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Thread: Leo Varadkar - So what do TD's do?

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    Politics.ie Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Default Leo Varadkar - So what do TD's do?

    I saw this on Leo's blog today and thought it was interesting and a good exercise in transperancy. Basically he lists out how much time he spent on all the various aspects off his job over the course of the month of March.

    I wasn't sure where to put it, but decided on Fine Gael as Leo Varadkar is in Fine Gael.

    The Dáil is back in plenary session on Wednesday. No doubt we will hear all the usual stuff about the politicians coming back from a twelve week summer holiday even though most people know this is not the case. Most of us take a week or two or maybe three in August. Within a few days, people will be pointing out that the Dáil chamber is often empty as if they had no noticed before. However, leaving aside the cynicism, there is a valid question to be answered. If TDs are not in the Dáil Chamber, what are they doing?

    The answer is, I was not sure. So I did a ‘time audit’ in March to find out. At the end of each day I wrote down what I did for each half-hour period. I think March is a good month to pick as the Dail is in session for three weeks and in recess for one. There is also a bank holiday. It is fairly representative of the year.
    The rest and the actual list is available here:
    Leo Varadkar » So What do TDs do?
    "Give us the future, we've had enough of YOUR past, Give us back our country, to live in, to grow in and to love..."

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    The amazing thing about that list is how utterly pointless the overwhelming bulk of it is. Wheels furiously spinning but no movement in any particular direction, lots of dashing about acting busy. How much of it actually served any useful purpose towards the better governance of the country? Maybe the 4.5 hours in Dáil Committees.

    I did however get a real sense Leo himself is torn on this. He is trying to justify the job TDs do and how many hours they spend at it, but his underlying unease with the pointless and trivial nature of what he actually does all day keeps shining through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SideysGhost View Post
    The amazing thing about that list is how utterly pointless the overwhelming bulk of it is. Wheels furiously spinning but no movement in any particular direction, lots of dashing about acting busy. How much of it actually served any useful purpose towards the better governance of the country? Maybe the 4.5 hours in Dáil Committees.

    I did however get a real sense Leo himself is torn on this. He is trying to justify the job TDs do and how many hours they spend at it, but his underlying unease with the pointless and trivial nature of what he actually does all day keeps shining through.
    Leo is also a Doctor, has he stopped "doctoring" ??. I ask so that we can see if he's a part time doc or not. He's never addressed in the media as "Dr.Varadkar". Is he drawing 2 salaries ?.

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    Politics.ie Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SideysGhost View Post
    The amazing thing about that list is how utterly pointless the overwhelming bulk of it is. Wheels furiously spinning but no movement in any particular direction, lots of dashing about acting busy. How much of it actually served any useful purpose towards the better governance of the country? Maybe the 4.5 hours in Dáil Committees.

    I did however get a real sense Leo himself is torn on this. He is trying to justify the job TDs do and how many hours they spend at it, but his underlying unease with the pointless and trivial nature of what he actually does all day keeps shining through.
    How much is even done in Dail Committees? In the end the government will always win out.

    Most of it is done with the aim of getting Fine Gael into government and keeping his seat and in our system for right or wrong, the only politicians who can really do anything to improve our country are Ministers. Government backbenchers can play some role, but it's a very weak one, opposition TDs even high ranking ones like Varadkar can do close to nothing.
    "Give us the future, we've had enough of YOUR past, Give us back our country, to live in, to grow in and to love..."

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    Gimpanzee
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    Fair play to him - very worthwhile exercise. But he's hardly representative . Would be worth having a few others from rural constituencies or the smaller cities to give a better feel for what they do.

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    Politics.ie Member adamirer's Avatar
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    Interesting piece. Be interesting to see other TDs do this too, as a study - as long as they don't inflate certain figures to appear 'better' than others.

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    Politics.ie Member Libero's Avatar
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    3.5% of his time on the canvass?

    0 hours at clinics or funerals?

    Leo is practically a philosopher king of Irish politics.

    Fair play to him for keeping the log. It would be interesting to know just what sort of support mechanisms he has in terms of his assistant who handles correspondence, constituency helpers, etc.

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    Politics.ie Member libertarian-right's Avatar
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    Willie O'Dea

    I work flat out I do, working at least 400 hours a week.

    De Medja (80 Hours 20%)

    Shure it involves talkin', yabbin' and flabbin' the ear off me local press plebs. I throw in loads of fine full sentences and they add in the

    full stops for me. I usually forget what I say to them the minute I drink me milk before bed time that night.

    Houndin' the opposition (80 Hours 20%)

    I lurve a good old brawl with them feckin' blueshirts. Those shinners aswell, cant stand em shouting the rebel songs in da local.

    Beatin' da BEJAYSUS out of constituency work (160 Hours 40%)

    Funerals, Mary's passport issue, Tom's footpath cracks, Josephine's social welfare push through, me local clinics, me singalongs and me speechs on the roadside. Great craic altogether.

    Dail and dat nonsense (80 Hours 20%)

    Sometimes I haven't a feckin' clue what the bejaysus they ramble on about here.

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    Good for him, very useful.

    An external audit of a couple of dozen TDs selected at random would be even braver! A job for the Comptroller and Auditor General?

    The failure of the Financial Regulator, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Minister for Finance, the Taoiseach and the Cabinet to prevent the Celtic Fire is partly down to TDs running around being busy and not focusing on their key role as legislators.

    See also: Leo Varadkar » Our National Debt on the National Debt.

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    A very honest reresentation. Each TD should provide a similar breakdown for their employer, i.e the electorate.

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