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Partners bill shows democracy is all but dead

DEMOCRACY is all but dead. The decision by members of the Dáil not to vote on the Civil Partnership Bill, but rather to follow the strategy and established EU principle of consensus politics is another step in removing the democratic right of citizens to be democratically represented.

How can elected representatives in the Dáil ask the electorate to vote on vitalissues when they don’t vote themselves?

It is both undemocratic and astonishing that the bill passed all stages in the Dáil without the need for a vote.

Why was it not subject to a free vote by members of the Oireachtas who must, as citizens and legislators, be free of the party whip and follow their consciences? How can members of the Seanad be expected to uphold democracy by passing a bill which has not been voted on?

Local councillors exercise the democratic privilege and duty of voting on a weekly basis and are held accountable by the electorate.

Ultimately county councillors will be left to answer to the concerns of voters at local level.

Party leaders and members of the Dáil must not become disconnected from the voter and must never abandon their constitutional duty and responsibility to vote and thereby be accountable fully to the electorate.

Dana Rosemary Scallon

Claregalway

Co Galway


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