Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Electoral (Amendment)(Political Funding) Bill 2011: Committee Stage (Resumed)
Phil Hogan (Minister, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
It will be for the democratic process to decide whether there are to be more women in the Houses of the Oireachtas. We are giving an opportunity, through a modest and practical proposal, to political parties to enure at local authority level there is a sufficient number of candidates for the general election in 2016 in order to meet the legislative requirement. Anybody who believes that is not a reasonable and pragmatic approach does not understand the practical reality of what happens on the ground in regard to political parties ensuring they have a sufficient numbers necessary to meet the requirements.
The Independent Senators should note that this amendment, by stipulating a figure of 40%, could be a little opportunistic considering that I am already achieving 100% more than has been achieved to date.