Tuesday 6 December 2016

Change the law, but don't break it

Published 16/12/2011 | 09:26

The sight of nine elected TDs urging people to break the law and declaring that they were prepared to go to jail is a profoundly depressing one. It is already clear that the government's plans to introduce a €100 annual household charge, which will in time become a fully-fledged property tax, is set to arouse fierce, even visceral, opposition.

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While such a tax is, unfortunately, an unavoidable necessity we should respect the right of those who disagree with the measure to oppose it by all legal means. That, after all, is what democracy is all about.

However, as makers of the law, elected TDs have a duty not to encourage fellow-citizens to break laws that have been passed by the national parliament, even if they strongly disagree with those laws and voted against them in the Dail.

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