Fine Gael TD for Cork East, David Stanton, has said that the election of the Ceann Comhairle by secret ballot is a major political reform which should significantly change how the Dáil is run.
“In the next Dáil the Ceann Comhairle will be elected by secret ballot. This will mean that for the first time since the foundation of the State deputies and not Government will decide who occupies the office of Ceann Comhairle. This major change will ensure that the office of Ceann Comhairle is made more independent from the Government of the day”, said Deputy Stanton
“A candidate for Ceann Comhairle must be nominated by at least seven other members after the General Election and the secret ballot will take place when the Dáil resumes, after contributions from each candidate. This is a significant change and one of several political reforms implemented by Fine Gael.
“Another major change has been to introduce pre-legislative scrutiny which allow Dail Committees to examine proposed legislation before it is drafted. Committees seek submissions from the public, interested parties and organisation on the proposed legislation and often invite those who have made submissions to address the Committee members. For the first time, Committees now have the chance to hear the views of people who have experience of, or will be affected by, proposed legislation and incorporate their suggestions into the new law, thus producing better legislation.
“As Chair of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, that piloted the pre-legislative scrutiny, I am very pleased at the success of this new initiative. To date over 7000 witnesses have appeared before Committees”, noted Deputy Stanton while speaking on a Dail motion on reform measures today.
“In addition to these two changes, Fine Gael has also introduced gender quotas, reduced the number of TDs, reformed local government and regulated political donations and lobbying.
“Fine Gael has a long term economic plan to keep the recovery going, which includes three steps: more and better jobs, making work pay and investing in better services. More people in work create the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest in better services, improving living standards for all”.