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To vote for None of the Above


KingKane

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There is an interesting quirk in the Irish electoral system that someone can run in more than one constituency in the same general election, and we've had a number of people avail of this for quixotic reasons (Noel O'Gara) or to advance a particular cause (Barbara Hyland).

But it could have another purpose, if say someone were to posit themselves as an Irish Martin Bell and run on a straightforward None of the Above (or get the effers out as someone suggested to me) platform. Given the apparently more general displeasure with politics and with the feeling aboard that it is politics itself that is flawed what might happen if None of the Above was actually on the ballot and how would you go about doing so.
Well, to answer the second question first in order to have None of the Above on the actual ballot you'd need to register as a party called "None of the Above" but that can be quite hard as registering a political party requires a certain number of members and a constitution and such like. An alternative for a one person band would be to change your name by Deed poll to "None of the Above" or more accurately, and in order to ensure that everyone else was going to be above you, the change should be to "X-None of the, Above".

What might be the outcome of such a run, especially if they running to screw things up? Well, it's hard to say given that there is no precedent for someone getting elected on more than one place in under the 1937 constitution. But it is almost certain they would be able to only take up one seat and the others won would be then deemed vacant. But only after the counts were all concluded. So any new Dail would be down the number of extra seats they won. It would be one rather instant way to reduce the size of the Dáil. New By-elections couldn't be held onto the writs were moved by the new Dáil. It's not an approach I would support or endorse but it is worth noting that it exists.

In part I was given to wonder about this after reading about a book called 'Seeing' by José Saramago which is a sequel to the book that the recent movie Blindness with Julianne Moore is based on. 'Seeing' begins with a parliamentary election in which the majority of the populace casts blank ballots.
 

mmrebel

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Would they not have to register a party called "none of the above" for them to have it on the ballot paper rather than just there name and Independent long side of it.

 

KingKane

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An alternative for a one person band would be to change your name by Deed poll to "None of the Above" or more accurately, and in order to ensure that everyone else was going to be above you, the change should be to "X-None of the, Above".
If your change was instead to "X-None of the Above, Really".

So that could read X-None of the Above. Non-party
 

tenderloins1

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In 1987 Bernie Murphy ran in Cork South Central and Cork North Central stating that "By electing Bernie to 2 seats we would reduce the number of TDs by One, and we would save £40,000 every year for the country."
Murphy was a joke candidate and didn't fare well at all.

However as stated above were a credible Martin Bell type candidate to run then there is a possibility of success.
I would temper the 'none of the above' idea though as there may be plenty of worthy people on the ballot.
Instead use a simple "For less TDs" slogan and possibly register as a party in that name.
So for example 'You wanted them to do it, they didn't ... now you can" "For less TDs vote Martin Bell"
Where do we find our Martin Bell though? A respected figure untainted by politics.
 

Mitsui

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were a credible Martin Bell type candidate to run then there is a possibility of success.
I can see it - in fact I would very happily vote for it and recommend others to do so. But even if you got around the barbed wire fence of rules, where the hell are you going to find a "credible Martin Bell type candidate" in Ireland?

Just about anyone you could think of would be hated by half the populace who agreed with the idea - in nothing are we Irish so united as in our tendency to hate!
 

tenderloins1

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I was thinking the same myself as to who the person could be and its hard to find one.
I've no idea if they would be interested but actors Brendan Gleeson and Mick Lally both strike me as people of credibility. There are also a number of retired politicians that have some credibiliy too.

Also extending the theme to have less TDs, why only have the one candidate?
Why not run the same 3 candidates in all constituencies?
 

Sync

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Sounds like they should close the loophole allowing people stand in multiple constituencies.
 

cranky voter

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Damian O'Farrell ( Ind) ran as a Martin Bell type candidate and polled the most votes in Dublin City in the local election. I met him near the beginning of his campaign and was impressed by him..he doesn't really like politicians at all....thinks many FF'ers should be in jail and that Enda Kenny is probably the greediest politician in Ireland.......thinks the vast majority are only in it for themselves....and is having a go himself. I canvassed for him later in the campaign...its hard to get a look in on this site cause most people are very 'signed up'. He's not Mick Lally or Brendan Gleeson so why not get a leg up my an existing TD...its hard for an Independent or an 'ordinary Martin Bell type to get a start... I know ur all going to have a go now....but there you go u put it out there
 
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Trouble is that many people who would actually vote for "none of the above" actually don't turnrout. If you wanted such a named candidate to be voted in then I suggest you run that candidate in a constituency with focused marketing and wherein the disruption is greatest or that there is a particular Ministry that should be disrupted because of the base ignorance of the candidate, e.g., Defence.
 
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Brilliant idea. Right, lets get started. But we put a "None of the Above Party" candidates in every constituency. We go for charactors that are well known, highly intelligent and liked, and this would delight the people who usually vote for Dustin or the Klingons etc.

Its easy to set up a party, draft a manifest, register the party with the Sheriff etc., We all contribute to the funding, it would not only be great fun, but it could actually work.Only one stipilation. Religion or religious matters must never, ever, be discussed. No matter what the provocation.
 

KingKane

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I was thinking about this again the other night and I would modify the idea slight such that the option would be NOTA - RON - Re-Open Nominations. You could get someone to change their name by deed poll to Ron Nota, register the party, get the 500 names from across the country (would facebook serve as means to recruit for this?).

The purpose of the facility is that people could vote for RON - NOTA no.1 and then transfer on as usual, it would be a means to indicate that people weren't entirely contented with the options given to them at this election. And that this might get parties to run a wider slate of candidates the next time and that other parties might offer themselves.
 

stripey cat

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I like the look of Charlie Keddy on that ballot paper above. What ever became of him?
 

markjbloggs

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I have a related question - is it illegal to exhort people to spoil their vote as a demonstration of their dissatisfaction with the current party system?

Would an organized campaign to do this not have the same effect as the none-of-the-above party?
 

TradCat

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Would an organized campaign to do this not have the same effect as the none-of-the-above party?
No, because we'd still end up with 166 TDs.

The gender quota debate has got a lot of coverage recently. It looks like there was a coordinated attempt to force it onto the agenda. We need that for general political reform.
 

Gael Nua

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Dec 9, 2009
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I would like to see a No Label Party. For all purposes the 2 main parties have sod all difference between them, not enough to matter hugely to Joe Public, and the Labour Party aren't too far to the left as well, so when there aren't any huge ideological differences in this country why pretend we have a workable Party system or continue to use it.

If a No Label Party came about, made up of decent, honest, skilled people and they said that when they get into power they would take a look at all our different business and social sectors and in affect do a SWOT ( i know, Business 101, but just by way of example) analysis of it all to see where we can deliver, where we are letting oruselves down, where we should be discarding deadweight and they said that they will go to the people on the main moral issues, such as abortion etc, then i would vote for that party in a heartbeat.

As is, all we have is a vote for the popular kid.
 

bactrian

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"None of the Above " is an almost completely pointless exercise. You get to express your disgruntlement, and that is it. You change nothing , you need not have voted.

At least vote for your least objectionable candidate. If enough people agree with you it could happen . The least effect will be to make the winning candidate aware of an opposition and possible challenge .

"None of the Above " is the most dishonest and gutless option. If you abstain you at least admit what you are doing , but ,"None of the Above " is a pretense. It is a lie you tell yourself and others . You are not voting , you are failing participate , you are just having a childish sulk, and failing to make a choice.

If you do not want to vote for someone , vote against someone.

Make a decision!!
 
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