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A microcosm of how Irish politics is dysfunctional


DaveM

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
16,033
When I arrived home earlier this afternoon I found my freshly delivered copy of the Local Wicklow Times awaiting me in the letter box. Now this publication is never going to make onto the essential reading lists for the world's leading opinion shapers but the front page this week really summed up a symptom which shines a light on the dysfunctionality of our political and electoral system.

The leading article refers to the vacant Minister of State for Agriculture position which created by the untimely and tragic death of Deputy Shane McEntee before Christmas.

The headline is:

WILL ENDA IGNORE CO. WICKLOW AGAIN?
You can see where this is going.

The article opens as follows:

There is widespread alarm in Wicklow Fine Gael that Enda Kenny may bypass the county once again when appointing the new Minister of State for Agriculture. Observers from all political parties agree that County Wicklow deserves a Minister, or at least a Minister of State, having delivered three TD's at the last election; especially as all those were elected as poll toppers.

Also, the elected Wicklow Deputies would appear to be the best qualified to fill the vacancy that has arisen from the tragic death of Shane McEntee.
So Wicklow deserves a minister? How exactly does a county deserve a minister? Surely the most able person for the job should be appointed? Of course the article, after hitting with the local angle first, moves onto the issue of the best qualified candidate but apparently all of Wicklow's FG TDs are "best qualified". No TD from any other constituency is mentioned.

Now both Billy Timmins and Andrew Doyle have been opposition spokespersons on Agriculture, Timmins has a degree in Agricultural Economics and Doyle currently chairs the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture so they actually are decent candidates. Harris got lots of votes and that's about it. In any event he cites Doyle as the best candidate for the job. The article concludes by saying Timmins has no chance as he voted against Kenny in the heave and the Taoiseach can't stand him so Doyle is the only realistic contender.

However the main thrust of the article is that Wicklow needs a minister, Wicklow deserves a minister and Enda will have let Wicklow down again if we don't get a minister. Suitability is very much a secondary consideration.

Unfortunately suitability will also be very much a secondary consideration when Enda comes to make his decision. Remember the "Limerick needs a man in cabinet" when Willie finally fell on his sword? Enda will as always consider who is his friend and what constituency needs a boost before the next GE when making such an appointment. Some competency is supposedly required but not necessarily all that much. Phil Hogan anyone?

This just goes to show how the PR-STV system of large multi-seat constituencies pushes issues such as geography to the fore in making appointments both in the minds of politicians and in the minds of the public. Quite frankly, it's b*llocks. Best person for the job should be the only consideration.

All politics may be local but when it comes to Ireland it sometimes seems that no politics is national.
 

44percent

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,230
Cliche Number 1: all politics is local. Cliche Number 2: democracy is about balance and shared power. Cliche Number 3: mastery of conflicting claims grants the right to play at the big table. All that said, I agree with you!
 

ticketyboo

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
5,045
When I arrived home earlier this afternoon I found my freshly delivered copy of the Local Wicklow Times awaiting me in the letter box. Now this publication is never going to make onto the essential reading lists for the world's leading opinion shapers but the front page this week really summed up a symptom which shines a light on the dysfunctionality of our political and electoral system.

The leading article refers to the vacant Minister of State for Agriculture position which created by the untimely and tragic death of Deputy Shane McEntee before Christmas.

The headline is:



You can see where this is going.

The article opens as follows:



So Wicklow deserves a minister? How exactly does a county deserve a minister? Surely the most able person for the job should be appointed? Of course the article, after hitting with the local angle first, moves onto the issue of the best qualified candidate but apparently all of Wicklow's FG TDs are "best qualified". No TD from any other constituency is mentioned.

Now both Billy Timmins and Andrew Doyle have been opposition spokespersons on Agriculture, Timmins has a degree in Agricultural Economics and Doyle currently chairs the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture so they actually are decent candidates. Harris got lots of votes and that's about it. In any event he cites Doyle as the best candidate for the job. The article concludes by saying Timmins has no chance as he voted against Kenny in the heave and the Taoiseach can't stand him so Doyle is the only realistic contender.

However the main thrust of the article is that Wicklow needs a minister, Wicklow deserves a minister and Enda will have let Wicklow down again if we don't get a minister. Suitability is very much a secondary consideration.

Unfortunately suitability will also be very much a secondary consideration when Enda comes to make his decision. Remember the "Limerick needs a man in cabinet" when Willie finally fell on his sword? Enda will as always consider who is his friend and what constituency needs a boost before the next GE when making such an appointment. Some competency is supposedly required but not necessarily all that much. Phil Hogan anyone?

This just goes to show how the PR-STV system of large multi-seat constituencies pushes issues such as geography to the fore in making appointments both in the minds of politicians and in the minds of the public. Quite frankly, it's b*llocks. Best person for the job should be the only consideration.

All politics may be local but when it comes to Ireland it sometimes seems that no politics is national.
Harmless nonsense, Dave, based on the exploits of regional press everywhere, I would hazard. Up here the Donegal papers often have the most remote Donegal "connection" to international stories, you know the kind of thing.... "Letterkenny man leaves Indonesia two days before tsunami strikes". Narrow escape!
It's part of the charm of the genre.
I forgot some years ago the late, lamentable Dr McDaid based his campaign on the slogan that Letterkenny needs a TD. Quite why it needed one at the exclusion of all other areas of the county did and continues to escape me. BTW, it worked for him.
 

DaveM

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
16,033
Harmless nonsense, Dave, based on the exploits of regional press everywhere, I would hazard. Up here the Donegal papers often have the most remote Donegal "connection" to international stories, you know the kind of thing.... "Letterkenny man leaves Indonesia two days before tsunami strikes". Narrow escape!
It's part of the charm of the genre.
That charm puts some awful goms' arses on ministerial chairs though!
 

john scott

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
532
By the way The Tipperary Star last week said that Deputy Tom Hayes of Tipperary South is the fronerunner for the job. More or less has it in the bag.
 

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
By the way The Tipperary Star last week said that Deputy Tom Hayes of Tipperary South is the fronerunner for the job. More or less has it in the bag.
They are hardly going to promote that eejet to a Junior Ministerial responsibilty ?

I heard that they would going to give it to a TD from Kildare, who is possibly decades younger than Hayes, and who represents the "future".
 

44percent

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,230
Actually, there's a thought: a weekly political summary of the slant of the local paper on the issues du jour.
 

harshreality

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
2,688
Ah yes good old local papers.

You could copy & paste 90% of the articles in one local paper and insert them into countless others across the country without being noticed.

Most of them should change their name to 'The Weekly Village Pump'!
 

The Sentinel

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
1,310
When I arrived home earlier this afternoon I found my freshly delivered copy of the Local Wicklow Times awaiting me in the letter box. Now this publication is never going to make onto the essential reading lists for the world's leading opinion shapers but the front page this week really summed up a symptom which shines a light on the dysfunctionality of our political and electoral system.

The leading article refers to the vacant Minister of State for Agriculture position which created by the untimely and tragic death of Deputy Shane McEntee before Christmas.

The headline is:



You can see where this is going.

The article opens as follows:



So Wicklow deserves a minister? How exactly does a county deserve a minister? Surely the most able person for the job should be appointed? Of course the article, after hitting with the local angle first, moves onto the issue of the best qualified candidate but apparently all of Wicklow's FG TDs are "best qualified". No TD from any other constituency is mentioned.

Now both Billy Timmins and Andrew Doyle have been opposition spokespersons on Agriculture, Timmins has a degree in Agricultural Economics and Doyle currently chairs the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture so they actually are decent candidates. Harris got lots of votes and that's about it. In any event he cites Doyle as the best candidate for the job. The article concludes by saying Timmins has no chance as he voted against Kenny in the heave and the Taoiseach can't stand him so Doyle is the only realistic contender.

However the main thrust of the article is that Wicklow needs a minister, Wicklow deserves a minister and Enda will have let Wicklow down again if we don't get a minister. Suitability is very much a secondary consideration.

Unfortunately suitability will also be very much a secondary consideration when Enda comes to make his decision. Remember the "Limerick needs a man in cabinet" when Willie finally fell on his sword? Enda will as always consider who is his friend and what constituency needs a boost before the next GE when making such an appointment. Some competency is supposedly required but not necessarily all that much. Phil Hogan anyone?

This just goes to show how the PR-STV system of large multi-seat constituencies pushes issues such as geography to the fore in making appointments both in the minds of politicians and in the minds of the public. Quite frankly, it's b*llocks. Best person for the job should be the only consideration.

All politics may be local but when it comes to Ireland it sometimes seems that no politics is national.
How old are you? 10? Where have you been living. Do you know anyrthing about Irish political parties? Talk about stating the obvious. You might as well start an OP on "Rain is wet in Ireland". Wise up FFs.
 

DaveM

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
16,033
How old are you? 10? Where have you been living. Do you know anyrthing about Irish political parties? Talk about stating the obvious. You might as well start an OP on "Rain is wet in Ireland". Wise up FFs.
Thanks for your contribution. Deeply inspiring.
 

The OD

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
11,432
Thanks for your contribution. Deeply inspiring.
Don't worry about it Dave, a good OP and a good point to be made. However, you will no doubt have plenty of morons on arguing and debating about something completely different. I do think that the report is a very good indicator of how politics works in Ireland (yes, for some people, it seems pointing this out is the extent of their ability to contribute to the thread) and the point is worth exploring.

One needs only look at John 'the fat, red faced idiot who likes to splash public money around AKA the bullock' O'Donoghue and how viewed his ministry as his own personal re-election fund.
 

The OD

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
11,432
How old are you? 10? Where have you been living. Do you know anyrthing about Irish political parties? Talk about stating the obvious. You might as well start an OP on "Rain is wet in Ireland". Wise up FFs.
Yes, we do thanks. Do YOU have anything to add or are you, as I expect, just another pointless poster with nothing interesting to say?

Wise up For F*ck Sake yourself pal.

Idiot.
 

Tea Party Patriot

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
11,557
When I arrived home earlier this afternoon I found my freshly delivered copy of the Local Wicklow Times awaiting me in the letter box. Now this publication is never going to make onto the essential reading lists for the world's leading opinion shapers but the front page this week really summed up a symptom which shines a light on the dysfunctionality of our political and electoral system.

The leading article refers to the vacant Minister of State for Agriculture position which created by the untimely and tragic death of Deputy Shane McEntee before Christmas.

The headline is:



You can see where this is going.

The article opens as follows:



So Wicklow deserves a minister? How exactly does a county deserve a minister? Surely the most able person for the job should be appointed? Of course the article, after hitting with the local angle first, moves onto the issue of the best qualified candidate but apparently all of Wicklow's FG TDs are "best qualified". No TD from any other constituency is mentioned.

Now both Billy Timmins and Andrew Doyle have been opposition spokespersons on Agriculture, Timmins has a degree in Agricultural Economics and Doyle currently chairs the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture so they actually are decent candidates. Harris got lots of votes and that's about it. In any event he cites Doyle as the best candidate for the job. The article concludes by saying Timmins has no chance as he voted against Kenny in the heave and the Taoiseach can't stand him so Doyle is the only realistic contender.

However the main thrust of the article is that Wicklow needs a minister, Wicklow deserves a minister and Enda will have let Wicklow down again if we don't get a minister. Suitability is very much a secondary consideration.

Unfortunately suitability will also be very much a secondary consideration when Enda comes to make his decision. Remember the "Limerick needs a man in cabinet" when Willie finally fell on his sword? Enda will as always consider who is his friend and what constituency needs a boost before the next GE when making such an appointment. Some competency is supposedly required but not necessarily all that much. Phil Hogan anyone?

This just goes to show how the PR-STV system of large multi-seat constituencies pushes issues such as geography to the fore in making appointments both in the minds of politicians and in the minds of the public. Quite frankly, it's b*llocks. Best person for the job should be the only consideration.

All politics may be local but when it comes to Ireland it sometimes seems that no politics is national.
This is exactly why we need the Dáil reduced to somewhere between 80 and 100 TDs elected from much larger constituencies.

I would be opposed to a National list system however because it would allow the oft unelectable party mandarins to be elected. For those who don't agreed with me just remember under a list system we would most likely be looking at John O'Donoghue, Dick Roache and others who lost out in the Dáil if they were selected by the powers that be far enough up the list.

Of course the government (and most likely the opposition parties who would lose head count as well) would whine and whinge that reducing numbers of TD's would require a constitutional amendment, what they won't admit is that the people would vote for it.
 

Clanrickard

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
33,041
This is exactly why we need the Dáil reduced to somewhere between 80 and 100 TDs elected from much larger constituencies.

I would be opposed to a National list system however because it would allow the oft unelectable party mandarins to be elected. For those who don't agreed with me just remember under a list system we would most likely be looking at John O'Donoghue, Dick Roache and others who lost out in the Dáil if they were selected by the powers that be far enough up the list.

Of course the government would whine and whinge that reducing numbers of TD's would require a constitutional amendment, what they won't admit is that the people would vote for it.
You could combine the two systems. Half on list, half by constituency. If you look at countries that haven't made a mess of their economies they tend to use some form of list and have proper local government .
 

Telemachus

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Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
6,565
Website
en.wikipedia.org
The county mentality is promoted. I just consider myself someone from the southeast now.

This limerick-clare or waterford-kilkenny or dublin-wicklow smallness comes from sport a lot I believe, although it was introduced by the Brit Invaders.

Phil-Hogan is promoting this by stopping Waterford CC annex the hinterland in south kilkenny for instance, thus retarding the natural link between new ross and Waterford in development synergy.

I had an argument with a lad about the definition of Kilkenny recently. The artificial bounds of county and the concordant mentality is self-defeating.

Small people who have forgotten thier own history.

 
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S

simeongrimes

It's not charming in any way. Why did we have a government of people who never suspected they were in the middle of a housing bubble. It's because the cabinet is appointed for regional balance rather than ability and the whip system ensures Ministers never face a sustained intellectual examination of their policies.

Our political system is a total failure. So much so that many people would rather have the Trokia stick around running the place than hand it back to the Gombeens.
 
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