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 Should parties be allowed fundraise outside the State?

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PostSubject: Re: Should parties be allowed fundraise outside the State?   Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:00 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
SeathrúnCeitinn wrote:
anmajornarthainig wrote:
There are any number of serious flaws in the manner in which or democracy is organised. The funding of political parties is one. I don`t think political parties should be allowed fundraise at all. Election expediture should be covered by the state based on any number of criteria. Any money, over a very low threshold, given to a politician would then be regarded as a bribe and should be dealt with accordingly. The problem with O`Reilly was that he was allowed gain control over such a large section of the Irish media. If our political and business leaders were interested in democracy it wouldn`t have been allowed happen.

Surely this would lead to domination of the present upper echelons and leave no room for future parties of necessity?

Not necessarily. This is the age of the internet, mass travel and mass communication. It would be difficult for a new party to start but other than having an extremely wealthy benefactor. So it`s not like the current system benfits smaller parties anyway. Under my suggestion the emphasis would shift from your ability to fundraise from wealthy donors to your ability to organise as the criteria for the amount of money being in the party`s or the politician`s war chest. It would also make the stamping out of criteria easier.
Interesting idea and very true but the internet is unreachable by most people, unfortunately. However isn't there a dedicated television channel coming soon to Dublin which would reach a lot more people?
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PostSubject: Re: Should parties be allowed fundraise outside the State?   Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:03 pm

The internet is accessible to a lot of people as are local radio stations, local papers etc. It`s not that hard to get your message across if your dedicated enough and organised enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Should parties be allowed fundraise outside the State?   Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:04 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
The internet is accessible to a lot of people as are local radio stations, local papers etc. It`s not that hard to get your message across if your dedicated enough and organised enough.

Agreed, local radio is brilliant.
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PostSubject: Re: Should parties be allowed fundraise outside the State?   Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:27 am

Probably news for another thread but I thought this was worth printing here. A Clare FG TD Pat Breen is the poll-topper in the expenses league. He has claimed 50k in expenses so far this year !! He is frequently heard ranting about prefabs in a school in Ennis yet he'll claim this amount in expenses without a bother. We'll all be told it's only necessary in order for the Dáil to work and if they aren't given the right amounts they'll possibly end up accepting bribes...

Quote :
18 August 2008

Politicians’ expenses hit the €6m mark

By Mary Regan, Political Reporter
TDs and Senators clamed almost €6 million in tax-free expenses during the first half of this year.


Almost half of all deputies in the Dáil, for the six months from

January to June, claimed sums greater than the average annual industrial wage

The 166 TDs claimed a total of €4,531,266.40 in the six-month period in which the Dáil only sat for 52 days.

Junior Minister in the Department of Health, John Maloney (Fianna Fáil) topped the list claiming €51,030.33 for the half-year while former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (FF) had the lowest claim at €2,194.23.



Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny claimed the exact same sum of €9,819.99. Labour leader Eamon Gilmore claimed €16,171.

The figures, released to Cork’s Evening Echo newspaper under Freedom of Information legislation, show senior Government ministers have among the lowest expenses bill.

Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó’ Cuív and Martin Cullen have all claimed an equal sum of €14,254.07. Ministers living closer to Dublin including Europe Minister, Dick Roche, Health Minister Mary Harney and Justice Minister Brian Lenihan claimed €9,819.00 each.

TD’s daily allowance is €61.53 and overnight allowance while the Dáil is sitting is €139.67.

Their allowance to cover travel between the Dáil and the constituency is a non-taxable annual payment of between €2,745 to €8,782. They get a mileage allowance of €1.16 a mile.

As well as a secretarial allowance, TDs can get a once-off payment worth €8,888 to set up a constituency office and an annual payment worth €8,888 to fund it. They also get a miscellaneous allowance worth €5,482.

The figures show the total bill for the Seanad, which sat for 48 days in the first half of the year, was €1,302,243.20.

Fine Gael Senator, Paddy Burke, topped the list with €41,326.01 — almost ten times that of Independent Joe O’Toole who had the lowest claim of all 60 members at €4,437.08.

The Taoiseach’s nomination to the house, former TD Ivor Callely (FF) claimed €14,429.91 while PD leader Senator Ciarán Cannon claimed €18,061.22 and his rival in the leadership contest, Fiona O’Malley claimed €14,221.07.

Why doesn't the Examiner have nice bloody links?
http://www.examiner.ie/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-qqqg=ireland-qqqm=ireland-qqqa=ireland-qqqid=70065-qqqx=1.asp


And this as well:

Quote :
18 August 2008

Dáil and Seanad running costs reach record €114m

By Juno McEnroe
IT cost a record €114 million to run the Dáil and Seanad last year — nearly €28 for every man, woman and child in the State.


Spending on politicians and their services is also set to jump again this year by a fifth.

Running costs were €113.8m for 2007, compared to €100m the previous year, according to a report by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

The report, put up on the Oireachtas website since the TDs and Senators took their summer break, outlines salary, pension, equipment and training costs for members and Oireachtas staff for the year. It also details surveys on satisfaction with services and hygiene in Leinster House.


TDs received salaries of €16.4m, while Senators were paid €4m and MEPs another €1.8m.

Payments for secretarial assistance for politicians amounted to another €20m. Travel expenses for TDs, senators and committees came to €5.6m.

While wages and allowances for the Houses of the Oireachtas staff came to over €22m, another €10m was spent on operating machinery and other office supplies.

Writing in the report, Ceann Comhairle TD John O’Donoghue said: “The office was particularly busy planning for the General Elections to both Houses and putting the necessary infrastructure in place in a timely manner for members and staff in the post-election period, allowing them to get on with the work of the parliament as soon as possible following the first sittings of the Houses.”

Payment for catering and bar staff amounted to €1.6m, the report revealed, while the televising of Dáil and Seanad proceedings cost taxpayers €1.4m.

There was a reduction in sittings and committee hearings due to elections, but an increase in tours, visits and general meetings which amounted to 4,000 during the year.

Costs for promoting parliament activity amounted to over €6m, which included broadcasting the Ryan Tubridy show from Leinster House, as well as different polls on public attitudes about the houses and the improvement of buildings.

There were a large number of staff turnovers, mainly due to members leaving positions after the election.

Furthermore, 11,400 invoices were processed and training courses provided for 2,700 people. A smaller number of courses were for the use of Blackberry phones and first aid.

New members of the houses were assigned 40 “mentors” after being elected to help them settle in.

Some 3,000 Oireachtas pages of documents were also translated, mainly into Irish.

A survey of staff in November found nearly one third were dissatisfied with the hygiene or cleanliness of the Houses. Some two thirds of Oireachtas staff were also unhappy with how underperformance was addressed with colleagues.

http://www.examiner.ie/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-qqqg=ireland-qqqm=ireland-qqqa=ireland-qqqid=70068-qqqx=1.asp
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