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 The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)

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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:06 am

Hermes wrote:
he party system must go. And the man or the woman who can achieve this is more than worthy of my vote. Alas, I don't think I'll be exercising my right to vote anytime soon.

While I will be exercising my vote at every conceivable opportunity (since otherwise its health suffers), I would whole-heartedly support that remark. I would settle initially for the end of the Party Whip system. Irish politicians simply don't vote against their parties, with the result that the representative one voted for winds up voting for whatever the leadership decides. Doing the voting records for ratemytd.com showed that over a five-year period, only one TD ever voted against their party whip, and on a single occasion. That's appalling.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:31 am

ibis wrote:
Hermes wrote:
he party system must go. And the man or the woman who can achieve this is more than worthy of my vote. Alas, I don't think I'll be exercising my right to vote anytime soon.

While I will be exercising my vote at every conceivable opportunity (since otherwise its health suffers), I would whole-heartedly support that remark. I would settle initially for the end of the Party Whip system. Irish politicians simply don't vote against their parties, with the result that the representative one voted for winds up voting for whatever the leadership decides. Doing the voting records for ratemytd.com showed that over a five-year period, only one TD ever voted against their party whip, and on a single occasion. That's appalling.

Totally agree - the whip system is cancerous.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:59 am

Aragon wrote:
ibis wrote:
Hermes wrote:
he party system must go. And the man or the woman who can achieve this is more than worthy of my vote. Alas, I don't think I'll be exercising my right to vote anytime soon.

While I will be exercising my vote at every conceivable opportunity (since otherwise its health suffers), I would whole-heartedly support that remark. I would settle initially for the end of the Party Whip system. Irish politicians simply don't vote against their parties, with the result that the representative one voted for winds up voting for whatever the leadership decides. Doing the voting records for ratemytd.com showed that over a five-year period, only one TD ever voted against their party whip, and on a single occasion. That's appalling.

Totally agree - the whip system is cancerous.

I don't agree at all. We vote every five years or so, and on the basis mainly of party politics and the manifesto. Party discipline is essential to put through anything resembling the manifesto. If it was every man or woman for themselves anyone could get themselves elected and proceed to run coach and horses through that. At General Elections each candidate would have to put a personal manifesto up - but it couldn't be costed because there would be no overview. If people want that, they have the option of standing as an independent, or voting for independents.

What I find toxic is the ghastly charade of "resignation" from the whip or the party, or dodging the odd vote, that mainly FF T.D.s indulge in when there is an unpopular measure their party is putting through and they want to protect their local vote. These people would on no account would do anything that would genuinely risk bringing the government down, and just take us for fools. The same goes on at local authority level, when there is anything going on that would impact on one corner of the County.

If there was no whip system, do you seriously think the individual T.D.s voting as individuals would make a better, or different, job of governing than the Parties ?

The Parliamentary system as a whole, I would question. There is no real choice between the parties that all support virtually the same system with minor policy variations. But until such time as there is an alternative on offer, the debate would be abstract.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:34 am

cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
ibis wrote:
Hermes wrote:
he party system must go. And the man or the woman who can achieve this is more than worthy of my vote. Alas, I don't think I'll be exercising my right to vote anytime soon.

While I will be exercising my vote at every conceivable opportunity (since otherwise its health suffers), I would whole-heartedly support that remark. I would settle initially for the end of the Party Whip system. Irish politicians simply don't vote against their parties, with the result that the representative one voted for winds up voting for whatever the leadership decides. Doing the voting records for ratemytd.com showed that over a five-year period, only one TD ever voted against their party whip, and on a single occasion. That's appalling.

Totally agree - the whip system is cancerous.

I don't agree at all. We vote every five years or so, and on the basis mainly of party politics and the manifesto. Party discipline is essential to put through anything resembling the manifesto. If it was every man or woman for themselves anyone could get themselves elected and proceed to run coach and horses through that. At General Elections each candidate would have to put a personal manifesto up - but it couldn't be costed because there would be no overview. If people want that, they have the option of standing as an independent, or voting for independents.

What I find toxic is the ghastly charade of "resignation" from the whip or the party, or dodging the odd vote, that mainly FF T.D.s indulge in when there is an unpopular measure their party is putting through and they want to protect their local vote. These people would on no account would do anything that would genuinely risk bringing the government down, and just take us for fools. The same goes on at local authority level, when there is anything going on that would impact on one corner of the County.

If there was no whip system, do you seriously think the individual T.D.s voting as individuals would make a better, or different, job of governing than the Parties ?

The Parliamentary system as a whole, I would question. There is no real choice between the parties that all support virtually the same system with minor policy variations. But until such time as there is an alternative on offer, the debate would be abstract.

I can see that the principle of party politics as you describe it would be a fine thing in some ways but the reality of it has never been like this. The last point you make is to my mind the most striking symptom of the illness of the whip/party system - everything has been skewed to the interests of the lobbyists.

Government, including the civil service, are always working to a core set of obligations across the spectrum of public administration so the consensus among a defined political group in terms of practical, day-to-day adminsitration is not nearly as significant as it is made out to be. Legislation and case law determine most of what has to be done and how it is to be done. The function of political parties is almost exclusively to get themselves elected and to keep their benefactors happy as much as possible - the machine of government is running in tandem with that and is necessarily to some extent independent - even impervious to it in some respects. There is nothing to prevent issues from being debated and voted on without the whip system and I think independent politicians are no less likely to behave responsibly and considerately - they dont need the paternalism of the party system to think and to act effectively. The people who benefit most from the whip-based party political system are the powerful corporate lobbyists who fund the parties and who therefore dictate how they are going to vote on many issues. This has been a poisonous phenomenon in so-called democracies around the world and it's a direct causative factor in the multiple crises we are facing. In the past independent politicians tended to coalesce around the same issues much of the time anyway but were free to vote with their consciences otherwise. Of course the lobbyists will always be there but it is not so easy for them to corrupt the system. At present they only have to call on a couple of senior politicians to secure guarantees and then the whole party has to go lemming like with them into whatever foolishness or unfairness is being promoted. They can mobilise the media against any opposition which is why there is no difference between the parties any more. The lobbyists would not be nearly so powerful if they had to deal with 166 individuals instead of a dozen or so senior reps from the political parties. Every issue that goes up for consideration is bastardised by this system. Nobody is voting according to what they think anymore - they are merely doing what they are told. That's not what most people believe they are electing their politicians for and it's a fundamental negation of the tiny scrap of democratic authority we have: hence the shafting of the disability lobby in the recent past and hundreds of other groups in the same way. The skewing of the so-called bailout plan in favour of property developers is another monstrous example of how corruptible the party system is.

But of course when we finally have the libertarian socialist democracy that I'd like to see this whole discush will be academic anyway pirat
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:49 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
ibis wrote:
Hermes wrote:
he party system must go. And the man or the woman who can achieve this is more than worthy of my vote. Alas, I don't think I'll be exercising my right to vote anytime soon.

While I will be exercising my vote at every conceivable opportunity (since otherwise its health suffers), I would whole-heartedly support that remark. I would settle initially for the end of the Party Whip system. Irish politicians simply don't vote against their parties, with the result that the representative one voted for winds up voting for whatever the leadership decides. Doing the voting records for ratemytd.com showed that over a five-year period, only one TD ever voted against their party whip, and on a single occasion. That's appalling.

Totally agree - the whip system is cancerous.

I don't agree at all. We vote every five years or so, and on the basis mainly of party politics and the manifesto. Party discipline is essential to put through anything resembling the manifesto. If it was every man or woman for themselves anyone could get themselves elected and proceed to run coach and horses through that. At General Elections each candidate would have to put a personal manifesto up - but it couldn't be costed because there would be no overview. If people want that, they have the option of standing as an independent, or voting for independents.

What I find toxic is the ghastly charade of "resignation" from the whip or the party, or dodging the odd vote, that mainly FF T.D.s indulge in when there is an unpopular measure their party is putting through and they want to protect their local vote. These people would on no account would do anything that would genuinely risk bringing the government down, and just take us for fools. The same goes on at local authority level, when there is anything going on that would impact on one corner of the County.

If there was no whip system, do you seriously think the individual T.D.s voting as individuals would make a better, or different, job of governing than the Parties ?

The Parliamentary system as a whole, I would question. There is no real choice between the parties that all support virtually the same system with minor policy variations. But until such time as there is an alternative on offer, the debate would be abstract.

Hmm. The parties could still offer costed manifestoes. Well, at least they could do so as much as they currently do - which is to say only the government parties have the option at all, and as we've seen they are in fact incapable of using it in any sensible way. Parties currently abandon their manifestos the moment they're in office (trying to find a copy of the party manifestos from the election last year is by no means easy, as we know - never mind finding one from 2002).

So, in fact, my view would be that the principal problem you identify with dropping the whip isn't really meaningful, because the parties don't offer costed budgets in the first place, don't stick to them in the second. However, I could perhaps accept the use of the whip in Budget votes, simply because otherwise no Budget would ever get through. Outside that, though, I would prefer the option to vote for someone who I knew could vote against their party on matters of conscience.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:51 pm

**ibis above

ibis wrote:
Hermes wrote:
he party system must go. And the man or the woman who can achieve this is more than worthy of my vote. Alas, I don't think I'll be exercising my right to vote anytime soon.

While I will be exercising my vote at every conceivable opportunity (since otherwise its health suffers), I would whole-heartedly support that remark. I would settle initially for the end of the Party Whip system. Irish politicians simply don't vote against their parties, with the result that the representative one voted for winds up voting for whatever the leadership decides. Doing the voting records for ratemytd.com showed that over a five-year period, only one TD ever voted against their party whip, and on a single occasion. That's appalling.

Didn't McDaid do this recently on the cervical vaccines - what are the consequences of not voting with the party can anyone tell me ?

It could be a cynical move by a politician to vote against the party but perhaps if the whip system was abolished the politician wouldn't have that luxury of being seen as a heroic maverick against an unpopular vote but just a number representing his constituents. And that's the thing - how does he faithfully represent his constituents anyway in the first place ? Was McDaid speaking for the majority opinion of Donegal North East constituents but the FF party at large were speaking for the majorty of national voters ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:04 pm

I'd say McDaid abstained because he is a GP, and knew full well that dropping the vaccine programme is going to cost lives. The new Govt. argument is that the cancer screening programme will catch these cases, but this is bullshit. Read Prof. Crown in Sindo yesterday. Many people are consistently screened over years yet still get the disease and many still die. Crown used the analogy of a front door lock. Just because you get an alarm installed, you don't dispense with the lock.

McDaid knows this and as a GP could not vote for this row back. I wonder did his hippocratic oath come into play ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:15 pm

The Government went into the debate on the immunisation scheme and deliberately spread the confusion that it was either screening or immunisation, and that screening would in some way be needed first. Now they are spreading the muck that girls wanting the immunisation at 12 are promiscuous.

Immunisation prevents a percentage of all cases developing in the first place.

Screening, that has been available free in most european countries for the last 20 years , is only now coming in here. That in itself is an unholy disgrace. Cervical cancer is detectable by cervical smear tests as a "pre-cancerous" condition that can be easily treated and removed by laser. Many Irish women have already died unneccessarily.

Bloody murderers, frankly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:31 pm

That sort of oversight is inexcusable as you say. I've really serious reservations about this vaccine though and about vaccines in general anyway - but the more we hear about this one the more it looks like it was not properly tested and that some very nasty side-effects are manifesting themselves. Merck are in big trouble over Gardasil from some quarters and US attorneys are raking in the dosh in law suits. As I've posted elsewhere, Harney never misses an opportunity to do her pharma friends a favour. I'm wondering if she didn't have another reason for dropping this vaccine.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:34 pm

Aragon wrote:
That sort of oversight is inexcusable as you say. I've really serious reservations about this vaccine though and about vaccines in general anyway - but the more we hear about this one the more it looks like it was not properly tested and that some very nasty side-effects are manifesting themselves. Merck are in big trouble over Gardasil from some quarters and US attorneys are raking in the dosh in law suits. As I've posted elsewhere, Harney never misses an opportunity to do her pharma friends a favour. I'm wondering if she didn't have another reason for dropping this vaccine.

Any links Aragon? There are certainly questions over the pushing of this product (Gardasil) by the pharmaceutical company which stands to make fortunes out of it. They launched a heavy tv promotional campaign in the US to generate bottom up pressure by parents on doctors to use it.

She hasn't dropped it, just postponed it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:40 pm

Here some stuff from Judicial Watch - but there are loads of reports on the net - thousands of people afected:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2008/jun/judicial-watch-uncovers-new-fda-records-detailing-ten-new-deaths-140-serious-adverse-e


Link to Google search rsults:

http://www.google.ie/search?hl=en&q=gardasil+dangers+of&meta=
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:00 pm

Aragon wrote:
Here some stuff from Judicial Watch - but there are loads of reports on the net - thousands of people afected:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2008/jun/judicial-watch-uncovers-new-fda-records-detailing-ten-new-deaths-140-serious-adverse-e


Link to Google search rsults:

http://www.google.ie/search?hl=en&q=gardasil+dangers+of&meta=

When its a medical matter, I'd prefer to rely on peer reviewed research. Your link does provide a link to the FDA results, but also to a lot of anonymous stuff. There is a religious fundamentalist lobby that is vehemently opposed to this immunisation, as it will turn out daughters into scarlet women apparently.

I personally would feel a bit anxious about my daughters having this immunisation when it is still officially in a study period. It is a difficult judgement call whether to take a chance on side effects or take a chance on cervical cancer.
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/334/7596/721?
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:31 am

Aragon wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Aragon wrote:
ibis wrote:
Hermes wrote:
he party system must go. And the man or the woman who can achieve this is more than worthy of my vote. Alas, I don't think I'll be exercising my right to vote anytime soon.

While I will be exercising my vote at every conceivable opportunity (since otherwise its health suffers), I would whole-heartedly support that remark. I would settle initially for the end of the Party Whip system. Irish politicians simply don't vote against their parties, with the result that the representative one voted for winds up voting for whatever the leadership decides. Doing the voting records for ratemytd.com showed that over a five-year period, only one TD ever voted against their party whip, and on a single occasion. That's appalling.

Totally agree - the whip system is cancerous.

I don't agree at all. We vote every five years or so, and on the basis mainly of party politics and the manifesto. Party discipline is essential to put through anything resembling the manifesto. If it was every man or woman for themselves anyone could get themselves elected and proceed to run coach and horses through that. At General Elections each candidate would have to put a personal manifesto up - but it couldn't be costed because there would be no overview. If people want that, they have the option of standing as an independent, or voting for independents.

What I find toxic is the ghastly charade of "resignation" from the whip or the party, or dodging the odd vote, that mainly FF T.D.s indulge in when there is an unpopular measure their party is putting through and they want to protect their local vote. These people would on no account would do anything that would genuinely risk bringing the government down, and just take us for fools. The same goes on at local authority level, when there is anything going on that would impact on one corner of the County.

If there was no whip system, do you seriously think the individual T.D.s voting as individuals would make a better, or different, job of governing than the Parties ?

The Parliamentary system as a whole, I would question. There is no real choice between the parties that all support virtually the same system with minor policy variations. But until such time as there is an alternative on offer, the debate would be abstract.

I can see that the principle of party politics as you describe it would be a fine thing in some ways but the reality of it has never been like this. The last point you make is to my mind the most striking symptom of the illness of the whip/party system - everything has been skewed to the interests of the lobbyists.

Government, including the civil service, are always working to a core set of obligations across the spectrum of public administration so the consensus among a defined political group in terms of practical, day-to-day adminsitration is not nearly as significant as it is made out to be. Legislation and case law determine most of what has to be done and how it is to be done. The function of political parties is almost exclusively to get themselves elected and to keep their benefactors happy as much as possible - the machine of government is running in tandem with that and is necessarily to some extent independent - even impervious to it in some respects. There is nothing to prevent issues from being debated and voted on without the whip system and I think independent politicians are no less likely to behave responsibly and considerately - they dont need the paternalism of the party system to think and to act effectively. The people who benefit most from the whip-based party political system are the powerful corporate lobbyists who fund the parties and who therefore dictate how they are going to vote on many issues. This has been a poisonous phenomenon in so-called democracies around the world and it's a direct causative factor in the multiple crises we are facing. In the past independent politicians tended to coalesce around the same issues much of the time anyway but were free to vote with their consciences otherwise. Of course the lobbyists will always be there but it is not so easy for them to corrupt the system. At present they only have to call on a couple of senior politicians to secure guarantees and then the whole party has to go lemming like with them into whatever foolishness or unfairness is being promoted. They can mobilise the media against any opposition which is why there is no difference between the parties any more. The lobbyists would not be nearly so powerful if they had to deal with 166 individuals instead of a dozen or so senior reps from the political parties. Every issue that goes up for consideration is bastardised by this system. Nobody is voting according to what they think anymore - they are merely doing what they are told. That's not what most people believe they are electing their politicians for and it's a fundamental negation of the tiny scrap of democratic authority we have: hence the shafting of the disability lobby in the recent past and hundreds of other groups in the same way. The skewing of the so-called bailout plan in favour of property developers is another monstrous example of how corruptible the party system is.

But of course when we finally have the libertarian socialist democracy that I'd like to see this whole discush will be academic anyway pirat

I think your basically right Aragon. Cactus makes an important point that the party has to maintain its loyalty/adherance to the manefesto upon which it was elected but does the party whip system actually do this. In reality it probably approximates or helps but I think the main reason behind the whip is merely to give stronger executive power to an individual(Taoiseach or PM) for which there is no constitutional basis.

I think even the strongest adovocate of parliamentary pseudo-democracy will admit that the goal of the whip is not to make the government accountable to the people but to make day to day governing easier and more straight forward. A by-product of this is that parties in government have evolved to at least try to keep to an identifable party line or policy and that may have been part of teh parties manefesto in the election.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:38 am

Respublica said
Quote :
think your basically right Aragon. Cactus makes an important point that the party has to maintain its loyalty/adherance to the manefesto upon which it was elected but does the party whip system actually do this. In reality it probably approximates or helps but I think the main reason behind the whip is merely to give stronger executive power to an individual(Taoiseach or PM) for which there is no constitutional basis.

I think even the strongest adovocate of parliamentary pseudo-democracy will admit that the goal of the whip is not to make the government accountable to the people but to make day to day governing easier and more straight forward. A by-product of this is that parties in government have evolved to at least try to keep to an identifable party line or policy and that may have been part of teh parties manefesto in the election.

I despise the antics of local T.D.s who "rebel" without any personal or political loss in the interests of their local vote. Isn't what you are talking about really the clientelism of local representatives with their local causes, as against any kind of national parliament. Why not just dissolve the Dail and devolve half its powers down to the local authority and the other half up to the European Council ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:56 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I'd say McDaid abstained because he is a GP, and knew full well that dropping the vaccine programme is going to cost lives. The new Govt. argument is that the cancer screening programme will catch these cases, but this is bullshit. Read Prof. Crown in Sindo yesterday. Many people are consistently screened over years yet still get the disease and many still die. Crown used the analogy of a front door lock. Just because you get an alarm installed, you don't dispense with the lock.

McDaid knows this and as a GP could not vote for this row back. I wonder did his hippocratic oath come into play ?

I would imagine his fallings-out with FF HQ over the division of Donegal will have had something to do with it, along with the absorption of Niall Blaney of IFF back into the mother-ship. I'd say he feels there's room for an independent TD of FF lineage in Donegal, and this was a good issue - or indeed an issue of conscience.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:18 am

cactus flower wrote:
Respublica said
Quote :
think your basically right Aragon. Cactus makes an important point that the party has to maintain its loyalty/adherance to the manefesto upon which it was elected but does the party whip system actually do this. In reality it probably approximates or helps but I think the main reason behind the whip is merely to give stronger executive power to an individual(Taoiseach or PM) for which there is no constitutional basis.

I think even the strongest adovocate of parliamentary pseudo-democracy will admit that the goal of the whip is not to make the government accountable to the people but to make day to day governing easier and more straight forward. A by-product of this is that parties in government have evolved to at least try to keep to an identifable party line or policy and that may have been part of teh parties manefesto in the election.

I despise the antics of local T.D.s who "rebel" without any personal or political loss in the interests of their local vote. Isn't what you are talking about really the clientelism of local representatives with their local causes, as against any kind of national parliament. Why not just dissolve the Dail and devolve half its powers down to the local authority and the other half up to the European Council ?

happily. clientelism and blind party loyalty and then unaccountability are symptoms of the illness in our system even if they appear unaligned or even opposed.
I'd say that it would be pointless attacking something like party whip which is merely a product of something that is malfunctioning rather than attacking the problem at its root.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:41 am

Nice to see this topic in a thread of its own.

I'd like to see the party whip entity buried. I echo Ibis' and the sentiments of others expressed about the insidiousness of this mechanism. I must confess though, that I'm unsure if the results of outlawing it would prove effective or even useful. It seems to be a case of the 'tail wagging the dog.' A party whip is nothing more than a transubstantiated manifestation of the party spirit. The party whip is a natural result of party politics and would occur regardless as to whether it happened overtly or covertly. Politicians are attracted to parties because of the strength that a single-minded group can manifest. Afterall, there's safety in numbers and power in their actions.

I'm all for single-minded group manifestations and dynamics. However, within a so-called 'democratic' government, this is a perversion. The group dynamic should be a manifestation of the voters with the resulting government composing of a representative group individually carrying out their mandated duties. The single-mindedness should only arise in those charged with carrying out the orders of the government, ie. the civil service and others of that ilk.

On top of my reservations, I think that attempting to outlaw this would run aground via the law. The Constitution does not make a provision for party whips and neither does it outlaw them. To challenge the system one would have to suggest that voters do not have the right to elect a government such as the one we have now. Deep pockets would be required and I'm not sure it'd be possible to win.

To me, the way to end party politics would be to convince the voting public of the evils of the political party system. Not an easy task either, to put it mildly. It would be fair to say though, that now is a great time to start, what with the proverbial crap hitting the fan. Debate this topic at a national level and the party system can be ended. Just talk to people about it, if it's as important an issue as I believe it to be it will take on a life of its own, let the cards fall where they may. No expense, no court. Tis an argument that anyone can take part in, even children - especially children.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:09 am

Hermes wrote:
Nice to see this topic in a thread of its own.

I'd like to see the party whip entity buried. I echo Ibis' and the sentiments of others expressed about the insidiousness of this mechanism. I must confess though, that I'm unsure if the results of outlawing it would prove effective or even useful. It seems to be a case of the 'tail wagging the dog.' A party whip is nothing more than a transubstantiated manifestation of the party spirit. The party whip is a natural result of party politics and would occur regardless as to whether it happened overtly or covertly. Politicians are attracted to parties because of the strength that a single-minded group can manifest. Afterall, there's safety in numbers and power in their actions.

I'm all for single-minded group manifestations and dynamics. However, within a so-called 'democratic' government, this is a perversion. The group dynamic should be a manifestation of the voters with the resulting government composing of a representative group individually carrying out their mandated duties. The single-mindedness should only arise in those charged with carrying out the orders of the government, ie. the civil service and others of that ilk.

On top of my reservations, I think that attempting to outlaw this would run aground via the law. The Constitution does not make a provision for party whips and neither does it outlaw them. To challenge the system one would have to suggest that voters do not have the right to elect a government such as the one we have now. Deep pockets would be required and I'm not sure it'd be possible to win.

To me, the way to end party politics would be to convince the voting public of the evils of the political party system. Not an easy task either, to put it mildly. It would be fair to say though, that now is a great time to start, what with the proverbial crap hitting the fan. Debate this topic at a national level and the party system can be ended. Just talk to people about it, if it's as important an issue as I believe it to be it will take on a life of its own, let the cards fall where they may. No expense, no court. Tis an argument that anyone can take part in, even children - especially children.
Voters don't see the true colours of their TD if he's toeing the party line all the time so they also are being forced to vote for the Party line which is even less democratic again as many party voters might not support how a specific vote goes in the Dáil.

It takes an educated and discerning electorate to appreciate party members who diverge from the party line. It wouldn't be great publicity for small parties to appear divided among themselves - imagine the Greens, SF or a couple of Socialist Party members being at odds with each other. This is a strength of a party in my view but that's not the majority view.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:00 pm

I have always believed that no one should be able to stand as a member of a party and be dragged in on the coat tails. All candidates should be equal before the electorate and stand as individuals. Let the electorate work out what they stand for instead of plonking for FF or FG and not voting for whoever because----- All to easy. No let them vote for people and not parties.

The whip system is a vice rather than a virtue. Who wants a representative who is a Party hack?
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:28 pm

Hermes wrote:
Nice to see this topic in a thread of its own.

I'd like to see the party whip entity buried. I echo Ibis' and the sentiments of others expressed about the insidiousness of this mechanism. I must confess though, that I'm unsure if the results of outlawing it would prove effective or even useful. It seems to be a case of the 'tail wagging the dog.' A party whip is nothing more than a transubstantiated manifestation of the party spirit. The party whip is a natural result of party politics and would occur regardless as to whether it happened overtly or covertly. Politicians are attracted to parties because of the strength that a single-minded group can manifest. Afterall, there's safety in numbers and power in their actions.

I'm all for single-minded group manifestations and dynamics. However, within a so-called 'democratic' government, this is a perversion. The group dynamic should be a manifestation of the voters with the resulting government composing of a representative group individually carrying out their mandated duties. The single-mindedness should only arise in those charged with carrying out the orders of the government, ie. the civil service and others of that ilk.

On top of my reservations, I think that attempting to outlaw this would run aground via the law. The Constitution does not make a provision for party whips and neither does it outlaw them. To challenge the system one would have to suggest that voters do not have the right to elect a government such as the one we have now. Deep pockets would be required and I'm not sure it'd be possible to win.

To me, the way to end party politics would be to convince the voting public of the evils of the political party system. Not an easy task either, to put it mildly. It would be fair to say though, that now is a great time to start, what with the proverbial crap hitting the fan. Debate this topic at a national level and the party system can be ended. Just talk to people about it, if it's as important an issue as I believe it to be it will take on a life of its own, let the cards fall where they may. No expense, no court. Tis an argument that anyone can take part in, even children - especially children.

I don't think there are many countries in which a debate like this could take place, and its says something about our history and how recently the state was formed as a Republic with a notion of equality of citizens - also, how power and wealth are still to some extent seen as an "other" outside of the Irish political entity.

Imo political parties represent distinct social classes, that have real, distinct and often conflicting interests. In the last ten years we've seen, masked under rising productivity and boom, much increased social division, with formation of an upper wealthy strata that has control over substantial wealth and assets and has easy access to politicians. Declan Ganley, who has bought is way into political influence, is the extreme example of this. Fianna Fail has much more been absorbed by this class than was the case before and I think the disastrous budget was a symptom of that.

The PDs, Libertas and Fianna Fail were/are the parties of big money - Fine Gael, big farmers - old business Labour - the working class. The Greens are drifting fast to the right and SF is too.
The Irish situation is certainly much less clear than it is in most countries, that have parties of the left, centre and right, without the overlapping and fuzzy edges we have here, but at the bottom of it all, there are class interests.
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PostSubject: Re: The Party System Must Go ( Split from Nominations Thread)   Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:34 pm

Hermes wrote:
Nice to see this topic in a thread of its own.

I'd like to see the party whip entity buried. I echo Ibis' and the sentiments of others expressed about the insidiousness of this mechanism. I must confess though, that I'm unsure if the results of outlawing it would prove effective or even useful. It seems to be a case of the 'tail wagging the dog.' A party whip is nothing more than a transubstantiated manifestation of the party spirit. The party whip is a natural result of party politics and would occur regardless as to whether it happened overtly or covertly. Politicians are attracted to parties because of the strength that a single-minded group can manifest. Afterall, there's safety in numbers and power in their actions.

I'm all for single-minded group manifestations and dynamics. However, within a so-called 'democratic' government, this is a perversion. The group dynamic should be a manifestation of the voters with the resulting government composing of a representative group individually carrying out their mandated duties. The single-mindedness should only arise in those charged with carrying out the orders of the government, ie. the civil service and others of that ilk.

On top of my reservations, I think that attempting to outlaw this would run aground via the law. The Constitution does not make a provision for party whips and neither does it outlaw them. To challenge the system one would have to suggest that voters do not have the right to elect a government such as the one we have now. Deep pockets would be required and I'm not sure it'd be possible to win.

To me, the way to end party politics would be to convince the voting public of the evils of the political party system. Not an easy task either, to put it mildly. It would be fair to say though, that now is a great time to start, what with the proverbial crap hitting the fan. Debate this topic at a national level and the party system can be ended. Just talk to people about it, if it's as important an issue as I believe it to be it will take on a life of its own, let the cards fall where they may. No expense, no court. Tis an argument that anyone can take part in, even children - especially children.

Well in America there is a whip system but the interests of the executive and the legislature do not always coincide because both are elected separately. The whip in congress does not compel the president to vote as to the wishes of the minority or majority leaders nor vice versa. With separation of powers the whip does not have such power.

I dislike the whip but I would be against outlawing it. I would attempt to make it less relevant by creating separation of powers between the execuctive and the legislature.
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