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Thread: Parish Pump Politics: Do TDs and their staff need a code of conduct?

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    Default Parish Pump Politics: Do TDs and their staff need a code of conduct?

    Parish Pump Politics: Do TDs and their staff need a code of conduct?

    The function of TDs is to elect a government, hold it to account, sit on committees and pass legislation. However a TD who confines him/herself to that risks not being re-elected. It appears that many letters from constituents are acknowledged and passed on to the appropriate minister, department, or other recipient without too much regard for the probity, morality, or the law (eg data protection, equal status, law on contempt). What can be done?

    Do TDs need to draw up a voluntary code for constituency letters
    - saying "sorry I can't help you" is permissible and to be encouraged
    - the TD takes responsibility for every letter not a staffer
    - just as you cannot write to the DPP, they should agree (or prohibit by similar legislation) to not getting involved in civil cases, social welfare appeals, planning appeals, medical card applications
    - do not breach data protection legislation to have a family denied their statutory rights
    - do not write to judges or interfere with cases (except on criminal sentencing if they actually know the accused and limit it to character reference to be used in open court - as was the norm)
    And
    - do not name parties in a family law dispute.

    http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice...-law-case.html

    Kenny asks Shatter to meddle in family case - National News - Independent.ie

    Phil Hogan rejects racism claim over Traveller housing letter - RT News

    Molloy's fate in doubt over rape trial gaffe - National News - Independent.ie

    http://www.politics.ie/forum/green-p...ter-garda.html

    An attempt was made by an independent senator to prevent character references from public reps being used in court. The bill went too far but should a voluntary code of conduct take its place?
    Government to block “bizarre proposal” restricting lobbying of judges

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    The 'Code of Conduct' could be produced by the SF print shop in Leinster House.

    Tiocfaidh Olivetti.
    Heaven and Earth Meet in the Human Heart!

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    Politics.ie Member greengoose2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radix View Post
    The 'Code of Conduct' could be produced by the SF print shop in Leinster House.

    Tiocfaidh Olivetti.
    Airing your moronic attitude in public only draws scorn on you! It is becoming tiresome at this stage and merely illustrates how shallow you are.

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    Politics.ie Member Dan_Murphy's Avatar
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    It cannot be a voluntary code, we all know how some morons loves their parish pump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Murphy View Post
    It cannot be a voluntary code, we all know how some morons loves their parish pump.
    Given the zeal with which they tried to expand their powers to conduct quasi-judicial investigations do you really think that they will pass legislation by which they will be held accountable? (Even the prohibition against contacting the DPP has no sanction for doing so).

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    Politics.ie Member wombat's Avatar
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    Not a hope in hell. Most TDs lose their seats to a member of their own party who has built up a reputation as a great man for getting things done.
    Beer is proof that God loves us - Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat View Post
    Not a hope in hell. Most TDs lose their seats to a member of their own party who has built up a reputation as a great man for getting things done.
    But if everyone does it; where's the advantage? (And if all are barred* from doing so, where's the disadvantage?)


    *with an oireachtas committee having the right to sanction TDs for breaches of the code.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Con Gallagher View Post
    But if everyone does it; where's the advantage? (And if all are barred* from doing so, where's the disadvantage?)


    *with an oireachtas committee having the right to sanction TDs for breaches of the code.
    And how will said Oireachtas committee sanction the aspiring TDs who will be working the parish pump and taking the seats off the sitting ones (who will presumably be sitting on said committee until they lose their seats).

    The reality is if you don't do the parish pump stuff you will in most instances lose your seat, the exception being where you have a very high national profile.

    I don't like it any more than you do, but it is reality and I can't see any way of actually changing it as it is ingrained in the culture of the Irish electorate. Blame the electorate and not the TD who is only doing what it actually takes to get elected in this country.
    "If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radix View Post
    The 'Code of Conduct' could be produced by the SF print shop in Leinster House.

    Tiocfaidh Olivetti.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tea Party Patriot View Post
    And how will said Oireachtas committee sanction the aspiring TDs who will be working the parish pump and taking the seats off the sitting ones (who will presumably be sitting on said committee until they lose their seats).

    The reality is if you don't do the parish pump stuff you will in most instances lose your seat, the exception being where you have a massive national profile.
    Councils can adopt similar standards (with the exception that they are expected to concentrate on local issues). I cannot see any justification for a TD interfering in a court case or statutory entitlement (either the applicant is entitled to a medical card or they are not).
    A better funded Citizens Advice bureau would be a good start, as would larger constituencies.

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