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Poll shows support for passing two referendums

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil is urging the Government to publish the text of the referenda as a matter of urgency.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

INDICATIONS FROM THE latest opinion poll show that the electorate is ready to pass two referendums which will allow for amendments to the Constitution.

The Ipsos MRBI poll, published today in the Irish Times, notes that 88 per cent of respondents said they would vote yes in the referendum regarding judicial pay.

Under question is the proposed 29th amendment to the Constitution, which will see judges’ salaries subject to the same cuts as other public sector workers. At present, the government has no power to reduce judges’ pay, although most judges have already taken a voluntary cut.

The response to the 30th amendment was not as clear-cut, with 23 per cent stating they were undecided on how to vote.

According to the poll, 65 per cent of respondents will vote yes to the changes.

The second proposal, if passed, will mean the Oireachtas can establish “an effective system of inquiry, which can secure effective and cost-efficient parliamentary scrutiny of issues of significant public importance”.

It has been suggested that the new powers could help investigations into the banking crisis.

Fiann Fáil believes this ambiguity comes from a lack of knowledge and debate because the wording of the referenda are yet to be made public.

The party has called on the Government to publish the text that will appear on ballot papers so voters can be sure on which way they want to vote.

In a statement, Councillor David McGuinness – who is running in the Dublin West by-election – urged the coalition to set out the wording the public will be voting on.

“The public deserves the chance to study the text and then decide on how they want to vote.  They should not be railroaded into a decision by only getting the text at the last minute,” he said, adding that changing the constitution is a major decision that could not be taken lightly.

The referenda will be held on October 27, the same day as the presidential election and the Dublin West by-election.

Read: Referendum will leave door open for banking inquiry>

For more information, see the Referendum2011 website>

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