Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Too busy to hold an election.

The Government is telling us its too busy with the "job in hand" to hold elections. But they are not too busy to open new FF offices in Crossmaglen (80 years late better than never I guess) or attend Ogra FF talk-ins, attend their own drink ins and waste time opening shops and conferences and any other myriad number of locations and non-events over the last 16 months. What a weak and watery excuse.

Mary Lou McDonald noted in her blog that there is something seriously wrong when a government will go to any lengths to prevent elections

The government is dead set against a general election. It would be a ‘distraction’, they say, from ‘the job in hand’. They don’t want to be ‘distracted’ from their bailouts for the bankers- cutbacks for the people agenda.

They don’t want to hold elections to fill the empty seats in Donegal South West, Waterford and Dublin South either. The ‘distraction’ of losing those bye-elections could bring the government down.

Avoiding elections is an expensive business. It cost €9000 to transport junior minister Dara Calleary from Brussels to the Dáil to vote against holding the bye-elections. He travelled by government jet and the taxpayer picked up the tab.

Today the government goes into the High Court to defend their refusal to hold the bye-elections. Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty took the case. He believes that no government has the right to withhold people’s democratic right to vote and to have full representation in the Dáil. He’s right.

There is something seriously wrong when a government will go to any lengths to prevent elections.

The government, Labour and Fine Gael have an agreed position to introduce crushing cutbacks over the next four years. Brian Cowen and company now want to formalise that consensus so they’ve invited like-minded parties to talks.

The Taoiseach’s decision to exclude Sinn Féin from discussions because we oppose those cuts shows that the Government is not willing to listen to any alternative opinion.

Politicians talking among themselves is no substitute for an election.
The scale of our economic problems, the length of the dole queues and the staggering numbers emigrating – these are the reasons why the government is running scared of elections. They are the very same reasons why an election is so necessary.

We need an agreed way forward. A way forward democratically agreed by the electorate. After all it is the people who are in charge here.

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