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RTÉ’s Leaders’ Debate is an Incumbents Paradise – Tóibín

Aontú leader and Meath West TD, Peadar Tóibín, has called on RTÉ to include political parties with Dáil representation in the Leader’s debate tomorrow or postpone debate until agreement can be reached. 

The call comes 3 days after the Aontú leader issued RTÉ, through the party’s solicitors, a threat of High Court legal action unless RTÉ reverses its decision to exclude Aontú as one of the eight parties contesting the elections. 

With just 24 hours to the debate the threat of legal action still remains. 

An Teachta Tóibín stated:

“It makes no sense to exclude one of the eight parties with Dáil representation from the debate. The recent EU elections saw RTE facilitate debates with 8 and 9 candidates. The bar for inclusion in those debates was that the party had at least one TD elected to the Dáil. The changed criteria for inclusion is arbitrary.

"It means that any new political party such as Aontú will never be given a chance to challenge the political establishment in live leaders’ debate. It protects the establishment incumbent parties from challenge. 

“Aontú received a higher vote that the Soc Dems and People Before Profit in the recent by-elections. We received a higher vote that People Before Profit in the recent local elections. We are just 1 TD behind the Soc Dems in Dáil numbers and yet those two political parties will allowed participate by RTÉ.

“In an open and free democracy it is critical that citizens have an opportunity to see the policy platforms of all national political parties that are contesting the election. Excluding one party reduces citizens opportunity to make an informed decision. RTE must reverse their decision."



By Aontú Press | 26 January, 2020

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In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.