Updated: 13/03/17 : 05:40:32
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Responsible electorate

By Declan Foley
Guest Editorial

As the details of yet another of the horrific systems of past Irish governance makes its presence felt, the resentment and anger from people - who are most fortunate to live in a totally different age - is to take the scatter gun approach to each and every living member of religious orders, irrespective of their innocence or guilt.

The past is indeed a different country, and the people of Ireland did indeed, do things differently there: no living person today can undo past deeds and actions, in Mother and Baby homes, orphanages or other institutions, no matter how much they wish to do so. 

If you are angry about the past, is it not far better to participate in a cool headed and thoughtful manner in society today? Then you will indeed prevent the errors of the past being repeated. 

Today, Ireland is at a political juncture, where all political parties are faced with the option of creating innovative policies, policies, that can deliver a just society in practice. Policies which require full and detailed explanation, not merely rehashed airy fairy ideas, as with the eternal promise of 'draining the Shannon'.

Today the responsibility lies more than ever in the hands of the people of Ireland: since the 1960's there has been access to a broad and diverse range of media than any time in the past. Each person is morally obliged to inform themselves. Your moral obligation to vote, also means that after your ballot is cast, you are obliged to participate in ensuring your constituency representatives do not become mere rubber stamps. For this is what allowed the disgraceful unchristian deeds occur in the past. 

The people must elect a government that is a government for all of the people, and not a Civil Service with a Cabinet attached: for this is what permitted the abuses of the past to occur. Therefore the onus is on the electorate to consider very carefully each and every candidate prior to casting their vote.

Any fool can place a childish video on social media proclaiming a five Euro increase in the Aged Pension to be out of this world: whereas a thinking public representative would be making a case for better consideration of the elderly in health and transport policies, particularly in rural Ireland.

The time for serious thinking on the future of Ireland is here.

Declan Foley
Berwick, Australia