(from Pamphlet: “IRISH CITIZENS, WE MUST EMPOWER OURSELVES!”)
The People’s Convention as an organisation has only one policy: democracy, how to secure it, how to exercise it and how to defend it.
The role of The People’s Convention is to create the means and provide the forums for citizens to formulate the people’s policies on all issues. When the citizens of a constituency wish to express their opinion, select candidates, call a referendum, even publish draft laws, they will do so through The People’s Convention.
Will there be divisions in The People’s Convention on matters of policy?
Yes and no. Yes there will always be differences of opinion on how society should proceed on any matter. But these differences of opinion should not lead to divisions amongst the people themselves – differences can contribute to finding the best solutions to problems and opportunities for advancement.
The fundamental approach to all matters of State or social policy, which may be properly a matter for regulation by the community, should be that the aspirations and potential of every individual can be realised to the maximum. Therefore we should try to create the means to fulfil these aspirations.
If we make a policy in any area that should prove to be inadequate or contrary to the needs of the people then we can initiate new proposed legislation and make the appropriate changes without having to wait for a General Election.
The roots of many of the social problems in our society and behind the recent riots in England, for example, are to be found in the sense of powerlessness, alienation, lack of entitlement or stake in one’s own society. This is particularly felt by the youth and not just those suffering from depravation and poverty. The People’s Convention will encourage all, especially our youth, to participate in the exercise of citizen’s power.
Even though the right to vote is limited at the moment to those 18 and over, progressive opinion is that a 16 year old is mature enough to exercise their franchise.