Questions for the politicians that stop at your door.

I emailed a few irish bloggers asking them to list 1-5 questions they’d ask politicians who knock on their door asking for votes. Not everyone emailed back before this was published so I may add more questions throughout the week.

Treasa Lynch asks:

  1. Are you going to put more funding into primary education, particularly in the area of foreign language teaching and especially in deprived areas?
  2. Do you have a plan to compensate people who are hard hit by a property crash because they overextended themselves by trying to be property investors?
  3. How do you intend to address the fact that women are very poorly covered for pensions, a situation which is exacerbated by the fact that they earn on average less than men in the same jobs, are more likely to be in poorly paid part-time jobs and take long career breaks to care for children or elderly parents? Telling them to save more is a very limited option in many cases because of the less money/less work side of things.
  4. What are your plans for urban development, particularly in the key areas of public transport and funding for same?
  5. How do you intend to address the next recession, given that economic growth tends to be cyclical?

Pat Phelan asks:

  1. Why is the whole economy based on construction?
  2. Why is their no real opposition in Irish politics? (ask the man in the street to name 3 of any parties front bench)
  3. Why don’t we have investment in people strategy?
  4. What’s their parties’ position on Bulgarians and Romanians entering Ireland next year?
  5. What’s their position on social housing?

Richard Waghorne asks:

  1. Will you support further tax cuts?
  2. Will you keep Ireland open to the US military?
  3. Will you insist any new money for the health service be given only in parallel to the introduction of private service provision?
  4. Do you agree that social partnership needs to be scrapped?
  5. Can you promise, with no ifs or buts, that there are no circumstances in which you would enter government with Sinn Fein or govern relying on their votes?

Conor O’Neill asks:

  1. What are you practically doing to encourage decentralisation?
  2. What are your specific plans to reduce our dependence on oil (no vague claptrap)?
  3. When are you going to ban untrained drivers off the roads and put a formal state-directed driver training programme in place that involves qualified instructors, minimum hours, night driving, motorway driving and graphic videos of real drunk driving carnage? Untrained drivers includes everyone in the country who never had to sit a driving test.
  4. What are your specific plans to reduce farmers’ reliance on subsidised commodity goods and move them to higher margin, commercially viable, value-added food production?
  5. How do you intend to address the catastrophic collapse in the numbers of people doing science and engineering at 2nd and 3rd level and the embarassing number of people failing ordinary level maths?

Simon McGarr asks:

  1. Are you in favour of ID cards for all citizens?
  2. Are you in favour of mass surrvelliance of citizens, a la data retention?
  3. Did you spend the last 30 years justifying murder on the basis that your politics was more important than the dead people’s lives?
  4. If you were getting my No. 1 preference, who do you think I should give my No. 2 to and why?
  5. Can you give me an example of an immoral state behaviour, and what you’d do to change it?

Conor Power asks:

  1. Are you going to lower the legal voting age so I can actually vote?
  2. What are you going to do to improve Ireland’s stance on broadband, since we are a knowledge based economy after all…
  3. The current government seems to have an issue with throwing money at projects which don’t work (PPRAS I think is the name) and a Port Tunnel that leaks, will your party be doing the same?

Claire Wilson asks:

  1. What does your party intend to do to about the difficulties for the average person to get on the property ladder?
  2. What plans does your party have to eliminate over-crowding in hospitals? Do they include any initiatives to modernise the way pre-natal care is administered?
  3. How is your party different from all the other parties?
  4. What steps would you take to stamp out all corruption from your government agencies (planning in particular) and to introduce a more transparent environment?
  5. Tell me why I shouldn’t emigrate?

Twenty Major asks:

  1. We all know politicians are shifty, crooked bastards. Voting for one over the other is like being asked to choose between eating dog poo and hippo poo. What makes you less of a shifty, crooked bastard than your rivals?
  2. Do you accept that the toll bridge on the M50 is not only causes massive problems to traffic but that it is also the single biggest rip-off in this country today? Please explain why a private company is creaming up to €30m a week when the road has been paid for many times over. Also, if elected would you campaign to abolish the toll bridge thus freeing up traffic and giving people back hours of their lives every week?
  3. Do you think immigrants from non-English speaking countries should be required to take a mandatory course in the basics of the language?
  4. In Europe you can get beer anywhere. In Ireland we have to go to pubs. Would you stand up to the powerful but massively cunty vintners and introduce the café bar licences that would enable our society and culture to develop? Also, please get rid of the ridiculous closing times for bars and nightclubs, would you?
  5. Can you please ban Brian Kennedy, Damien Rice and Ryan Tubridy?

Fiona de Londras asks:

  1. Are there any parties that you would not go into coalition with and why?
  2. Does your party support same-sex marriage or partnership rights? If so, how high up the negotiation agenda for coalition is it? If not, get away from my house you bigot.
  3. If elected Minister for Justice what constitutional amendments would you like to see introduced?
  4. What do you believe the role of a parliamentarian is?

Suzy Byrne asks:

  1. Their views on same sex partnership recognition.
  2. Should there be a seperation of Church and State in the provision of first and second level education? How would this be achieved?
  3. Gender equity in sports grants allocations – Why isn’t there an Irish version of Title 9?
  4. The Metro in Dublin – doesn’t Dublin and its environs need more buses/trains rather than a lot of holes being built underground in the city centre that will take 15 years to complete.
  5. Reform of the Seanad – talked about so much but nothing done. What are their views on the upper house and its potential in public policy debate?

Curly K asks:

  1. Why are toll roads becoming more and more common – they are in effect another form of tax on road users?
  2. Why has no concerted effort been made to plan new developments properly, insisting on proper social and physical infrastructure (schools, roads etc.) before allowing huge housing estates?
  3. What considerations are now being put in place to avoid problems (such as those experienced in Britain currently) with regard to proper intergration of migrants into Irish society in the future?

Cian Boland asks:

  1. Would their party ever go into a coalition with Sinn Fein?
  2. What are they intending to do about alternative energy sources such as wind power if they’re elected?

Steven Day asks:

  1. Will you support the mention of God, in the Christian sense only, in the draft European Constitution?

Sarah Carey asks:

  1. I think the state should buy the primary schools from the churches and religious education should take place outside schools. Would they support that?

James Corbett asks:

  1. What are you doing to make broadband universally accessible in this area?
  2. What are you doing to protect my digital rights?
  3. What are you doing to promote the production of green energy in the locality (wind, biofuels, wood chip, etc)?
  4. What are you doing regarding the waste situation? Why not attract an incinerator to the locailty and show we’re not nimbies here?

An anon person asks:

  1. Will you go into government with Sinn Fein?
  2. Are you going to reintroduce college fees?
  3. Are you going to properly empower local government? Do you believe it should be empowered?
  4. Why isn’t Ireland’s military properly funded and unable to effectively protect the state with specific regard to airspace?

Auds asks:

  1. Would you go into government with Sinn Fein?
  2. Do you think that the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, set up to reduce abortions, should be funding agencies that do abortion referrals and what other alternatives to abortion are needed?
  3. Whatcha gonna do about the brain drain of Irish doctors abroad for training – a trend set to continue if the EWTD is brought in without increasing training/number consultants?
  4. Do you believe that Irish neutrality is a good thing?
  5. Will you provide more places for the training of Irish doctors so there are more doctors, better service and less hours for junior doctors?

Brian Greene asks:

  1. RTE via Free to Air Satellite (to see their eyes glaze over)
  2. Will you reconstitute your party such that it has a ‘right of recall’ where the electorate can remove a sitting politician for breech of promise or drunk driving etc. (to see the uncomfortable twitch like they really need to take an immediate toilet break and leave my door step)
  3. Will you or your party actively campaign for the closure of Sellafield and not support the nuclear industry by stealth. (to find the PD among them)
  4. How did you and your party vote on the double tax bin charges (to see how good they are at lip sycn lies)
  5. Why is it that a school of over 400 under 12’s only has free psychological assessment for 2 students per year? (becasue its a
    genuine question)

Stephen Boyce asks:

  1. Will you do anything to clean up the Civil Service?
  2. Why can so many incompetent people keep their jobs and instead of being fired for being rubbish they are just moved to the Tax Department?
  3. How is that a department such as the Tax Office can have a 10 week delay in processing peoples claims back but most people only have 2 weeks to pay up to the for anything that they owe?

Keith has a bazillion great questions.

Treasa followed up with more questions too.

Declan also has some questions.

Laura too has questions.

35 Responses to “Questions for the politicians that stop at your door.”

  1. Dave says:

    Compensate people who lose money in property, jesus christ I’ve heard it all now. I lost a few quid gambling at the weekend can I have that refunded to me, and my shares haven’t been doing too well since April, can I have that back too. Christ almighty…

  2. Jack M says:


    1. When are you going to get with the programme on-line?

    a. Need a proper ministry for Compeition and eCommerce (Public Enterprise is ok as a layer of red carpets for US firms)
    b. Reform of national patent policy to foster R&D in Ireland, we are significantly behind other states in Research, Development and Innovation.
    c. Information Society Commission, views?

    2. How will you deal with inflation and the impending property issues as raised by Jean Claude Trichet?
    3. What is you parties national competitiveness policy?
    4. Reformation of court structures how and when?
    5. Citizens rights (same sex marriage and single parent rights, divergent succession rights) what are your positions?
    6. Tax incentives for Bike owners and car pooling?
    7. Statutory rape amendment/s when and how?
    8. Ethics in office, whats your parties policy? Do you agree with TDs taking dope?
    9. Give me a list of the up and coming members of your party? so far I can only spot old fogies with cheap suits and a talent for backing horses.

  3. Steve says:

    Will you do anything to clean up the Civil Service? Why can so many incompentent people keep their jobs and instead of being fired for being rubbish they are just moved to the Tax Department? How is that a department such as the Tax Office can have a 10 week delay in processing peoples claims back but most people only have 2 weeks to pay up to the for anything that they owe?

  4. Evert says:

    “Do you think you can make it out of my gate before before I get the shotgun”?


  5. Fergal says:

    Evert’s is easily the best question so far. I note (not necessarily with disapproval – I share most of the same concerns) that this is an overwhelmingly middle-class list of questions. The social housing question aside, not one question refers to inequality or poverty. Anyway, my one qustion that hasn’t already been covered here is:

    “Are you aware that government agencies are actively creating and exacerbating a child homelessness problem. What do you propose to do about it?”

  6. Suzy says:

    Ah so low/no income lesbian and gay men don’t need protection of their relationships then? And the question Treasa asks about primary school funding? For those who can’t afford cars the provision of proper accessible public transport is vital – food poverty in areas of dublin is exacerbated by the lack of access to transport to shop in cheaper supermarkets. Women working part time have appalling pension coverage, the cleaners, retail workers etc. and not just the yummie mummies.
    Working class families have been dumped out into poorly serviced areas for years and this continues to happen. Read some of the questions again and you might see without the blinkers.

  7. Fergal says:

    Yes, I know, and corruption or environmental issues also affect everyone equally. I was merely noting (clumsily, perhaps) that an explicit reference to poverty/inequality/deprivation/etc seems to have gone out of Irish politics. This may not be a bad thing – framing these issues as ones that effect us all might well have more resonance with the electorate.

  8. Twenty Major says:

    Working class people have to sit in traffic jams on the M50 too, you know.

  9. Twenty Major says:

    It’s just they have worse cars…

  10. Jack M says:

    Twenty they ain’t working hard enough then, are they.

    If Irish people are sitting in the below categories, I contend with vigour that they are dysfunctional in some fashion.

    Most of the below historical definitions of working class are not inhabited by Irish Nationals. (I will forgive barristers and apprentice solicitors in category 1.)

    Key issues in Marxist arguments about working class membership include:

    Those in a temporary or permanent position of unemployment.
    Domestic labourers, particularly the children and traditionally, also the wives of male workers who do not themselves work paying jobs outside the home.
    Whether the term includes ownership of personal property.
    Whether the term includes ownership of housing;
    Whether the term includes self-employment.
    The class position of students in society.
    Part-time workers who also run a retail shop.

    The black economy is alive and well in little old Ireland, and the colour aspect of this comment is not meant as a racist slur.

  11. Simon McGarr says:

    What a facinating list of questions.

    I want to start answering them myself.

  12. […] Last week, Damien Mulley emailed a goodly number of bloggers and asked them for a max of 5 questions they’d like politicians to answer on their door steps. […]

  13. simon says:

    emm interesting

  14. […] Damien did a very interesting exercise today which I recommend having a look at if you have any interest in the future of the country. […]

  15. Look, politicians calling at your doorstep are only there to confirm your vote. If you show the slightest inclination of a desire for debate they’ll run a mile. During an election, one hour spent debating with an ornery voter is 50 other sure things lost because your weren’t on the doorstep.

  16. I don’t agree with Joe Drumgoole. When I lived in Kilkenny, I kept Mairead McGuinness on my stoop until she convinced me that agriculture was not the worst invention made by man.

    And whenever local TD McGuinness or local councillor Malcolm Noonan come a-stumping, it’s the same give-and-take courtesy.

  17. […] Damien has an intersting and expanding survey of the questions for politicians who drop by. Sinn Fein is the recurring theme but there are some pretty tasty questions in there too. Check it out and if you havent already, drop your own questions in. […]

  18. Declan says:

    Unfortunately I have to agree with Joe. Mairead McGuinness is the exception rather than the rule. The majority of politicians dont want to answer questions on doorsteps. They have a schedule to keep for the night and they want to get your housing estate and 5 others done before 10pm. The last thing they want is a politically aware public.

    Perhaps we should freak them out by producing a clipboard at the doorstep with the questions listed and fill it in as each politician comes calling. Inform them that you will be publishing the results each day on your blog and watch the blood drain from their faces 🙂

  19. Damien says:

    If they don’t answer the questions then blog about it. 🙂

    Imagine estates of people with their favourite questions printed off. The politicians would just have to change their ways for their electorate. Why should the electorate have to entertain their schedule?

  20. […] I think that might be one of my questions for polticians. […]

  21. jimbobwalton says:

    how much is now ?

  22. […] Off you go so Michael – there are tonnes of difficult questions waiting to be answered right here. […]

  23. Gary Tayto says:

    God, you irish are obssessed with roads.

  24. […] I’d also like to see campaigns for asking politicians some good questions they can’t worm out of and comparing their answers to their fellow party members of even themselves a few days later. […]

  25. […] Damien Mulley recently asked a series of Irish bloggers to list the questions they would want politicians to answer on the doors. There are some very interesting answers, but little mention of the emerging national crisis on the roads. […]

  26. joemomma says:

    A number of the questions above could be summarised as “Do you agree without equivocation to address the issue that is my personal hobby horse in precisely the manner I specify please answer yes or no?” Such questions are not likely to lead to productive exchanges on the doorstep: the politician will either just lie or write you off as a crank.

    Politicians are supposed to have some imagination, so ask a few leading questions and see where it takes them. One sure-fire way of unsettling a politician is not to reveal where you stand on the issue until they’ve given you their position.

  27. […] Someone has asked for a list of questions to ask candidates for the ever nearing election, while this subject should not be on the top of your list (there are more disturbing inequalities in our little rich country, see my list here) I would ask them this. […]

  28. […] Bertie call the election will ya? The candidates are tired out but Ciaran is getting to see some lovely houses!!! His campaign manager will have him on leash soon though! […]

  29. David Watchorn says:

    Did anyone mention the issue of planning? We are still building at very low densities. Miles and miles of 2 storey semis will just result in more and more sprawl. We need to regulate more and force developers to build at higher densities and provide the proper infrastructure for every new development … Adamstown has done well in living up to some of these requirements, even if the density is not high enough.

  30. squid says:

    Jesus Christ, I have managed to avoid Richard Waghorne’s neocon views for nearly a year, now I feel as though i want to hurl rocks at someone he makes me so angry.

    My whole day is ruined now, possibly the bank holiday too.

  31. How to vote in Irelands General Election

    Ok so the election has been called in Ireland and in 3 weeks time will all be over. Amazingly the placards, handshakes, leaflets, canvassers are out in full swing and this is why I, who is not a scholar of…

  32. […] Mr Embarr has predicted that the election candidates of Dublin North East will not be beating a path to my door for my vote. In our three and a half years living in this area, we have only ever been visited by Larry O’Toole (SF) who has something of a local stronghold. Being the optimistic one in this household and given what is gearing up to be a very hard fought election, I hold that I will get a visit from at least one or two other candidates. And so I will keep track of the flyers I receive and the callers that come knocking. I want to them to call as I want to get my chance to question them. If you are looking for inspiration when facing down your local candidates, check out this good list of questions courtesy of Damien Mulley. […]

  33. […] I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time, particularly since I got an email from William Wall about his Citizen’s Manifesto , and shortly afterwards spotted Damien Mulley’s Questions for the Politicians that stop at your door. Suzy Byrne made a similiar point to my number 1 on Damien’s blog, but I can’t find such a reference on hers. But good to know it’s not just me that thinks Luas sucks the blood from the rest of the transport system. An appointment was cancelled this evening, meaning unexpected spare time, so though it’s a bit late in the day, here goes… […]

  34. Just found this post – slightly late of course but the questions are great and everyone should quizz their local politicians when they turn up at your doorstep!