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Make pre-election pledges legal

We already can see the electorate being softened up for the next election, with promises of an easing of austerity, tax breaks for low and middle earners, etc.

Two thirds of the way through their term, this government have renewed their marriage vows, and are clearing their throats to begin lying through their teeth.

Fianna Fáil meanwhile, hope their catastrophic last term has been forgotten by the electorate, and it seems that forgiveness is well underway, aided by the ineptitude of their replacements. Cronyism, corruption, and rewards for incompetence are even more rampant, while surely teams of people are charged with spouting rubbish about regained sovereignty, green shoots, and light at the end of the tunnel.

Our successive governments depend on the gullibility and forgetfulness of the people, and of course on that half of the electorate who don’t vote since they believe it changes nothing, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The solution would be a form of possible intervention by the people when our “representative” democracy proves to be nothing of the sort. We actually had this mechanism in the 1922 constitution, until it was illegally removed by the government of the day, thus paving the way for the decades of corruption since.

In the current unfortunate absence of this mechanism, a party could voluntarily make some or all of their pre-election promises a legally binding contract with the people. The x party will do x, y and z if elected to power by the people. They will not under any circumstances take part in a government that will not adopt these measures. The x party will not, under any circumstances allow a, b, c or d to occur while they are in government.

This is a legally binding contract with the electorate, which cannot be reneged on without electoral recourse to the people, even if subsequently directed otherwise by Europe or others. Parties would also have to be careful that their promises would not rule out a coalition with a party which had a different outlook. Very few promises would be made under this restriction, but at least we would be spared the deluge of lies that we will endure before the next election.

Noel Gallagher

Loughanstown

Tara

Co Meath


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