The Labour Party has just published a paper on political reform. On electoral reform the document tells us
An informed debate will spell out the pros and cons of each of the major electoral systems and then decide on the system best suited to Ireland, to put to the people for their decision.
Sounds just dandy. An in-depth, open and honest debate before deciding which electoral system was best for Ireland.
When Brendan Howlin TD, the author of the document, was asked why there was no mention of a list system or any more adventurous proposals he replied.
I think that the Irish public is adverse to that; I think they want to know who will represent them.
I don’t think they will leave that to political parties to decide and they vote simply for a party, I think that is dangerous.
I think that it would be a concern that the parties, a narrow group of people in political parties would determine the make up of our parliament.
On that narrow matter of how members of the Dail are to be elected we are not proscriptive because we actually haven’t been convinced that there is an alternative system out there that is by definition better than the system we have.
This makes the Labour Party’s real intentions crystal clear.
They are going to engage in a great deal of talking but in the end there will be no change to the present (corrupt) electoral system.
Why am I not surprised?