FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has attacked the government’s plan to severely limit the work of the Constitutional Convention and prevent it from dealing with any matter to do with the powers of the government itself. He said that Fianna Fáil will be proposing a more radical agenda for the Convention and insisting that the work of government be included.
Speaking at a meeting in Dublin this evening of the newly formed Futures Group within Fianna Fáil, Deputy Martin said: “Last year Fine Gael and Labour gave repeated assurances to support a radical reform of Irish politics at every level. The timetable is already over a year behind what they promised and they are proposing a Constitutional Convention which will be severely limited in its work.”
“As things stand, there is to be no consideration at all of changing the powers of government or to opening up government to a wider body of expertise. What they are proposing is nothing to do with real political reform and is yet another area where absolutely clear commitments made to win votes have been abandoned.”
“While a review of the electoral system is reasonable few of the rest of areas to be discussed have anything whatsoever to do with reforming Irish politics.”
“If the Convention goes ahead in the way the government has proposed it will serve to persuade the public that nothing will ever really change in the way their country is governed.”
“This is why Fianna Fáil will be proposing that the Convention’s agenda be broadened. In particular we want it to consider ways to reduce the absolute dominance of the government over the Oireachtas and proposals to open up ministerial office to a wider range of expertise.”