General Election an opportunity for real political reform

The prospect of a General Election should be seen as an opportunity for real, meaningful and radical reform of our broken political system, said Green Party Kilkenny County Councillor Malcolm Noonan today.

“Irish Politics is on the floor, beaten, demoralised and devoid of inspiration that will reclaim it as a legitimate tool of civic engagement,” he said. “But we are now gifted a unique chance to change that forever and for the good of all of society. Everything can be on the table; reform and reduction of the size of the Dáil and Seanad, ending the clientelist system, banning corporate donations and most importantly giving civil society a central role in decision making to help shape a more just, sustainable society.”

Cllr Noonan welcomed initiatives such as ‘Claiming our Future’ and the weekend’s Union-led protest march in Dublin as meaningful steps in putting it up to the political class in Ireland that the Irish people will no longer accept corrupt and inept political representation from future Governments. Accepting that the Green Party have been a junior coalition partner in one of the most unpopular Governments in the history of the state, Cllr Noonan stated that the Party tried to initiate a process of reform, but were stifled on every turn by a system that fears change and is protectionist about maintaining a cosy distance from the society it is supposed to represent.

“While the election will be difficult for our Party, the prospect of a Fine Gael led Government is equally depressing. Until we see real reform and a clear choice being offered to the electorate, then we will continue in this cycle of weak political representation for many decades to come.” Cllr Noonan also stated that in the future he would like to see an alliance of Labour and the Greens as being central to challenging Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael dominance of Irish politics.

“But the priority now is to challenge all candidates and parties in the forthcoming General Election to become advocates for a radical reform agenda. Their bravery will be rewarded; this is an electorate that will no longer tolerate mediocrity and crony politics,” he concluded