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Cynicism in Politics

30 October 2008

Order of Business

Senator Ivana Bacik: I support the calls on this side for a debate on education. I ask the Leader to guarantee that there will be a debate on education next week, given the levels of concern.

We had a debate on a specific aspect of education cutbacks on children with disabilities. This is an important aspect but we need a fuller debate on education.

I fully support what Senator Alex White has said with regard to those on the Government side speaking on both sides. After Senator White made the point this morning, we heard a number of Senators making this point. It undermines people's trust and confidence in politicians. To hear Senator Leyden express a permanent state of indignation at what his Government is doing is extraordinary and it beggars belief.

Perhaps it is time we had a debate on cynicism in politics and on speaking the truth in politics, speaking in support of policies and votingthe way they have spoken and in accordance with principle. Senator Boyle expressed his support for a debate on education yet voted against the amendment to the Order of Business tabled by Fine Gael, not once but twice, this week and last week.

That beggars belief. Those who have been in this House a long time become utterly cynical about it and it is no wonder people outside these Houses are utterly cynical about politicians if they hear people saying one thing and then voting another way. This happens all the time. I ask the Leader for a debate on people voting the way they say they will vote and on people voting against their principles.