Question & Answers

( 1 )

QUESTION

How do you ensure politicians support the initiative?

ANSWER

Any politician who claims to represent the people of Ireland BUT WILL NOT publicly declare in writing their support for this initiative needs to be asked some serious questions. This initiative will implement an element of participatory/direct/real democracy in Ireland and give the power back to the people. Therefore, if a politician can’t support it, he / she is confirming they DO NOT want to give the power to the people of Ireland. Therefore why would you vote for that politician?


( 2 )

QUESTION

What happens if a politician declares support for The 1Yi and then doesn’t support the initiative once elected – He/she doesn’t call for the establishment of the People's Assembly and the subsequent referendum?

ANSWER

Knowing the levels of deceit and corruption in Irish politics, this could happen. It is also probable that there will be resistance at each stage of the process. With this in mind, there are absolutely no guarantees that the One Year Initiative can succeed. However we feel it's worth pursuing the objective of putting people-initiated referendums into the Irish Constitution.


( 3 )

QUESTION

Could a referendum on the recall of an underperforming or corrupt political representative take place at constituency level rather than nationwide?

ANSWER

This very point needs to be considered in the future but we are not proposing recall as part of this initiative. It’s local constituents who vote local representatives, so there needs to be a mechanism that allows constituents to ‘recall’ their local representative if the person isn’t performing or is found guilty of corruption. The process / mechanism would need to be extremely robust but it is not part of the 1Yi objective. However, when people-initiated referendums are added to the constitution, any citizen would have the opportunity to initiate an initiative on recall. 


( 4 )

QUESTION

Can any Political Party support the initiative- 1Yi?

ANSWER

Yes. All Political Parties and also any Independent Politician can support this initiative. The 1Yi does not require people to change their economic, social or environmental views and opinions. It simply ensures that the power ultimately rests with the people, not politicians.

PLEASE NOTE: If any politician questions the purpose of this initiative, people should question the politician’s motives. 


( 5 )

QUESTION

Does this initiative support left wing, center or right wing politics? Socialism or capitalism or otherwise?

ANSWER

Every person in Ireland, irrespective of their views and opinions on economic, social, and environmental matters can support 1Yi. Nothing changes in this regard. People should vote for the person who best represents their views. This initiative simply asks voters to implement a change that protects the Irish citizens and future generations. It ensures citizens can protect the country against politicians who fail to represent the views of their constituents when elected. 


( 6 )

QUESTION

If any citizen can call for a ‘people-initiated’ referendum, does this mean the country will grind to a halt because precious time will be spent on referendums?

ANSWER

No. This is one of the key benefits of people-initiated referendums. It has been proven to have the opposite effect. Governments / Politicians are less likely to introduce measures that suit the few rather than the majority. This is because they know the people have the opportunity to initiate a referendum.  


( 7 )

QUESTION

I like this initiative, so how can I ensure it works and Irish politics are changed forever?

ANSWER

All this initiative needs to be successful is your support. If everybody supports 1Yi, then only those politicians who support 1Yi will get votes in the next general election. Once the right politicians are in government, they can then take the next steps to change the political system and hold a referendum on the topic. Your vote is precious. This time you can literally take back your power, you can take back your future.


( 8 )

QUESTION

What’s 1Yi’s position on homelessness and water charges. 

ANSWER

1Yi is not a political party. We can't impact those things but we know if we had people-initiated referendums in the Irish Constitution, then the people could have a greater, stronger voice on such matters. 1Yi has one single focus: to demand politicians support a referendum to have people-initiated referendums added to the constitution. People should vote the party / politician of their choice; however, do not vote for a politician who does not declare in writing their support for the 1Yi campaign. 


( 9 )

QUESTION

Will there be any political parties or politicians who will automatically agree with the 1Yi objective and support it?

ANSWER

Yes. There are some political parties who will no doubt support the 1Yi because one of their political policies is in line with the 1Yi objective regarding democracy & the political system. As a political party, they will have other policies on various topics such as the economy, social issues, environment, etc. Political parties need people to vote for the party based upon its policies. Post-election, the party elected may then try and implement people-initiated referendums, along with their other policies, after gaining office. 


( 10 )

QUESTION

Why is the 1Yi campaign different to Political Party campaigns? 

ANSWER

The 1Yi campaign is completely different. 1Yi is a pre-election campaign with one single objective. We are asking people to use the power of their vote and vote for the politician of their choice, with one proviso - as long as the politician signs a declaration agreeing to support the 1Yi objective and call for the establishment of the People's Assembly and subsequent referendum if elected.  


( 11 )

QUESTION

How do we guarantee politicians who sign the 1Yi Declaration to call a referendum will follow through?

ANSWER

There are no guarantees. Knowing the levels of deceit and corruption in Irish politics, this could happen. This is the most important reason why Irish people should support 1Yi and vote only those who declare their support in writing. If the number of politicians who support the initiative is high, then the deceit of a few politicians will not affect the initiative. The referendum on adding ‘people-initiated’ referendums into the Irish Constitution will go ahead. We also need to keep in mind: 1) There is absolutely no reason the political parties/politicians you give your vote to will do what they promise you. Asking them to sign a declaration is more than what they do today. 2) We are going into a General Election like never before. The majority of people in Ireland know they can’t trust most political parties anymore because the political system protects them when they are in government. 3) There are going to be many new parties and Independents who are going to stand for election with the support of their communities - people they know and see daily. Some of these new parties will / are supporting 1Yi because it is in line with their own policies. 4) If the government do not establish the People's Assembly and then call the referendum, it would draw attention to the serious political issue both in Ireland and abroad.

PS: We would also have the signed declarations of all the politicians that lied to their electorate.


( 12 )

QUESTION

How would you avoid it becoming too easy to call a referendum and prevent them occurring too frequently?

ANSWER

The key is the number of signatures required to trigger a referendum and perhaps the spread of the signatures from across the different counties. We believe the basis to begin discussions and determining / agreeing the number could be those used in Articles 47 & 48 of the 1922 Constitution. These ranged from 50,000 – 75,000 signatures required. We recognise this might appear outdated as there have been a number of advancements made in other countries, such as Switzerland, who use these mechanisms are some of the matters that will be reviewed and decided upon by the People’s Assembly.


( 13 )

QUESTION

How many signatures would be required? Would this be an absolute figure or a percentage of registered voters?

ANSWER

A percentage of the electoral register could be part of the mechanism, but all options will be analysed and decided upon by the People’s Assembly.


( 14 )

QUESTION

How would signatures be gathered and verified? Would the involvement of commercial entities be permitted in this process?

ANSWER

The gathering and verification of signatures will be a new process that could become part of the Referendum Commission’s role/responsibilities, or perhaps an Independent Public body, but all options should be reviewed. One of the most important aspects of this process is the integrity and credibility of the body. It’s imperative that the public and the government alike must have total faith in the agreed process.


( 15 )

QUESTION

Could multiple referendums be held on one day for efficiency purposes, or could referendums be deferred to the date of the next election (rarely more than two years away)?

ANSWER

Both options are feasible. The idea of multiple referendums on a single day could be cost effective and efficient, but all options will be considered by the People’s Assembly.


( 16 )

QUESTION

How would the wording for the constitutional amendment be decided, and at what point in the process? Would there be specialist legal involvement in this (e.g. from the Attorney General’s office)?

ANSWER

There would be a number of amendments required to the Constitution in order to include people-initiated referendums. We would envisage specialist legal involvement in the People’s Assembly right from the outset. They would also be tasked with ensuring all the constitutional amendments are identified and also presented prior to the People’s referendum. 


( 17 )

QUESTION

What would happen if two competing initiatives emerged on the same issue (e.g. one pro-life and another pro-choice)? Who would decide which would go on the ballot?

ANSWER

Competing initiatives could appear on the ballot as they are opposites; however, such scenarios demonstrate the reasons why we believe there is a need for a People’s Assembly and a period of twelve months to devise the mechanism prior to the People’s referendum.  


( 18 )

QUESTION

Who would decide whether a referendum was on the “same issue” as a previous referendum for the purposes of the minimum time period?

ANSWER

We believe this decision making could be the responsibility of the Independent body; however, better alternatives could be identified at the People’s Assembly.


( 19 )

QUESTION

Would your proposed reforms on the regulation of the referendum process be legislative only (and thus susceptible to repeal or amendment), or would they be set out in the Constitution?

ANSWER

We believe that the mechanism for people-initiated referendums, including the proposed reforms on regulation of the referendum process, should be set out in the Constitution. We believe it’s imperative that the mechanism devised for people-initiated referendums should be protected from change unless the changes are decided upon by the people.