[E-voting] Laughing stocks and all that

Aengus Lawlor aengusl at eircom.net
Fri Jul 6 13:14:50 IST 2007

On Friday, July 06, 2007 7:07 AM [EDT],
Fergal Daly <fergal at esatclear.ie> wrote:

> This is what I find interesting. I do no believe that councillors are
> people(!) They are elected representatives and responsible to their
> constituencies. Mr Gombeen does not have a vote in the Seanad
> elections, his council seat does.

Councilors aren't acting as councilors in the Seanad election, any more than 
they are acting as councilors when they vote in Dáil elections. The 
Constitutions says nothing about who may vote in Seanad elections (except 
for the 6 University seats), the franchise has just been restricted to "safe 
hands" in a fairly blatant power grab, so that it could serve as a safe 
"retirement home" for TDs who have been rejected by the public (as it giving 
the Taoiseach 20% of the seats wasn't enough).

> So (as ugly as it could get in this
> situation) I believe the whole country is entitled to know how how
> each and every _council seat_ voted. Otherwise there is no possibility
> of accountability. The same goes for secret ballots in the Dail (are
> there any?),

Actually, secret ballots in the Dáil might actually make it a more 
representative body - "votes" in the Dáil are pretty much a waste of time 
these days, as the whip system is so rigidly enforced that even votes on 
private members bills are just "going through the motions".

As for accountability? You get a single vote once every 5 years. How many 
people are going to hold a councillor "accountable" for how they voted in 
the Seanad elections years ago?


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