That right to manage the Irish State, its social and foreign affairs comes from a contract between the Irish State and the Irish people. The articles of that contract are contained in a Constitution which can only be changed with the consent of the Irish People. That contract defines the Irish State, Its relationship with other States, and guarantees the human and civil rights of the citizens and those others who live in our community. The Constitution also defines how the government of the state shall be chosen, it’s authority and it’s powers. This is democratic because of its basis in government by popular consent, however the authority of the Government is regulated by “The Constitution”.
Article 6 of that Constitution provides;
“All powers of government derive from the people, whose sole right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of National policy, according to the requirements of the common good.”
The first part of article 6 appears to be satisfied by the holding of general elections when the people are allowed to choose from amongst the candidates their preference to be the “rulers” of the State. However as presently constructed not all members of the Oireachtas are allowed to participate in the governance of the State. The “Party” with the largest number of elected representative (sometimes with the support of a minor partner) determines the government of the State.
The second part of article 6 (to decide all questions of National policy, according to the requirements of the common good.) is denied the Irish people because only at the Governments whim, can the people decide matters of National importance. Only the Government can initiate a “Referendum” to decide to change the Constitution.
That is Why we Need:
- To enshrine in our constitution that our government shall be composed of all shades of political opinion as expressed at the ballot box. (A truly representative government )
- To enshrine in our constitution a mechanism by which the people can instruct the government of their wishes on matters of grave national importance. A “Plebiscite”