Appeal to Seanad voters – elect a genuine opposition

July 19, 2007 at 10:48 am | Posted in Statements | Leave a comment

Voters in the university panels have just a few days left to vote for true independents who can provide a genuine opposition to the present government / opposition consensus. There is a unique opportunity to make the Seanad relevant as a location where independent and dissenting parliamentary voices can be heard. It is no surprise that the three government parties are so anxious to ensure that candidates supporting them are elected. 

I believe that the Irish people are crying out for intelligent and reasonable leadership that addresses critical issues. They are tired of sound-bites, bluster and clichés. These issues include our democratic deficit, health and crime, our looming energy crisis and, above all, the need to address social and environmental sustainability. The pro-growth, business-as-usual model supported by all political parties is simply not up to meeting the challenges of our times. It is a matter of mounting regret that parties such as the Greens have now become effectively co-opted into supporting this model. 

I accept that the key drivers of social change are social movements. However, for these movements to be most effective and realise their full potential, they need to be allied to parliamentary representatives who can articulate and advance their ideas at parliamentary level. This is simply the lesson of history.  

There is a final opportunity now to elect independent Senators who can challenge the contemporary consensus and seek to address through debate and ideas the intellectual requirement to forge new social, political and economic models. I call on voters to exercise their franchise accordingly. 

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