Fine Gael Leadership Debate is Good for Democracy but Falls Short

By Patrick Brogan

The Fine Gael leadership debates that will take place are positive for democratic accountability. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I would rather a general election if there is a new Taoiseach to be decided, but unfortunately, we vote for a party to nominate one. That aside, I take encouragement from this because at the very least, their policies will be in the public domain and they will be forced to clarify any vague proposals they have made.

Consider what is happening in Britain. Theresa May’s refusal to debate is worrying if you’re a British citizen because it looks as though she doesn’t feel the need to answer to the British public. Now, with six weeks of campaigning, you would assume she wants to get her message across as much as possible and show why she is a better choice as Prime Minister than Jeremy Corbyn. A live debate would do both.

Although the public might not get to see the Fine Gael debates, what was said will be known. This is important because although many believe they are one in the same, the country could go in very different directions with either of these men at the tiller. That’s why debate is important. It will show where we might be headed as a country. Ultimately, if we live in a democratic country, the people should be deciding, not one political party.


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