election_032_01The following is the text from a leaflet published in Cork by the ‘for DEMOCRACY!’ group.  A .PDF copy of the leaflet can be downloaded here.

Having City Council Controlled by the People is the First Step towards solving our problems Nationally

The problem in Ireland is that the people are effectively excluded from deciding anything – this lies behind all the austerity and allows it.

Powerful groups with vested interests rule over us, we are dictated to and policy is imposed – this has been the case since the foundation of our state.

Our Constitution says that we live in a “sovereign, independent, democratic state”, it says that it is our right to “decide all questions of national policy”. The Constitution says that our sovereign rights are “inalienable”, that means they can never be taken away, denied or transferred to anyone.

However, we have been prevented from exercising these democratic rights. We do not decide state policy – it is decided by Private Member Clubs calling themselves Political Parties. Our right to decide policy has been hijacked by those whom we have entrusted to represent us in Dáil Éireann and on City Council.

Our communities are not represented in Government – use of the Party ‘whip’ and the ‘Pact’ takes that from us. In reality, a handful of individuals make all the decisions in our country – many of which are dictated from abroad.

If the people ruled Ireland we would create policy to serve our own needs, not the bankers, nameless bondholders or other vested interests, at home or elsewhere.

We can and must Empower Ourselves!

It is our right to select our own candidates in the coming elections, we must do this. Political Parties have always decided who should be candidates – based on deals made in private, away from the people. Even with independents the selection process has never been a public one, accountable to the people.

The process of Party politics ensures that the most corrupt individuals, those who offer most favours, bribes, threats, lies and dictate rise to the top. The Parties are driven by self-interest and have no respect for the people or for democracy, we must stop handing over our mandate and decision making to them ….

In advance of the coming elections you will be invited to nominate candidates to represent your community. We must encourage people to take on the important responsibility of representation.

We need candidates who will put in place a system of ongoing public consultation to ensure that they act on mandate only – this is possible.

We need to ensure that all representation is of the people, not of private clubs, Parties or any ‘ism’, ideology or single-issue/campaign group.
Our Constitution says that the role of Local Government is to provide “a forum for the democratic representation of local communities” – we must make a reality of that, it is our entitlement.

We have an opportunity to make real change, it is important that we do.