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Whip system helps ensure electoral accountability – Ó Snodaigh TD

23 January, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Chief Whip Aengus Ó Snodaigh has come out powerfully in favour of the party Whip system. Deputy Ó Snodaigh spoke today in the Dáil against an Amendment on the 34th Constitution which proposed the elimination of the Whip system.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“This legislation effectively proposes a constitutional bar on the Whip system. I’m sorry to say that the elimination of the Whip system is not a remedy for what ails political life in this state.  It is not the source of the problem – the problem is broken political and electoral promises.

“People are increasingly thinking of voting non-party in the polls as a result. However nowhere in the world has a group of independents, each voting by their individual conscience, run a country, or even be in a position to deliver fundamental reform.

“Political parties are groups of people, who by their own volition, have agreed to work together to promote a set of principles and policies. When a party candidate contests an election, they don’t have the luxury to be all things to everyone, as some independent candidates. They contest an election on an agreed manifesto as well as the party’s adopted policies and its history and record.

“The electorate vote for them and put their faith in them as they see fit. The manifesto is in fact their social contract with the electorate. They place their trust in them. The Whip system helps ensure electoral accountability. Eliminating the Whip system will not improve the political landscape.

“What is needed are cohesive, coherent policies together with the political integrity and political will to find a way to implement them. While the current coalition Government may not be up for this Sinn Féin is and are we are serious about governing for change.”

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