In what might seem (to the untrained eye) to be another humdrum quango involved in the tedious business of organising elections lie many grave threats to Ireland’s struggling democracy.
Ireland’s new Electoral Commission, founded in April of this year, will be regulating political ads to ensure they don’t contain “misinformation”, Art O’ Leary, CEO has said in an interview with Newstalk.
The body was established by the Irish government in February 2023 to fulfil a variety of roles, including reviewing constituency boundaries, registering political parties, and more.
The agency is also tasked with suppressing supposed “misinformation” during election time. Art O’Leary, who is chief executive of the body, discussed this and more during an interview on Newstalk’s “Let Me Explain” podcast with Seán Defoe. “We do have a role in ensuring that the public have correct information,” O’Leary said.
To the eye untrained at reading between the line with regards to Irish politics, Art O’Leary’s comments, and indeed the very existence of the Electoral Commission itself, might seem innocuous, the normal functioning of a government bureaucracy intent on the smooth administration of elections.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Cracks first start to appear when one peaks into Mr. O’Leary’s occupational history.
On the Electoral Commission website: “Art O’Leary was appointed Chief Executive Officer by Cabinet decision on 30 May 2023. He was previously Secretary General to the President, Secretary to a number of Citizens’ Assemblies and worked in the Houses of the Oireachtas for 20 years”. O’Leary is clearly not the impartial, objective bureaucrat one would desire for this role. He has, in fact, worked with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs for over twenty years. There is not even the slightest effort at maintaining impartiality.
Even more egregious is the case of Maria Baker Supreme Court Justice, also a member of the Comission. As a board member of the Electoral Commission, while simultaneously as a member of the Judicial system, Judge Baker may well be asked to pass judgement on the legality of the same laws and policies that she herself had a role in creating. It is hard to fathom of a more serious violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine, a doctrine widely considered fundamental in any democratic system.
More information on the new Electoral Commission (first established 2023), can be found on the newly founded agency’s website. Here, the dire implications of government overreach become even more apparent to the astute reader.
Here, one sees that the Electoral Commission gives, for the first time, the ability of the government to limit the flow of information via political advertising, journalism, or social media. Outlined in the objectives of the Electoral Commission, is its role in “Countering electoral fraud, post-truth politics, foreign electoral intervention” later described as “Misinformation, Disinformation”. Evidently, the Irish government do not trust the Irish people enough to come to the correct conclusions should free access to media sources be given to them.
As part of the widely accepted definitions of “Post-truth politics” or “disinformation”, something need not be technically false to be a lie, if it is part of a narrative, that the government thinks is overall, “not true” – as judged by the opinions of government appointed “Experts” – Ireland’s equivalent of our social betters. Under the Electoral Commission’s writ, any assertion contrary to “widely accepted fact” as defined by these experts, can be censored and considered “Hate Speech”.
Examples of such speech could include assertions that men cannot become women, immigration leads to lower wages for indigenous working classes, or diverse societies have lower levels of social cohesion. Or pointing out that many of those applying for asylum in Ireland do not in any sense meet the standard put forward by the UN Charter regarding asylum seekers etc. etc.
All such information will likely be regarded by the Electoral Commission as unacceptable, and will therefore be banned under the commission’s broad powers under the Electoral Reform Act 2022, passed under the aegis of hapless Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien.
The law gives no right or ability to appeal any decision made by the seven members of the Electoral Commission Board.
This nightmarish Bill represents a further curtailment of the democratic process, and the ability of Irish people to make their own decisions after a careful dissection of various viewpoints and their merits, as has been previously been their right under the principles of the Jeffersonian Democracy model that has predominated in the western world since the end of the Second World War.
Instead, under the new ‘democratic’ model being implemented by the Electoral Commission, the ignorant hoi polloi of Ireland (aka the electorate), will be constrained to a increasingly narrow set of acceptable opinions set by a tiny, hereditary and authoritarian elite, who are exclusively neo-liberal, globalist and secular in their politics, and heavily influenced by the politics and ponderings of the American academic left.
Some may argue that the passing of the Electoral Commission Act of 2022, is just another example of Ireland following other European and Anglosphere democracies via adjusting to a new 21st century model of democracy, which eliminates traditional individual rights, such as Free Speech, the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, the right to protest etc, in favour of the amorphous and poorly-defined concept of the “Common Good”. If one takes this view, one may consider the current ruling classes in Ireland to be mere lemmings, following in the footsteps of other, larger, and more influential countries, who do not suffer from the intellectual stagnation and academic conformity that has pervaded Irish society for som years
However, in conjunction with the Hate Speech Bill, implementing one of the world’s highest per capita immigration rates, and the transformation of Ireland’s education system so that it heavily emphasises the principles of Critical Race Theory, the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Model and transgressive Gender Ideology, Ireland has undergone the process of implementing the Neo-liberal agenda with more gusto than any other European country or American state, with Canada and California, being the only two possible exceptions. Seemingly, our political, legal and academic leaders have become that rarest thing in Irish politics, the True Ideologue – the True Believer. As the actions of our wealthy and influential NGOs in Brussels would suggest, it is Ireland that is pushing Brussels further into the dark pit of neo-liberal globalism, not the other way around.
The Irish people, are therefore, it seems, being used as a laboratory for the most extreme excesses of the world’s neo-Marxist elite, without any idea of what the results will be from this radical experiment.
Will the Irish people ever again resist and fight back against tyranny, as we have done so many times in our glorious past? Time, and the upcoming election will tell.