There has been much debate and discussion lately regarding the need for a new political agenda. At the ‘Equality in a Time of Crisis’ conference held in UCD participants explored the issues and policies needed to make Ireland a more equal and fairer society, and also the need for a left wing Government. Michael D. Higgins who spoke at the conference indicated that the Labour Party would be willing to take the lead on forming such an alliance.
However for this Government of the left to come about there would need to be, in the first instance, a significant change in voter patterns.
Apparently the Irish people cannot have a general election any time soon according to the latest communication from the Green Party’s Dan Boyle. Why so? Well to summarise – the Irish voters would put the Labour Party and Fine Gael into Government – two political parties the Greens’ deem unsuitable. Under any other guise this statement could be labelled totalitarianism! Continue reading
What ever way you look at it, these last few days have seen the Green Party reach a new low, and I’m not only talking about the opinion polls. This sorry state of affairs has been brought about by the Green’s insistence to clinging on to power, at all costs.
As we all know the latest drama concerning the Green Party is former Senator Deirdre de Burca’s dramatic exit. I’m not going to comment on Deirdre’s departure, nor will I trust any of the subsequent statements coming from the party’s politburo. When Chris O’Leary, Patricia McKenna and myself left last year, nasty spin was the party’s default defence mechanism. Continue reading
Tomorrow the Green Party will ask themselves the big question “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” when they decide if they should support the new Programme for Government and NAMA .
Or pull out of Goverment and probably cause a General Election.
Much media time and interest is being spent on the newly negotiated Programme for Government however I believe the burning question, and real issue on the table tomorrow is NAMA. Continue reading
I’ve become a bit of a fan of Irish Times columnist Elaine Byrne who writes on political decision making in Ireland. She and colleagues from Trinity College organised the recent Political Reform Conference which asked the question ‘Are our Institutions Fit for Purpose? Political Reform in the Republic of Ireland’.
This new Political Reform organisation is a very welcome development. As a feminist – power and who has access to power has always fascinated me.
Indeed one of the main reasons I joined the Green Party in 1989 was their policy on strengthening local democracy and making our decision making structures more transparent. Twenty years on, and after five years serving as a City Councillor my conviction that we must constantly work to ensure that our decision making structures are completely transparent, accountable and representative is as strong as ever.
Twenty years on we still see very low levels of women in politics, and are no further ahead in strengthening local government.
Other areas of concern are raised by the Standards in Public Office Commission about where we need to improve how we monitor and police our decision makers.