulation of domestic waste collection before the recess. He has failed to do either. Sinn Féin has urged the Minister to act on both these important issues.

“Minister Hogan’s time in office has been marked by bad decisions, mega phone politics and bully boy tactics. His proposals have included septic tank charges, household charges and the proposed water charges.”


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