Fianna Fáil’s Director of Elections for the Stability Treaty referendum Timmy Dooley TD has called on RTÉ to host a final eve of poll debate between the leaders of all the political parties ahead of the 31st May.
Deputy Dooley commented, “With the latest opinion poll showing more than 30% of citizens not yet decided on how to vote on 31st May, it is clear that more needs to be done to engage them in this issue.
“It would appear clear that the format of debate followed by the national broadcaster to date has not captured people’s imaginations. In my view, there have been many small skirmishes between various characters in the various campaigns, but these have done little to inform voters who are interested in the substantive issues but have not decided how to vote. However, there has not yet been a major debate, treated as a serious current affairs event, to capture voters’ imaginations.
“As the national broadcaster, RTÉ has an obligation to take the lead in this area and create space for the sort of meaningful and hard hitting debate that is serious in content and likely to make an impact on people. To date, unfortunately, such leadership has been lacking.
“I have written to RTÉ, asking that they call a debate of the leaders of all the main political parties, where each of them is asked to set out clearly and honestly what the implications are of a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ vote on the 31st May. Those who are not prepared to meet colleagues and debate face-to-face cannot be compelled to participate, but if they refuse, their party should play no part in the event. Voters will be entitled to judge them by their absence.”