Direct Democracy Ireland seeks to transform politics


It was standing room only at the launch of new political party Direct Democracy Ireland in Dublin yesterday, as over 200 supporters crammed into a conference room at Buswell’s hotel.

The party, which wants to “introduce participatory democracy”, aims to run candidates in the 2014 local and European elections.

Yesterday it began a “recruitment drive” and intends to build a network across the State.

The party has outlined three main aims: to allow citizens to petition for a referendum on any issue by collecting a certain number of signatures; to allow politicians to be removed if they are not performing; and to create “realistic economic choices” based on public debate.

Although it has been in existence for over two years, it only last month become an official party on the State’s register of political parties, which requires 300 members.

Party founder Raymond Whitehead stressed that it was a “political service” rather than a party and wanted to “transform the political system” from a representative democracy to direct democracy.

The organisation has built up a network of “several hundred supporters”, with two offices in Dublin, one in Kildare and a head office in Trim, Co Meath.

The party is not “left or right but about balance”, party member Ben Gilroy said as he invited people and groups to join.

Mr Gilroy said if there had been direct democracy the “bailout would never have happened”.