Ireland is not a Democracy. Change is therefore impossible.

LeDroit

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Got to thinking about our 'system' today. I was considering how it could be reformed or reinvented when it suddenly hit me that Ireland is not actually a democracy.

The Presidency;
A citizen is not entitled to run for the presidency. You cannot get your name on the ballot paper unless a political party nominates you. Therefore the electorate only get a choice of what the establishment gives them. Thus, since the nomination process is rigged that's not a free and fair election. The People do not pick their President, the establishment does.

The Seanad;
Shooting fish in a barrel this one. The people do not get a vote. Only certain citizens are deemed worthy of voting, eg university graduates. Most senators are 'elected' by fellow politicians, eg councillors, and for some they don't even bother with the charade and the Taioseach just appoints them. So the Seanad is completely outside the control of the citizen. The establishment decides again.

The Taoiseach;
Is not elected by the people at all. Fellow TDs 'elect' him. The people have no choice on who their leader is. They just get to pick a guy who gets to choose on 'their' behalf. The only problem is that the TD can only become a TD with the gift of the establishment (see below), therefore the establishment decides who the Taoiseach is.

The Dail/TDs;
The only kind of democratic bit on the face of it. Theoretically any citizen can run for election to the Dail but in practice it costs money. If you are not already a TD or a selected candidate by an existing political party then you can't get state funding to finance that campaign. And you are not allowed to fundraise from within your own means or from within a small group of supporters as the establishment have set the rules so that there is an individual limit on the donation per person. Thus, new individuals or new parties cannot enter the fray. The establishment decides who is on the ballot paper with any realistic financial wherewithal to actually get elected. Certainly, it's so restrictive that a sufficiently large group of new candidates cannot be elected to challenge the establishments status quo. In addition, even if you do get elected you are not allowed to speak in the Dail unless the establishment affords you 'speaking rights'.

So, the Establishment decides who is a TD, Senator, President and Taoiseach. The People do not. We do not have a Democracy. Change is impossible.
 


Newsy

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So, the Establishment decides who is a TD, Senator, President and Taoiseach. The People do not. We do not have a Democracy. Change is impossible.
That only stuck you, TODAY???
 

LeDroit

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That only stuck you, TODAY???
Yeah, I know. Apologies for my dimwittedness. But I'd say most people are like me, thinking that we are a democracy but not actually questioning the system because 'that's just the way it's always been'. I think it was when I examined all of the branches of govt that it just hit me. Unreal.

Maybe we could get UN election monitors to do a report? ;)
 

mary hinge

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Jul 27, 2010
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Got to thinking about our 'system' today. I was considering how it could be reformed or reinvented when it suddenly hit me that Ireland is not actually a democracy.

The Presidency;
A citizen is not entitled to run for the presidency. You cannot get your name on the ballot paper unless a political party nominates you. Therefore the electorate only get a choice of what the establishment gives them. Thus, since the nomination process is rigged that's not a free and fair election. The People do not pick their President, the establishment does.

The Seanad;
Shooting fish in a barrel this one. The people do not get a vote. Only certain citizens are deemed worthy of voting, eg university graduates. Most senators are 'elected' by fellow politicians, eg councillors, and for some they don't even bother with the charade and the Taioseach just appoints them. So the Seanad is completely outside the control of the citizen. The establishment decides again.

The Taoiseach;
Is not elected by the people at all. Fellow TDs 'elect' him. The people have no choice on who their leader is. They just get to pick a guy who gets to choose on 'their' behalf. The only problem is that the TD can only become a TD with the gift of the establishment (see below), therefore the establishment decides who the Taoiseach is.

The Dail/TDs;
The only kind of democratic bit on the face of it. Theoretically any citizen can run for election to the Dail but in practice it costs money. If you are not already a TD or a selected candidate by an existing political party then you can't get state funding to finance that campaign. And you are not allowed to fundraise from within your own means or from within a small group of supporters as the establishment have set the rules so that there is an individual limit on the donation per person. Thus, new individuals or new parties cannot enter the fray. The establishment decides who is on the ballot paper with any realistic financial wherewithal to actually get elected. Certainly, it's so restrictive that a sufficiently large group of new candidates cannot be elected to challenge the establishments status quo. In addition, even if you do get elected you are not allowed to speak in the Dail unless the establishment affords you 'speaking rights'.

So, the Establishment decides who is a TD, Senator, President and Taoiseach. The People do not. We do not have a Democracy. Change is impossible.
very well put brother,i`d have to agree with all the points you make.... but change is possible......certainly not within our current system,but who knows what the future holds?.

i`d wager that within the next 5-10 years we`ll see things happen on this small island that you never thought possible.
 

LeDroit

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very well put brother,i`d have to agree with all the points you make.... but change is possible......certainly not within our current system,but who knows what the future holds?.

i`d wager that within the next 5-10 years we`ll see things happen on this small island that you never thought possible.
You're suggesting an armed uprising or some such I presume. I can't see it happening. We're just not that passionate or rebellious as a group. Even 1916 was carried out by a tiny group with very little popular support. We are a peasant nation with a fairly submissive attitude overall. 25% of the population would still vote FF for God's sake!
 

kerdasi amaq

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Aug 24, 2009
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The real strenght of the "establishment" is the blind faith voting habit of certain parts of the electorate.

The Constitution is drafted so that all effective authority is concentrated in the Taoiseach's office.

Dana got to run for president without being backed by a political party.
 

LeDroit

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The real strenght of the "establishment" is the blind faith voting habit of certain parts of the electorate.

The Constitution is drafted so that all effective authority is concentrated in the Taoiseach's office.

Dana got to run for president without being backed by a political party.
She was backed by councillors. It's the only way onto the ballot paper.
 

Munnkeyman

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Good OP LeDroit,

Here's my definition;

A kleptocracy by definition is a government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal; rule by thieves.​
A particracy is a de facto form of government where the will of one or more political parties in power dominates political life, not the will of individual politicians.
A hegemony is the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter.​


So I believe I would be correct in saying that
The correct definition of our state government would be a klepto – particratic, quasi - democratic hegemony with an unquantifiable degree of cronyism and a dose of nepotism for good measure.​
 

arcadeparade

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Jan 30, 2009
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I agree with you completely.

You should read this: Parliament or Democracy? : The anarchist case against parliament

Its called parliament or democracy. It's about how parliament was only setup to give people the illusion of democracy, and how real change only comes through popular pressure which the power centres are forced to react too.

Its left wing, but I read it when I was a Milton Friedman fan too and it really opened my eyes.
 

LeDroit

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Messages
1,768
Good OP LeDroit,

Here's my definition;

A kleptocracy by definition is a government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal; rule by thieves.​
A particracy is a de facto form of government where the will of one or more political parties in power dominates political life, not the will of individual politicians.
A hegemony is the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter.​


So I believe I would be correct in saying that
The correct definition of our state government would be a klepto – particratic, quasi - democratic hegemony with an unquantifiable degree of cronyism and a dose of nepotism for good measure.​
Another couple of questions therefore. Can the people even be trusted with their vote? Is democracy even desirable for Ireland? The populace are obviously content with the status quo and given an actually straight choice between the establishment and something new, how confident would you be that our electorate would actually choose something different?!
 

Mossy Heneberry

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You're also forgetting about our high paid civil servants. They are the ones that are running the show, the TD's are just for show.

Also according the independent, FF would retain a lot more seats if Lenihan was leader, so more than 25% of the pupulace would vote for them.
 

Munnkeyman

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Another couple of questions therefore. Can the people even be trusted with their vote? Is democracy even desirable for Ireland? The populace are obviously content with the status quo and given an actually straight choice between the establishment and something new, how confident would you be that our electorate would actually choose something different?!

  • Yes I believe they can be trusted with their vote.
  • Yes we should have a democracy.
  • I'm not very confident that the status-quo will be maintained.
The only way we can change the electorates mind is to put ourselves before it.
And convince them to vote for a new beginning, a new Ireland in fact and a second Republic.
 

mary hinge

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Messages
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You're suggesting an armed uprising or some such I presume. I can't see it happening. We're just not that passionate or rebellious as a group. Even 1916 was carried out by a tiny group with very little popular support. We are a peasant nation with a fairly submissive attitude overall. 25% of the population would still vote FF for God's sake!
armed uprising?,total breakdown of law and order?,mass riots?,world war?....maybe or maybe not but one things for certain,the young people of today are not as submissive or passive or clueless for that matter as previous generations especially with the eastern european and african influence thats here now.
 

LeDroit

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  • Yes I believe they can be trusted with their vote.
  • Yes we should have a democracy.
  • I'm not very confident that the status-quo will be maintained.
The only way we can change the electorates mind is to put ourselves before it.
And convince them to vote for a new beginning, a new Ireland in fact and a second Republic.
How is an amendment to the constitution proposed? Can it only be proposed by the govt of the day or is there a way of proposing it by getting 100,000 signatures or whatever? Is there a way of getting to the people over the heads of the Establishment?
 

RightCentreLeft

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Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
925
Got to thinking about our 'system' today. I was considering how it could be reformed or reinvented when it suddenly hit me that Ireland is not actually a democracy.

The Presidency;
A citizen is not entitled to run for the presidency. You cannot get your name on the ballot paper unless a political party nominates you. Therefore the electorate only get a choice of what the establishment gives them. Thus, since the nomination process is rigged that's not a free and fair election. The People do not pick their President, the establishment does.

The Seanad;
Shooting fish in a barrel this one. The people do not get a vote. Only certain citizens are deemed worthy of voting, eg university graduates. Most senators are 'elected' by fellow politicians, eg councillors, and for some they don't even bother with the charade and the Taioseach just appoints them. So the Seanad is completely outside the control of the citizen. The establishment decides again.

The Taoiseach;
Is not elected by the people at all. Fellow TDs 'elect' him. The people have no choice on who their leader is. They just get to pick a guy who gets to choose on 'their' behalf. The only problem is that the TD can only become a TD with the gift of the establishment (see below), therefore the establishment decides who the Taoiseach is.

The Dail/TDs;
The only kind of democratic bit on the face of it. Theoretically any citizen can run for election to the Dail but in practice it costs money. If you are not already a TD or a selected candidate by an existing political party then you can't get state funding to finance that campaign. And you are not allowed to fundraise from within your own means or from within a small group of supporters as the establishment have set the rules so that there is an individual limit on the donation per person. Thus, new individuals or new parties cannot enter the fray. The establishment decides who is on the ballot paper with any realistic financial wherewithal to actually get elected. Certainly, it's so restrictive that a sufficiently large group of new candidates cannot be elected to challenge the establishments status quo. In addition, even if you do get elected you are not allowed to speak in the Dail unless the establishment affords you 'speaking rights'.

So, the Establishment decides who is a TD, Senator, President and Taoiseach. The People do not. We do not have a Democracy. Change is impossible.

Excellent summary of the current system in this country.

As a matter of interest what alternative system do you think would represent true democracy?
 

LeDroit

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Excellent summary of the current system in this country.

As a matter of interest what alternative system do you think would represent true democracy?
Abolish constituencies and have an election on the basis of one national constituency. So people in Donegal get to vote for the same guy as people in Dublin or Kerry. It would destroy gombeen parish pump nonsense at a national parliamentary level. Individuals are elected, not a list system. 101 TDs who each have a nominated alternate should they die, resign whatever so no by-elections.

One Council per county with 13 councillors, full time, properly paid who deal with potholes and BS. Councillors are not allowed to run for the national parliament while in office.

Simultaneous with the Dail election, run a direct election for the Taoiseach. Candidates for Taoiseach are not allowed to run for the Dail at the same election. The Taoiseach nominates his cabinet with a minimum of half having to come from outside the Dail. Any sitting TDs nominated to the cabinet must resign their Dail seats.

Abolish the Presidency and the Seanad.

Bills can be proposed by the Taoiseach or the Dail but must be supported by the Dail, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court to become Law.

Abolish funding restrictions so that new individuals and parties can enter the fray. Trust the people to pick the noble from the charlatan.

Problem solved! ;)
 

Munnkeyman

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How is an amendment to the constitution proposed? Can it only be proposed by the govt of the day or is there a way of proposing it by getting 100,000 signatures or whatever? Is there a way of getting to the people over the heads of the Establishment?
Not for Constitutional Referendum.There is no public petition system in place.

Under Article 46 of the Constitution, a proposal to amend the Constitution must be introduced in the Dáil as a Bill. When the Bill has been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament), it must be submitted to the people for approval at a referendum.

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
Article 46
1.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Any provision of this Constitution may be amended, whether by way of variation, addition, or repeal, in the manner provided by this Article.
2.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution shall be initiated in Dáil Éireann as a Bill, and shall upon having been passed or deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, be submitted by Referendum to the decision of the people in accordance with the law for the time being in force relating to the Referendum.
3.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Every such Bill shall be expressed to be "An Act to amend the Constitution".
4.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]A Bill containing a proposal or proposals for the amendment of this Constitution shall not contain any other proposal.
5.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]A Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this Constitution shall be signed by the President forthwith upon his being satisfied that the provisions of this Article have been complied with in respect thereof and that such proposal has been duly approved by the people in accordance with the provisions of section 1 of Article 47 of this Constitution and shall be duly promulgated by the President as a law.
 


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