Free Vote for TDs over abortion legislation?

Cruimh

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Without the search facility it is hard to be sure this hasn't been mentioned elsewhere, but 24 Cumainn are pushing for a change in policy at the ard fheis in Belfast this week end. Is this a challenge to Mary Lou's authority?

Twenty-four Sinn Féin cumainn have called for a vote of conscience on the forthcoming legislation on abortion.


The party will gather for its ard fheis in Belfast this weekend and party leader Mary Lou McDonald will seek to amend party policy on the issue of abortion.


Ms McDonald is urging delegates to alter its position to coincide with the Government’s legislative proposals in this area.


However, the party’s ard fheis will also hear demands to allow members “articulate and vote on the issue of abortion according to their conscience”.


The motion, which has the support of the South Derry branch and three cumainn from Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín’s constituency, says the issue is a “deeply divisive” one within the party and wider society.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-féin-branches-seek-vote-of-conscience-on-abortion-law-1.3528389

Setting aside the incongruity of conscience and membership of SF, I think SF would be wise to ease off the whip on this issue as by no means do all SF voters support Party Policy.
 


Dame_Enda

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Some of these Cumann are in NI e.g. Derry which further undermines the argument given that Derry is not represented in the Dail nor are other NI Cumainn.

Conscience cannot override democratic referendums. If you want to be Kim Davis and turn yourself into some kind of fake-martyr for 'religious freedom' (while denying freedom to others) then go on Fox News but leave your "conscience" in the Dail carpark if it means failing to abide by a democratic decision.
 

Analyzer

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PSF murdered their conscience a long time ago.
 

Cruimh

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Some of these Cumann are in NI e.g. Derry which further undermines the argument given that Derry is not represented in the Dail nor are other NI Cumainn.
It is rather daft to have the ard fheis in a different political jurisdiction.

And one of these days people in SF will acknowledge that SF (NI) is a very different crittur to SF (ROI).
 

michael-mcivor

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PSF murdered their conscience a long time ago.
Most people don’t know what PSF means- you might as well be pissing in the wind if you can’t even say Sinn Fein-

I don’t know any political party where 100 per cent of its members support 100 per cent of the party’s politics- it’s democracy to debate to differ and to accept what is voted for-
 

making waves

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Most people don’t know what PSF means- you might as well be pissing in the wind if you can’t even say Sinn Fein-

I don’t know any political party where 100 per cent of its members support 100 per cent of the party’s politics- it’s democracy to debate to differ and to accept what is voted for-
SF have been kicking the for touch on the issue of abortion for years - nothing surprising in this.
 

GDPR

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Most people don’t know what PSF means- you might as well be pissing in the wind if you can’t even say Sinn Fein-

I don’t know any political party where 100 per cent of its members support 100 per cent of the party’s politics- it’s democracy to debate to differ and to accept what is voted for-
Whip my arse. 2/3 of the Irish electorate voted to remove the 8th. Mary Lou was the stand -out political leader to put her face to that, and I dont blame Leo for being hands off, its a no-brainer, gay man or mother of children. Lets be honest about it.

SF will always go with that. I remember Martin McGuinness saying he could not personally countenance abortion, as a practising Catholic, but it was not his job to legislate his conscience or to make any such decision for anyone else. And he would be bound by the will of the people.
 

Sync

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It's not something for the Ard Fheis. Closer to the vote: If it's clear it's going to pass, let them have a free vote for a quiet life. If it's close then yeah, gotta whip.
 

Catalpast

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It's not something for the Ard Fheis. Closer to the vote: If it's clear it's going to pass, let them have a free vote for a quiet life. If it's close then yeah, gotta whip.
They are that cynical you are probably right as to how they play this one through.....
 

Catalpast

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It's not something for the Ard Fheis. Closer to the vote: If it's clear it's going to pass, let them have a free vote for a quiet life. If it's close then yeah, gotta whip.
They are that cynical you are probably right as to how they play this one through.....
 

SuirView

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I remember Martin McGuinness saying he could not personally countenance abortion, as a practising Catholic, but it was not his job to legislate his conscience or to make any such decision for anyone else. And he would be bound by the will of the people.
Thanks,
Any links?
 

Dame_Enda

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Looks like legislation wont be coming until the Autumn because of the legal action. I think their lordships need to move things along.
 

SweenyTodd

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https://www.newstatesman.com/lifesty...any-less-lefty

“My body, my life, my choice.” Such rhetoric has always left me perplexed. Isn’t socialism about protecting the weak and vulnerable, giving a voice to the voiceless? Who is weaker or more vulnerable than the unborn child? Which member of our society needs a voice more than the mute baby in the womb?
 

Cruimh

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Sinn Féin vote to change abortion policy

Previously Sinn Féin had backed making terminations available in circumstances like fatal foetal abnormality, rape or sexual abuse.


However, the party will now back a policy put forward by the Sinn Féin leadership that is broadly in line with the new Irish law, which is expected to make abortion available to women within the first 12 weeks of their pregnancies.


Sinn Féin's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill opened the debate and told delegates: "No-one is saying members can't have a conscience and you're entitled to have your viewpoint respected, but there is a difference between personal views and our role as legislators."


However, the few speakers supportive of a conscience vote said that by not allowing members to have a free vote, SF was effectively going to create a "cold house" for those members who take a different view on abortion.
Analysis: By Jayne McCormack BBC News NI Politics Reporter

The decision to back the leadership on this issue is a significant one.


Out of the five main Stormont parties (bar the DUP who are staunchly opposed to abortion), Sinn Féin is now the only one that will not allow its members a conscience vote on abortion.


Ending the debate, the party's MEP Martina Anderson said there was "absolutely no space" for a conscience clause.


But will some of Sinn Féin's members feel there is no longer a space for them in the party because of today's vote?


Time will tell.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
McDonald's gamble on associating herself very much with the repeal campaign personally has paid off I think.

It has secured her leadership position and I think a lot of SF supporters who may have been unconvinced are now much more likely to be viewing the emerging double-act of O'Neill in the north and McDonald in the south as a winning proposition.
 

petaljam

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Well done, Sinn Fein. They're taking something of a risk in NI, where the rather more moderate ban on abortion seems (AFAIAA) not to have led to the sort of opinion-changing scandals that happened in the south due to the 8th amendment.

Still I think the momentum from the south will be an irresistible force in the north, and even more so for Sinn Fein - if there is one party that wouldn't be at ease having two different policies in place north and south of the border it has to be them.

And having elected representatives in both jurisdictions makes it simply impossible for them to dodge the question.

I think it's a risk that will pay off for them.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
I prefer a free vote for TDs across the board on this. I would like to see which TDs are aware of the wishes of the electorate and which of them think they are there to impose their moral view rather than represent the decisions of the electorate.

That could be useful.
 

Catalpast

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SF have done more U turns than a Northside Joy Rider

- they are just about unbelievable on any issue worth debating

From being totally opposed to Abortion in the 80s

- they now support Abortion on Demand!


SF = THE SPOOFER PARTY
 

Catalpast

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I prefer a free vote for TDs across the board on this. I would like to see which TDs are aware of the wishes of the electorate and which of them think they are there to impose their moral view rather than represent the decisions of the electorate.

That could be useful.
If the way TDs vote were to reflect the votes cast


- then over 50 TDs would vote NO
 


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