‘A Constitutional Convention will amount to very little unless ordinary people are engaged’
- Category: Communications
On Tuesday last (15 March), Mick got his second opportunity to speak in the Dáil as the Programme for Government was debated. Focusing on the issue of constitutional change and the need to engage citizens, Mick made the following remarks: “On the subject of reform, I see there is mention of a constitutional convention which is a great idea. I am delighted to hear that Deputy Richard Bruton thinks we should be engaged on it and this is very important. There has to be serious engagement with the citizens of the country on any type of constitutional change. In the past, much lip-service has been paid to constitutional change but too often it has amounted to very little. There must be wider involvement. If it is to be real and serious we must engage the ordinary people. The people have to feel they are part of this. They have to feel that they are part of the Republic and the country, and they should have a say in how things are done. Too often, they are isolated. If we involve them more it will be harder to go back on the ideas we come up with; we will not be able to fudge them and bury them as easily and they will carry more weight. I am concerned about one matter. When the Labour Party put forward its proposals prior to the election it also mentioned a constitutional convention and used the terms “ordinary people” and “association”, meaning civil society. Both of these have been dropped from the combined programme for Government. Does this mean the Labour Party is not quite as interested in engaging the ordinary citizens? It will amount to very little unless ordinary people are engaged.” Click here to see a video of Mick's speech.