Saturday, May 09, 2009

Choice in Dublin Bye Elections on June 5th: Crony Ireland or New Ireland

There is no better illustration of the stark choice facing the Irish electorate, than the forthcoming Dublin bye elections on June 5th.

I have recently written how the Irish and Japanese systems have many similarities.

They both have a dominant political party which has ruled for decades.

Nepotism is a strong characteristic of both systems and the dominant parties have strong links with their construction sectors.

This week the governing Fianna Fáil Party, selected the 72-year Maurice Ahern to stand in the Dublin Central constituency and 35-year old Shay Brennan to stand in the Dublin South constituency.

Ahern wishes to join his brother former Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Bertie and another brother Noel in the Dáil (Lower House of Parliament ) while Shay Brennan wants to inherit his late father's seat as did current Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Mary Coughlan and Minister for Finance Brian Cowen.

Days after Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said he needed to retain his teaching job after 20 years on leave and prevent another person having a full-time job, because the job of a TD is "precarious," George Lee, the economics editor at the State broadcaster RTÉ, decided to run for the main Opposition party, Fine Gael, in Dublin South.

Lee had become a household name for his warnings of risk and bad policy making during the runaway property boom and the wreckage in recent time, left by the bust.

Ireland desperately needs hope of change from the current motley cocktail of teachers, auctioneers, small-town solicitors and farmers, who preside over a broken political system.

George Lee has left a secure job behind and Ireland needs more like him.

It's laughable that teacher and minister Micheál Martin had charge of enterprise policy when he encouraged entrepreneurs to take risks.

We need to leave behind the "bogman" politics and build a modern democracy with people of ability taking risks in politics and business.

I took risks myself in becoming a business entrepreneur and I applaud George Lee for his decision.

New approach needed to fix broken Irish political system

Ireland and Japan; the Human Cost of broken political systems