What a Progressive Ireland looks like

Uplift Member Survey Overview

Uplift is a people powered community made up of people who share progressive values and take coordinated action together. Uplift members were invited to contribute their ideas and vision for a progressive Ireland and to identify campaign priorities for Uplift. The ideas, suggestions, and views shared were incredibly rich and diverse. More than 500 ideas were suggested.

Uplift members’ concerns

On the specific questions we asked about support for potential campaigns, the results are as follows; Housing (82.7%), followed closely by Trade/TTIP (82.4%). Education (73.9%), Marriage Equality (77.2%) and Low Wages (71.1%) There was lower support for campaigning on public transport (61.4%) and tacking coastal erosion (45%).
Concerns-1

 

Uplift members vision for a progressive Ireland

The ideas and suggestions about what a progressive society would look like have been compiled under a number of headings. The headings reflect the themes that emerged when the responses were analysed.

Hint: You can explore individual comments from Uplift members by clicking on any of the headings below.

Decision makers are accountable and trustworthy
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • An end to ‘clientist’ and ‘boys clubs’ political behaviour
  • Limit the number of times politicians can stand for election
  • Whistleblowers better protected
  • No political party allowed to accept large corporate donations.
  • A justice system that focuses on justice, not punishment
  • An end to cronyism
  • Accountable local government that can raise taxes, make decisions about schools, policing, waste, environment, etc.
  • A stronger stance in negotiation of EU decisions
  • No salary increases and reform the pension system for politicians
  • Political parties held accountable for election promises
  • Allow for plebiscites at local and national level
  • Fewer politicians in the Dail
  • Seanad Eireann directly elected based on panels that reflect modern Irish society
  • A secular society where church and state are separate
  • The whip system removed from Irish politics.
  • Irish constitution rewritten to reflect modern Ireland
  • The Gardai respecting and upholding their oath, treating all people with dignity and respect
  • an end to Shannon Airport being used as a stop over for US military

 

Democratic engagement in all its forms is valued

and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Valuing and resourcing civic society
  • Technology allowing for public opinion polls or voting online
  • Democracy recognised as about more than elections
  • Local communities have an input into decision making  at local regional and national structures
  • Voting rights for Irish emigrants
  • Major decisions put to the people to vote on
  • Promotion and protection of the arts
  • Press freedom and access to a multitude of views
  • Children are taught to critically think
  • More well-informed public debate, and greater public awareness
  • Lower voting age to 16
  • Neutrality respected and an end to all military and rendition flights
  • Diversity of culture and religious expression accepted rather than just tolerated
  • Support for net neutrality
  • Engage in international debates on human rights abuses and support humanitarian crisis

 

The economy and enterprise work for the common good
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • TTIP stopped from going ahead
  • Local producers are supported
  • Counteract the collusion of the state and the market
  • Quality of life is more highly valued than GDP
  • A more equitable distribution of wealth ie wealth tax
  • The tax system directed towards a fairer and equitable society
  • The power of corporations is strictly reduced and regulated
  • White collar crime tackled
  • Better transparency in our banking and political systems.
  • Higher taxes that can fund free health and education.
  • Social development prioritised as much as economic growth.
  • Tackling excessively high wages

 

Our planet and natural resources are protected
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Investment in renewable energy esp community renewable energy production
  • Public investment in forestries, farming, fisheries
  • Environmental impact a priority in all state/political decisions
  • Sustainable development underpins all programmes for government
  • Water infrastructure publically owned
  • Priority spending on environment – water, air, food and biodiversity
  • Local food production initiatives supported
  • Development of local wetlands to cope with effects of global warming and flooding
  • Heritage protected and all development sensitive to the environment and heritage
  • Protection of Ireland’s coast, natural resources and endangered specis
  • Development and protection of growing markets for eco-tourism
  • Supermarkets have more ethical practices re supply chain
  • Reduced amount of waste being produced by supermarkets
  • Provision of affordable green buildings e.g. Cob building
  • Pesticides and GMO’s banned
  • A reduction in consuming and increase in recycling
  • Off-grid using river energy, small wind turbines, solar energy, geothermal (affordable)
  • reforestation of uplands

 

We have the income, skills and opportunities to achieve our full potential
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • A living wage for all
  • An increase to the minimum wage
  • Access to a minimum acceptable standard of living
  • A universal basic income
  • Everyone is encouraged to go out and follow their passions – focus has shifted in past decades to hard skills and making a living through money, work etc.
  • An Ireland that reaches out to all who are born on the Island abroad or at home to contribute.

 

Everyone has a secure home
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • An end to homelessness
  • Security of tenure in the rental market
  • Reasonable rents and more quality accommodation for purchase and rent.
  • A movement away from property as an investment and towards creating homes for everyone.
  • More social housing available
  • Fewer repossessions and more supports for people in mortgage arrears

 

Care and care work is recognised as essential to a functioning society
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Family friendly environment for politicians and in all workplaces
  • Long term vision of development and planning so investment is in society eg children and communities
  • Free or at least affordable childcare
  • Carers allowance should not be means tested
  • Put an emphasis on the elderly staying in their local community
  • Individualised funding for people with disabilities
  • Rights for care providers in the private home

 

People have access to decent work
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Right to collective bargaining and union recognition.
  • Regulation of employers and companies
  • Investing in decent, well paid, indigenous jobs
  • Full employment with all people’s needs including diversity considered.
  • Less casualisation of labour eg zero hour contracts
  • An end to job bridge and regulation of internships
  • A universal basic income

 

Quality publicly owned public services are provided to everyone on an equal basis
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • A taxation regime sufficient to support public services
  • End to a two tier education and health system
  • Reduction of privatisation of public services
  • Publically owned bin collection, water and transport
  • The Gardai respecting and upholding their oath by treating all people with dignity and respect,
  • The ‘failure to implement’ syndrome minimised in the public sector

 

Women are treated as equals
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Eradication of sexism in policy and culture
  • Safe maternity care for mothers
  • Equal representation of women in politics and in senior posts of the civil service and state boards.
  • Funding for rape crisis and domestic violence services
  • Repeal of the 8th Amendment
  • Enshrined rights for women to have autonomy over their own bodies and own health
  • Maternity benefit increased
  • Greater availability of home births and midwife led services
  • Access to free contraception

 

The education system is empowering
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • A secular, non-denominational public school system
  • Every child can access good quality education
  • Subsidised/free food available  in school
  • Art and music, growing food and environmental studies should be main subjects in school.
  • Teacher education in all of the above.
  • More kids from working class communities going further in their education
  • Shift towards Finland’s education system model
  • Provision of resources in schools for children with special needs

 

Wellbeing and health care are national priorities
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Universal publicly funded health system
  • Increased well being and improved mental health
  • A health system that functions and focuses on health not sickness
  • Tackling increased suicide rates amongst young people
  • Free gyms, less junk food and focus on alcohol
  • More locations available to bring kids that don’t cost so much
  • A slower paced lifestyle
  • Drug policy reform and decriminalisation of cannabis
  • Increased services for drug treatment
  • Free GP visits for children up to 18 years.
  • HIV medical services more available
  • People working and commuting less

 

The eradication of poverty and inequality is priority for all
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Eradication of discrimination based on age, race, sexual identity and orientation, religion,
  • Refugees and asylum seekers treated in a humane and dignified manner
  • A write down of Ireland’s debt.
  • Equality is enshrined in constitution
  • Equality proofing of budgets, policies and legislation
  • Greater rights for asylum seekers and Travellers
  • Gay teachers no longer in fear of Section 37.
  • Marriage equality for all
  • Income equality the primary objective.
  • No more children living in poverty
  • Reversing of cuts to one parent families

 

Local communities are places where everyone flourishes and has a place
and the ideas Uplift members shared that give expression to this vision include

 

  • Amenities are available locally especially young people
  • Accessible supports in community centers, such as education, citizens advice, social clubs, counselling, social saving schemes, allotments
  • Early education and childcare, centers of excellence for health and mental health services available in all communities
  • Community led initiatives in sustainable tourism and development
  • More spending on small sustainable solutions at community level rather than big projects
  • More support for sports and the arts.
  • Cooperative developments, collectives and community-led business
  • Leases or vacant building leases offered to community groups, start-ups, artists and craftspeople, theatre groups
  • Greater public access to the countryside
  • More locations available to bring kids that don’t cost so much
  • Deal with the high number of derelict buildings
  • Roads are safe and road tax directed towards road upkeep

Join the conversation

The conversation about what the Uplift community stands for and our vision of what Ireland can be is only starting. It will continue to evolve throughout 2015 and Uplift members will have opportunities to join the conversation including through surveys and member meetups and follow up surveys throughout the year. Keep an eye out for updates on ways you can join the conversation via email, facebook, twitter and our website.

Join UPLIFT  |  Donate