Fine Gael’s ‘New Politics’ plan is the most ambitious political reform package since the 1930s and will place the Citizen firmly at the centre of government.
Fine Gael, the Party that created the State and declared it a Republic, wants to build a ‘New Republic’ where a smaller, more nimble government is held to account, trust is restored in our democratic institutions and the concerns of the Citizen, rather than the elites are placed firmly at the centre of government.
Fine Gael’s starting point is simple: political failure lies at the heart of Ireland’s economic collapse. The finger of responsibility must, in the first instance, point directly to the massive policy failures of the recent Fianna-Fail led Governments and their willingness to promote the interests of a so-called “Golden Circle” over the interests of the Citizen. Under Fianna Fail a political culture developed which ensured that the bankers and the developers were not dealt with before it was too late.
The New Politics is designed to tackle head-on the major weaknesses in our archaic system of government, so that the huge policy mistakes of the last few years will not be repeated. Real, tangible change is needed and Fine Gael’s proposals will provide it. It is built on four principles:
1.A Single Chamber Oireachtas.
2.A New Dáil: Fine Gael wants to expand the role and power of TDs so that they can truly hold the Government to account.
3.Open Government: Trust in government will be restored by opening it up to outside scrutiny and making party political funding more transparent.
4.Empowering the Citizen: We want to shift the balance of power between the State and the Citizen so that local communities and individuals have more power over their own lives.Specifically, as outlined in ‘New Politics’, Fine Gael will:
•Reduce the number of TDs by 20;
•Hold a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad;
•Provide a vote in Presidential elections for Irish citizens living abroad;
•Create a new ‘Citizen’s Assembly’;
•Reduce the President’s term from seven years to five;
•Significantly strengthen Freedom of Information making it cheaper and easier for the public to receive information to which they are entitled.
•Fortify the Dáil committee system to hold the Government to account;
•Shift power from the Cabinet to the Dáil and reform the legislative process to give TDs real influence over the drafting of legislation.
•Radically overhaul our archaic Budget process.
•Create a new Senior Civil Service;
The New Politics is central to our party’s vision for the transformation of Ireland. Just as political failure lies at the heart of the current economic crisis, so we believe that the New Politics can play a vital role in returning our country to long-term growth and prosperity. Political reform is not an optional extra for Fine Gael – it is an essential part of our programme to build a New Republic in Ireland.
For more download the full document: http://www.finegael.org/upload/NewPolitics.pdf