Dáil debates

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Electoral Representation (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage


2:30 pm

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)

Members of this House are democratically elected by the people. I see this Bill as diminishing the role of our national Parliament and I disagree with the approach in the Bill.

In any event, this is an issue which should be addressed as part of a wider systematic review of the electoral system and not in a piecemeal and isolated way as proposed in this Bill. My commitment and that of the Government to electoral reform is on the record and is reflected in the agreed programme for Government. Our electoral reform programme is ambitious and wide-ranging, covering legislative reform, institutional development, Oireachtas reform and major changes in local government. We have already delivered on some of these commitments. I published the Green Paper on local government, Stronger Local Democracy - Options for Change, in April 2008. This was followed by an extensive programme of national consultation for the purpose of informing the preparation of the White Paper on local government. A dedicated Cabinet committee is finalising the major strategic issues for inclusion in the White Paper, which will be published as soon as possible following the completion of the committee's deliberations.

As members of the House know, the Green Paper proposed a regional mayor for Dublin to meet the strategic challenges faced by the city and county. In February of this year, I published for consultation the general scheme of the legislation to provide for such a mayor. It is my intention that the election of the mayor should take place this year.


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