6/27/2005

No respect for Democracy

I certainly have my differences with Labour leader Pat Rabbitte but I must give the man his due and say that he has it spot on as regards his criticism of the government over both their holiday plans and their plans to reform Dáil procedures. Mr. Rabbitte rightly points out that it is disgraceful that the government are not willing to extend the Dáil term by a mere week to debate important legislation including the Garda Bill and the Disability Bill. Both these bills have proved to be very controversial and the Dáil should be given the proper time to scrutinise them. Considering the fact that the Dáil gives itself a 3 month summer break, I hardly think an extra week sitting is too much of an imposition.

Of even more conern is the notion that the government intends to reform the schedule so that opposition leaders are less able to question the Taoiseach on his performance. Questioning by the opposition is an excellent way of keeping the taoiseach in check as he has no place to run from questions in the Dáil. Accountability is government is a key principle of democracy and any attempts to dilute accountability should be firmly opposed. When the government treat the Dáil with such contempt they are really sticking two fingers up to the people of ireland who elected them.

No comments: