Election Day in Ireland (local, European and Referendum) is just over a week away and as the polling cards are delivered the hope is that most people will find a way to use them instead of chucking them away.
Article by Sean Murray in Journal.ie on Sunday, May 12, 2019
‘Ireland is set to choose 949 councillors – but what powers do they have in the current ‘weak’ system?‘
The flat rate for councillors is €17,000 per annum – as it’s technically seen as a “part-time job”…
The lowest paid chief executive, on the other hand, is paid €128,000 a year. In Dublin City Council, the chief executive is paid €182,000 a year.
In my own local council ward, the turnout for the last local election was just 43.27%.
In an ideal world, I’d like that to be in the nineties. In a more realistic world, I’d be happy enough with low seventies. But less than half just isn’t good enough.
Most blame the politicians themselves and with good reason, but that said, it doesn’t take a lot to get yourself informed, even at this late stage.
I have received leaflets for all candidates running for both council and Europe, plus the referendum commission sent one explaining the divorce amendment being proposed.
On the council itself, one thing many could find off-putting is that it’s not exactly common knowledge what exactly the city and county councils actually do.
I have been planning to research an explainer article for this blog for weeks but sadly other online commitments had me kicking the can down the road, something for which politicians themselves are often accused. Thankfully The Journal has gone and done it for me.
What I find most interesting is the way the role ‘City Manager’ was rebranded as ‘Chief Executive’ to make it more appealing. Such is the corporate nature of modern day Ireland.
Also it bothers me that the area known as Drimnagh, where I live, is split between two different council wards ‘Ballyfermot/Drimnagh’ and ‘Crumlin Kimmage’.
In an electoral system that has multiple councillors for each ward, I don’t understand why B/D gets 5 and C/K 6 when the areas could easily be broken down into the villages themselves with just 3 or 4 councillors for each area.
But those are just my personal ‘top-line’ concerns – once the overall turnout at least improves next week I’ll be reasonably happy.