Response Letter to Sunday Independent Article (not printed)
Brendan O’Connor’s article (“Principled policies in search of a party“, Sunday Independent, 15th June 2014) claims that, regarding the formation of a new centrist party “Imagine you had a party with a clean bill of health, tailored to cater to the more than half of the people who think we should have a new party”. However he also claims “…no one is willing to take the bull by the horns.”
The article concentrates solely on the lack of intention of the Reform Alliance and laments while overlooking once again that this “…gaping hole in the market…” has already been filled since 2012 by a party called Direct Democracy Ireland. Not only was it “…set up in response to the new realities we face”, but it was also designed to be a home for all voters, both left and right, who feel disenfranchised by our political system.
This is because DDI espouses a new system of governance where the people can if necessary overrule their government, thus severely restricting the possibility of extremist policies in either direction. In “…a country that is crying out for a party it can believe in…” a party who’s primary goal is to reduce it’s own power would seem to tick the right boxes.
Every week for the last 18 months there has been one media article after another wondering when we will see a new party, each one ignoring the DDI elephant in the room. It appears that although Brendan and others call for new solutions from people outside of the establishment, they only give credibility to potential parties made up of people from the very existing parties they decry. Yet we all know, you cannot fix a problem using the same thinking that created it.
If commentators are serious in what they say then it’s time they too started thinking differently instead of deliberately limiting the discussion. A new party doesn’t need wings to fly, just good ideas. Oh and a little bit of recognition would help too.
Jan Van De Ven
Leader, Direct Democracy Ireland