Should Irish Law Be Changed to Allow Bankrupts' Run For Office?

Tea Party Patriot

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Personally in light of the current recession I think that this law is outdated. It prevents people who through no fault of their own, may have been victims of the global economic downturn, from holding elected office.

While I am not looking forward to voting for Séan Fitzpatrick if the law is ever repealed, any law which prevents citizens fully participating in public office is repugnant to me.

I would be interested to hear what the appetite for a change in the law to allow a Bankrupt to run for political office is?
 
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Tea Party Patriot

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Just giving this thread a bump in light of Mick Wallace and the possibility he may have to resign his seat.

I will be honest and say that I am not a big fan of Mick's politically, but I do consider that the mandate of the people of Wexford should be respected regardless of bankruptcy.
 

Stating the Obvious

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The reason bankrupts are not allowed to hold office is very simple:- people who are bankrupt are susceptible to unseen (financial) influence from all sorts of third parties - banks, creditors, and so forth.

In such circumstances it is easy to argue that they can't objectively carry out their legislative duties in an independent, impartial manner.

This was the same reason that politicians were paid well - ie. to prevent them being tempted by bribes. But that one seems to have been lost in the hysterical trash about TDs being gazzilionaires thanks to the State
 

Stating the Obvious

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I'd pose a question to the OP: if the bankruptcy bar should be lifted, then should the criminal offences bar also be lifted?

Should a TD jailed for 6 months (ie. a pretty serious crime) be allowed to continue in office, just to respect the mandate of those who elected him?
 

TommyO'Brien

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The answer IMHO is no.

Bankrupts are barred from parliaments worldwide because they are seen as particular targets for blackmail or bribery as they won't have functioning bank accounts while bankrupt and will be dealing with cash, while also motivated to clear their debts as quickly as possible. There is a fear that they could be particular targets for foreign intelligence services who could offer to pay off their debts (and so boost their political careers) in return for spying.

For that reason, bankrupts automatically lose their seats in parliaments worldwide, as in the case of Jeffrey Archer in 1974, who resigned just ahead of being declared bankrupt.

I feel really sorry for Wallace (though I disagree with him). But there are solid reasons why bankrupts are ineligible to sit in parliaments while bankrupt.
 

organiser

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A number of professionals are not allowed to continue in their chosen profession if they are declared bankrupt. (eg pharmacists)
 

Spinelli

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I suppose that at least then some of the bankers that have left the jurisdiction might come home.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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The answer IMHO is no.

Bankrupts are barred from parliaments worldwide because they are seen as particular targets for blackmail or bribery as they won't have functioning bank accounts while bankrupt and will be dealing with cash, while also motivated to clear their debts as quickly as possible. There is a fear that they could be particular targets for foreign intelligence services who could offer to pay off their debts (and so boost their political careers) in return for spying.

For that reason, bankrupts automatically lose their seats in parliaments worldwide, as in the case of Jeffrey Archer in 1974, who resigned just ahead of being declared bankrupt.

I feel really sorry for Wallace (though I disagree with him). But there are solid reasons why bankrupts are ineligible to sit in parliaments while bankrupt.
The above is a valid case, but would an honest business man falling on hard times be more susceptible to bribery that some of our non bankrupt politicians were? In fact most of our politicians who have been proven to have taken money were quite well off and far from bankruptcy.

Perhaps the law could be changed that where a bankrupt is elected to office their financial affairs have to be open to continuous scrutiny and that any sudden clearing of debts or the bankruptcy itself would be subject to full public disclosure on the source of funds?
 

Goodbody

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For that reason, bankrupts automatically lose their seats in parliaments worldwide, as in the case of Jeffrey Archer in 1974, who resigned just ahead of being declared bankrupt.
Jeffrey Archer was not declared bankrupt, though at one point he thought he might be.

Morally bankrupt yes, but financially no.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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I'd pose a question to the OP: if the bankruptcy bar should be lifted, then should the criminal offences bar also be lifted?

Should a TD jailed for 6 months (ie. a pretty serious crime) be allowed to continue in office, just to respect the mandate of those who elected him?
If a TD is in serious breach of the law of the state that is he/she is elected to uphold and legislate for then yes they should have to resign.
 

Goodbody

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If a TD is in serious breach of the law of the state that is he/she is elected to uphold and legislate for then yes they should have to resign.
Bobby Sands was elected to the Dail. Was he in less serious breach of the law than a bankrupt person?

I think neither has a place in the Dail.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Bobby Sands was elected to the Dail. Was he in less serious breach of the law than a bankrupt person?I think neither has a place in the Dail.
Bobby Sands was a convicted terrorist who had no place in a democratically elected parliament. There is no comparison between this and bankruptcy.
 

red-devil

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From top to bottom and inside out the whole syetem needs changing, from the judicial system to goverment buildings, some of the laws in this country where wrote back when time began and they really need to brought into the 21 century. Laws that allow developers who owe 20 to a 100 odd million to run for our dail owe-ing millions, and this white collar crime should be done away with, people who are in a position of trust should be giving 10yr max for any wrong doing. They get a tribunal and the criminal gets the circuit court. All this suspended sentences is a joke, anyone from 16 onwards who is caught with thousands of drugs should be giving the max, or this listening to sad storys before sentence is passed, if that person takes a human life, then they should get life, all this manslaughter is a joke, its time this country started really looking after the victims of crime, familys left to bury loved ones and the scumbag walks from court with a suspended sentence cause he daddy didn't took him up in bed or their mammy was in the pub, all this treating the criminal with kids gloves is a joke and needs to be changed.
 


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