Early in the campaign I happened on a radio story in which the intrepid reporter was following a sitting TD on his election canvass. Everywhere the politician went he met with a positive reaction from his constituents. The basis of the whole story was that this was a politician in tune with his electorate, a popular constituency worker. As I switched off he was visiting a farm and kissing a chicken. No, this is not a typo; it wasn’t the proverbial child being kissed – the candidate kissed a chicken. Continue reading
Guest post by Johnny Fallon (loaded by David Farrell, February 8 2011)
With the reform debate now all thrashed out by the parties I don’t think any of them has hit the spot for me. But rather than sit on the fence I will, as usual, pop my head up for some abuse. If I was asked to reform politics this is where I would have started.
• One of the main problems within the Irish system is that we do not have a properly functioning local government system.
• There is a lack of trust on the part of national government when it comes to delegating responsibility to councils
• There is a lack of responsibility among local councils and a lack of accountability.
• The number of councils for such a small population is far too expensive.
• There is a lack of co-ordinated planning and economies of scale
• Regional Authorities have no function in the public mind
• TD’s are seen as more powerful than a Council and therefore approached. Continue reading
Eoin O’Malley, 3 September 2010
The Poolbeg controversy rumbles on with claims that Dublin’s local authorities have a get out clause which will allow them break their contract with Covanta; a contract which many have argued is uncompetitive. Whether this is true or not could be given to the courts to decide, but in claiming that the councils must proceed with the contract, Dublin City Council commit some basic errors in decision making Continue reading
The Irish Times reports that Fianna Fail is completing a submission to feed into the Government’s promised White Paper on local government reform. The report indicates that there is some disagreement among the Coalition partners as to the importance of mayors with Fianna Fail preferring less executive powers. There is also some discussion on amalgamating local councils to create some metropolitan councils. There is no mention, however, of real local government reform which many believe is necessary condition for change in Irish political culture. The report does not appear to be online so it may be that there are more radial proposals than those highlighted here.