Wednesday, 27th June 2012
The recent report on amendments to the number of representatives that will sit in the Dail by the Boundary Commission seems to have passed most people by. The fact that if the amendments are passed by the Dail, and it looks as if that is highly likely, then there will be 8 less T.D.s after the next General Election. Considering how much each T.D. costs the taxpayer, and everyone is a taxpayer in some shape or form in the country, then maybe it was a little short sighted to stop at just 8. After all we are supposed to be living through a time of unprecedented economic hardship. Wouldn't it be reassuring to know that just a few more politicians out there were to share the pain? Of course that is not even taking into consideration the number of scandals that politicians have been involved in down through the years, again all mainly financial. Its easy to give politicians a hard time and it does have to be said that the vast majority of them do a very difficult job, often in very trying circumstances. Then again they are well rewarded for it and it was their choice to enter the public arena. The public can be a fickle mistress and there isn't much job security and now with the boundary changes there will be even less for some people. One of the interesting things about the changes that are proposed is that in some constituencies the electorate will have to decide between T.D.s of the same party. It has always been something of an unspoken secret in politics that if you always have to keep an eye on the opposition then that serves doubly true for those in your own party. In any political party there will inevitably be a determined number of people all vying for the nomination that means that they get put forward for the chance to run for office. That is as true at a local level as it is at a national level. Then if you get the nomination and win office you have retain it. As the truism goes a week is a long time in politics and its easy to come a cropper and its very easy for someone to carve the word schadenfreude into your back as they hurry to step over you. For a job with so many lofty aims and aspirations politics is at best a dirty business. Whatever thoughts about changing the world you have or even changing just a small corner of it you soon find yourself horse trading with the best of them to even get the smallest thing done. Horse trading is a nice term for what more accurately resembles dragging some old nag on its last breath off to a knacker's yard. So why do people want to be politicians and why do we need them? In a word, or four, they get things done. Love them or loathe them we need them. There have been many other ways to order society but it seems that so far this is the best system that we've been able to come up with. As much as we might complain we are not doing too badly compared with a lot of the rest of the world. Recent scandals revolving around the shockingly high number of children that have died in the care of the State and perhaps more germane the financial affairs of Mick Wallace T.D. might just highlight how bad things can get and while they are certainly that and more when you take a more detached view we are not doing too badly. Of course no one is going to be entirely satisfied with the way that the country is at the moment and perhaps nor should they but at least we have the ability to change things by speaking out and using our vote. Despite wide apathy that much maligned term 'people power' does and can work. You just need to use it. Too often there is a perceived distance between those in power and the people that they are there to serve. It seems that a lot of people believe that they only see their politicians every four years and that is it, as if they have not been working in the meantime. In most cases nothing could be further from the truth. Politicians on the whole are hard working people and those who aren't don't last very long or have large numbers of excessively stupid people who vote them into office. As society evolves and change then the institutions that serve society must change as well and it is good to see that the Dail is moving in the right direction. As it stands while some of the Waterford Constituency will be ceded back from County Tipperary of which it was always historically a part there will be no reduction in the number of T.D.s here which must be reassuring to our 4 politicians. So, no change. For now, at least.
Letters to the Editor
- A Government Successread more »
Once in a blue moon. As rare as hen's teeth. A Government success. Each of those three sentences are as unusual and as rare as each other. But the last one seems to be about to take place. The Government has announced that it plans to give each child in the State a second year of free pre-school. It might not sound like earth shattering news but if it does happen then it could be one of the most significant things that this Government has done since it took office. Any money that is given over to education is a …
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