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WHAT is the modern conception of democracy?
Surely it is the freedom to vote for political representatives to manage the country on our behalf.
This would demand that at all times elected representatives would put the needs and aspirations of the people before all else.
But judging by the state of the public finances and our public health system, democracy has failed us. What has become clear in the past two years is that most politicians are kept as much in the dark as the rest of us with regard to public finances and related matters.
What is the point of TDs spending three days each week in Leinster House where all that is required of them is be there for a crucial vote.
Here is the rub... the Freedom of Information Act has been watered down and the average TD can only get information through a very lengthy process. They have to wait for question time in the Dáil or send in written submissions to the relevant authorities in order to get answers to vital questions.
If the Freedom of Information of Act was what it “said on the tin”, I doubt we would be in the current financial mess. Information is power and without it politicians are largely useless.
This in not true democracy.
Any new government must restore the Freedom of Information Act in full, and indeed strengthen it, otherwise we will be just going down the same road again.
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