Denis Naughten TD
Denis Naughten TD
Local TD Denis Naughten has described the Dáil as a "19th century model dealing with 21st century problems" and said reform of the parliament would be a pre-condition to his participation in Government.
In a statement, the Independent TD said he had "frank discussions" today (Wednesday) with Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin on the formation of a new Government.
"In the course of both meetings I made it clear that I am more than willing to play my role in assisting in the formation of a stable Government which would be in a position to implement an agreed programme," he said.
"I pointed out that a pre-condition to participating in any Government is a fundamental reform of the way in which Dáil Eireann operates, which currently is a 19th Century model dealing with the 21st Century problems.
"If anything we have seen reform in reverse over the term of the last Dáil and the public will no longer tolerate the system whereby the 'gang of 4', namely the Economic Management Council (EMC), makes the decisions for all the citizens of this country, which are then rubber stamped by the Cabinet and rammed through a Dáil that spends much of its time bickering.
"With that in mind I presented both leaders with a set of 10 changes to the current rules of Dáil Eireann (Standing Orders) which would help to empower individual members of the Dáil whether they are in a party or outside one. These changes would incentivise and reward TDs who want to make a positive contribution to the parliamentary process rather than those who continually highlight problems but rarely provide constructive solutions.
"A number of independent members of Dáil Eireann support these proposals, which have been circulated to all members currently outside a recognised Dáil grouping," he said.
Deputy Naughten concluded by saying he made it clear to both party leaders that "many independent members of Dáil Eireann are hungry for change, not necessarily for power, and that we are more than willing to work with any potential government in a spirit of co-operation to secure the inclusion of practical and implementable measures in a Programme for Government which is focused on delivering for provincial and rural Ireland."