Constituency Review Submission from Cathal Melinn
Submission ID: S202
This is my observation on the electoral system.
It is possible to maintain the number of TDs to the max level outlined in the constitution with the creation of regional parliaments for Dublin, Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster.
These regional parliaments would be separate to the Dail but they are answerable to the Dail and to national policy guidelines. This approach allows for delegation of workload and more regional specific decisions to a regional Governor and local elected representatives and not the Dail.
The existing number of TDs can represent their constituency in a strategic way on a national level but administrative powers for budgeting, commissioning housing/infrastructure, planning and local laws are done through regional parliaments.
TDs should be focused on the strategic direction of the county and local parliamentarians can manage their local districts and execute plans. This methodology allows us to maintain the level of TDs on a national level, while day-to-day running of the regions are done locally.
It is not possible to scale the productivity of elected reps if the huge workload for local issues like housing and health etc is tackled on a TD level – there’s too much work to do and it needs to be delegated and executed by local reps.
Likewise, it’s not possible to think strategically on a national level if TDs are focused on the day to day issues of their constituency like road repairs and cutting the grass in parks, they need to think about the bigger picture to guide the country.
The current centralised system is not scalable and TDs are too stretched so nothing gets done, this is an opportunity to adopt a decision making framework by drawing on what works well in similar sized countries like Austria or Switzerland and moving away from the ineffective UK style of centralised government.