Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Let’s let the people who screwed up write the new constitution.

Posted by Jason O on May 22, 2010 in Irish Politics |

Eamonn Gilmore, who is a politician I respect if rarely agree with, has suggested that we set up a constitutional convention of 30 people, to draft a new constitution. I think that is a good idea. However, his suggestion as to the composition of the convention is mistaken. He wants 33% Politicians, 33% NGOs and Social partners, and 33% real people. In other words, two thirds made up of people who refused to change the political system 14 times before (politicians and their reports) and the unrepresentative socio-establishment who spent all their time at the social partnership talks divvying up other people’s money. Aren’t these the people who have the country the way it is today?

Give that crowd a quarter of the seats, and the other three quarters picked at random from the electoral register. I suspect that we might be surprised at what ordinary people might come up with when they actually have to produce a document. 

1 Comment

SK
May 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

I wouldn’t even give that crowd 1/4 of the seats. How exactly NGOs and “social partners” represent the likes of people like me, well educated, middle class working in the services sector with a European multinational. Who would speak for my interests? But there would be plenty of people to talk for public servants, dole recipients, politicians. Middle class tax payers should be properly represented, i.e. at least half of those present.

The way to achieve that is through a full deliberative democracy policy jury. The more I hear about the approach (here was a recent article http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16056622) the more I like it.


 

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