As appeared in Letters – Kerryman – 15 September, 2010 Edition
I have written to you before about my anger towards the great and good of Ireland and their destruction of our Nation. Who could not be angry at their actions and enraged that they will not face any consequences? I would however like to be more constructive in this letter.
One of the most important elements in our economic ruination was our politicians. Their ignorant self interest made it possible for the bankers and the developers to behave as they did. I am of the opinion that this happened because we don’t elect people to sit in our national parliament, we instead elect men and women who’s primary job is to screw over all the other constituencies.
We in Kerry have seen this played out since 1997. In electing Jackie Healy-Rae, South Kerry was more than just fortunate, it hit the jackpot. As an Independent, who’s vote was and is needed by the governing parties, he gets to attract a great deal of money to South Kerry. Such money that we in North Kerry are left watching, with pot holed roads, green with envy.
At the next election the situation will change and Mr Healy-Rae will not have the same level of influence, but that doesn’t mean North Kerry will be doing the screwing. There is no realistic electoral arithmetic that will give any of the prospective North Kerry TDs any clout. We may get a junior Minister, but in a government with an overwhelming majority and during a decade of cut backs. We will not get our turn, we’ll be lucky to even get our passports back.
The alternative to a system of public representatives working mightily to get one over on other public representatives, is to elect men and women who’s job it is to look after our country, not our medical cards. This system is called the List System.
Put simply, each party will present a list of it’s candidates and depending on the number of votes the party gets, the bigger the number from the list are deemed elected. Now there are many ways to fine tune this system so that voters can have more or less influence on which particular people from a list get elected, but in the end, our TDs will have been elected to do one job and that job is running our country, not acting as messenger boys for the rich and powerful or pushing their snouts into the trough at the expense of the other pigs.
There are also two side benefits to this system. The first is that we would require fewer politicians, as we could decide on a number of TDs per citizen, instead of trying to make sense of the differing counties, constituencies, cities and populations.
The second is that instead of teachers and lawyers running our economy and heath system, we could actually access experts. Men and women who wish to offer their expertise to their country but not their lives to a career of meetings, bake sales, golf outings and boot licking.
Kerry has seen the best and the worst of our present system. The sighs of relief coming from our shock absorbers as our cars pass into South Kerry should tell us that this system is rotten. Even those in South Kerry must acknowledge something is wrong as they face the loss of access coming with the next election.
We can continue to elect hard necked shouters, hoping that luck and hunger for power will play the ball into our paths, or we can choose legislators whose job it is to govern all of us equally. I support the green and gold of Kerry, I don’t know what colours a constituency wears.