P R E S S   R E L E A S E  –  Tuesday April 16th, 2013press_release

On the Suggested Postponement of Elections!

The recent statement by Cork city Councillor Jim Corr,  to postpone the coming Local Elections, is a glaring example of disregard for our democracy – this is the same disregard which has underlined the deepening crisis into which our state is sinking.

Spokesperson for The People’s Convention in Cork, Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, highlights that according to Bunreacht na hÉireann local elections shall be held “not later than the end of the fifth year after the year in which they were last held”.   This provision was added to our Constitution after several years of manipulation of the election dates by the Parties controlling Government.

Mr. Ó Cadhla said “Cllr. Corr’s suggestion to postpone to 2015 would be unconstitutional, he should know that.  The reason given for postponing, to allow time to re-access the boundaries, does not excuse violation of our basic law.”

The Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee established by Minister Hogan, Cllr. Corr’s party colleague, is due to report before the end of next month – a full 12 months before the expected elections – so why the need to postpone elections?

Mr. Ó Cadhla added: The past few years has highlighted more and more that access to our democratic process is severely limited – effectively excluded citizens in many ways.   This is underlined by the continuous imposition of policy decisions that could never be described as the preferred policy of the people.”

“Our country is enslaved to repay a debt which is not ours, last year we paid nameless bondholders €20bn, this year we are paying these gamblers €17bn more to cover their losses.” 

“Citizen are rightly angry at the disregard for our mandate shown by successive governments and the Political Parties generally.  We are supposed to accept that lies are a normal part of our democracy, and now, with the Local Property Tax, we can add threats to that.”

Whatever the real reason for Cllr. Corr’s suggestion to violate our Constitution we are sure it is not to serve the people.  Local Government is supposed to provide “a forum for the democratic representation of local communities”, it doesn’t do this at the moment – we must change that.

The People’s Convention has already called on the voters of Cork to contest every seat in these coming elections, maybe this is what upsets Cllr. Corr and his colleagues?

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said: “It is people and communities who should be represented in government, not Party, ‘ism’, ‘independent’, ‘single-issue’ or special interest groups of any kind, that is why we are encouraging that voters select their own People’s Candidates.”

“People’s Candidates will be selected in open public forum, not in back rooms like the Parties, and will be contracted to act only on mandate from the people.  This approach means that a regular system of consultation in the local areas will be introduced, so that elected Councillors know how they should vote on all the policy issues up for decision.  We are working for the empowerment of the people, not the vested interests who currently dictate and manipulate everything, even election dates!”

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Contact Diarmaid Ó Cadhla on 086-3805005 for any direct comment.