Local politics is of real value
In relation to Dan O’Brien’s article, under the headline ‘Way we elect our TDs must change if we want an end to weak, sluggish government’
(Irish Independent, September 14), I find it difficult to comprehend how an invigoration of political parties will enhance Irish government: the parties are all on the soft centre and those that are not are moving in that direction.
There is a sullen antipathy to political parties in Ireland, all over Europe and in the United States.
I canvassed for some years and am uncomfortably aware that ordinary electors have little interest in national and international affairs. The intractability of this tendency would defy constitutional changes to the electoral system.
The localism that is so derided nowadays may be the only cement holding the Irish political system together as a relatively coherent and stable entity as it affords a degree of natural political legitimacy.
It is difficult to grasp that one half of the public representatives of a political party would undertake arduous and tedious constituency work, while the other half would not have to do so, nor would they have to secure election and they would have much better access to ministerial promotion.
I am nigh on dismayed at the prospect of the leadership of political parties selecting half of their public representatives.
We have been told many things, such as that water charges and taxes on households would create wonderful results.
New ideas, imported ones and glossy ones – ever the basis of reform – often deliver little but new sources of confusion and mayhem. Tom McDonald Enniscorthy, Co Wexford