Phelan, Ann

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Fourth Report of the Constitutional Convention on the Dáil Electoral System: Statements

I am pleased today to provide to the Oireachtas the Government's response to the recommendations of the fourth report of the Constitutional Convention. The report is about the Dáil electoral syste...More Button

The Government acknowledges the interest of the participants and contributors and their engagement on the subject of the Dáil electoral system over two weekend meetings of the convention. This w...More Button

While voting to retain the current system, the convention made a number of recommendations for its modification. The convention chairman called this a "strong demand for changes" as part of a mo...More Button

In the fourth report, as well as dealing with the Dáil electoral system, the convention made recommendations for constitutional change in regard to permitting the appointment of non-Oireachtas me...More Button

I will now set out the Government response to each of the recommendations made by the convention in its fourth report.More Button

Fourth Report of the Constitutional Convention on the Dáil Electoral System: Statements (Continued)

I will begin with the recommendations for change to the Dáil electoral system. The convention recommended providing for larger constituencies with the smallest constituency size being a five seate...More Button

The Convention recommended the retention of more than 159 Members. In the convention report the recommendation to have more than 159 Members is associated with a range of one Deputy for every 30...More Button

The convention recommended the establishment of an electoral commission. In April this year the Taoiseach advised this House of the Government's acceptance of this recommendation which reflects ...More Button

The convention then recommended changing from the alphabetical order of candidates on the ballot paper and giving greater access to postal voting. The Government proposes that in due course an e...More Button

The convention recommended that measures be introduced to improve voter turnout. The Government accepts this recommendation and will continue to seek to implement measures to achieve improvement...More Button

The convention recommended extending polling hours and polling days. Under existing law polling hours can to be set for a period of at least 12 hours between 7 a.m. and 10.30 p.m. on any day of ...More Button

The convention recommended improving the accuracy of the electoral register. The Government fully agrees that the highest levels of accuracy should be a constant and continuing objective for all...More Button

The convention recommended the introduction of a relevant education programme in schools. Much is being done in this regard. There is a civil, social and political education programme in place ...More Button

The convention, in its fourth report, also made a small number of other recommendations unrelated to the Dáil electoral system. The first of these was that there should be a referendum to permit...More Button

The convention recommended providing a right for citizens to petition on influencing the legislative agenda and to petition for referenda. In response to these recommendations, I would point out...More Button

As the Taoiseach recently said in this House, the convention has been a valuable innovation in our democracy. I also commend the members and staff of the convention for their work on this report...More Button

The pre-legislative phase for the electoral commission begins in January 2015. The preparatory work for this task has commenced in the Department and the Government's legislation programme provide...More Button

I have listened to the debate in the House and, while everyone is talking about electoral and political reform, nobody really wants to make radical changes. Changes to the ballot paper, postal v...More Button

I support postal voting because I know people who were devastated to learn that an election would coincide with their holidays. They felt very aggrieved and deprived so postal voting would be a ...More Button

I thank Members for their contributions. It has been an interesting debate but, as Deputies said, it is a pity it took place at the close of business and will not be deemed as important as it ac...More Button

I agree with Deputy Stanton's remarks on how well the committee system works because it serves these Houses, and legislation generally, very well. Deputy Buttimer also made this point. Outside ...More Button

I recently visited Malawi and spoke to many politicians there but I was intrigued to learn that their problems were exactly the same as ours. As in Ireland, everything depends on constituency wo...More Button

I recently happened to bump into some English people and they could not believe you could simply meet a Member of Parliament on the street. I stood and spoke to them and they said that would nev...More Button