Apparently, next year the government will create a constitutional convention to review the Irish constitution, look at the issue of political reform amongst other things, and then put its proposed changes to the people. Now, for political reformers like me, this can go a number of ways. The first is that the government will try to pack the convention in such a way as to ensure that it never gets near serious reform. The second is that it comprises a fair representation of the country, does consider serious reform, but decides against it. The third is that it considers reform, proposes it, and the people reject it. The fourth is that the proposals are adopted.
Where would that leave reformers? Options 1-3, the most likely outcome, will leave us with politics pretty much the way we found it, the system that got Ireland to where she is today. Option 4 gives the country a chance. I could certainly see myself, after options 1-3, deciding to turn my back on Irish politics, not as much in a huff as recognising that political reform would probably be off the table for a generation, and so I should do something more productive with my time.
But it also raises the point as to how important it is that the right convention be assembled, with at least 51% of its members random members of the public. If we want that, we have to act on it. So, dear readers, let’s do it. If you are interested in putting together an email campaign to government TDs to make them realise that voters do actually care about this stuff, drop me an email, and let’s start talking about this.