Tipperary people concerned about the future of Irish democracy are being urged to join Democracy Matters!, an independent broad based group of individuals from across Irish society who will campaign against the abolition of Seanad Éireann and instead seek its reform.
Democracy Matters!, a civic society group, argues for a strong Senate with new powers to ensure we learn from the mistakes of a failed political system and say ‘never again’. People from throughout Tipperary are being encouraged to get involved in the campaign and help prevent the Government from removing a platform for important public interest issues.
Democracy Matters! believes in radical reform, rather than abolition.
It argues that a broken system of government and governance has failed our country, exacerbated the economic crisis, dramatically increased social welfare queues and hit hard pressed taxpayers and pensioners in their pockets.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Gary Murphy said: “We need people from Tipperary and the rest of the country to get involved in this campaign and help stop this backward step. Abolition only strengthens the old political system, which has already failed us.
It will silence dissenting voices, limit debate and give the Government even more power to ram through legislation. Abolition is not reform and true parliamentary reform in both the Seanad and the House is what Ireland needs today.”
Democracy Matters! believes the recent Zappone/Quinn Bill is an important step in opening the debate to everyone with an interest in the future of our country and ensuring that lessons are learned from the mistakes of the past.
According to Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin: “A radically new type of Seanad could make a serious and meaningful contribution to the process of reforming and modernising an Irish political culture that is excessively centralised, closed and distrusted.
Abolishing the Seanad instead of reforming it will just further erode democracy and copper fasten the interests and power of a tiny elite.”
Democracy Matters will engage in a nationwide campaign to ensure Ireland’s democracy is both protected and reformed, and to ensure greater levels of participation, accountability, and transparency.
Democracy Matters is not a political organisation and has no affiliation with any political party.
The organisation is campaigning solely on the issue of Seanad Reform and is registered as a campaign group in accordance with the Electoral Acts.
These reforms include: gender equality; pay cuts; right to vote extended; pen nomination process; cap on election expenses; no more bye- elections; new role and powers for the Seanad across a range of areas.