#ge16 Cllr Brendan Young Election Manifesto

The below is the manifesto our group are putting forward in the 2016 General Election campaign in Kildare North through my candidacy. I ask for your vote as an endorsement of these ideas. It is the result of speaking with people affected by austerity, cuts, discrimination and the many campaigns we have been involved in to change those things since we started in 2011. Altogether, we feel it is the clearest alternative on offer among all of the candidates:

• No other candidate explicitly rules out coalition with Fine Gael, Labour or Fianna Fail in their manifesto. We feel there is a need to build a clear national alternative to them – which will take time. But we will never be rid of them while smaller or newer parties and “independents” continue to do coalition deals with them. If you vote for a progressive anti-austerity candidate – it should not become a vote to make Enda Kenny Taoiseach by proxy. We don’t want to go through the experience of being sold out yet again, as the Labour Party and the Greens before them did. If elected I would only support a principled anti-austerity government excluding Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

• Having organised and led the anti-water charges movement in North Kildare with the Scrap Water Charges Kildare Campaign and Right2Water, I am the only candidate making an explicit call to boycott water charges and supporting those who do – as approximately half of the constituency are doing. Politicians make promises, the only way to ensure we beat water charges is to continue standing together and do it ourselves. As the success of the campaign shows, we are very capable of providing a strong and effective opposition should a next government carry on as recent governments have.

• While others are in favour of a referendum to repeal the 8th, no other candidate is explicitly pro-choice and in favour of a woman’s right to choose, with a lengthy track record of campaigning for people’s reproductive rights. Legislating restrictive regimes and only for fatal foetal abnormalities, rape and incest is not acceptable in 2016. I have been involved in national pro-choice campaigns and organisations for 30 years. I and our group put ourselves at the service of the successful Yes Equality campaign in 2015. We have actively campaigned with others in solidarity with the people of Palestine against Israeli apartheid and I have put forward motions to Kildare County Council in support of them. We have organised aid collections for refugees, insist on the closure of Direct Provision system and to end deportations. After the Carrickmines tragedy, we cannot wait any longer for the Traveller community to have their ethnicity and rights genuinely recognised by the state.

For decades now, I have campaigned consistently for social justice and equality for all – for working people, the unemployed, across gender, age, abilities, race and religion. Please consider giving me your number 1 vote on Friday February 26. Our manifesto leaflet is not exhaustive, it is difficult to fit everything we want to say on to a leaflet, but if you want to know more in detail please email me at young.brend@gmail.com

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