The Cervical Cancer vote in the Dáil last week saw two on again, off again Fianna Fáil TDs vote completely differently on the matter,
Jim McDaid would not support the Government and abstained from the vote and had these strong words:
“We will pass a death sentence on a certain percentage of the 12-year-old girls whose parents cannot afford the cost of it.
“Is there anyone in this House who would not give the vaccine to their daughters today?” asked Dr McDaid.
He now gets kicked out of Fianna Fáil for a while as a result. Meanwhile, Joe Behan TD who many saw as a man of principle actually voted with Fianna Fáil in support of withdrawing the vaccine:
Mr Behan, who dissented on the medical card issue, has signalled he may be ready to return to the FF fold after he voted with the Government over the vaccine issues and said he backed the broad thrust of policies being pursued by Mr Cowen.
As I keep telling people, the current form of democracy is in dire need of reform. It may be the right form of government, but it is certainly not the best. If you want some good insights into the faults with the current political system, a rather unlikely source offers some good tidbits – Jesse Ventura’s autobiography ‘I Ain’t Got Time To Bleed’ and ‘Do I Stand Alone?’ are both good reads. The fundamental problem is that politics is seen as a career and politician’s sole focus is seen on getting reelected. Whereas all politicians should realise that they started as private citizens and will ultimately return to this fold. Term limits, forcing more people to become engaged with the political process and actually educating people about politics would be a good start.
Term limits … would be a good start.
While term limits seem to work well at an intellectual level, they essentially result in unaccountability as the term limit approaches. If politicians are motivated by re-election, they aim to appease enough of the electorate to be re-elected. By all accounts I’ve read, where there are term limits, politicians aim to use political office to ensure a decent after-career. I’d be interested to know in what countries you believe term limits acutally work in.
Just to clarify that, I’m refering to term limits within the context of parliamentary systems, rather than presidential systems.
An interesting one on term limits is Mary Harney. Still Health Minister yet she has said this is her last Dáil. The public can’t vote her out for anything she does from here on in. Interesting situation that. Surprised the opposition haven’t targeted that. Brian Cowen puts somebody in charge of Health who the public can’t react to next time round.