Social Democrats refuse to reveal ‘red-line’ coalition issues

The Social Democrats refuse to say what their ‘red-line’ issues are but insist the party has no interest in making up the numbers for government or creating a “shopping list” of demands.
Social Democrats refuse to reveal ‘red-line’ coalition issues

Catherine Murphy refused to single out issues the party would seek a guarantee on if asked to enter a coalition.

The party yesterday launched its political reform proposals, which include better scrutiny on how senior state appointments are made and an overhaul of the funding system for TDs.

Ms Murphy outlined several changes to the scrutiny of politicians, saying “you can’t have accountability without transparency”.

The party has set out measures it says would lead to more “open” government.

These include the need for Oireachtas committees to vet senior State appointments; poverty-proofing budgetary decisions; and creating an anti-corruption agency.

The new agency would also act as a standing commission of investigation to replace ad hoc tribunals.

The party is proposing Oireachtas reform, including making the Dáil and Seanad — rather than government — the primary drivers of legislation.

Party whip systems for TDs should also be eased, it says. Politicians must also be required to declare their liabilities as well as their assets, it says.

Ms Murphy outlined how funding for TDs should follow the politician rather than staying with the party they are elected under. This was an issue for some TDs during the last Dáil who left parties.

The party wants a separate system of State political funding (€4.9m last year) spread evenly across parties according to their vote share and not just first preferences.

Businesswoman and Dublin Bay South candidate Glenna Lynch said bigger parties were resistant to political reform.

“Bad governance is not victimless,” she said.

Ms Murphy refused to be drawn on what “red-line issues” the party had — despite co-founder and Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly saying before the campaign these would be identified.

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Michael Healy-Rae transfers could elect brother Danny

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae stands a good chance of bringing his brother over the line in the general election in Kerry thanks to massive support for the outgoing TD, a new poll indicates.

The TG4 poll shows Michael Healy-Rae is in a commanding lead in the new five-seat Kerry constituency and could well leave enough surplus votes to ensure the election of his brother Danny to the Dáil.

The Ipsos MRBI opinion poll on Kerry voters’ intentions shows Independents with 39% of support, followed by 27% for Fine Gael, 16% for Fianna Fáil, and 8% for Labour.

However, the poll identifies support for individual candidates and their first preferences. It finds that Michael Healy-Rae would get 33%, Jimmy Deenihan (FG) 13%, Brendan Griffin (FG) 13%, John Brassil (FF) 11%, and Arthur Spring (Lab) 8%. While Danny Healy-Rae is only predicted to get 4%, his brother’s surpluses could help him win.

Danny Healy-Rae only declared his candidature recently and the poll was conducted that morning.

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