Myopically local Irish politics hampers long term planning and efficient governance of critical public sector services

Patslatt1

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Myopically local Irish politics hampers long term planning and efficient governance of critical public sector services

"All politics is local" in Tip O'Neill's famous observation. Thanks to Ireland's extreme version of proportional representation, all politics is myopically local and hampers long term planning and efficient governance of critical public sector services.

Examples of poor governance appear frequently in news media, so it shouldn't be surprising that the government has done nothing to curb huge libel awards that kill off many a potential news story. From recent newspaper reports:
[]Although the Garda Siochana may be the best paid police force in the world,Gardai on patrol are not equipped with hand held computers and lack computerised dispatch systems which are commonplace in most police forces. Many a modest van delivery service is better equipped.
[]While the government boasts about its infrastructure progamme 2040, it has two fatal flaws. First,it fails to concentrate spending on Cork to create a competitor to Greater Dublin and stem its massive economic dominance with about 28% of the population.Second, by spreading infrastructure spending thinly, it will contribute to the bungalow blitz where a house will be built in every field within about 40 minutes commute of the top ten Irish towns.
[]Expensive housing in Greater Dublin is the major cause of poverty in Ireland, yet the government had to be shamed by the mass media publicity on homelessness into taking decisive action on housing building. The government's snailpace response is down to myopic local politics which rewards pandering to selfish NIMBY home owners who want nothing built near them.
[]Another scandal at the HSE dominated headlines today but the real scandal is the tens (or hundreds) of thousands left on long waiting lists. Many of those waiting are in poor health and need quick attention. The reason for this inefficiency is that self serving trade unions and professional associations ran rings around successive weak governments and HSE management. The HSE CEO described negotiating with unions as "trench warfare".
[]A recent survey of Northern Ireland attitudes towards a united Ireland revealed that support for unity was far off a majority. The likely explanation is that the NI Catholic population and a very small proportion of Protestants are put off by potential fees for medical care in a united Ireland. Throughout the UK, the popularity of the free NHS is almost a religion.

Continuing with extreme proportional representation will likely continue to prevent efficient governance. With the rise of populist and footloose independent politicians, governance has become even more difficult.

Since the public like the present voting system with its excessive choices of names on the ballot paper,the best chance for political reform might be a less extreme version of proportional representation. For instance, if the vote was limited to two or three names, that would drastically reduce the risk of political fragmentation into numerous squabbling political parties like those in Italy and Belgium.

PS There is an excellent criticism of our voting system in http://www.macgillsummerschool.com/the-urgent-need-to-reform-our-electoral-system/ It argues that politicians preoccupied with getting reelected are unlikely to have much time or the inclination for parliamentary duties.
 
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Dame_Enda

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"All politics is local" in Tip O'Neill's famous observation. Thanks to Ireland's extreme version of proportional representation, all politics is myopically local and hampers long term planning and efficient governance of critical public sector services.

Examples of poor governance appear frequently in news media, so it shouldn't be surprising that the government has done nothing to curb huge libel awards that kill off many a potential news story. From recent newspaper reports:
[]Although the Garda Siochana may be the best paid police force in the world,Gardai on patrol are not equipped with hand held computers and lack computerised dispatch systems which are commonplace in most police forces. Many a modest van delivery service is better equipped.
[]While the government boasts about its infrastructure progamme 2040, it has two fatal flaws. First,it fails to concentrate spending on Cork to create a competitor to Greater Dublin and stem its massive economic dominance with about 28% of the population.Second, by spreading infrastructure spending thinly, it will contribute to the bungalow blitz where a house will be built in every field within about 40 minutes commute of the top ten Irish towns.
[]Expensive housing in Greater Dublin is the major cause of poverty in Ireland, yet the government had to be shamed by the mass media publicity on homelessness into taking decisive action on housing building. The government's snailpace response is down to myopic local politics which rewards pandering to selfish NIMBY home owners who want nothing built near them.
[]Another scandal at the HSE dominated headlines today but the real scandal is the tens (or hundreds) of thousands left on long waiting lists. Many of those waiting are in poor health and need quick attention. The reason for this inefficiency is that self serving trade unions and professional associations ran rings around successive weak governments and HSE management. The HSE CEO described negotiating with unions as "trench warfare".
[]A recent survey of Northern Ireland attitudes towards a united Ireland revealed that support for unity was far off a majority. The likely explanation is that the NI Catholic population and a very small proportion of Protestants are put off by potential fees for medical care in a united Ireland. Throughout the UK, the popularity of the free NHS is almost a religion.

Continuing with extreme proportional representation will likely continue to prevent efficient governance. With the rise of populist and footloose independent politicians, governance has become even more difficult.

Since the public like the present voting system with its excessive choices of names on the ballot paper,the best chance for political reform might be a less extreme version of proportional representation. For instance, if the vote was limited to two or three names, that would drastically reduce the risk of political fragmentation into numerous squabbling political parties like those in Italy and Belgium.
Would you prefer something like the two-round system for parliamentary elections in France?

In the 1990s I would have agreed with you that our electoral system wasnt fit for purpose, and we had governments repeatedly collapsing e.g. 1987, 1992, 1994. But then came the Moriarty and Flood/Mahon Tribunals and AGS scandal and so I think actually the New Politics is better for keeping politicians from temptation's cookie jar.

I agree with you that the govts 2040 plan fails to adequately promote Cork as an alternative growth centre to Dublin.
 

Patslatt1

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Would you prefer something like the two-round system for parliamentary elections in France?

In the 1990s I would have agreed with you that our electoral system wasnt fit for purpose, and we had governments repeatedly collapsing e.g. 1987, 1992, 1994. But then came the Moriarty and Flood/Mahon Tribunals and AGS scandal and so I think actually the New Politics is better for keeping politicians from temptation's cookie jar.

I agree with you that the govts 2040 plan fails to adequately promote Cork as an alternative growth centre to Dublin.
A less extreme proportional representation voting system should provide enough stability for good governance, needn't prevent holding politicians to account and is likely the best chance for reform with the public. A two round system would be dangerous given the mass apathy of youth even towards a one off vote.

People complain about useless quangos but maybe along with lots of councillors they are needed to strengthen the bases of political parties
 

hiding behind a poster

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A less extreme proportional representation voting system should provide enough stability for good governance, needn't prevent holding politicians to account and is likely the best chance for reform with the public. A two round system would be dangerous given the mass apathy of youth even towards a one off vote.

People complain about useless quangos but maybe along with lots of councillors they are needed to strengthen the bases of political parties
Fine, but you won't get a referendum to change the electoral system passed any time in the foreseeable future.
 

Dame_Enda

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If local government wasnt so weak then people wouldnt be constantly asking TDs to focus on local issues. If we strengthen the elective part of local government, that could free up TDs to focus more on the national picture.
 

hiding behind a poster

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If local government wasnt so weak then people wouldnt be constantly asking TDs to focus on local issues. If we strengthen the elective part of local government, that could free up TDs to focus more on the national picture.
As long as you can top the poll, be elected on the first count, and be chaired out of the count centre in triumph with 16% of the vote, but lose your seat on 10%, TDs will always focus on local issues.
 

GDPR

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Twice FF tried to get rid of PR. The first was a close one, the second was a massive f off. There are pluses and minuses with PR, just like any other system

Sent from my SM-A320FL using Tapatalk
 

General Urko

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Even if you introduced a national list electoral system without regional bias, you would achieve nothing to change the parish pump system except give people much less of a choice over which particular fúcking gobshytes actually become T.D.s!
 

Patslatt1

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Fine, but you won't get a referendum to change the electoral system passed any time in the foreseeable future.
Strong arguments can be made in favour of a modest modification of Ireland's PR to reduce the number of voting choices to say a maximum of three.
 

Patslatt1

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If local government wasnt so weak then people wouldnt be constantly asking TDs to focus on local issues. If we strengthen the elective part of local government, that could free up TDs to focus more on the national picture.
Developing responsible local government with full executive powers would require a strict rule for no financial bailouts of irresponsible local governments. Enforcing that rule would be politically difficult and might take a generation or more. Maybe the national government would cede financial controls gradually over decades but national governments are typically reluctant to cede power.
 

Patslatt1

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As long as you can top the poll, be elected on the first count, and be chaired out of the count centre in triumph with 16% of the vote, but lose your seat on 10%, TDs will always focus on local issues.
Maybe that's an argument for reducing the number of TDs and increasing constituency sizes to a level big enough to prevent excessive local political activity. The pay of the smaller number of TDs would need to be increased to maintain the numbers of talented politicians. AFAIK, Israel with its far larger population gets by with about 40 national politicians.
 

Patslatt1

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Twice FF tried to get rid of PR. The first was a close one, the second was a massive f off. There are pluses and minuses with PR, just like any other system

Sent from my SM-A320FL using Tapatalk
The first attempt in the 1950s was an obvious dirty trick to help FF become almost a one party state, a proposal for UK style first past the post voting system that would have wiped out small parties.
 
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Sheeple_Waker

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Who would decide which parties/candidates are allowed on the ballot, and what would the criteria for refusal be? This is a dangerous path to be going down, imo the state should apply the EU principle of subsidiarity to domestic politics, devolving local matters to the councils as well as revenue raising mechanisms.
 

Patslatt1

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Even if you introduced a national list electoral system without regional bias, you would achieve nothing to change the parish pump system except give people much less of a choice over which particular fúcking gobshytes actually become T.D.s!
A major disadvantage of list systems is that establishment politicians can become entrenched by selecting themselves for the list of politicians parachuted into parliaments.

If managed well, lists have the advantages of attracting highly talented people with management and technical skills who are not natural politicians and freeing professional politicians to concentrate on parliamentary duties by reducing the treadmill of constituency work. Though inexperienced in politics, some of former can become very capable ministers. In the UK, the House of Lords performs the advisory functions of lists, drawing on the experience of its hundreds of members to provide the government with important technical and administrative advice. Maybe the Irish Senate could play a similar role.

There is an excellent criticism of our voting system in http://www.macgillsummerschool.com/the-urgent-need-to-reform-our-electoral-system/ It argues that politicians preoccupied with getting reelected are unlikely to have much time or the inclination for parliamentary duties.
 
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Patslatt1

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Who would decide which parties/candidates are allowed on the ballot, and what would the criteria for refusal be? This is a dangerous path to be going down, imo the state should apply the EU principle of subsidiarity to domestic politics, devolving local matters to the councils as well as revenue raising mechanisms.
There are many proven systems for selecting political representatives. The New England states in the US northeast have admired models of local government, for instance.
 

Sheeple_Waker

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There are many proven systems for selecting political representatives. The New England states in the US northeast have admired models of local government, for instance.
With respect that’s Apples & Oranges, overall the US has a reasonably devolved system of governance whereas ours is highly concentrated. It would require major political reform at a national level, one which none of the major parties seem to inclined towards. Restricting the franchise at a local level would be a truly retrograde and anti-democratic step, even more so if an electoral commission decides which parties can and can’t put up a slate of candidates for an election.
 

Patslatt1

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With respect that’s Apples & Oranges, overall the US has a reasonably devolved system of governance whereas ours is highly concentrated. It would require major political reform at a national level, one which none of the major parties seem to inclined towards. Restricting the franchise at a local level would be a truly retrograde and anti-democratic step, even more so if an electoral commission decides which parties can and can’t put up a slate of candidates for an election.
Nobody is suggesting that candidates would be forbidden to run locally.
 

Notachipanoaktree

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"All politics is local" in Tip O'Neill's famous observation. Thanks to Ireland's extreme version of proportional representation, all politics is myopically local and hampers long term planning and efficient governance of critical public sector services.

Examples of poor governance appear frequently in news media, so it shouldn't be surprising that the government has done nothing to curb huge libel awards that kill off many a potential news story. From recent newspaper reports:
[]Although the Garda Siochana may be the best paid police force in the world,Gardai on patrol are not equipped with hand held computers and lack computerised dispatch systems which are commonplace in most police forces. Many a modest van delivery service is better equipped.
[]While the government boasts about its infrastructure progamme 2040, it has two fatal flaws. First,it fails to concentrate spending on Cork to create a competitor to Greater Dublin and stem its massive economic dominance with about 28% of the population.Second, by spreading infrastructure spending thinly, it will contribute to the bungalow blitz where a house will be built in every field within about 40 minutes commute of the top ten Irish towns.
[]Expensive housing in Greater Dublin is the major cause of poverty in Ireland, yet the government had to be shamed by the mass media publicity on homelessness into taking decisive action on housing building. The government's snailpace response is down to myopic local politics which rewards pandering to selfish NIMBY home owners who want nothing built near them.
[]Another scandal at the HSE dominated headlines today but the real scandal is the tens (or hundreds) of thousands left on long waiting lists. Many of those waiting are in poor health and need quick attention. The reason for this inefficiency is that self serving trade unions and professional associations ran rings around successive weak governments and HSE management. The HSE CEO described negotiating with unions as "trench warfare".
[]A recent survey of Northern Ireland attitudes towards a united Ireland revealed that support for unity was far off a majority. The likely explanation is that the NI Catholic population and a very small proportion of Protestants are put off by potential fees for medical care in a united Ireland. Throughout the UK, the popularity of the free NHS is almost a religion.

Continuing with extreme proportional representation will likely continue to prevent efficient governance. With the rise of populist and footloose independent politicians, governance has become even more difficult.

Since the public like the present voting system with its excessive choices of names on the ballot paper,the best chance for political reform might be a less extreme version of proportional representation. For instance, if the vote was limited to two or three names, that would drastically reduce the risk of political fragmentation into numerous squabbling political parties like those in Italy and Belgium.
You're seriously confusing 'Local' with 'Corrupt'. All Irish politics is seriously corrupt.
You and yours (Shop-keepers, doctors, solicitors, politicians, teachers, accountants, Guards, auctioneers, small businessmen, farmers, and sons and daughters of the above (in short Corkies)) are all doing really really well from the corruption. So what the hell do you want, MORE???
 

former wesleyan

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The point is to turn attention from the particular - where TDs are actually quite good - to the general, where they fail.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Strong arguments can be made in favour of a modest modification of Ireland's PR to reduce the number of voting choices to say a maximum of three.
Argue all you like, they won't be passed by referendum so they're as useful as tits on a bull.
 


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