FG list of proposed referendum

Discuss Irish and International politics
ctr
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:23 am

FG list of proposed referendum

Post by ctr » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:58 am

See here

I notice one required referendum missing.

10 pts. for guessing which...
Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver
Dev
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 914
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:10 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by Dev » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:48 pm

  • the abolition of the Seanad;
    a new “list” system for selecting 15 TDs;
    new constitutional recognition given to four Dáil committees;
    reduction of the President’s term of office from seven years to five;
    the introduction of a public petition mechanism for the Dáil.
It also argues for two further constitutional amendments to take place before then: the reversal of the “Abbeylara” judgment that limits the power of Dáil committees to conduct investigations; and an amendment that would allow reductions in judges’ pay.
I don't understand some of the proposed changes. Namely given recognition to four Dáil committees. Why is this necessary?

I support some of the changes especially the public petition mechanism. Although it would be a shame to see Ivana go along with Shane Ross and the fact that Irish universities have a voice in the political system but €30 million a year is a lot of money to fund a body thats main function is to simply proof read the output of the Dáil. Perhaps they could come back as TD's.

@ctr, removal of the blasphemy law? Dev+10?
munsterdevil
Posts: 737
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:23 pm

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by munsterdevil » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:33 pm

Dev wrote:@ctr, removal of the blasphemy law? Dev+10?
Not sure if that would need a referendum to remove, I mean it was brought in without one, I stand corrected if I'm wrong...
Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. Arthur C. Clarke
ctr
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:23 am

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by ctr » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:30 pm

You are wrong :)

The law was brought in to comply with the requirements of the Constitution.
Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver
Bik
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Location: Baile Átha Cliath

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by Bik » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:53 pm

Perhaps it's not listed as FG don't believe the current government will fall prior to the planned referendum?

However, it might be worthwhile for us to contact our own FG representatives to ask for an undertaking that it will be included if the government collapses before the referendum takes place.
"Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." Superintendent Chalmers
Bik
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 637
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Location: Baile Átha Cliath

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by Bik » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:41 pm

I contacted Brian Hayes, who is my local FG TD on this, I got this reply back:
Dear Darren,

Many thanks for your email. Fine Gael believes that a referendum on blasphemy should take place. Our Spokesperson on Justice Charlie Flanagan has raised this issue several times in the Dail. I have included below the most recent PQs on this issue raised by Fine Gael. I will keep you updated on further developments on the issue. If you have any observations please feel free to contact me.

Regards

Brian
The most recent PQs mentioned above were:
DÁIL QUESTIONS addressed to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. Ahern)
by Deputies
for ORAL ANSWER on Thursday, 25th March, 2010.



42. To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform his plans to propose a referendum on blasphemy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.



14. To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform his plans to further reform on law on blasphemy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.




REPLY.
My views on the question of a referendum on blasphemy are as stated in the House during the debate on 20 May 2009 of Committee Stage of the Defamation Bill 2006. I clearly stated that I hoped that the matter could be addressed by referendum at a suitable opportunity in the near future.


In debates on the Bill in this House I explained the nature of the constitutional obligation imposed on me - in Article 40.6.1. i of the Constitution - in regard to blasphemous libel. The Defamation Act 1961, in section 13, provided for the offence of blasphemous libel which was punishable by monetary and prison penalties (up to 2 years imprisonment was possible). Successive Attorneys General had advised the Government that until the Constitution is amended, by referendum, it is necessary that blasphemous libel remain a crime and that legislation must make provision for punishment of this crime. This presented a certain difficulty if we were to proceed to repeal the 1961 Act and bring to a conclusion the lengthy process of reforming our defamation legislation.

Having regard to the constitutional obligation, I was faced with essentially two choices. The first was to put on hold the reform of defamation legislation and to seek the approval of the Government to conduct a referendum to delete the provision on blasphemous libel from the Constitution. This choice would have involved considerable expense as a "stand alone" referendum and would I believe have been an unwarranted diversion and would have attracted significant criticism as such. I made clear at the time that I felt that this was not a viable option given the current circumstances.

The approach I favoured mirrored that of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, which in its Report in 2008, recommended that the specific reference to blasphemy in the Constitution should be deleted. They were of the view that if there is a need to protect against religious offence or incitement, it is more appropriate that this be dealt with by legislative intervention with due regard to freedom of expression. However, the Committee saw no need, nor did I, for a Constitutional amendment in the short term and, pragmatically, were of the view that any appropriate opportunity should be availed of in the future. The matter, in other words, was not of immediate importance.

The approach, therefore, which I felt had significant support, was to proceed with the reform of our defamation legislation, and to make minimum provision in regard to blasphemous libel in the new Act. Section 36 of the Defamation Act 2009, therefore, removes the possibility of prison sentences and private prosecutions for blasphemous libel. It also provides for a defence to a defendant who proves that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates. I commenced operation of the Act by Order on 1 January, 2010.

I remain of the view that on grounds of cost, a referendum on its own on blasphemy should not be held and that it should instead run together with one or more other referendums. I would be happy to propose to the Government a referendum on blasphemy at the appropriate time.
"Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion." Superintendent Chalmers
IonaTerry
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:29 am
Location: London

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by IonaTerry » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:08 pm

All Politicians are just........ ;)
Bik wrote:I contacted Brian Hayes, who is my local FG TD on this, I got this reply back:
So what's your next work in this regard?
randomcrisis
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:33 am

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by randomcrisis » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:59 pm

I'm wondering, do we have accurate figures on how many atheist/ non belivers / etc in the country that would make political parties take notice?

Thanks and kindest regards

Dez
Dev
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 914
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:10 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by Dev » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:14 pm

The census suggests there are a few more non-theists (180,000) than Protestants (160,000). However many in this group are considered to be either defected Catholics, spiritual, deists or simply not atheist either. It would be nice to have an atheist option on the census.

We don't have accurate numbers but a very conservative estimate would be at least 100,000.
lostexpectation
Posts: 1993
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: FG list of proposed referendum

Post by lostexpectation » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:13 pm

people always tell me that if you want to get politician to notice you have to do on constituency basis, send a letter with your name and address showing your a constituent to that td, trying to find the number of non religious in "Small Area" stats might be somewhat useful,
but then you'd have areas where they'd be much fewer non religious people, so would our aims not count there,when most of our aims on national, again theres the problem with tds not seeing themselves as national legislators that theyre supposed to be. i mean most of aims are ones that we would think would benefit, the whole country, religious and not.

arggh just thinking outloud
test
Post Reply