Posts Tagged 'Healy-Rae'

The Healy-Rae Criterion and Reforming Irish Politics

The Healy-Rae Criterion and Reforming Irish Politics
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Hence, I propose a simple criterion to be applied to all proposals for reform of the Irish political system:
If Jackie Healy-Rae still gets elected to the national legislature under the new system, the reform hasn’t worked.
I don’t mean this to be an attack on Mr Healy-Rae himself, but rather an observation of the way in which his repeated election is symptomatic of wider problems across the political system.
Jackie Healy-Rae, by his own admission, is a Kerry politician, not a national politician. He works for the people of Kerry, makes sure Kerry is pothole-free, fights for funding for Kerry hospitals, amenities and infrastructure, and sorts anything and everything out for his Kerry electorate. Many would agree that this is hard work, and judging by his continued reelection, a lot of his constituents think that he’s doing it well. The problem is that it’s not his job.

This post has been updated and moved to the blog’s new domain, conductunbecoming.ie, and you can find it here.

Faith in the political system in Ireland is reaching an all-time low. With a government that thinks “legal obstacles” are an excuse for every occasion, and an opposition that believes the best way to deal with a massive budget deficit is to borrow more money, some people have started to call for a complete overhaul in how our leaders are elected. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if these voices grow both in number and in volume over the coming months, as the gravity of our country’s situation begins to sink in. As this debate comes to the fore, I propose that everyone keeps in mind a simple criterion to be applied to all proposals for reform of the Irish political system:

The Healy-Rae Criterion

If Jackie Healy-Rae still gets elected to the national legislature under the new system, the reform hasn’t worked.

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