Irish Times editorial: Don’t ‘piss off’ voters
A political newspaper has called on the Government to scrap its plans to allow a third-party organisation to challenge a political candidate in the next election.
The Irish Times says the third party should not be allowed to challenge candidates in the same election the previous year.
It says it has made the proposal to the Government in the wake of the latest political developments and a growing concern that the current system could lead to future political violence.
The Government has said the current election laws should remain in place until 2019.
It said it was not making a final decision on whether to introduce legislation.
The paper said it believes it has the support of many members of the public who want a change to the law, but it has yet to receive a formal response from the Government.
“It is a deeply worrying prospect that the Government is considering a new law to prevent third-parties from challenging political candidates in future elections,” the paper said.
“The Government should not take this lightly and it should reconsider.”
It said the proposed law would have “a chilling effect on the right to political expression, particularly in times of social disorder”.
It said that under current law, “the parties that have won the most seats in a general election are given the ability to choose who to endorse as their candidate”.
The Government is seeking public submissions on the proposal by April 14.
It said an inquiry into the proposal is now underway.
The Irish Independent first reported the newspaper’s proposal on Tuesday.