Saturday 25 November 2017

Let TDs vote by their conscience

Sir -- The expulsion of Deputies Broughan and Nulty from the Labour Parliamentary Party for voting against the Government highlights yet again the draconian nature of our so-called democracy. Free votes are frequently allowed in the British House of Commons and most other parliaments across Europe, enabling members to vote on certain issue in accordance with their consciences.

While accepting that a measure of discipline is required to get essential or emergency pieces of legislation through the Oireachtas, I believe there should also be an allowance for conscientious objectors.

I recall sitting in the public gallery of the Dail in 1993 when the late Tony Gregory moved a Private Members Bill to ban hare coursing.

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