Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Progressive and in the Seanad!?

The question was asked, "how can you be a progressive if you want to be in the Seanad?" The implication of course is that only boring, old, conservatives would want to be in the Seanad. Based on the current inhabitants, with notable exceptions, that may be a fairly accurate description but that is more down to the way the chamber is currently filled rather than the type of people who might want to be involved.

What do I mean when I claim to be progressive? Progressivism is the acceptance that the world is changing and that politics needs to keep up. It is the happy medium between conservative inertia and reactionary zeal. It is the path that leads to Now, more than ever, we need to be forward looking and willing to take hold of the opportunities that present themselves. Society will march forward with out without politics. It is the responsibility of politics to keep up with this change and create policy and legislation that enables and facilitates this progress.

Progressivism is often co-aligned with liberalism but it doesn't need to be. However, I have no qualms about also firmly identifying myself as a social liberal and will fight for equality and social justice if elected to the Seanad. On the economic front I am not a free-marketeer. While I accept the right of the marketplace to determine the levels of supply and demand for, and hence the costs of, goods and services, it needs to be properly regulated and supervised to protect the interests of the population at large rather than the interests of the few.

Hopefully this at least partially addresses the original question. As always, comments welcome either here or via twitter!

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