Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Time to permit a preferendum?

Posted by Jason O on Jan 5, 2011 in Irish Politics

Recent talk of a referendum on abolishing the Senate raises an interesting flaw in our system of referendums. Supposing we have a vote on polling day: The choice will more than likely be between abolition or retention of the current crap model, or at least, that is how it will be preceived.

Yet supposing we had more than a Yes/No option on the ballot. Supposing people could vote, as we do in byelections and presidential elections, on more than just two choices. Supposing, say, 25% of TDs could submit an alternative option on the ballot, in this case a reformed senate, so that the public could have at most four options, from the status quo to abolition to two possible reform models. Now, it’s true, you can argue that there should be more choices, and if you put too many on the ballot paper the public becomes confused (I’m voting for D’hondt. You? Oh, I’m voting for the Seanad to be elected by monkeys throwing  feces at pictures of the candidates) but by giving a minority group in the Dail a say in at least putting their option on the ballot, it would be fairer and more interesting. After all, it would force smaller parties like Sinn Fein and Labour to actually put their option on the ballot, rather than just bitch. 


Fine Gael calls on government to shoot down snow before it reaches ground.

Posted by Jason O on Jan 5, 2011 in Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

" If FF cared, they shoot down the snow, flake by flake, regardless of cost. But they don't, the bastards."

" If FF cared, they'd shoot down the snow, flake by flake, regardless of cost. But they don't, the bastards."

The excellent Maman Poulet has this surreal piece on Senator Healey-Eames. Reminds me of something I wrote many moons ago.

“Fine Gael has called on the government to use all military means at the disposal of the state to prevent snow from reaching the country. “It’s a disgrace, and typical of Fianna Fail.” A spokesperson said earlier today. ” We have all these surface to air missiles and planes and things and the minister for defence has point blank refused to order the army to open fire on the snow, which is a bigger threat to the country then the IRA. The reality is, Fianna Fail are obviously in the pay of the snow.”  


Dara Calleary is right. Now, what’s the next sentence?

Posted by Jason O on Jan 5, 2011 in Irish Politics

Dara Calleary TD makes a fair point here about FF looking for its leadership from the next generation, as indeed has Barry Andrews. It may well be very desirable for FF to skip over the cabinet, and a generation of soon to be former cabinet ministers associated with failure. But then what?

There’s a scene in an episode of The West Wing when President Bartlet, debating his Republican opponent, asks him what’s the next line after his carefully chosen focus-grouped soundbite. That’ll be the question that confirms whether the Calleary generation are suited to the job. Can they articulate, in detail, what it is that they would do differently? One of the great flaws of the current generation of Irish political leadership has been a desire to reach those positions and then decide what they want to do with them. If the Calleary generation can enunciate convincingly why they want to lead, and specifically outline what objectives they hold which are unique to them, without resorting to the usual “Jobs are the issue” guff, then they’ve a legitimate claim to make.

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