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:
- Are you going to put more funding into primary education, particularly in the area of foreign language teaching and especially in deprived areas?
- 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?
- 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.
- What are your plans for urban development, particularly in the key areas of public transport and funding for same?
- How do you intend to address the next recession, given that economic growth tends to be cyclical?
Pat Phelan asks:
- Why is the whole economy based on construction?
- Why is their no real opposition in Irish politics? (ask the man in the street to name 3 of any parties front bench)
- Why don’t we have investment in people strategy?
- What’s their parties’ position on Bulgarians and Romanians entering Ireland next year?
- What’s their position on social housing?
Richard Waghorne asks:
- Will you support further tax cuts?
- Will you keep Ireland open to the US military?
- Will you insist any new money for the health service be given only in parallel to the introduction of private service provision?
- Do you agree that social partnership needs to be scrapped?
- 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:
- What are you practically doing to encourage decentralisation?
- What are your specific plans to reduce our dependence on oil (no vague claptrap)?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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:
- Are you in favour of ID cards for all citizens?
- Are you in favour of mass surrvelliance of citizens, a la data retention?
- Did you spend the last 30 years justifying murder on the basis that your politics was more important than the dead people’s lives?
- If you were getting my No. 1 preference, who do you think I should give my No. 2 to and why?
- Can you give me an example of an immoral state behaviour, and what you’d do to change it?
Conor Power asks:
- Are you going to lower the legal voting age so I can actually vote?
- What are you going to do to improve Ireland’s stance on broadband, since we are a knowledge based economy after all…
- 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:
- What does your party intend to do to about the difficulties for the average person to get on the property ladder?
- 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?
- How is your party different from all the other parties?
- What steps would you take to stamp out all corruption from your government agencies (planning in particular) and to introduce a more transparent environment?
- Tell me why I shouldn’t emigrate?
Twenty Major asks:
- 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?
- 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?
- Do you think immigrants from non-English speaking countries should be required to take a mandatory course in the basics of the language?
- 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?
- Can you please ban Brian Kennedy, Damien Rice and Ryan Tubridy?
Fiona de Londras asks:
- Are there any parties that you would not go into coalition with and why?
- 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.
- If elected Minister for Justice what constitutional amendments would you like to see introduced?
- What do you believe the role of a parliamentarian is?
Suzy Byrne asks:
- Their views on same sex partnership recognition.
- Should there be a seperation of Church and State in the provision of first and second level education? How would this be achieved?
- Gender equity in sports grants allocations – Why isn’t there an Irish version of Title 9?
- 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.
- 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:
- Why are toll roads becoming more and more common – they are in effect another form of tax on road users?
- 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?
- 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:
- Would their party ever go into a coalition with Sinn Fein?
- What are they intending to do about alternative energy sources such as wind power if they’re elected?
Steven Day asks:
- Will you support the mention of God, in the Christian sense only, in the draft European Constitution?
Sarah Carey asks:
- 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:
- What are you doing to make broadband universally accessible in this area?
- What are you doing to protect my digital rights?
- What are you doing to promote the production of green energy in the locality (wind, biofuels, wood chip, etc)?
- 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:
- Will you go into government with Sinn Fein?
- Are you going to reintroduce college fees?
- Are you going to properly empower local government? Do you believe it should be empowered?
- Why isn’t Ireland’s military properly funded and unable to effectively protect the state with specific regard to airspace?
- Would you go into government with Sinn Fein?
- 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?
- 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?
- Do you believe that Irish neutrality is a good thing?
- 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:
- RTE via Free to Air Satellite (to see their eyes glaze over)
- 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)
- 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)
- How did you and your party vote on the double tax bin charges (to see how good they are at lip sycn lies)
- 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
Stephen Boyce asks:
- Will you do anything to clean up the Civil Service?
- 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?
- 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.
Declan also has some questions.
Laura too has questions.