Ex-Green TD Paul Gogarty to stand in general election
Former TD confirms he will stand in Dublin Mid-West as part of Independent Alliance
Former Green Party TD Paul Gogarty will contest the upcoming general election in the constituency of Dublin Mid West. Photograph: Alan Betson /The Irish Times
Former Green Party TD Paul Gogarty has confirmed he will contest the upcoming general election in the constituency of Dublin Mid-West, running as part of the Independent Alliance of TDs, Senators and Councillors announced earlier this year.
Mr Gogarty, who is a member of South Dublin County Council, said his experience of working with independents on the local authority convinced him that such an alliance could work in the Dáil and Seanad.
He announced that a group of independent Councillors and a Green Party member had joined together to form the Community Alliance which is part of the wider Progressive Alliance.
“We have no whip and make decisions largely by consensus while operating in a supportive and inclusive way,” Mr Gogarty said on Friday. He admitted that while the group do “occasionally disagree on specific matters”, the Community Alliance would enhance the influence of individual representatives.
“At national level we have already seen unprecedented levels of co-operation between independents of various regional and ideological backgrounds such as TDs Shane Ross, Finian McGrath, John Halligan, Tom Fleming and Senators Gerard Craughwell and Feargal Quinn,” said Mr Gogarty. “A larger grouping working effectively together could seriously transform how politics works.”
“I would dearly love to be part of that grouping because I still believe in the power of politics to transform and am sick of the lies, the spin, the central management, the formulaic scrips and the whip system that taints representative democracy in this country.”
Mr Gogarty said a grouping united on “key democratic reform, social and economic issues and working on an agreed platform of change” could potentially influence Government policy “formally or informally in return for electing a Taoiseach and agreeing to pass the budget annually”.
He added that even in opposition, the group could transform the way the Oireachtas does business by operating without a whip on Oireachtas votes.
“If a group of Councillors can work constructively and effectively together at local level as a cohesive unit, whilst maintaining their independent identity, I am certain that it can also be done nationally,” said Mr Gogarty.
“The people I have signed up to work with are all representatives of genuine calibre who have strong values and see politics as more than just the charade that parades as political debate in the Oireachtas most of the time.”