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

The Invisible Referendum.

Posted by Jason O on Oct 13, 2012 in Irish Politics |

Am I the only political hack who just isn’t registering the Children’s Rights referendum? I keep forgetting that it is actually on, and to be honest, without checking, I have no idea when polling day is. Maybe it’s because it is so ho-hum as a subject, or that the opponents seem to be either non-existant or a little bit creepy. But it does raise another issue: are referendums on what are essentially technical issues the best way to deal with issues like this?

In other countries, the constitution can be amended by a super-majority of the national parliament, say, with the consent of two-thirds of the members. Why not do that, with the added safeguardĀ of letting the public initiate a referendum themselves to be held at the next national contest, if they don’t like what pols do?

Of course, the problem is that such a change would require, you got it, a referendum. Would the Irish people agree to give that power to politicians? Would politicians agree to ceding the power to initiate changes to what they see as THEIR political system? Hmmm…

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