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Date: June 24th 2011

Friends,

As you know, at the National Strategy Meeting in Port Laoise last April, we identified the preparation of a detailed proposal for a National Convention / Citizens' Assembly as being a crucial work item for the movement. It was agreed that by developing a detailed and credible proposal, we could explain our campaign in concrete terms and offer a credible process through which ordinary citizens could drive political reform.

Since then, a dedicated work group developed a rich discussion document that drove two full-day national meetings to reach agreement on a proposal. A draft of that proposal is now ready for download and comment.


During the election period, all of the political parties in the Oireachtas promised a citizen-involved process of reform, including citizens' assemblies. These promises were echoed in the Programme for Government agreed last February. Despite this (and despite 100 days passing since), to our knowledge this is the only fully-formed and detailed proposal for the workings of a National Convention / Citizens' Assembly for political reform in Ireland.

What makes it all the more astounding is that this proposal was prepared not by an academic think tank or by a government department but by everyday people. This is a document that was written by ordinary citizens, with jobs and families, working for no reward but committed to improving their country. That commitment, which amounts to thousands of man hours since we were formed last November should underline the seriousness with which they make this proposal. I'm sure everyone will agree that they have done remarkable work.

The proposal here is not definitive. It is not 'the proposal' but 'a proposal'. We are publishing it to inform and stir debate. Whilst we are making this proposal public today, we are not officially launching it as yet. Rather, we are releasing it now as a draft to invite comment and generate discussion. Over the Summer months, we will finalise the document and officially launch it. Please send your comments on the proposal directly to the workgroup@2nd-republic.ie and they will work to integrate your comments into the final publication.

In the mean time, one item that we would like to invite you to participate in contributing to is the name of the proposed assembly. A Doodle poll is open for you to have your say on the name here:
Finally, and very importantly, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for making this proposal happen. Whilst we especially want to thank the work group and all of the contributors to the document, it is the support, good wishes and great discussion generated online and at Second Republic meetings since November that has culminated in today's publication. This document is a powerful testament to the capabilities of this movement and the people within it. It is a powerful testament to the abilities of Irish citizens, working together for the benefit of our country.

Thank you all for making it happen!

Cordially,

Aoife, Bronagh, Golding, Oliver, Teresa, Tom, Will
(The Second Republic National Committee)


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