This week a RedC audit, explaining how 7 people were able to improperly get placed into the Citizens’ Assembly, and how the problem was being handled, was released on the website of the Citizens’ Assembly so that people could see that issue was in hand.
But it turns out, that that document, written by the very people who put the Citizens’ Assembly, together, also showed that RedC told the Government, when they were first setting up the Citizens’ Assembly, that the Assembly would not be, could not be, representative of the Irish people. They told the government that, even if they somehow got a perfectly representative sample of the Irish people, which they doubted they could do, any result would still be off by +/- 10%. That’s a potential 20 point variance on every single result. And that’s not what they expected it to be out, that’s the absolute minimum it could be out!
They told the government that the structure of the Citizens’ Assembly would increase the odds that activists, rather than the average person, would be placed on it, which would have an even bigger impact than normal as there’s not enough people on the Citizens’ Assembly anyway, and the government told them to keep going ahead!
The media have taken up the issue, but they’re only bringing up the 7 people who RedC recruited improperly and had to be removed. They’re not talking about the fact that the RedC documents which were made public show the Citizens’ Assembly is structurally unsound. They’re focusing on the issue that the government can say they fixed, rather than the deeper issues they put into the design of the Assembly.
We all know the Citizens’ Assembly was created to give the result the government wanted about abortion, but the rot goes much further than that. No single judgement the Assembly has given, on anything, can be considered the view of the Irish people. Every single decision, including their recommendations on abortion, are the fruit of a poisoned tree.
Our government has created a farce of an institution, designed nearly entirely to give them political cover for things they want to do but are too cowardly to do on their own, and they still couldn’t be bothered to set it up properly. They decided they wanted to change the constitution of this country, to strip the rights from the unborn, but they didn’t want to spend a lot of effort, time or money on it!
So where does that leave us now? The Citizens’ Assemblies credibility is in tatters, the Government now publicly look as dishonest and incompetent as we all privately knew they were, and the Irish people have, so far, paid out hundreds of thousands of euro to be saddled with the pleasure of a body that serves only as an insult to the concept Irish democracy by its very existence.
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