Establishment fear of DDI principles spawns raft of attacks
Since Direct Democracy Ireland entered the political arena just 6 months ago there has been a marked increase in awareness of the need to change politics to a new, more accountable system. It is becoming obvious that, for all the other options touted by the establishment as ones that would return power to people, the only system that really does the job is a system of direct democracy.
The message seems to be gaining traction and it has even reached the Constitutional Conventionover the weekend in the debate on electoral reform. Raised from the floor by a man known only as Kieth in the Q&A session on Saturday, direct democracy entered the discussion, and by Sunday was one of the 4 topics voted to be brought forward for further discussion over the next 3 weeks.
Announcement of Results – Convention on the Constitution (19/05/13)
The pre-ballot discussion only mentioned direct democracy for less than a minute highlighting only the option to call referendums.
So from the briefest mention direct democracy has attracted enough interest with the people in the room to be the third most popular issue to discuss in terms of improving the electoral system. How far this issue goes depends on how it is discussed in the conference and whether they invite any speakers at the conference with good knowledge of direct democracy that will convey it’s positive aspects well to the room.
In reality though, this body is only an advisory group and all recommendations are simply that, advisory, and it is at the liberty of the sitting government to decide whether they adopt any of the the proposals from the convention. The likelihood of direct democracy being adopted by the establishment is highly unlikely by the way they have responded to the idea so far.
Reactions to our message
It has been a very strange experience bringing this idea forward for us in DDI because although it has created quite a stir among the people, and when the people hear about it they love the idea, the reaction of political parties and media is by contrast confusing if not predictable. It seems to have made a lot of politicians and media outlets very nervous and reactionary, and behave in seemingly irrational ways.
From almost the get go in November 2012 the civil war parties have remained quiet on the subject. Perhaps they hoped it would just go away, but they have been quite civil and unaffected. There may be another reason for this but we will come back to that later.
However, the difference in the attitude of the other parties is where the confusion for the public lies. You would think, with all the demands for change the other parties have made over the decades, they would be thrilled with an idea like direct democracy? Especially the parties that proffer themselves as the ‘party of the people’ and have historically talked about ‘people power’. Well apparently they don’t like the idea at all and are vociferous in their attacks on direct democracy?
Despite all their grand words about how the electoral system is broken, how there is a disconnect with voters, and how we need to change the system radically, we are not really seeing any serious efforts to change the system from these established parties. We even had the soundbite of Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins on RTE radio last week saying straight out “we need direct democracy” (thanks for the advert Joe by the way). Yet they and the other parties still cling to their detached and hierarchical representative / parliamentary system, and proceed to write as many negative blogs and articles as they can about the idea of direct democracy.
We have seen them send their attack dogs (or junior attack puppies) out onto the internet to troll the web, writing blogs and articles and hijacking pages and threads, trying to discredit the whole idea of direct democracy and people actually having a say in their own lives and country’s future. It has been fascinating to watch them try and destroy the very thing they sometimes claim to represent themselves. In the end and by their actions I guess they must only pay lip service. This seems to be a common problem in establishment politics and a major reason why this system’s time is over.
We sometimes wonder, when we see some of the paranoid nonsense they write, if the hierarchy of their parties are not more than a little embarrassed that the general public can see how unreasoned and desperate these parties’ activist supporters really are? people are not stupid and it reflects very badly on these parties that they think they are. Perhaps these parties don’t see it at all, but it is to their own detriment when the public see them rubbishing the people’s right to self determination.
We would expect nothing less from political parties of the existing state apparatus. They have known no other way to operate other than to name call and attack and attempt to destroy any challenger. When they cannot attack the DDI message they try to personalise their attacks. It is to be expected, after all they want to get elected don’t they, and that’s where their priorities seem to end. So what is the reason? Is it that these parties just see a threat to their support base from a much better message and will stoop to any depths to stop the outflow of voters? Or is there something more sinister and controlled going on here in protection of the ‘system’ by all it’s members?
Imagine how completely different this country could be if those who were supposed to lead actually compromised, coexisted and worked together for the people instead of their own narrow agendas? Unfortunately the system we have isn’t designed that way though and the people who control it are products of that system, hence they are unwilling and incapable of changing it. This is why DDI advocates a complete system change.
Back to the ‘quiet’ civil war parties, perhaps they are not so quiet in reality for they do not need to attack you personally as their influence in mainstream media and other organisations works better as a proxy hatchet man. Attacks from the Legal profession. Attacks from certain Union leaders. Attacks from columnists. They come thick and fast, and again they cannot attack the message so they make ad hominem attacks on individuals. Again a predictable course of action. None of their writings of course are their own work either as they are simply plagiarised from the online rantings from the imagination and paranoia of one or two minor party activists blog sites. Why would these groups want to add their weight to destroying the people’s right to choose their own future? You might not find it surprising to see the the legal industry having a go for their own reasons, especially after being found wanting on the issue of the constitutional rights of the people of this country and how they are being vindicated, but attacks from a workers union? Very strange indeed. Is it their political affiliations they are protecting or their financial and professional positions?
What has been most shocking in the last 6 months is the standard of journalism in Ireland in the mainstream media in relation to direct democracy. Lazy journalism has seen mainstream media using the same paranoid nonsense from internet blogs as ‘sourced factual information’. You would have thought they had learned their lesson after the presidential election tweet fiasco, but seemingly not when it suits their goals. It seems by their actions the mainstream media too will say what they can get away with in order to crush the people’s right to decide. This is just an unavoidable observation based on their performance so far.
Ever since DDI launched we have seen the media continually running stories about a need for a new party in Irish politics and a need for new ideas. Yet every time they write one of these stories they never once mention that DDI is already here. Both before and after the Meath East by election where our success was based on our radical platform of change. Every time they write one of these articles they try to plant the seeds in readers brains that a new party can be formed from people with people from existing parties. The same old names are thrown up like Declan Ganly ,or a gang of 4 from the Labour dissenters, or a mix of disenfranchised FF and FG TDs, and finally the latest effort pushing Lucinda Creighton to form a party of her own, like a new PDs.
We also have the almost comical situation where the most highly paid current affairs presenter in Irish media continually repeats this mantra of how we need a new party. Hundreds of thousands of euros a year they get paid to keep their hand on the pulse of Irish politics, and yet they seem to have completely missed the Meath East by election. Perhaps that huge salary should be reviewed because if something this basic goes unnoticed then they aren’t doing their job properly.
Where is the ‘new party with new ideas’ when you push old politicians from old parties with the same old ideas? It is simply a media trick to make voters think they have a choice. the trick is they don’t have a choice, as it is clear that your options are chosen for you, and you are voting for more of the same. So they want another manufactured minor party to support one of the big 2, to ultimately be discarded after the next orchestrated coalition disaster. People need to start asking themselves what on earth is going on in our media if this kind of nonsense is so blatant? What is their agenda in Irish politics? Where are the honest journalists we used to know?
People should be asking themselves, what on earth has Irish media been doing for the last 50 years because every disaster that has befallen Ireland economically, politically and socially has been completely missed by the mainstream media until it is far too late. Isn’t it supposed to be their job to be writing about these things before they happen? Are they not supposed to be a brake or balance on excesses of political power? Yes that is their job ! Have they done it in our lifetime? No ! Ask yourselves why ?
Yet after 50 years of failing us, again we see the spectacle of the media putting months of it’s energy into attacking a new party that hasn’t even won a by-election, let alone a council seat yet. All this effort on a party with no representation yet. Does it not make any sense to you at all ? Does this not make you wonder what exactly it is they are so very afraid of in politics and media? What is it in DDI’s principles and message that has the politicians and media scrambling for any way possible to attack them and bring them down?
Why can they not attack the message and are reduced to attacking the people brave enough to stand up in the firing line to bring this message to the people of Ireland?
Why are they so desperate to protect the system we have, the system that has failed us so miserably?
I think we all know why, don’t we?
Perhaps they will prove us wrong one day, but in the meantime the DDI train rolls on
So to finish we would like to say thank you to the member of the public known only as Kieth for standing up and speaking out at the Constitutional Convention. It seems that direct democracy is an idea who’s time has come after all, and the establishment and their controlled opposition don’t like the idea one little bit.