Monday, April 09, 2007

Election not in Doubt, Validity Is

Its difficult to know what will come of yesterdays news that Finian McGrath 9Dublin North Central) and Catherine Murphy (Kildare North) have launched a legal challenge to the upcoming election on the basis that the ratio of TDs to constituents is imbalanced in a number of constituencies violating the Constitution.

The report in the Tribune and follow up reports this morning each state that the TDs consulted with legal counsel for the past 6 months and while they were waiting on final census figures from the CSO to strengthen their claim it seems strange they have waited until now, a mere 8 weeks at most to polling day to create an awareness around the issue. What can it achieve? Yesterdays Tribune proclaimed in its headline the election could be in doubt though gave no evidence in the article that followed as to how this could come about. Indeed the Department of the Environment this morning does not forsee any threat to the election. McGrath is adamant that the proceedings will go ahead and that while the make up of the 11 constituencies in question will not change for this election the judgment will be historic.

So the overall result should be a further reason not to vote and a pre-election banner headline for the independent TDs in question. A valid point raised in the midst of all this is that they felt compelled to act as watchdogs (their constituencies are not effected and they need to grasp at some justification for taking the case, though how that will stand up in a court of law is open to question), while the Department of Environment sat by indifferently to our voting rights. Why is it that we already have posters, fliers and conferences bombarding us in the lead up to what seems to be our longest running election campaign yet when the fundamentals to a democratic election are not in place? - spend millions on faulty electronic voting machines, change the deadline for postal voting each time out so that many abroad or confined to their homes loose their opportunity to vote and have a terrible record in managing our electoral register. The very purpose of our electoral system is that any number of votes can change the very make up of a government, what good is it when the outcome could be such an inaccurate reflection of the wishes of the electorate?

1 comment:

Eamonn said...

Talk about bleeding hearts.

This is just an attempt to score easy points off the government. And if Mr. McGrath and Ms. Murphy have to stoop this low to score points of this government it just shows you they are hardly fit for office.

The fact of the matter is that this whole issue is the fault of the goody two-shoes Green Party. They continually preach about how inept this current government is and yet they distract it by making a huge fuss over the fate of the planet. Without their interference the Dept. for the Environment would be able to use their limited bandwidth on more important things, like the number of TDs in each constituency.