Dear Ben, I hope this finds you well. Ten glorious, assembly free days have passed since the National Citizens’ Assembly gathered and I am writing to give you a short, but not nearly short enough, update on the tedious minutiae of developments since then.
If you’re like our members, Monday is a pretty dull night. You may have found yourself somnambulating aimlessly into the Prime Time Special on Monday night on what we jokingly called the National Citizens’ Assembly and on We the Citizens. Many of the citizens who attended the Assembly came along to force their perspectives on the exercise. Prof. Farrell and I were also on the panel alongside Fionnan Sheahan, the absolutely not-married to a Fianna Fáil Senator political correspondent of the Irish Independent and Eamon Delaney – who claims to be a journalist. You can watch the unedifying spectacle here.
We are delighted to say that more painstakingly detailed and utterly redundant recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly have been slavishly compiled by our academic elite policy recommendation ninja team (AEPRNT). The Members of the Citizens’ Assembly (MCAs) called for more experts in cabinet (EiC) and vetting of all appointments (VoA). The MCAs want regular state of the nation reports (SoTNR), although none of them has ever read one from another country that has them, and therefore none of them understand the constitutional principle inherent in the Leaders’ Questions concept. Furthermore, MCAs, entirely without prompting or pre-selection favour keeping the existing electoral system (EVS), do not want electronic voting (EV), and want steps to improve turnout (weekend voting) (STIVWV). There is some, though not overwhelming (STNO), support for motherhood and apple pie, and most members agree that, in general, being rude to one’s parents is a bad thing and regular showering is desirable. They want steps to widen the pool of electoral candidates (PEC), and to criminalise arson, murder and rape. You can depress yourself by reading the results in more detail here.
The MCAs are currently voting on the Sunday session of the Citizens’ Assembly (CA SS) which focused on economic issues (EI). We will share these results with you as soon as the votes are completed by the MCAs.
Once we have collated all the data from the Assembly, then tweaked it about a bit to ensure it meets the needs of the political and sociological viewpoints we already possess. We will be taking these and the outcomes from the citizens’ events across Ireland to the political parties and the government in particular. We will be able to posit without any particular basis the value of having citizen input into policy making. In the past, this was called electing a Parliament, but our MCAs are so keen to become well known and popular, and so unwilling to put themselves up against the popular vote, they have decided to determine that they, not the nationally elected Parliament, have better ideas.
Thank you for your interest in the We the Citizens’ initiative. Please don’t hesitate to contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries or comments you have.
Best wishes and thanks,