FG to propose referendum on reform

Monday 15 March 2010 16.27
Fine Gael - Conference next weekend
Fine Gael - Conference next weekend

The Government Chief Whip has expressed his hope that Fine Gael will feed its proposals on electoral and political reform into the Government's soon to be established Electoral Commission.

Pat Carey’s comments follow Fine Gael's confirmation that it is finalising a substantial policy document on the issues, which include a proposal to hold a one day super-referendum on a series of proposed constitutional amendments, within a year of entering government.

Among Fine Gael's proposals are the abolition of the Seanad and constitutional recognition of four Dáil committees to give them more power.

It is also proposing a reduction of the President's term of office to five years and the introduction of a system enabling the public to bring issues to the Dáil through petitions.

In addition, the party is considering backing the introduction of a list electoral system and a quota to help boost women's participation in politics, although these two issues are reportedly the subject of some disagreement within the Fine Gael parliamentary party.

In a reference to this, Mr Carey, said some of the proposals already appeared to have been holed below the waterline within Fine Gael.

But he described the proposals as a very important contribution, which he said he hoped the party would feed into the electoral commission the government is setting up.