This shameful 47 days and counting delay is obstructing and impeding us from doing the urgent work we were elected to do. Although in a different time, this delay, this level of obstructionism would put in the ha’penny place, the obstructionist tactics deployed by Irish parliamentary MP Joseph Biggar in the House of Commons in the late 19th century.
Whereas the obstruction then was due to excessive talking, the obstruction now is due to a refusal to talk, a refusal to seek solutions. The stance adopted by political parties in refusing to even consider forming the most stable government to serve the people has been disingenuously represented by some as being somehow linked to being in the national interest.
How can the current strangulation of representative democracy, a choking of the workings of Dáil Éireann be in the national interest.
The reckless approach cares little for the tackling of the unprecedented crisis of homelessness, the escalating rental crisis, hospital waiting lists and climate justice. In case any party has forgotten, perhaps it is important to remind ourselves of the obvious, no one party won the general election but unfortunately it seems as if the people have lost.
Some political parties refuse to face up to and accept this new political reality, refuse to accept the change for which the people voted for in February. We should remember the words of George Bernard Shaw who said, ‘progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything’.
A Ceann Comhairle, it is all too easy to make noise, to instil division, to create dissent, to divide, to score points. The contrived party policy differences and the point-blank refusal of some to even consider talking to others, who also have a democratic mandate is simply unacceptable.
Enough is enough, the only losers in this charade are the people. It behoves political parties to act in the true best interests of the people of Ireland, not themselves or their parties.
While some members have worked very hard and displayed some political courage, others certainly have not. Instead, choosing to sit on their hands for the past seven weeks.
TDs are not elected to be silent or to run for the hills to take cover when the going gets tough. Now is the time when members should step up and speak up for the people who elected you. Put people before party politics…
Green Party TD Catherine Martin speaking in the Dáil during her maiden speech yesterday.
Deputy Enda Kenny has made every effort and shown his commitment since the general election to form a stable Government. The offer would have brought together the two largest parties in the State in an historic partnership and was, I believe, a bold offer and one worth making.
I regret it has not been accepted to date, but Deputy Enda Kenny remains determined to ensure Ireland will have a stable Government to address the many challenges facing the country and work to improve the lives of the people.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” We have taken on the responsibility of doing something.
Fine Gael TD Noel Rock speaking in the Dáil yesterday, as he nominated Enda Kenny for Taoiseach for the third time.
On March 10, during Mr Rock’s first nomination for Mr Kenny, he said:
When I was younger the Taoiseach gave me the advice of Thomas Jefferson – “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
I will stand with him today and always. He brought this party back from being written off. Far more important, he brought our economy and our country back when many had written us off. We should not lose sight of that.
As we mark 100 years of independence, we can look forward to a brighter future. I believe Deputy Enda Kenny is the man to bring us towards that brighter future. I am proud to nominate Deputy Enda Kenny today.
On April 6, during Mr Kenny’s second nomination, Mr Rock said:
Unfortunately, there are those who wish to take their seats in here while permanently committing themselves to hugging the Opposition benches tightly and pursuing their so-called ideological perfection instead of the reality of compromise and governance. Good for them. However, the reality is this country needs a government.
As Robert F. Kennedy once rightly said, “one fifth of the people are against everything all the time”.
I think the public can rightly guess which fifth of the people in here that phrase might describe. Let us hope they stay at that level of just one fifth.
Parliaments simply cannot afford too many passengers. We need decision-makers and people who are serious about forming a government.