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A secret vote allows an honest vote

There have been moves of late to loosen the party whip to allowing politicians vote freely on matters of conscience.

The challenge is that if politicians have a free vote, they will be harassed by sectional interests looking to change their vote.

The recent docudrama on Charlie Haughey

showed that a weakened party is undermined by an open vote.

But if a secret vote is good enough for the people, why not for the politicians? The whip system can’t exist if all votes in the Oireachtas are by secret ballot.

Naturally some will argue that they have a right to know how their politician votes. But if a vote is open, how do you know if it is an honest vote under the whip system? Only with a secret ballot can politicians be freed from intimidation and harassment to be allowed to vote according to their conscience.

Jason Fitzharris



Co. Dublin


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