Has power of TDs been diminished?


Sir, – I read with great interest Dr Liam Weeks’s article “Varadkar’s first challenge will be the Independents” (Opinion & Analysis, June 12th) and concur with much of what he has written.

However, his opinion regarding the issue of the current Dáil wielding considerable power is open to question. It is true that the people elect representatives to parliament every number of years and that private member Bills are introduced on a regular basis, but that apparently is as far as matters go.

Not so long ago, the Government, assisted by Independents, lost two motions, one of which had to do with the reconstruction of the Citizen’s Information and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, while the other was in relation to the sale of the shares of the Allied Irish Banks.

The Government in response to these defeats chose to ignore them.

Also, not that long ago a group known as the Executive Management Council determined what decisions were to be dealt with in parliament, which they then sent to “our elected representatives” to be more or less rubber-stamped.

These are but some of the most recent matters that come to mind.

Do we live under a constitutional democracy or a democratic facade? – Yours, etc,