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Another Look at the Health Commission disfunction


The bust up and division between government and opposition TDs within the Health and Children committee on the report on the Travers report belies the gross inability of our committee system to hold any of the major governmental and political player s to account. The simple reason for this is that a culture within the Dail is so ingrained as either pro or anti. There is little middle ground for TDs to remove their party clothing and accept the need for joint party cooperation on matters of accountability. It is our prerogative to elect members of Dail Eireann and to expect them to serve our best interests. This is a saddening move when two opposition members feel they cannot get a fair crack of the whip or feel the need to score party political points.
The committee system is intended to be a means of creating non-partisan groups of cross party TDs in order to best keep track of the workings of government. However when government holds so many aces with regard to the back benchers it seems unlikely that any will be so enlightened or indeed so morally motivated to wish to seek the truth and a fair deal for the electorate. This morning’s papers are full of the publication release yesterday by TDs McManus and Twomey which reveal a separate list of findings than those to be released.
Martin decided that again he is being vilified before full due process is completed. However what the move shows is that due process is so flawed within our house that no one can attain a fair hearing unless something radical is done. Many on the left have often argued for more oversight and power to be given to parliament and to put some of the restraints on government that it so badly needs. However some of the reforms are simple to put in place and would benefit more than just the abstract which is democracy. The issue of increased funding for parliamentary procedure and for due process would help things flow a lot better in Leinster House. No government is ever going to submit to extra oversight which infringes on the pure unrestrained use of executive power but the lessons from the recent weeks of malpractice in two of the major Departments of State in this country should give rise to an examination of conscience.
It is unlikely any in government are going to find some conscience out of the blue but a consensus of backbenchers would be us the start for getting some reform consensus in place. The Dail needs to be made a place trusted by voters to ensure our interests are upheld and good is seen to be done. Government will always stretch the limit of its power but we need to get genuine popular opinion behind oversight and proper conduct.
I think someone like Frank McBrearty could do well to headline such a campaign for Voter Justice in the face of gross negligence by the government.
it does seem that if anything is to get done it must happen on a cross party basis. i sincerely hope the FF backbenchers find some voice and the opposition can move from party politics to some grander vision of loong term benfit for the voter and electorate and even the health of irish democracy.
Red Rover

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