Fianna Fail Manifesto Stresses Political Reform
Edit at 14:00The full manifesto is available here.
It is really hard to read the Irish Times report on today’s Fianna Fail manifesto launch and avoid thinking three, cynical thoughts.
1) All well and good, but you were in power for the last 13 years. Whither the new found reform zeal?
2) The Green Party really did have an influence at cabinet. They helped write your next manifesto.
3) So your new ideas at this election have nothing to do with the economy…
I guess running on your record was out of the question?
In its manifesto to be published today, Fianna Fáil will suggest ministers should not be hampered by having to do constituency work. TDs who are chosen by the taoiseach to be members of the cabinet will be replaced by a substitute in the Dáil who would have to be named on a list published before the election.
Ministers would continue to attend the Dáil, answer questions and participate in debates, but they would not have votes in Dáil divisions. “This system would allow them to devote significantly more time to their ministerial duties,” according to the manifesto. Ministers would continue to require Dáil approval for their appointment.
Another radical change is that the Taoiseach would be allowed to nominate people who are not members of the Oireachtas to be ministers. A confirmation process would be put in place which would include “a presentation of priorities” before a committee.
Fianna Fáil will propose a revamped electoral system which would see a mix of single-seat constituencies elected through single transferable votes along with a top-up national list.
It reads like the manifesto of a party that doesn’t expect to be negotiating a PFG on Feb 26th. Legislation gets independent fiscal analysis and the working week goes to your average Mon-Fri 9-5. Would love to know what the fiscal analysis would have made of Charlie McCreevey’s budgets for years. Any Cowen’s for that matter.