Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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Is it worth voting?

Posted by Jason O on Jan 27, 2010 in Irish Politics

Interesting piece here from British Labour MP Tom Harris about why people don’t bother to vote. I have to admit that the last local and European elections were the first time I seriously considered not voting, because I just don’t see the point. Local government in Ireland is pretty much pointless and exists almost entirely for the benefit of politicians, and the European Parliament does not change as a result of elections, as the three main parties just carve stuff up between themselves. In the coming mayoral election in Dublin, if the mayor doesn’t actually have the power to do things (as oppose to consult and chair things) you would have to ask is it worth the hassle?

The funny thing is, people will vote for power. If every constituency had, for example,  an elected official who had the power (and the funds) to actually fix things whether it was welfare entitlements, speed ramps, graffitti, etc, I suspect that people would actually turn out to vote for such a person.

The problem for me is that literally hundreds of elected Irish officials exist purely to “call” on other people (who have power) to do things, and then send us a bill, through our taxes, for having done so.   

 
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Instant Police State. Just add water.

Posted by Jason O on Jan 27, 2010 in British Politics

From the British Civil Contingencies Act 2004. You can see it here. With the stroke of a pen, a British government can do the following. I particularly like the “other specified activities” whatever that means. Reading The Guardian? 

“(b) provide for or enable the requisition or confiscation of property (with or without compensation);

(c) provide for or enable the destruction of property, animal life or plant life (with or without compensation);

(d) prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, movement to or from a specified place;

(e) require, or enable the requirement of, movement to or from a specified place;

(f) prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, assemblies of specified kinds, at specified places or at specified times;

(g) prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, travel at specified times;

(h) prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, other specified activities;

(i) create an offence of—

(i) failing to comply with a provision of the regulations;

(ii) failing to comply with a direction or order given or made under the regulations;

(iii) obstructing a person in the performance of a function under or by virtue of the regulations;”

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