Dan O’Brien on seperating the roles of TD and Minister

Interesting article from Dan O’Brien in the Irish Times here, flagged up by Paul Hunt in a comment. Should Ministers also be TDs? A response that usually comes from the political system on this is that there is provision to nominate 2 ministers via the Seanad, though this very rarely happens. Would having a minister with a shred of economic training in the Finance portfolio have led to a better decision on the bank guarantee? Certainly, a little expertise couldn’t have hurt, the apocryphal image the late Minister Lenihan taking a crash course in economics while chewing raw garlic in David MacWilliams’ kitchen comes to mind.

Anyway, perhaps another issue that the Constitutional Convention should consider but won’t, unless it radically expands its agenda via the ‘8th item’ (all other issues).

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6 thoughts on “Dan O’Brien on seperating the roles of TD and Minister

  1. Thanks, Matt for the hat-tip, but one of the biggest problems is the huge volume of BS being churned out by Ministers, the entire government apparatus and the well-embedded and influential sectional economic interests. The flip-side of Dan O’Brien’s eminently sensible proposal for ministers, on appointment, to vacate their seats in parliament is that the Dail would be required to resource and empower itself to contest, beat back and generally reduce the volume of BS being produced by the government apparatus – and its well-placed hangers-on.

    The Dail is the only forum where this BS might be exposed for what it is – but only if it is no longer totally under government control and secures the powers and resources to do this job in the public interest. Individuals, however well-informed or competent they might be – or irrespective of their ‘public standing’ – who might seek to highlight this BS for what it is will always be inundated by these waves of BS. The vast majority have learned that it is wiser to get out of the way, stay silent or, if required to do so, to express any views as cautiously and circumspectly as possible – and many find that it is much safer, prestigious and more lucrative to join the BS producers.

  2. I don’t think Ireland has a mature enough political or public sector system to cope with non TD/Sen Ministers because if we did then Seanie or Fingers would probably have been Minister for Finance!

    Until we sort out our corporate and political governance issues and the myriad of conflicts of interest and overlapping vested interests that control the decision making processes in Ireland we wouldn’t be fit to implement such a change.

  3. Democratic reform is urgent, but will never happen as long as the mainstream media prevent the alternative proposals from being aired. These media prefer to continue to promote liberal / left ideologies which are against the conservative values of the Irish people. perhaps if they starve the new conservatives of the oxygen of public debate for long enough, we might go away.
    Think again, democratic-reform wont be silenced

  4. If enough Business people got together to run the country…could we not as citizens relieve the government of their positions because of extrenuating circumstances regarding the position that politicians have left the country in. i.e. The Country is BROKE but these politicians are still drawing pay and borrowing to keep drawing pay ???

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