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Why do we have 166 TD representing us?


realistic1

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Jun 27, 2008
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The United Kingdom has 650 Members of Parliament for a population 63 million or so. One UK MP represents approx 100,000 citizens. The Republic of Irelands Dáil Éireann has 166 for a population of 4.5 million. 1 Irish TD represents approx 30,000 citizens. This has probably been thrashed out on P.ie before and if so feel free to ignore. What I would like to know is why we have so many TDs compared to the UKs MPs?

My math may be a bit rough but I just rounded things off. Feel free to correct or sneer :)
 


Astral Peaks

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Bunreacht na hEireann might answer your question?

Art 16.2, even?
 
B

Boggle

We don't.

We have 166 TD's but they mostly represent their parties, not us.
 

Ryan Tubbs

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The UK has vastly more power devolved to regional and local authorities, and the number of MPs reflects this.

After our local government reform we will have about 950 local representatives - that's 1 for every 4,200 people approx.

The UK has 43,000 local representatives - that's 1 for every 1,500 people.

The UK has far more local representation, with local councils being infinitely more powerful than Irish local authorities (eg. in the areas of taxation, education, etc) which makes comparison between numbers in the Dail and numbers in the Commons virtually worthless.

I'm all for reducing the size of the Dail - but only once we have significantly more powerful local government, and a greater number of councillors.

(All the above is debated at length in an episode of Yes, Minister - the one with the bolshie local Cllr)
 

Disillusioned democrat

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We don't.

We have 166 TD's but they mostly represent their parties, not us.
Arrrgggg - you beat me to it.

TDs represent themselves and a core group that they believe to be fundamental to their re-election and enrichment during or after their "career" in public service (giggles at irony).

The more time I spend actually listening to TD and what they say the more I realise that they have very limited interest in "us" but have an unhealthy obsession with the processes and protocols of government, the "system" and of "debating the issues".

I would imagine if you asked each of the 166 TDs what their job actually is you would come up with 166 different answers, and if you asked TDs who they represent they would fill the spectrum from single issue candidates to gobsh1tes who want to change the world, but very, very few will actually land on the answer "all the people of Ireland".
 
D

Deleted member 17573

The UK has vastly more power devolved to regional and local authorities, and the number of MPs reflects this.

After our local government reform we will have about 950 local representatives - that's 1 for every 4,200 people approx.

The UK has 43,000 local representatives - that's 1 for every 1,500 people.

The UK has far more local representation, with local councils being infinitely more powerful than Irish local authorities (eg. in the areas of taxation, education, etc) which makes comparison between numbers in the Dail and numbers in the Commons virtually worthless.

I'm all for reducing the size of the Dail - but only once we have significantly more powerful local government, and a greater number of councillors.
Are you seriously saying that it takes over 1000 elected representatives to govern this oversized rock?
 

stringjack

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The United Kingdom has 650 Members of Parliament for a population 63 million or so. One UK MP represents approx 100,000 citizens. The Republic of Irelands Dáil Éireann has 166 for a population of 4.5 million. 1 Irish TD represents approx 30,000 citizens. This has probably been thrashed out on P.ie before and if so feel free to ignore. What I would like to know is why we have so many TDs compared to the UKs MPs?

My math may be a bit rough but I just rounded things off. Feel free to correct or sneer :)
One issue is that the government has to be chosen from among the TDs (and typically, from a subset consisting of half of the TDs). You can only shrink the pool of available talent so much before you start running into pretty serious problems finding people qualified to run the country.
 

realistic1

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Jun 27, 2008
Messages
11,385
The UK has vastly more power devolved to regional and local authorities, and the number of MPs reflects this.

After our local government reform we will have about 950 local representatives - that's 1 for every 4,200 people approx.

The UK has 43,000 local representatives - that's 1 for every 1,500 people.

The UK has far more local representation, with local councils being infinitely more powerful than Irish local authorities (eg. in the areas of taxation, education, etc) which makes comparison between numbers in the Dail and numbers in the Commons virtually worthless.

I'm all for reducing the size of the Dail - but only once we have significantly more powerful local government, and a greater number of councillors.

(All the above is debated at length in an episode of Yes, Minister - the one with the bolshie local Cllr)

If the above figures are correct my next question is; are the UK reps drawing the same pay and conditions as our splendid local representatives??
 

Asparagus

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Apr 7, 2010
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We DO have a lot of debt to manage
 

Hewson

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Are you seriously saying that it takes over 1000 elected representatives to govern this oversized rock?
Of course it doesn't. And if they're talking about downsizing the Dail and upsizing local government then the great swamp of bureaucracy just stays as is. Change = no change.
 

Hewson

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If the above figures are correct my next question is; are the UK reps drawing the same pay and conditions as our splendid local representatives?
Nah. You have to pay people more to manage a bankrupt economy.

Everybody knows that.
 

toratoratora

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The United Kingdom has 650 Members of Parliament for a population 63 million or so. One UK MP represents approx 100,000 citizens. The Republic of Irelands Dáil Éireann has 166 for a population of 4.5 million. 1 Irish TD represents approx 30,000 citizens. This has probably been thrashed out on P.ie before and if so feel free to ignore. What I would like to know is why we have so many TDs compared to the UKs MPs?

My math may be a bit rough but I just rounded things off. Feel free to correct or sneer :)
I think this has been hashed out many times before and the political buffs on here will probably tell you that our ratio of politicians to constituents is probably around the same level as most other countries.

Bunreacht na hEireann and international norms aside, I personally think we have way too many TDs. TDs affiliated with a politcal party are constrained by the whip system, so they rarely voice their views independently and vote on matters according to their own conscience. The vast majority of TDs are just glorified county councillors, and politicians that get voted to cabinet level will just carry out the advice of senior civil servants in their respective departments. The opposition? Don't get me started.

With the Troika running things here at the moment the entire goverment is pretty much superfluous anyway. I'd almost suggest that if the whole lot disappeared tomorrow it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference to the country.
 

Ryan Tubbs

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If we had the same number of Cllrs. per head of population as they do in the UK, we'd have 2,600 councillors.

If we had the same number of TDs per head of popularion as they do in the UK, then we'd have 14 TDs.

Clearly the latter is absurd, and illustrates the point that power has been devolved in the UK, with far fewer MPs per head of population. This became necessary as the UK population skyrocketed from about 1850 onwards.

I've always believed that we should cut the Dail to about 100-120 members, double the number of councillors, and vastly increase the powers of local government in the process.

But in the days of anti-politics-at-all-costs and slashing democracy to save a few quid, what are the chances of that idea catching on?
 

Ryan Tubbs

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If the above figures are correct my next question is; are the UK reps drawing the same pay and conditions as our splendid local representatives??
They're paid about 80k (in euros) but their expenses system is far more generous than the current one for TDs, and was far more generous even at the height of the FF perks regime.

Independent studies done in the UK have suggested that MPs are badly underpaid, and it has been floated that MPs would get a 20k pay increase in order to replace most of the generous expenses, in the hope that it would make things more transparent, and to take account of the imminent reduction of the Commons (again) by about 50
 

Astral Peaks

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They're paid about 80k (in euros) but their expenses system is far more generous than the current one for TDs, and was far more generous even at the height of the FF perks regime.
Indeed, even FF would baulk at allowing an expense claim for a moat around one's house, no matter that in the case of Willie O'Dea it would be a great idea.
 

wombat

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Jun 16, 2007
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Are you seriously saying that it takes over 1000 elected representatives to govern this oversized rock?
Unfortunately the little piggies control the trough. Wait until you hear the squeels from them if Kenny ever gets to put his proposal to take their rest home away from them to the people:lol:
 

Rural

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This particular head doesn't need a TD, this head needs a country run straight and fair.
 

Disillusioned democrat

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If we had the same number of Cllrs. per head of population as they do in the UK, we'd have 2,600 councillors.

If we had the same number of TDs per head of popularion as they do in the UK, then we'd have 14 TDs.

Clearly the latter is absurd, and illustrates the point that power has been devolved in the UK, with far fewer MPs per head of population. This became necessary as the UK population skyrocketed from about 1850 onwards.

I've always believed that we should cut the Dail to about 100-120 members, double the number of councillors, and vastly increase the powers of local government in the process.

But in the days of anti-politics-at-all-costs and slashing democracy to save a few quid, what are the chances of that idea catching on?
It wasn't a million years ago when TDs struggled to give up the dual mandate - that bizarre hybrid of local and national politics that made stroke politics almost inevitable and resulted in a complete mish-mash of national policies that reflected local politics and inappropriate local decisions to get Councillors into the Dail.

I'd agree that as most politics is local we should actually have a greater emphasis on local politicians and more accessible and transparent local democracy - I don't think we need more councillors for that, just better ones.

On the flip side I'd suggest a "Dail" of no more than 75 TDs elected in a national list system based election would be required to run the nation from tax policies, legislation, law and order, defense, healthcare, etc. The number would need to be small enough to work for a list system and would put more emphasis on voters to research candidates, but social media and youtube would facilitate that.
 

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