There is a thing here in Ireland called the Citizens’ Assembly.
As far as I can gather, it is supposed to be a sop to the general public to give them the illusion that they have a say in politics. I always thought that was the point of democracy but apparently I’m wrong. To further prove how wrong I am about democracy, the Citizens’ Assembly consists of a hundred people picked at random by an opinion poll company.
So now we have a group of people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time making suggestions about how the country is run.
To confuse matters even further, it seems that they have been given a specific list of items to decide upon.
- The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.
- The Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Population.
- Fixed Term Parliaments.
- Manner in which Referenda are held.
- Making Ireland a Leader in Tackling Climate Change.
These are the vital issues that a random sample of hand picked people are supposed to discuss.
They are currently working on the first one – the Eighth Amendment. For those of a foreign persuasion, this is the article in the constitution that concerns abortion, which is a fairly emotive topic. Now by my way of thinking, this is a medical matter involving the woman [it’s usually a woman] and her medical advisers, but this being Ireland, a small group of unqualified faceless people have been given the task of deciding her future. Basically the outcome of their deliberations will just decide whether a woman can have an abortion here or will have to travel to the UK instead. Yes – it is that insane.
I can’t wait to see what these people are going to decide when it comes to the “Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Population”. Send us all back to work? Send us to the gas chambers? What the fuck is there to decide in the first place?
To pile comedy on top of farce, these people are only there in some kind of advisory capacity. Presumably they will act as a buffer so that if their recommendations turn out to be a disaster, the gubmint can blame them.
The whole exercise puts me in mind of one of those toy dashboards and steering wheels that clip onto the back of a car seat to give the child in the back the illusion he is driving the car.
A massive waste of time and tax payers’ money.