Politicians claim to govern in the name of ‘the people’ but do we need them? Not if their only interest is in seeking attention for themselves and to enjoy the perks of office. However, people who want change will always insist on being heard. They will always look for ways of ensuring that their views will prevail and, to that end, they will always be eager to engage in that world of shifting alliances and clever tactics, a world that many find distasteful. That’s politics. And it will always be with us.
What has it got to do with democracy? This book sets out to show that there can be no democratic government without political leadership. Only when political leaders are able to command the free attention of ordinary individuals and convince them that they are seen, heard, and respected by those in positions of power can we speak of government by ‘the people.’
This book is for everyone in Ireland who wants to ensure their voice is heard, their views are respected, and that their opinions are considered by those who govern. It’s about democracy and how it relates to the realities of power - to politics and politicians. When people lose faith in ‘the politicians’ we need to ask why.
“This book deserves to be read by all who value our democratic inheritance.” From the Preface by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, TD, Michael McDowell, TD, Enda Kenny, TD, Pat Rabbitte, TD, Trevor Sargent, TD
Author Edmond Grace SJ, lectured in law and social ethics at the National College of Ireland and worked in the Dublin inner-city parish of Gardiner Street. He is a founder member of the Dublin Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign and his work there brought him into contact with politicians and public servants. Democracy and Public Happiness has its origins in this experience.