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Convention recommends environmentalism, secularism and the right to die

The report of the Constitutional Convention recommends the removal of the blasphemy offence from the Irish Constitution.

Image: Cross via Shutterstock

THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, a committee formed from regular citizens, politician, social activists and other stakeholders, has released its initial recommendations.

The convention, which is touted as the first of its kind in the world, has recommended a reduction of the voting age to 16, removing references to the role of women in the home and making gender equality in politics a constitutional guarantee.

They say that the following issues should be prioritised:

  • the protection of the environment,
  • the separation of Church and State,
  • Seanad and Local Government Reform,
  • the definition of the family
  • the right to die

They also recommend a provision that guarantees same sex marriage, which will be voted on next year.

Voting rights was a major topic, with the convention recommending that the smallest constituency in the country be a five-seater, as well as an end to alphabetical listing of candidates.

They also recommend longer polling hours, the introduction of non-parliamentary ministers and votes for the diaspora in presidential elections.

The reference to blasphemy should also be removed from the constitution, as well as a host of changes to the Dáil.

Speaking today at the launch of the convention’s report, Tom Arnold, Chairman of the Convention on the Constitution, said:

“It has been an immense privilege for my fellow Convention members and I to have participated in this innovative and historic process. Our work may lead to changes in our Constitution, the document which reflects the values and aspirations of our society and defines and guarantees our rights as citizens.

“Back in December 2012 when the Convention was launched I noted that in some of our public discourse, there is a cynicism and a sense of alienation which is unhealthy for our society and, ultimately, dangerous for our democracy.”

To read the full report, click here.

Read: Here’s the ballot paper the Constitutional Convention will vote on today

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