Hi, what would be the thoughts and opinions of the Social Democrats on adding Initiatives and Recall Elections to our constitution alongside Referendums?
We've had a lot of empty promises in this country made by politicians which were abandoned once they were elected. And situations like marriage equality and the situation with the eight ammendment amongst many other things where there is overwhelming support for a referendum years in advance of the government getting round to it (if they ever do).
Adding Initiatives and Recall Elections would address both of these issues as well as bringing more people into participating in the democratic process and politics in general in this country.
Have the Social Democrats a stance on this? Would you ever consider running this as part of a platform?
The Social Democrats as a party are dedicated to meaningful political reform that will bring about a re-balancing of power in favour of a healthier democracy. As part of this, we support the introduction of citizen-initiated referendums to the Irish political system, however we must emphasise the importance of ensuring a robust system exists to authenticate signatures. We also favour a sunset clause to ensure that the new mechanism is not abused. If found to be working well, we would support its continued operation.
I don't see anything in the SocDems manifesto about it, so that translates into 'no current position'. My understanding of the current status (I'm a volunteer in a SocDem constituency branch) is that the current focus is on building our branch structure, building a national structure to address policy questions and preparing for the next election, be that in 5 years or 5 weeks.
There's quite a lot of detail in the manifesto about a range of policies, and enough detail to attract people together for more detailed discussion on other areas. It's not practical yet to have a policy on every other area since the party has no funding for any admin staff for co-ordination (in contrast, I've heard that Fine Gael have 9 media staff).
Again, this isn't any kind of official statement, I'm just a volunteer answering an old thread with my personal opinion.