As appeared in Letters – Kerryman – 26 October, 2011 edition

I hate to admit this, but I was so distracted by the silliness and melodrama of the Presidential Campaign, that I plain forgot that not one, but two referendums, are being held on the same day as the Presidential Election. Presidents come and go, but our Constitution is timeless. It is a little blue book, which defines our Nation and sets out how we govern ourselves. Anything that is done to alter this document, has to be treated with great care and attention.

I had intended voting yes to both amendments. Cutting the pay of Judges and allowing the Dáil to investigate matters of public concern, are undoubtedly good and necessary things. Unfortunately the wording, in both amendments, does much more than that. If you have received your polling card, I urge you to read the amendments. Read them several times and then ask yourself this question, how much power do you trust your politicians to have?

Read the words again. Read them and remember that every single democracy has one thing in common, judges judge and politicians seek re-election. We all want to see judges paid less and Bertie Ahern probed good and hard, but read the words. Politicians, the class of people who with their rich friends herded this country over a cliff, want us to now trust them to decide what judges should be paid and what individuals should be hauled over the coals.

Read the words and then send a message to our politicians. Yes, we want judges paid less and we want the reasons for this recession properly examined, but we do not want politicians to take advantage of the situation to grab ever more power. Read the words and demand that the politicians come back to us with a better way, a fairer way and a safer way to do what we all agree is necessary.

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