Final report card on the government’s reactions to the Irish Constitutional Convention

Last week — in the closing days of the 31st Dáil, and long past the agreed time for a government response — the government finally found some time to deal with the remaining reports of the Irish Constitutional Convention. This provides an opportunity for a final report card on the government’s reactions to the ICC, a body that it established in the first place.

Summary

The record is not impressive.  As the summary table shows (for further details go this longer table: ICC outcomes Jan 2016), a mere seven (17%) of the ICC’s recommendations were accepted by the government. While it is true that they government has formally rejected the same number, the most common response of the government (in 41% of the cases) has been to ‘park’ the issue (i.e. kicking the can down the road to a future government).

If any consideration is to be given to establishing a new Constitutional Convention in the next Dáil — as was mooted in last week’s Dáil debate — it is imperative that tighter guarantees are made to require the government to treat that Convention with a lot more respect than it has treated this one.

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4 thoughts on “Final report card on the government’s reactions to the Irish Constitutional Convention

  1. Unfortunately the 41% being parked is not surprising. Can we really expect any government to listen to the people’s wishes unless it suits their agenda?
    Can we really expect government to listen to 83% of delegates who voted in favour of giving citizens a real say in the decision-making process?

  2. Will there be a report card about the quality of the convention itself, or will we just be blaming other people?
    Your convention gave us the biggest No vote to a referendum in Irish history.

  3. It is probably worth pointing out that:

    1) the Government, through the Dail, is accountable to the people and this convention is not;

    2) treating each recommendation as equal is daft for obvious reasons;

    3) the convention went outside its terms of references repeatedly in terms of discussion and recommendations; and

    4) there are legitimate concerns about the role of outside experts in the convention process which needs to be addressed if this experiment is to be repeated.

    The automatic acceptance of the Convention’s recommendations would have been a usurpation of the role of parliament. It would have given random and nameless punters a greater say in the basic function of our democracy that elected members. That is obviously daft.

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