lostexpectation wrote:smiffy agree with a lot of what you say, the biggest flaw though, can we trust labour/fg/politicians?
i think your suggestions put too much trust in politicians, don't pretend you beleive that if we ask nicely they'll do as we ask or even keep their promises or follow through on their own convictions and that's why ridiculing of them sometimes works better, just cut past the disappointment and embarrass them into action.
It's a very fair point, and I certainly wouldn't trust politicians. That said, I think from what you're saying that we agree that - ultimately - political will on the part of TDs is required if the law is to be repealed. The question is then a strategic one - how can this be generated.
I think we'll probably have to disagree on what motivates them. I wouldn't share the view that ridicule is likely to play much of a role. By and large, and with a few honorable exceptions, the only goal of a TD is to get elected and the only thing they fear is losing votes. That's why they play everything so safely, and avoid putting their necks on the line on any issue which is likely to be divisive, even if they have firm views in private (abortion is the classic example here, but it applies to a lot of things).
That's why I think Labour is probably the best bet for progressing this issue (for many reasons, including those outlined in the previous post). There would be few in Labour with any objection to removing the blasphemy provision from the Constitution. However, they're not going to want to turn it into a large, public campaign, with the potential to generate wide-spread opposition. That's why the actual campaign would have to be slow, low-key, strategic and pretty laborious. Big public demonstrations might generate coverage, but they won't generate support in the Dáil. Lobbying is required, identifying a few key sympathetic individuals who are willing to push the issue internally within the party. Once it becomes party policy, keep the pressure simmering until they reach government.
At that point, get the commitment to have a referendum (there's no way the law will be repealed without one), but base the case not on the issue of freedom of speech (although that's the ultimate reason) but on the more boring, uncontentious premise of regularising the Constitution, bit-by-bit, in line with the recommendations of the All-Party Committee. Tag the referendum on to some other, more important, referendum and my guess is that it would go through with relative ease.
There are a lot of ifs, ands and buts in there, but I think a choice needs to be made between the a high-profile campaign, and an effective one. Unfortunately, in this case, I think the two are mutually exclusive.
would there be any way to challenge or break the law in conjunction with a set of believers?
i guess if your talking about going to court it turns into good ol defamation, how do the courts define groups of outraged people... how do you define outrage
is the outrage bill not the blasphemous bill[/quote]