Direct Democracy Ireland and the 1 year Initiative (1Yi)
By Robert J Long
Direct Democracy Ireland endorses the 1 Year Initiative, because it shares our goal of entrusting the people of Ireland with the ultimate authority in affairs which effect their lives, the country and the future generations.
In Ireland, we seem the constitutional amendment that would vest true authority and sovereignty in the people, which gave us the potential to exercise our will regardless of agenda of those in powers. This was citizen initiate referenda and the ability to ultimately veto the un-popular positions that serve the special interests, for example, charging us for water, we already pay for.
The concept of citizen initiated referenda is not a new idea. Instead the ideal has existed for as long as Democracy itself. It is the pure or ideal form of Democracy. There are many citizens who would assume that many of the tenants of Direct Democracy are in place today in most western democratic countries, such as Ireland. However there is a glaring difference between “representative” democracy and Direct Democracy. It could be argued in these times of such blatant pre-election lies or “hyperbole”, that representative democracy in not democracy at all.
Owing to the fact that the people cast their vote for their potential elected representative, basing their decision on what said candidate has promised and pledged to do once elected. As we have seen time and again and particularly in the last few years, the word of our elected representatives means nothing. They attain power through deceiving the people of their true intentions and agenda then go about implementing what they intended all along, or what they are told to implement by powerful, behind the scenes interests. There is nothing the people can do, but to wait several years to vote for another candidate, who has likewise pledged their word to work solely in the interests of the people. Thus the cycle perpetuates itself to the detriment of the nation and disenfranchisement of its citizenry.
There is a plethora of examples of which one can give, of how the Irish people have been hoodwinked in the past into electing dishonest and base politicians, however the one case which stands alone, is the General Election of 2011.This election was hailed as a “democratic revolution” against corruption and incompetence, with ringing and seemingly heartfelt promises of “our way or Frankfurt’s way” and “not another cent for the bankers”. These solemn promises to the Irish people and future generations were systematically broken with days of a new government forming, which had been elected on the basis of them being implemented. Then the Irish people, having been duped, could do nothing but watch the very same agenda of the previous government role on.
This is why we at Direct Democracy Ireland share the goal of 1 Year Initiative, to implement citizen initiated referenda and see it as imperative to betterment of our country and why we seek the support of the people in seeing that this is implemented for the success and self-determination of this and future generations.
Even if our elected representatives were to adhere to this word and do as they have sworn, purely representative democracy is still fundamentally flawed. Take for example, the recent general elections in the UK, with just 37 per-cent of the electorate supporting them, the Conservative Party now hold’s a majority in parliament and are free to implement their agenda un-opposed, in real terms, in parliament. The citizens of our country however, should have the ability to organize and express their democratic will at any time, not for a few seconds in a polling booth every few years.
With the implementation of citizen initiated referenda as DDI and the 1YI seek, the citizens of Ireland will be truly sovereign and the vision of our founding fathers, of a nation, solely owned and administered by its own people, for their own benefit will be fulfilled. Decision making on issues of great national importance will be decided upon, by the very people who’s lives the decisions would affect.
Perhaps then our elected representatives will truly ask themselves, what they can do for their country, not what their country can do for them.