As a partner to the 1Yi campaign that was launched today, the Green Party re-affirmed its pledge to introduce citizen initiatives during the term of the next Dáil.
Citizen initiatives are a mechanism for citizens to call a referendum on an issue by collecting sufficient signatures. They are a common feature of democracy in Germany, Switzerland and the United States.
Green Party Cork North Central candidate and political reform campaigner, Oliver Moran, said:
“Citizen initiatives are practical way for citizens to keep a hand on the steering wheel and at the same time bring new ideas forward. The marriage equality referendum shows how able Irish citizens are able to work successfully with deliberative and direct democracy: both those who took part in the Constitutional Convention that recommended marriage equality and those who voted in the referendum that followed. The ability of the Irish people to tell good referendums from bad is well tested. From twice rejecting referendums for single seat constituencies to the recent Seanad and Oireachtas inquiries referendums, we know our stuff. Citizen initiatives are the natural next step in the building of a new republic.”
“Germany, Switzerland and the United States have a very long experience with citizen initiatives, going back 100 years or more. We can learn from their models, take the best, and develop a model that works for us.”
On the Green Party’s commitment to citizen initiatives, Moran said:
“The Green Party have a very long commitment to citizen initiatives going back at least to our 1997 manifesto and our major political reform document, ‘Democratic Communities’, in 2005.”
“Now, as part of our 2016 manifesto, we will reaffirm that commitment and go further. As a linked document to our political reform policy, we have produced a start-to-finish illustration of how citizen initiatives could work in Ireland. We believe we are the first political party in Ireland to do this and it underlines how core the commitment to citizen initiatives is to the Green Party.”
The Green Party illustrative document outlining an example process for citizen initiatives in Ireland, can be seen here:
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