Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Constitutional Reform Seán Ó Fearghaíl says recent Government commitments on political reform need to be treated with the utmost skepticism in light of its litany of broken promises since coming to office.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl commented, “The Taoiseach seems to be repeating his list of current broken promises as the General Election approaches. The Government came to power with the promise of a democratic revolution. However in reality this Government has engaged with cronyism on state boards, guillotined numerous Bills, introduced token gesture Friday Dáil sittings and cherry-picked recommendations made by the Constitutional Convention. The Government also failed to introduce a single measure of reform for the Seanad.
“People will judge the Taoiseach’s latest ‘priorities’ against the long list of promises he has failed to deliver on to date. Now the Taoiseach is issuing another round of false promises on political reform in the run up to the election. We need real reform to make sure our political system is fit for purpose for the 21st century. More of the same will do untold damage to our democracy. We need to rebuild our Republic, and there is no better time to begin than on the Centenary of 1916.
“Fianna Fáil has put forward a comprehensive set of policies to reform Irish politics and give more power to local communities. In Government Fianna Fáil will:
– Implement directly elected Mayors;
– Restore Town Councils for urban areas with a population of 7,500 people or more;
– Create new Community Councils;
– Create a cabinet style system for local authorities;
– Establish a new Office of Policy and Economic Oversight to ensure TD’s have access to sufficient information in the decision making process;
– Facilitate a secret ballot for the position of Ceann Comhairle;
– Revamp Standing Orders for Dáil business to strengthen individual member’s role and implement an independent Oireachtas Committee system;
– Establish an Independent Electoral Commission.
“These political reform measures will give ordinary people a real say over the decisions that affect their daily lives. In contrast all we have from Fine Gael and Labour are broken promises and another New Year resolution list destined to remain unfilled,” concluded Deputy O’Feargháil.