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The Constitutional Convention should consider comprehensive and fundamental political reform, not just Dáil electoral reform

9 June, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

The Sinn Féin delegates to the Constitutional Convention have reiterated the party’s call for that body to deal comprehensively with political reform, not just Dáil electoral reform.

Gerry Adams TD, who is representing the party along with Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Caitriona Ruane MLA said: 

“The Constitutional Convention has proved itself capable of serious deliberation. It is neither sensible nor fair that it is being required to consider the issue of electoral reform in isolation from the related and even more pressing issues of reform of the powers and functions of the Dáil, the Seanad, the Executive, local government and also how we can improve all-Ireland governance.  We believe that the Convention should be freed to make recommendations on all of these issues.

“Empowering citizens to exercise their right to vote and to take a greater role in political decision-making is crucial.  This body has shown that deliberative democracy can work effectively.  We need more of this, and other mechanisms for participatory democracy, such as a right of citizen’s initiative with appropriate safeguards.  

“The reality is that many people have lost faith in the political system as it stands. The parties of government in this state have abused the people’s trust and have very little credibility left.  This alienation needs to be addressed in a serious way, not as tokenism.  The mandate of the Constitutional Convention should be extended accordingly, to enable it to consider all aspects of political reform comprehensively.”

Note:  The three Sinn Féin delegates voted in favour of measures to strengthen the system of proportional representation, reforms to increase parliamentary diversity and representativeness, and to increase the ability of all citizens to exercise their right to vote and to increase voter participation.


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