FG planning 'Constitution Day' reforms
Published 14/02/2011 | 05:00
VOTERS will face five separate constitutional amendments on one day if Fine Gael gets to implement its plans for political reform.
The party wants to hold a so-called 'Constitution Day', when people will be asked to vote on cutting the number of politicians by 20, abolishing the Seanad, cutting judges' pay and reducing the president's term of office from seven to five years.
Those changes will require five separate votes because of the legal complexities of changing the wording of the Constitution in five different cases.
But before those changes take place, the public will get to vote in a Children's Referendum in the autumn.
It is being pencilled in for a vote on the same day as the presidential elections, due to take place in November.
Given the continued delays in holding a Children's Referendum, the party is making it a "real priority" to hold that vote sooner than 'Constitution Day'.
The party's children's spokesman, Charlie Flanagan, said there was a "window of opportunity" to hold that referendum vote on the same day as the presidential elections in the autumn.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said five ballot sheets would be put before voters on 'Constitution Day' which would take place within 12 months of Fine Gael coming to power.
But Fianna Fail's Peter Power last night criticised the political reform plans.
"On the day that Enda Kenny announced his intention to lead a single-party government, his lack of commitment to any real reform of politics and government should worry people," he said.