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My Blog: MAC GILL SCHOOL REFLECTION

I built my speech in MacGill around the facebook comment that it is the concerns of the citizen of today that should inspire reform in this republic rather than the founders from a distant past. I have put the full version of my speech and press release up on my website for anyone who is interested. The week long Summer School seems to have been a big success. The need for electoral reform got a considerable airing. I confess to be a sceptic. In my view the reason why the Dail is not more effective, is because it has lost its authority over the years. It plays no role in the shaping of budgets. It plays only a miniscule role in the shaping of legislation. It has been robbed of its investigative powers by the courts. The recommendations of its all party committees are ignored. These are the things that should be changed to give Dail deputies a proper job to do, rather than starting first with a reform in the electoral system which will leave all those underlying defects in place. Anyhow the Irish voter has shown themselves to be quite fond of our PR system in multi seat constituencies. The idea that in future TD’s will be remote from the voter, and that Ministers will be experts drawn from business or the universities may not fill them with any warm glow. I was more taken with the comment by Eddie Molloy that Ireland suffers from “Implementation Deficit Disorder”. None of the big strategies that get announced at glitzy launches are ever fulfilled, but no one ever takes responsibility. Accountability with consequences wouldn’t be a bad start to the Programme of Reform that people clearly crave.