An article by Diarmaid Ó Cadhla
With elections coming in May we need to ask whether we have been represented by our Council?
Have we been consulted on the issues? have our preferences determined the policy of Council?
The vote in these elections is to decide who we want to represent us… do we continue with the Party system? Can we be represented by what are essentially private clubs? Where is the democracy and engagement with the people to decide our preferences?
The Parties have a grip over our Councils, as they do over Dáil Éireann – and our country is in deep crisis – these facts are related.
The decisions that led us into crisis were made in our name, but we had no part in making these decisions. We are lied to by all of the Political Parties, big or small, we are even told that we should expect lies during the course of an election!
So what should we expect from our local council? According to article 28A of Bunreacht na hÉireann the duty of Local Government is “in providing a forum for the democratic representation of local communities”. Does this imply that our community should be part of the decision making?
Does our democratic right to be represented end once we mark a ballot paper? Do our rights last for about 2 minutes ever few years? Do we have a right to be represented all of the time, on every issue? If we are entitled to be represented then surely there must be a system of broad consultation?
Have the current Council represented the will of the people, have they done their Constitutional duty to represent our communities? I think not.
Democratic representation is the first step we must take in reaching a solution to the problems we face, let’s have it.
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla
Candidate, Cork City South East Electoral Ward