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Thread: How much of our political discussion is based on ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and ‘faraway hills are greener’?

  1. #1

    Default How much of our political discussion is based on ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and ‘faraway hills are greener’?

    First of all, there is no doubt that there are many political problems in this country that need addressing as regards how our political system works.

    But the commentary, be it in the media or in online discussion, seems to focus on many of them as being distinctly Irish problems, whereas if you watch/read much foreign media you gradually see them complaining about exactly the same thing i.e.

    - “We’re not a proper democracy/republic, but you know who is, country X is a beacon of what we should be!”
    - “X% of our electorate are dumb and will vote for X party candidates no matter what.”
    - “People complain about the politicians we have, yet re-elect the bulk of them everytime.”
    - “Our population is so apathetic and don’t engage in the political process enough.”
    - Various other complaints about the electorate (or a large section of them) being idiots or clueless in some shape or form.

    We complain about parish-pump Irish politics, yet it was an American politician who coined the phrase “All politics is local”.

    Another example that springs to mind is how commentators in Ireland love to say how boring the debate and nature of discussions in the Dáil is, then one day Paul Gogarty says the word ‘******************************’ in the chamber, it goes viral and the international media is all over Ireland saying “Wow, look at this, their parliament seems so much more lively and energetic than ours!”



    So what do people think? Are we correct in thinking that all our political problems are distinctly ours alone?

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Such a great clip.

    The Aussie politician breaking into song is up there with it.

    http://www.politics.ie/forum/politic...-x-factor.html

    Where we differ from other countries I reckon is how we react to e.g. a Minister in government appearing in Stubbs Gazette resulting from breaching a High Court order. In the States, U.K. or Germany, the politician would at the very least have stood down until personal affairs were sorted.
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ger12 View Post

    Where we differ from other countries I reckon is how we react to e.g. a Minister in government appearing in Stubbs Gazette resulting from breaching a High Court order. In the States, U.K. or Germany, the politician would at the very least have stood down until personal affairs were sorted.
    But there again, an assumption is being made about other countries. While there are no doubt prominent examples from other countries of prominent politicians doing so, why do we assume they all do? Did Tony Blair/George Bush even get near resigning over starting an illegal war in Iraq based on a lie, in which hundreds of thousands of people died? Seems a hell of a lot more serious than anything John O'Donghue ever did with his expenses, over which he resigned as Ceann Comhairle. And how much did Silvio Berlusconi have to get up to before they finally gave him the push?

    We tend to seize on examples that suit our world-view or agenda and assume that the individual examples we notice are always par for the course in other countries. Someone from abroad could observe, say, the resignation of Trevor Sargent as junior minister in 2010 for writing an inappropriate letter about a court case, and assume that that's how the political system works in Ireland, but it clearly doesn't to anyone living here.

    Lots of people in Ireland like to assume that Ireland is the most corrupt country on earth, but a quick look at the statistics by prominent international organisations that study these things in depth give a different picture. In the 2010 corruption index by Tranparency International, Ireland was ahead of Germany! http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/i...ex-479185.html
    Last edited by Evil Eco-Fascist; 8th November 2012 at 01:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Eco-Fascist View Post
    But there again, an assumption is being made about other countries. While there are no doubt prominent examples from other countries of prominent politicians doing so, why do we assume they all do? Did Tony Blair/George Bush even get near resigning over starting an illegal war in Iraq based on a lie, in which hundreds of thousands of people died? Seems a hell of a lot more serious than anything John O'Donghue ever did with his expenses, over which he resigned as Ceann Comhairle. And how much did Silvio Berlusconi have to get up to before they finally gave him the push?

    We tend to seize on examples that suit our world-view or agenda and assume that the individual examples we notice are always par for the course in other countries. Someone from abroad could observe, say, the resignation of Trevor Sargent as junior minister in 2010 for writing an inappropriate letter about a court case, and assume that that's how the political system works in Ireland, but it clearly doesn't to anyone living here.

    Lots of people in Ireland like to assume that Ireland is the most corrupt country on earth, but a quick look at the statistics by prominent international organisations that study these things in depth give a different picture. In the 2010 corruption index by Tranparency International, Ireland was ahead of Germany! Ireland 14th in corruption index | BreakingNews.ie
    George and Tony got away with it as it was after the fact when their bogus rationale for war was exposed. The Bull resigned because what he did was unbecoming of his position. Same for Mr Sargent. Politicians who ride out the storm damage their political parties and their position. Yet Mr Lowery continues to be allowed stand for public office. The Italians are growing as a nation with Berlusconi having to face the consequence of his tax evasion, unable to avoid having to because of his position.

    The stat you quote measures how corrupt international business leaders and academics perceive a country’s public sector. Having the Mahon and Moriarty Reports in the public domain now and judging by the current governments idea of openness and transparency, i'd say that belief was way off the mark.

    Interesting info from Transparency Ireland recently.
    Planning group examines potential fraud cases - RT News
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    Politics.ie Member cuiseogach's Avatar
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    Which reminds me .. at least Gogarty was honest... he did say that he was 10% gay or something like that once didn't he? A couple of others have come out too, I know, but.. but but but....
    Níl tairbhe sa tseanchas
    Nuair a bhíonn an anachain déanta

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    Politics.ie Member Schomberg's Avatar
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    You'd be making the mistake of thinking this doesn't go on everywhere. Does it make it right? Not always, but Ireland's not unique in looking abroad. There are obviously aspects of other countries that are worth looking at and if possible trying to adopt. Like theres no reason why Irish people should be paying €50 for a two minute GP visit. There's no reason why Irish children can't expect a hot, home cooked meal in school to help combat poor eating and give the brain at that age much needed sustenance while you're learning. There's no reason one parents entire wage should be handed over to a daycare centre just so two parents can't go out and work (or study/retain) to give us a full productive and active society. There's no reason Irish politicians should have the balls to stay around after being found out of dubious practices. Et cetra.
    What have British in Ireland contributed to Ireland? Nothing of the scale that the Irish have contributed to Britain. - Runswithwind.

  7. #7

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    Irish people will vote for who ever will give them something for nothing ,Politicians know this and feed this state dependancy like a crack addict , but its starting to stall , 30-40 years of buying vote and shafting the taxpayer is going tits up.Ireland is in so much debt that they haven't a hope of paying it back and politicians and European ************************************************s are saying they can ,and the party faithfuls actually believe this crapola , but thats Ireland we hate the truth if its going take away something for nothing .

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    Politics.ie Member Asparagus's Avatar
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    We are however undoubtedly upto our necks in hill billy, gombeen, self serving, toss pot Tds.
    Like nowhere else..


    i watched "Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter" last night - as a movie it was more credible than "Bertie Ahern - Tax Payer" or "Enda Kenny - Competant"
    ANGER IS A POLICY, GET OFF YOUR KNEES

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fractional Reserve View Post
    Irish people will vote for who ever will give them something for nothing ,Politicians know this and feed this state dependancy like a crack addict
    Remarkably similar sentiment to this (only of course this man is talking about the US):


  10. #10
    Boggle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fractional Reserve View Post
    Irish people will vote for who ever will give them something for nothing ,Politicians know this and feed this state dependancy like a crack addict , but its starting to stall , 30-40 years of buying vote and shafting the taxpayer is going tits up.Ireland is in so much debt that they haven't a hope of paying it back and politicians and European ************************************************s are saying they can ,and the party faithfuls actually believe this crapola , but thats Ireland we hate the truth if its going take away something for nothing .
    I think the OP's point is that this is not a uniquely Irish thing and that it a problem with many democracies.

    However, there is very few if any that get anything for nothing as we all pay the cost of running this state through taxes (VAT, excise, duty, paye, levies, motortax, tv license). I think when people say get something for nothing they mean want a fairer slice of the pie that is the income generated through and in the state and they are perfectly entitled to want that.

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