I have seen, as I'm sure you all have, countless cases of Ministers having secured votes based solely on local issues. The proverbial 'pothole' fixing, the approval/disapproval of a certain development, a promise to secure funding for a local organisation etc. I've seen a serving minister arrive in a pub with a catering van in tow, handing out baskets of cocktail sausages and sandwiches, with a free round of drinks for the locals, followed by a quick tour of the pub asking "Can I get your vote now Johnny?". Inevitably no or few policy questions are ever asked and on the day of the elections the only consideration is "He bought me a pint and a few sausages" so he gets my #1.
This is madness. I'd like your views on whether this could ever be changed? Could a candidate from Cork be forced to run in Dublin (and vice versa) on national interest policies and merit/intelligence/sincerity/track record etc.? A Mayo candidate has to get elected in Meath (and vice versa) etc.
Surely there are enough local councillors (who sadly often get elected the same way) to deal with the local pothole issues. But when it comes to the National Interest and the running of the country for the benefit of the entire population we need a better system?
My understanding is a new Garda cannot serve in his/her local town/area for obvious reasons of potential conflict of interest. Why can't the same ideology be applied when it comes to electing our Government?
Is there a solution to "Parish Pump" Politics?