CLARE Fianna Fáil General Election candidate, Dr John Hillery has proposed the establishment of cross-party think-tanks in each constituency following the election.
Dr Hillery envisages regular meetings of elected TDs from each constituency to address issues such as agriculture, tourism, business, health and education. He suggested each of the meetings would facilitate key business and community representatives in raising matters of concern with their local TDs, who would in turn direct the feedback they receive into policy development at national level.
Dr Hillery said he believed The Clare Champion’s Burning Issues Debate next Monday night would be an ideal starting point for such a process in this area. “It’s important for people to see direct and transparent political engagement in their own constituency,” he said.
“Politics in Ireland is at a crossroads and the political establishment must adopt a new direction, one that is more inclusive and engages with people,” explained Dr Hillery.
He continued, “Meetings should be held at least once every two months and should conclude with key actions being jointly progressed at national level by the TDs from each constituency.
“Politics should not be about individual Oireachtas members and parties competing with each other in a way that stifles progress but instead it should focus on the formulation of a coordinated, collaborative approach to improving the quality of life for the citizens of this country. This cross-party, community-driven approach to devising and delivering change would be a welcome replacement of the present top-down approach of Irish politics.
“It is unacceptable that the hopes and aspirations of any Irish citizen should be undermined by the failings of a political system that places a greater value on political gain than delivering positive economic and social change. The Irish core value of community facilitated by a people-focused political system will restore our pride as a people and our strength as a nation,” he said.