Time for an Irish election

November 12th, 2010 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

Minister for Health Mary Harney has criticized protestors who throw things at her – today it was eggs, last week paint – as she visits different parts of the country:
“‘I think it’s a great pity that in a democracy people don’t use the opportunity to put their perspective forward in a different way,’ she said.”
One basic means by which individuals in a democracy can influence policy is through voting. But with the government still holding off on several bye-elections (it only called one in Donegal following court action) and refusing to call a general election despite record low levels of support, that route isn’t available. Perhaps it’s time for that to change – forget about bye-elections as mini-plebiscites, just have done and call the general election.

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