I’m always interested in the effect new technology has on the political system. What’s particularly interesting is the fact that much of this technology, especially social media, has increased the potential of politics to be so much more personal. It’s so much easier, for example, to connect on a one to one basis with politicians.
Yet Irish candidates are still conservative creatures, who put door-to-door canvassing at the top of the campaigning pyramid, the Golden Calf of electioneering. Most still believe, almost certainly correctly, that canvassing is the most effective way of securing first preference votes.
Perhaps voters need to take advantage of that? Imagine if you asked a candidate a specific question, and filmed his/her response on your phone? Wouldn’t that be a fine way to hold them to account?
Of course, they would have a right to refuse to be filmed, and that must be respected.
But a candidate who refuses to go on the record with his/her pledges? Well, as a voter, you can come to your own conclusions about their integrity.
As to the questions? I can think of two which would be great fun to ask on the record:
1. Are you going to run for the Dail?
2. Will you vote to cut local spending to fund a property tax cut, as you will have the power to do? If yes, what local service will you vote to cut?