If the events of the last few weeks have made anything abundantly clear it is that National Politics in there present form in Ireland are not working. We have a system that appears to be based on “nod & wink” politics, where those with access and influence get everything and the majority of hard working citizens in Ireland are left to rot.
The worst proponents of this type of politics are the Fianna Fail party. I feel now that this is the case because of all the political parties they have been the longest in power. Therefore they have been infected by the parish pump politics disease that plagues Ireland the worst. The cult of personalities and local issues has paralysed our representatives away from helping forge the direction the country is taking for the betterment of its citizens to a sad shell anchored firmly to dealing with local issues.
It’s all very well whinging about this dilemma but what exactly can we do as a nation to fix our National Representative Politics?
How can we ensure that those trusted with shaping an Ireland that will meet the needs of our children are allowed to do their jobs?
The first thing to address is the way personality and local issues seem anchor representatives to the idea that they have to be a “jumped up councillor” to ensure they get re-elected every 5 years. What is needed is to take this blockage away and focus the electorates’ minds on voting for policies and not for single or local issues. Surely that is what our councillors are for?
We have to introduce a list system of election for our National Parliament the Dail in Ireland. Before the elections the parties present a list of nominated candidates. People vote in their constituencies for parties based on their policies and the representatives are filled from these lists. This means a concentration on policies and more importantly it means when the parties are filling important positions like ministerial posts they can choose those most suited to those positions and not someone because that area needs a minister. With this will come a cull of the numbers in our House of Representative to a more appropriate number of around 100 representatives.
The second is the abolition or reform of the upper house the Seanad, which has turned from safety valve to nothing more than a useless talking shop filled with burnt out past their sell by date TD’s and those who couldn’t manage to get elected but were owed “favours”.
I will put more thoughts up in the next couple of days on council reform and on the public service.