Written by Dr Conor McGrath
The main Green Party manifesto – titled ‘Renewing Ireland’ – is available at http://vote.greenparty.ie/downloads/manifesto.pdf.
The document covers the full range of government Departments, though doesn’t get into a huge amount of detail in many areas – banking reform, for instance, is dealt with in 5 sentences. Economic recovery is one of the main areas of the manifesto, and there is naturally some focus on the ‘green economy’.
Only two elements of the Green Party manifesto relate to the secular public policy agenda. In common with all the other main parties, the Green Party would initiate a review of the Constitution. They would hold a referendum later this year on the establishment of a 40 members Citizens Assembly (to then be elected) to draft within 18 months a new Constitution – which would then itself be the subject of another referendum (p. 13). There is no real detail here on what aspects of the existing Constitution the Green Party would particularly wish to see changed.
On education policy, the Green Party would: “Review the Education Act to look at issues such as Boards of Management, patronage and enrolment” (p. 21). Again, the manifesto does not provide any additional information on what precise aspects of school patronage would be examined.
Overall then, the Green Party manifesto – while full of (usually uncosted) proposals by which to integrate environmental concerns with wider policy on economics, agriculture, transport, and so on – has very little to say (and then only in quite vague terms) on the policy issues of relevance to the secular perspective.
We will be publishing an analysis of each party’s manifesto as they become available.