[Sinn Fein]

15th February 2002

Government treats electorate with contempt by ignoring the Nice result and failing to provide information on Abortion referendum

Sinn Fein spokesperson on the Referendum and representatives for Dublin West, Mary Lou McDonald has described the government's attitude to the upcoming referendum as ``undemocratic'' and ``arrogant''. Speaking after the Referendum Commission confirmed that it would be unable to provide information to every household in the country in advance of the referendum, Mary Lou McDonald said:

``It is clear that despite all their talk of openness and accountability that this government is not prepared to allow the voters the opportunity to make an informed decision in relation to this very important referendum. The result is that there is a tremendous amount of confusion and misinformation out there.

``Following the McKenna judgement the Referendum Commission was setup to ensure that voters were provided with argument for and against in a dispassionate and rationale manner. This was only fair, proper and democratic.

``After the defeat of the Treaty of Nice campaign however, the government has decided that democracy is going to play second fiddle to their own interests. The government's arrogance on this issue displays absolute contempt for the electorate. They are in effect saying that the voters cannot be trusted to make an intelligent decision when presented with clear and concise argument for or against a particular referendum. Their response to date to the loss of the Treaty of Nice has been to ignore the result and push ahead with their own agenda. This attitude is completely undemocratic and must be challenged.''

Sinn Fein Press Office, 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Tel: +353-1-8726100 and +353-1-8726839   ·   Fax +353-1-8733074
E-mail: sinnfein@irlnet.com   ·   Website: http://www.sinnfein.org

Sinn Fein   ·   Sinn Fein Documents