For those of us who have been following the progress of Ireland’s constitutional convention, tomorrow promises to be an important date. According to the Dáil’s schedule of business, the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government will be providing a statement on the Convention’s first report tomorrow afternoon/evening.
While (to the best of my knowledge) no official statements have been issued by the Department or government in advance, The Irish Times reported last Wednesday that the government has accepted the Convention’s recommendation that a referendum be held on a proposal to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16. However, the same report went on to disclose that ‘the one major departure of Cabinet from the convention report is its rejection of its recommendation that ordinary citizens have a role in the nomination process in a presidential election’.
I note here that, according to the Convention’s report, 94% of the membership voted in favour of the proposal to ‘give citizens a say in the nomination’ (of presidential candidates), so rejection would be something of a slap in the face for the Convention’s membership. I also note that this specific recommendation would, by definition, take exclusive nominating power out of the hands of our elected politicians.
We will see tomorrow whether this is the case – watch this space.