Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Astroturf' campaign paves way for the bypassing of democracy

Published 14/10/2016 | 02:30

The Repeal the Eight march on Merrion Square last month. Photo: Gerry Mooney
The Repeal the Eight march on Merrion Square last month. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Political analyst Shane Coleman wrote the following in this newspaper in July: "Nobody in Leinster House is in any doubt that [the Citizens' Assembly] will result in a referendum on the Eighth Amendment."

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Tomorrow, the said Citizens' Assembly meets for the first time. The 99 randomly chosen members of the public who will make it up should consider Coleman's words carefully. Everyone thinks the outcome of the Assembly is pre-ordained, that is, it will recommend a referendum and the only thing to be decided is exactly what kind of referendum.

In May, Minister Paschal Donohoe, said on Newstalk: "What I am certain will happen first is the process that we have committed to in relation to considering this issue - that [the Assembly] will happen - and it is my view that that will lead to a referendum on this issue in the coming years". So there it is.

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