Disappointment at Green Party positions

July 9, 2007 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Statements | 3 Comments

I wish to express my great disappointment at the comments of Trevor Sargent regarding the Seanad election. Mr Sargent has requested Green Party councilors to vote for Fianna Fail party candidates in order that the government can achieve a majority in the new Seanad. This, he says, is to ensure that government legislation will achieve an easier passage through the upper house. 

I believe that these comments reveal a limited understanding of the role and value of the Seanad in our legislative process. In my view, the role of the Seanad is to reflectively review legislation. This is best achieved in a second house of parliament in a non-party political manner. The Seanad should act as a restraint on the Dail by examining Bills outside the heat of party-political controversy. This as a crucial check and balance in our legislative process. I greatly regret that the Greens appear more concerned with the dynamics of power than with ensuring democratic diversity. The Seanad should not be a mere rubber-stamp for government bills.

 I also regret the remarks of Minister Eamon Ryan on RTE’s The Week in Politics. The Minister betrayed a poor understanding of the Corrib gas conflict by assuming that the issue could be resolved by a mere re-routing of a production pipeline. As he well knows, the core issue centers on the method chosen by Shell to process the gas and therefore whether there should be a production pipeline at all within any populated area.  



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  1. […] to damien i’ve started reading mark garavan.  his post on dissapointment with the green party in ireland since getting into bed with ff are very pertinent. No Comments so far Leave a […]

  2. I find the idea of the Greens being compelled to vote for Fianna Fail candidates completely ludicrous. The final humiliation for Trevor’s green army is the indignity of having to have their ballot papers examined in case some of them were rash enough to retain some vestige of independent thought and actually vote for someone else. God forbid.

    Re the Tara issue, does John Gormley not see the irony of saying ‘nothing’ can be done about Tara?
    Is it not the role of Governments to legislate so that changes in political strategy and direction are possible?

    Sadly, I’m sure Eamon Ryan knows full well there is more to sorting out the dispute over the Corrib gas project than simply re-routing the pipeline. The Green party have deliberately chosen however to present the thorny problem of the Ballinaboy gas terminal as nothing more than a pipeline issue. The Greens appear to have little to say about the three month prison sentences handed down to three Erris fishermen for allegedly assaulting a member of the Gardai during one of the protests at Ballinaboy ( protests in which many protesters were baton charged by the Gardai).

  3. Prior to the last elections, we had a dedicated green watchdog- the Green party- which one felt could be relied on to highlight some of the more unpalatable truths about what our government was up to.

    Now we have a situation where that green watchdog has forsaken its post for the risky strategy of joining forces with a party whose mantra is perpetual economic growth. Without for a minute endorsing this decision, one can see a certain logic behind it.. that more ‘green’ policies will be implemented with the GP as minor coalition partners than would be the case if they stayed in opposition. But is this really the case?

    For one thing, many of the measures the Greens may help bring in, such as some minor and largely cosmetic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, Ireland would be obliged to do anyway ( by the EU), irrespective of whether the Greens were in government or not.

    The price paid by the Greens is very high. One senses that much has been thrown on the sacrifical bonfire in order to get to the cabinet table with Bertie and co.

    For the Greens to support a greater expansion of Ireland’s motorway infrastructure when we know well that fossil fuel depletion will severely curtail the use of the single occupant car in the future seems inexplicable. To allow one of these motorways to be driven right through the middle of the Tara complex is inexcusable.

    But even more worrying is the fact that Ireland has now lost its green watchdog. The watchdog has joined the other side. Who is now going to bring to the attention of the public the more unsavoury aspects of corporate Ireland?

    Immediately after the election I challenged what seemed to be the prevailing wisdom, that the Green party hadn’t won as many seats as expected because they weren’t mainstream enough. My assessment is quite the opposite, they lost votes because they were far too mainstream.

    Radical solutions will be needed to deal with the impact of global warming and fossil fuel depletion. These radical solutions badly need a political sponsor. Perhaps Ireland requires a new political party capable of formulating the necessary strategies and which is resolute enough not to be tempted into watering down these strategies in order to be more voter friendly.

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