Sinn Féin proposes political reforms

Sinn Féin has launched a series of proposals for political reform which would alter the method of how TDs and senators are elected, would automatically make the North’s 18 MPs members of Dáil, and give members of the Assembly speaking time.

Sinn Féin has proposed that two thirds of the Dáil should be elected from giant seven-seater constituencies with the remaining third elected through a list system. The party believes the partial list system would result in Dáil membership being “more diverse and representative” and would ensure the election of more under-represented groups.

The party also proposes changing the Constitution to allow the North’s 18 MPs automatically become members of the Dáil meaning “immediate speaking and consultative rights”.

In a wide ranging set of political reforms titled Towards a New Republic, the party proposes simplifying voter registration by automatically placing voters on the register by using their PPS numbers.

Sinn Féin said it would reduce the voting age to 16 and would ensure a 30% gender quota in Dáil elections building incrementally towards 50%.

The party also proposes the establishment of a Dáil committee comprising opposition party leaders which would scrutinise the Department of An Taoiseach. It said ministers’ pay should be capped at €100,000 while TDs should not earn more than €75,000.

It calls for the end of the use of Guillotines, where the Government curtails debate to pass legislation through the Oireachtas, unless there are exceptional circumstances and agreed through party whips.

It proposals for Seanad reform are similar to ideas from other interested parties and groups which include universal suffrage, representation from the north, 50% women members, and representation from marginal groups in society.

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