Constituency Review Submission from Thomas J Cassidy
Thomas J Cassidy
Submission ID: S70
National Issues, European Constituencies - South, European Constituencies - Midlands-North-West, European Constituencies - Dublin
European Parliament & Dail Constituency Review.
I am writing to you in response to your newspaper invitation and ask you to consider my observations herewith to support your recommendations.
The Dail and Senate. You indicate that there may be an additional 10 + members to comply with the Constitution and Electoral Reform Act based on population ratio / members.
- Additional members & support staff (Expenses/Pensions) Excluding: Office accommodation and Services will cost minimum of 20 Million
- At the establishment of this State 100 years ago we had a train network to Dublin. No mobile phones/fax/text. News from Kerry took days to reach Dublin. Now, with networks, it takes split seconds. Now no internal flights to Dublin. Members now have drivers, state cars, their IPads and secretarial assistants.
- Is it not time that the ratio Members to Population be adjusted in the Constitution to reflect a new productivity by Members (Incl. Seanad Eireann system)
Watching TV Dail Debates hardly 20% of TD’s are in attendance, except, when there are ‘votes of confidence’ Reflects Members thoughts – the next election/will I be successful!
- Ministers have an army of Civil Servants and Special Advisors (are they justified?) We thought the Civil Service supported and advised the Government, as they think appropriate, within regulations and budget.
Now Citizens Advice Committees make the hard decisions that are passed over from a Government Minister to solve difficult / contrarious topics.
- How do our Parliament Member numbers compare, member/ population/wise with: Counterparts eg. NI and UK & Holland; Dublin and Birmingham?
- We must be competitive to exist. Comparisons will support changes you propose.
- Some years ago Minister Phil Hogan for Local Government rationalised a number of Counties (e.g. Tipperary North & South Riding; Limerick City and County) and pensioned off Councillors. Could county Amalgamation be part of your brief? If not, why not recommend and help the Ministers to make these hard decisions?
Example does County Louth need to reflect Waterford or Cork administrations? Amalgamate where appropriate to population area/ constituency configuration.
Dublin has many boroughs Fingal, Dunlaoghaire etc are they really necessary?
- Finally, Members Service Terms, be for a maximum of Ten Years to introduce new blood and experience. Again this may require a change to the Constitution.
The European Parliament. Addition of two MEP’s seems appropriate to match other EEC members states. Brussels Headquarters should be the only centre, stop shuttling back and forth to Strasburg.Remember Climate emmissions!
Thomas J Cassidy