Jan Van De Ven

Political Party / Group: Direct Democracy Ireland
Current Councillor or MEP?: No
City or County Council: Wexford County Council

About me

Jan has been involved in all aspects of the computer business for 35 years. Sales, Consulting, Software Development, Import, Export and Distribution. Over the years, Jan has been involved in politics in America, Ireland and the European Parliament. In relation to his work with “Citizen Initiated Referendum” he has been invited as a guest in the Parliaments in Switzerland, Iceland and Brussels, Europe. In Ireland he co-founded of one of Ireland’s newest political parties Direct Democracy Ireland dedicated to “Citizen Initiated Referendum”. In Brussels, Europe he is a founder member of Democracy International, an organization dedicated to spreading “Citizen Initiated Referendum” in Europe and around the world. Jan has chaired and led teams that restructured and saved 2 Organic Food Coops in Dublin and Santa Monica, California. Jan has trekked the Indian and Tibetan Himalayas. He is a meditation teacher. He has 3 children and 3 grand children.

My Priorities & Ideas

I’m OK with the European Union, however, I want to reform the European Union (EU) and Ireland by making both governments more democratic. The directly people elected EU Parliament needs to have the power to legislate; it needs the power to create law and reform law. The political union was pre-mature and it does not have the required checks and balances found in a normal functioning democracy. To reform the EU we need to re-establish Citizen Initiated Referendum (CIR) in Ireland. CIR would give the Irish people the ability to veto any Irish or EU law they found oppressive to their freedom, their happiness or their wallet. We need to be careful here,

Name three characteristics of a great politician

Great Speaker, Great Listener and Strong Spine

What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?

Restore the power of Citizen Initiated Referendum for the Irish People

What politician or ex-politician outside Ireland do you admire and why?

I admire Gandhi because he was not afraid to speak truth to power. He did it through his actions and he did it with his words.

What is the one mistake you witness politicians making more frequently than others?

Politicians say one thing and do another. They don’t stand for anything, they have no spine.

In politics there can be a tendency for the “system” to dampen the “inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?

I don’t this can happen for a politician that stands for something. If have certain core principles and you are committed then the struggle must continue until you accomplish the goal. There is always more that can be done.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Follow your heart, for it knows the way!!!

What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Positive, Optimistic and Focused

Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?

Elon Musk, Craig Venter, Vint Cerf, Amal Clooney, Paul McCartney, Juliette Binoche

What is on your bucket list?

build a zero emission house & Star Travel

You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question, who would you select and what is the question?

Elijah, Can you ask the pilot if there is room for one more passenger!!!

How do you unwind/switch off?


What values are most important to you?

truth, integrity

How do you keep yourself motivated?


What’s on your bookshelf

Own Our Oil – The Fight for Irish Economic Freedom by Eddie Hobbs
The Irish Constitution Explained by Darrell Figgis
Corporation 2020 – Transforming Business for Tomorrows World by Pavan Sukhdev
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Pikett

Name some of your favourite movies

Contact, Close Encounters of a Third Kind, Avatar, Blade Runner, Hunting with Wolves, The Hundred-Foot Journey, The Shawshank Redemption

Who are your heroes?

Éamonn Ceannt, Thomas Clarke, James Connolly, Seán MacDiarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, Patrick Pearse, Joseph Plunkett, Gandhi, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa