THE BLOG
22/10/2013 10:53 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Taoiseach: Speak Up or Step Down

Now that the dust has settled from the recent referendum. What is the popular consensus on how the Government supported its own motion; to scrap Seanad Éireann, in the name of cost saving reform?

Now that the dust has settled from the recent referendum. What is the popular consensus on how the Government supported its own motion; to scrap Seanad Éireann, in the name of cost saving reform?

It is generally acknowledged that Enda Kenny is not a fan of live, televised debate. But in today's world of 24/7 news, a digital Media environment, Politics should be discussed in the modern medium of the day in a bid to make all debate as accessible as possible. Shouldn't Mr. Kenny's refusal to engage in televised debate be an indicator that our head of state is not relevant to the modern era? Don't the Irish people deserve access to real debate on such a major reform to our Democratic system? And what forum could be more appropriate to this debate, other than through our National Broadcaster reaching every home and citizen on the island!

The turnout for the referendum was low, as many commentators had predicted. But I really think the engagement and interest could have been stronger with the electorate, if the national premier wasn't so media adverse. Mr. Enda Kenny also doesn't partake in Social Media channels like Twitter unlike some of his international counterparts (such as Prime Minister Cameron etc). I personally see this as a lost opportunity to engage directly with the electorate. Perhaps engaging in this way, could somewhat go to compensate for Mr. Kenny's refusal to engage with unscripted live, televised debate. I really think the country needs/deserves a better class of leader. One who can defend, debate, articulate without script, his own Government's motions.

Allow me to make a Private Sector comparison of Kenny's aversion to live debate. Imagine if you will, the CEO of COKE or Apple chairing a motion to radially change how their orgnasation operates in the market. Now imagine what would happen, if the said CEO declined to discuss the motion with the shareholders of the company, on account of he/she just didn't like to debate all motions personally. The result would be a complete and utter loss in credibility among the executive - and it would be hard to see how the CEO could have further tenure which such an exposed gap in his/her leadership.

My hope is that the Kenny's recent (and repeated) leadership foe-pa could again spur another attempt by the Fine Gael party to expel the old leadership - for something more fitting for today's political environment. Ireland needs a leader that can directly engage with population and be relevant in our times. Let's hope we are not stuck with Kenny until the next General Election. Or even worse - let's hope the next motion from the Government isn't even greater reform of our political system - and move to abolish General Elections!