Mary Hanafin calls for bankruptcy TD law to be amended

smiffy

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baldur0300 said:
fergalr said:
Yeah because that's what happense.
Well neither happens. As I said above that particular argument could be used to prevent anyone suffering financial pressure from becoming TDs. I don't see why its right to single out bankrupts.
Indeed. The argument could be made that a bankrupt, having already been financially ruined, and having had their financial affairs examined by the courts, is less susceptible to bribery than someone facing bankruptcy. The rule against bankrupts might, in that regard, encourage corruption rather than prevent it.
 


Limerick Lad

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It should surely be enough to bar Beverly from being a TD by virtue of the fact that she aided and abetted people to evade tax which is illegal as opposed to avoid tax which is legal.
 

johnfás

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Makes sense really. Fianna Fáil are irresponsible with money, why wouldn't they want people irresponsible with money in the Dáil, would make them even more appealing to the voters in our abstract Ireland.
 

constitutionus

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why do people have such a hard time grasping the concept behind this law

its obviously so a politician cant be "bought". take bev flynn . do you honestly mean to tell me whomever pays the two million she owes wont get anything for it? christ the only reason your allowed to elect criminals at all is because practically everyone in the first dail had a record!
 

KingKane

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In part the reason for keeping it is that it prevents someone spending loads of money they don't have to get elected and then default their debts. It would in effect be a charter to allow people to buy elections with other people's money.
 

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KingKane said:
In part the reason for keeping it is that it prevents someone spending loads of money they don't have to get elected and then default their debts. It would in effect be a charter to allow people to buy elections with other people's money.
Is that not what I said here :

Rebelman said:
Pidge said:
What is the argument in favour of such a law?
By "buying your votes" you could find yourself bankrupt that was the original logic behind it, it obviusly predated the era of limits on election spending (which are still open to abuse).
 

CookieMonster

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johnfás said:
Makes sense really. Fianna Fáil are irresponsible with money, why wouldn't they want people irresponsible with money in the Dáil, would make them even more appealing to the voters in our abstract Ireland.
She wasn't irresponsible with money, she was a crafty little fox with money (other peoples) but she did get caught. What happened to her was she took a stupid libel case against RTE and it nearly (damn!) ruined her.

Besides, as we've seen being irresponsible with money is a prerequisite for being in Fianna Fail.
 

Eddiepops

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baldur0300 said:
Eddiepops said:
Pidge said:
What is the argument in favour of such a law?
If I recall correctly the precedent for the law dates all the way back to Athenian democracy where bankrupts couldn't attend the assembly or vote, as they were too easy to manipulate due to their penury. I think the same idea applies now, that a bankrupt would be too easily influenced by financial bribery
Yeah but that argument would apply equally to a law prohiting poor people generally from holding office.
And indeed it did, in a lot of countries before the introduction of payment for MPs/TDs/etc.
 

baldur0300

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CookieMonster said:
johnfás said:
Makes sense really. Fianna Fáil are irresponsible with money, why wouldn't they want people irresponsible with money in the Dáil, would make them even more appealing to the voters in our abstract Ireland.
She wasn't irresponsible with money, she was a crafty little fox with money (other peoples) but she did get caught. What happened to her was she took a stupid libel case against RTE and it nearly (damn!) ruined her.

Besides, as we've seen being irresponsible with money is a prerequisite for being in Fianna Fail.
Cookie what happened. You didn't used to be so bitter.
 

Rocky

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Rebelman said:
KingKane said:
In part the reason for keeping it is that it prevents someone spending loads of money they don't have to get elected and then default their debts. It would in effect be a charter to allow people to buy elections with other people's money.
Is that not what I said here :

Rebelman said:
Pidge said:
What is the argument in favour of such a law?
By "buying your votes" you could find yourself bankrupt that was the original logic behind it, it obviusly predated the era of limits on election spending (which are still open to abuse).
Well you could still bankrupt yourself getting elected. Spending limits only deal with spending during the election campaign, so you could still spend a fortune before the election is called.
 

FakeViking

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Does anyone find it strange that a former Treasurer of FF during the Dark Days and a significant beneficiary of tribunals comes out with this support for a tax evasion adviser?
 

Odyessus

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fergalr said:
It's a good law. FF angling to repeal an obstacle to corruption is something that starts alarm bells ringing.



I would have thought that corrupt people are far less likely to be poor let alone bankrutpt than others, otherwise what's the point?

I think one of Bev's arguments is that if she had killed someone and been convicted of manslaughter, provided she served less than six months in prison, she would retain her seat. As we all know many people convicted of manslaughter never serve even a day in prison. She claims that it is invidious and unconstitutional to treat bankrupts more harshly than convicted killers, especially when her fellow citizens elected her knowing her situation.

I believe she has a good case, although obviously I have not heard all the arguments


Having said that, I believe the Supreme Court will find in her favour.
 

Insider2007

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Odyessus said:
fergalr said:
It's a good law. FF angling to repeal an obstacle to corruption is something that starts alarm bells ringing.



I would have thought that corrupt people are far less likely to be poor let alone bankrutpt than others, otherwise what's the point?

I think one of Bev's arguments is that if she had killed someone and been convicted of manslaughter, provided she served less than six months in prison, she would retain her seat. As we all know many people convicted of manslaughter never serve even a day in prison. She claims that it is invidious and unconstitutional to treat bankrupts more harshly than convicted killers, especially when her fellow citizens elected her knowing her situation.

I believe she has a good case, although obviously I have not heard all the arguments


Having said that, I believe the Supreme Court will find in her favour.
There was little chance of that. The bank on bankrupts makes perfect sense and is not going to change. It is nothing to do with being "convicted", which is where that nonsense about people convicted of manslaughter and who didn't serve time would not lose their seats. If you are convicted of an offence in open court, it may suggest that you are an unfit person morally to sit in parliament (heck. We've enough of those already). But it does not put you in a compromising position. Being bankrupt does. It means that someone can use financial clout over you to influence how you vote. Put simply, if you are a bankrupt, someone can use financial means to make you his 'biitch' in political terms, doing whatever he or she wants, when they want it. So it is a standard rule in parliaments that the moment you are put in a situation where you no longer have full financial control (by being declared bankrupt), and so someone else could get themselves exercise control over you by money means, you are booted out of parliament. It is a basic rule. If anything we need to be tougher, to the extent of instantly booting out any politician whose role as a public representative is compromised financially by the actions of others.

Take a simple example: A TD is declared bankrupt but hold his/her seat. The government is on the brink of collapsing and the Taoiseach secretly offers money to that opposition TD to 'disappear' when the vote is called. Thanks his bankrupcy that TD is in financial chaos, so the offer of a couple of grand under the counter could make a difference. So the Taoiseach keeps in power thanks to influencing someone whose financial straights as a bankrupt left them in a situation where they could not afford, literally, to reject the offer.

(BTW Haughey did raid the party kitty some years ago to bail out a FF TD who was facing bankrupcy. There is no suggestion that any 'favours' were done. But we only have that TD's word to say that they weren't. It shows the problems that can arise, and that was over someone just threatened with bankrupcy. So booting bankrupts out of parliament is a standard, normal measure to protect parliament and the politician themselves from abuse of the politician's bankrupt status.

There is something faintly fishy at FF suddenly beginning to make an issue of this, and of how Flynn just happened to raise the issue in a court case. Is there something coming down the line that might involve another FF politician facing bankrupcy, leading the party to find an excuse in advance to change the law? A couple of journalists are getting a tad suspicious that there is an ulterior motive behind what is going on, and starting to dig around to see is it just coincidence or something more sinister.
 

jmcc

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So which FF pols are going to go bankrupt in the next while?

Regards...jmcc
 

FutureTaoiseach

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And about time too. It's a sorry state of affairs when mass-murderers and rapists could theoretically sit in Dail Eireann while bankrupts are thrown out.
 

The Trinity Politick

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Dee Four said:
[quote="David Cochrane":1125k21p][quote="Dee Four":1125k21p]
Pidge said:
What is the argument in favour of such a law?
The people have no right to elect such people.
That's a rather preposterous statement.[/quote:1125k21p]
I know. Its not a view I subscribe to.[/quote:1125k21p]

Ah the PD view you mean.

Shame the electorate don't
 

baldur0300

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Insider2007 said:
There was little chance of that. The bank on bankrupts makes perfect sense and is not going to change. It is nothing to do with being "convicted", which is where that nonsense about people convicted of manslaughter and who didn't serve time would not lose their seats. If you are convicted of an offence in open court, it may suggest that you are an unfit person morally to sit in parliament (heck. We've enough of those already). But it does not put you in a compromising position. Being bankrupt does. It means that someone can use financial clout over you to influence how you vote. Put simply, if you are a bankrupt, someone can use financial means to make you his 'biitch' in political terms, doing whatever he or she wants, when they want it. So it is a standard rule in parliaments that the moment you are put in a situation where you no longer have full financial control (by being declared bankrupt), and so someone else could get themselves exercise control over you by money means, you are booted out of parliament. It is a basic rule. If anything we need to be tougher, to the extent of instantly booting out any politician whose role as a public representative is compromised financially by the actions of others.

Take a simple example: A TD is declared bankrupt but hold his/her seat. The government is on the brink of collapsing and the Taoiseach secretly offers money to that opposition TD to 'disappear' when the vote is called. Thanks his bankrupcy that TD is in financial chaos, so the offer of a couple of grand under the counter could make a difference. So the Taoiseach keeps in power thanks to influencing someone whose financial straights as a bankrupt left them in a situation where they could not afford, literally, to reject the offer.

(BTW Haughey did raid the party kitty some years ago to bail out a FF TD who was facing bankrupcy. There is no suggestion that any 'favours' were done. But we only have that TD's word to say that they weren't. It shows the problems that can arise, and that was over someone just threatened with bankrupcy. So booting bankrupts out of parliament is a standard, normal measure to protect parliament and the politician themselves from abuse of the politician's bankrupt status.

There is something faintly fishy at FF suddenly beginning to make an issue of this, and of how Flynn just happened to raise the issue in a court case. Is there something coming down the line that might involve another FF politician facing bankrupcy, leading the party to find an excuse in advance to change the law? A couple of journalists are getting a tad suspicious that there is an ulterior motive behind what is going on, and starting to dig around to see is it just coincidence or something more sinister.
You don't actually seem to understand what bankruptcy is. If someone is declared bankrupt their assets are handed over to a trustee who repays their creditors proportionately. The bankrupt is then protected from actions by their creditors. They no longer have any power over them from that date.

So once someone is declared bankrupt they are effectively just a poor person. They will have minimal assets. You could argue that this makes them more susceptible to bribes etc but as I said above that's a reason to prevent any person under financial pressure holding a dáil seat. I hope that most people would find this anathema to democracy.

So the real problem would arise if someone is in a position to be declared bankrupt and a person claims power over the politician for that reason. But the legislation does not prevent threatened bankrupts holding their seats. However even to deal with this point for the sake of argument; a person pursuing such a course to hold power over a TD would be risking a lot. If they bribe the politician and the politician still becomes bankrupt the financial transaction will inevitably be revealed. If they threaten to call in the debt, the politician could easily just report them in the knowledge that the courts would take a dim view of such a threat by a creditor for corrupt purposes.

So returning to the actual argument of Flynn's lawyers, it would seem to me to be a strong point. Despite what insider suggests, the bankrupt is not beholden to anyone and it is quite anomalous that a murderer could serve in the Dáil while a bankrupt can't. Now I'm sure you're enjoying the speculation insider but perhaps the reason why this has become an issue is because of that anomoly rather than any problem with a TDs finances. Sometimes the simple answer is the correct one rather than the conspiracy theory.
 

Insider2007

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jmcc said:
So which FF pols are going to go bankrupt in the next while?

Regards...jmcc
No idea. But everyone seems to be wondering whether there is someone. ( I doubt it, but that doesn't stop people being suspicious.)
 

Insider2007

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FutureTaoiseach said:
And about time too. It's a sorry state of affairs when mass-murderers and rapists could theoretically sit in Dail Eireann while bankrupts are thrown out.
A mass murderer and a rapist would be likely to received a custodial sentence that led them to lose their seats. The reason why bankrupts are thrown out, and are worldwide, is because they are perceived as more vulnerable than ordinary citizens to being bribed, due to their circumstances.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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Insider2007 said:
FutureTaoiseach said:
And about time too. It's a sorry state of affairs when mass-murderers and rapists could theoretically sit in Dail Eireann while bankrupts are thrown out.
A mass murderer and a rapist would be likely to received a custodial sentence that led them to lose their seats. The reason why bankrupts are thrown out, and are worldwide, is because they are perceived as more vulnerable than ordinary citizens to being bribed, due to their circumstances.
Surely after 10 yrs of tribunals it is now clear that being broke is by no means a prerequisite for that! ;)

The underlying point is that it should be for the electorate to choose the composition of Dail Eireann. The Mayo people want Bev Flynn - whatever we may think of that decision. After Lowry members of a certain other former party of his can hardly wag the finger. ;)
 


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