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Order of Business

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Senator Kevin Humphreys

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Approximately two weeks ago I raised with the Leader on the Order of Business a request for the Taoiseach to come before the House. With the settling down of what happened two weeks ago, a serious discussion must be held with the Taoiseach on new politics and how the Constitution is treated. Through sleight of hand, Article 28 of the Constitution, relating to collective Cabinet responsibility, was avoided. The Attorney General's opinion was clear on the legislation. Officeholders have stated they do not care what is in the Constitution and they will vote for legislation even if it is in breach of the Constitution.
Every time a difficulty or issue is raised, we speak about new politics. New politics is now getting a name for reckless or shady politics, or even no politics. Some officeholders are not carrying out their functions. There has only been one transfer of functions to a Minister or a Minister of State since the formation of the Government and we still do not have a Minister responsible for the environment. I put the Leader on notice that I will be proposing an amendment to the Order of Business next week if he cannot come back with a time and date for the Taoiseach to come to this House and debate what is new politics and explain exactly what he means by the term. The general public is seeing this with every issue that arises. The eighth amendment is being kicked to the citizens' convention and water charges are going to a commission. The school admissions policy discussion is being put back for a year. We now have a Government with no politics or agenda. We have a responsibility in this House to debate, discuss and advise the Taoiseach on what we believe is new politics. I believe it is about moving on this country for its citizens rather than hanging on to office positions without power. I ask the Leader to go to the Taoiseach and ask for a date and time next week to come to this House and explain his vision of new politics. The public sees it as reckless and sometimes shady.