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brughahaha

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Jun 1, 2009
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TBH I think we have as wide a collective of the competent and incompetent as anywhere (although the Healy Raes might skew the average) ... Its the system

The incompetence , corruption and waste , the snails pace of public services still mired in the 80's and the refusal to tackle problems because of powerful vested interests

Many start out with good intentions , but find themselves caught in the vortex and ground down

Take the Garda saga .....everyone has known that politicians were afraid/over respectful/forced to pay homage to, a force that most knew to be self serving , corrupt and unaccountable (like so many of our institutions and public services) .....but even when its uncovered and out in the open , a rear guard action is being fought to minmise any possible change ......even though they know privately the Gardai are unfit for purpose

There are signs of change in Ireland but far too glacial for todays world ........
 

Disillusioned democrat

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Hard for politicians to concentrate on national issues or take a long term view when they're elected based on local issues and what they can deliver now. When their opposition is offering medical cards and pothole fixing they effectively have no choice but to offer the same. Senior Civil servants on the other hand have no such excuse.

I've deal with the last few health ministers and senior management in the HSE on various issues. Most of the Health Ministers seemed interested in addressing matters, HSE Management had none. In fact the HSE seemed to work against one of those ministers efforts.

We're on our 3rd health minister since 2011 and quite likely will have a 4th when the Taoiseach changes. The Chief Medical Officer has been in place since 2008. It's absurd to suggest Simon Harris bears more responsibility for the state of our health service then Tony Holohan (who i would guess is also paid more).
Probably true, but it's up to the Minister to make sure he's got the best person for the job. If Tony Holohan, or any other senior member of the team is not pulling his weight it's up to Minister to make necessary changes.
 

ruman

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Probably true, but it's up to the Minister to make sure he's got the best person for the job. If Tony Holohan, or any other senior member of the team is not pulling his weight it's up to Minister to make necessary changes.
Yes but it probably take a minister of a complex department like health a considerable time even to get up to date. Sacking top managers immediately is a recipe for chaos. By the time they get to grips with the portfolio they've usually been replaced.

You'd need at least 5 years to make any meaningful reform. James Reilly had grand notions but had insiders working against him. Harris and Varadker have realised there's no hope of reform just best to muddle along.
Harney was probably the only recent minister who had any "success" and even that was limited.

Obama or JFK could be health minister and it wouldn't make much difference without radical reform.
 

brughahaha

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Probably true, but it's up to the Minister to make sure he's got the best person for the job. If Tony Holohan, or any other senior member of the team is not pulling his weight it's up to Minister to make necessary changes.
Id say ,like every other state institution he's struggling with an unnecessary overpaid middle management , a legacy of celtic tiger promotions.
Ive witnessed this up close in another state institution ..... its not even that they do nothing of value , they actively obstruct and delay things with empire building and ego driven turf wars
But being public servants they are untouchable .....and that is the problem, it makes reform almost impossible
 

SeanieFitz

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Yes but it probably take a minister of a complex department like health a considerable time even to get up to date. Sacking top managers immediately is a recipe for chaos. By the time they get to grips with the portfolio they've usually been replaced.

You'd need at least 5 years to make any meaningful reform. James Reilly had grand notions but had insiders working against him. Harris and Varadker have realised there's no hope of reform just best to muddle along.
Harney was probably the only recent minister who had any "success" and even that was limited.

Obama or JFK could be health minister and it wouldn't make much difference.
Reilly did have "grand notions" however he was completely out of his depth, an utter failure and a disappointment to all, including to his colleagues in FG. They expected much more from him.

I believe Harris is doing a better job (cue abuse) however it is a mammoth task. The demands are huge and increasing every day. New medicines/treatments/equipment/technology which is often hugely expensive, increased demand as we are living longer, staffing and management issues, political pressure from opposition. Health systems across the world are struggling

take the childrens hospital as a snapshot of how difficult it is to get anything done. Everyone has an opinion about its location, cost, structure, traffic etc. All these experts giving contradicting opinions, impossible to get consensus and all sides are convinced that their opinion is the right one. Impossible situation however typical of the difficulties associated with any infrastructure project in Ireland
 

ruman

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Id say ,like every other state institution he's struggling with an unnecessary overpaid middle management , a legacy of celtic tiger promotions.
Ive witnessed this up close in another state institution ..... its not even that they do nothing of value , they actively obstruct and delay things with empire building and ego driven turf wars
But being public servants they are untouchable .....and that is the problem, it makes reform almost impossible
The 2 ministers most interested in reform in 2011 were Shatter and Reilly.
If you have a system that elects people based on fixing potholes its hardly surprising you end up with politicians who are good at fixing potholes !
Unfortunately that skill isn't much use in running a large organisation like the dept of health.
 

GJG

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Albert Reynolds and Peter Matthews are the only two that spring to mind as men who actually had an accomplished career behind them and genuinely wanted to Get Stuff Done. With McDowell you could never shake the feeling it was always primarily about his towering ego needing a massage.
Albert Reynolds certainly was one of the few who made money in the competitive economy. Michael McDowell certainly was not; most of his considerable fortune came straight from the taxpayer. The fact that someone is technically self-employed doesn't change the fact that they are mostly paid by the taxpayer and able to use state resources to corral customers and eliminate competition.

Equally, Peter Matthews worked his entire career in a profession that totally relies on the state to both create its customer base and ensure that there is no competition.

Back in the early days of the State some constituencies had up to 8 seats. I think much larger constituencies would go some way to somewhat diluting the Lowrys and Healey-Raes of this world. I would actually also introduce an element of sortition.

Something like 5 large 8-seat STV constituencies; 40 national list seats; and 25 drawn by lot from every citizen over 18. Shake things up a bit, limit the influence of the pothole-fixers and passport-form chasers.
I agree in principle, but I think that it is unacceptable in a democracy to have two different sorts of politicians elected to the same chamber. Those two types of politicians would have totally different pressures on them, as you note.

Given our political set-up it is likely that some parties' deputies would overwhelmingly come from one electoral system or the other. It is hardly just that some sections of society would have their interests promoted by politicians free to pursue policy goals, while other sections of society would be represented by politicians constantly pinned down by constituency matters.

I would go with a simple list system, but order the list using a primary election to prevent party hacks from dominating. Your idea of random selection is interesting, but I think you would need larger numbers to prevent chance throwing up perverse majorities.
 

The Crant

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All the Sinn Fein politicians would, They are only part time politicians, they can turn to crime and extortion as a fall back.
 

ergo2

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Charles Haughey was a partner at accounting firm Oliver Freaney, before founding Haughey Boland & Co, and before he got elected as a TD.

Lots of politicians had successful careers in the private sector before entering politics
.
The late Peter Matthews being one.

Fergal Quinn never drew his Senate salary during his time in the Oireachtas. Which I think is very highly commendable.
Very few would last a wet week outside politics.
 

MaterInfo

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Simon Coveney
Jim O'Callaghan
Stephen Donnelly
Possibly Leo Varadkar

All are motivated by public service in my opinion and would earn more in the private sector
 

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