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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week December 30, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

An end of year attack on the PR system in the Sindo. And it’s not Eoghan Harris.

Think of all the quality Irish minds that have seriously struggled over the years to make up a miserable quota at a general election and then to defend it next time round.

Conor Cruise O’Brien, Michael McDowell, Dick Spring and even John Bruton in 1992 all either barely managed to hang on in the Dail or lost their seats over local issues on various occasions.

No mature democracy can be proud of the fact that people as smart and original as these found the PR ride so excruciating.

Any article about democracy that ends by quoting Edmund Burke – democracy’s most ferocious enemy in his time – ought to be satire. But unfortunately not.


1. ivorthorne - December 30, 2012

That list sounds like a dream panel for Marian Finucaine.


EamonnCork - December 31, 2012

It sounds like one of those riddles where you have a gun and only three bullets.


ejh - December 31, 2012

Funny, I was thinking of just that riddle the other day, in connection with Olli Rehn, Christine Lagarde and Mario Draghi.


2. ejh - December 30, 2012

Good Lord, people lost their seats over local issues. In a democracy and all. Whatever next.


3. gfmurphy101 - December 30, 2012

“Smart and original” alright……what was it McDowell said about ‘inequality and society’ ???


4. Hank Tree - December 30, 2012

“Conor Cruise O’Brien, Michael McDowell, Dick Spring and even John Bruton…”

So…constitutional amendment ironcladding PR and extending it even further?


WorldbyStorm - December 30, 2012



5. doctorfive - December 30, 2012

‘Criminal Madness’ – Irish Independent. Thursday, 4th May 1916


“Let us, in God’s name be done with revolution or thought of revolution in Ireland, whatever be its guise or pretext”


6. smiffy - December 30, 2012

Michael McDowell lost his seat on ‘local issues’? Hmmmm.

While it may not be officially by Eoghan Harris, it kind of is, as well. Monkey rather than organ grinder.


WorldbyStorm - December 30, 2012

Yes, it would be interesting to hear that particular ‘theory’ about local issues doing McDowell in expanded upon.


Michael Carley - December 30, 2012

Not hardly:

But while Tip O Neill famously said all politics is local, the truth is that all politics is personal.



CL - December 30, 2012

‘McDonald shows that one of Bertie Ahern’s many achievements was to finish off Sinn Fein’s southern ambitions at the General election of 2007.’-Eoghan Harris, in column cited above. A little premature perhaps.


7. Michael Carley - December 30, 2012

And he has this:

After all, no one dreamt of discovering a line of longitude by the vote of a majority.

Actually, the reference point for longitude (Greenwich) was decided by brute power.


8. paul - December 30, 2012

surely it’s poor form for us to be quibbling about a few trivial inconsistencies with the paper’s world view when we have just been informed about the end of the recession. Austerity worked!

‘Property and retail, triumph of hope after 5 years of woe’


9. James Cussen - December 30, 2012

What’s worse is that Shane McEntee’s death was used *again* as a jump-off point for an author with an ulterior motive.

John Paul is the joke of the UCC History department, as it happens. That Hobsbawm ‘obituary’ of his a few weeks ago gives you an idea.


10. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - December 30, 2012

McCarthy is at one with Fianna Fail on this. FF governments tried to get rid of PR twice, once in the late 1950s and again in 1968. At that time getting rid of PR would have given FF a massive majority.


11. doctorfive - December 30, 2012

Martin McGuinness has resigned his Westminster seat. The other McGuinness, Mairead is tipped to run in Meath East.


Tomboktu - December 31, 2012

Wonder will they try putting him through the silly hoop of applying for one of those two Crown Stewardships.


12. Backhand - December 30, 2012

Isn’t it at least worth noting who brought PR to Ireland, and why? And asking why they never adopted it in their own country?


BarneyG - December 31, 2012

No, no, because the question was asked in the Sunday Independent and therefore ipso facto must be stupid.

Now, If the article had been written in the Irish Times, it might at least be considered on its own terms.


WorldbyStorm - December 31, 2012

But BarneyG, that wasn’t a question asked in the Independent article, indeed from the off, albeit with a bit of cosmetic hand waving, the assumption was ipso facto that PR is a problem. As to the question whether PR because it was an artefact of the post British dispensation indicates some malign property I cannot answer, though it seems unlikely. But of course there’s a huge logical flaw at the heart of the original article. Two of those who he cites as being held hostage to it represented minor political parties and if we look at the UK experience we can see how those beyond LP and Tory have generally fared. Poorly being the answer.

As for the IT getting a better hearing take a look at the site and you’ll see how much regard that paper is held in.


WorldbyStorm - December 31, 2012

And we can throw Spring in with CCOB and McDowell although its almost entirely pointless because in a Free STate/Eire/RoI using FPTP the history would have been significantly different and the one time the proposal was put to the vote it was decisively defeated.


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