Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ned O'Keeffe - gombeenism alive & well in irish politics

East Cork Fianna Fail TD Ned O’Keeffe is to be congratulated on the honesty of his stance regarding Rathcormac National School. It is good to see one of our elected representatives publicly demonstrate the type of self-serving gombeenism which many of us have long suspected to be common currency in national and local politics.

Deputy O’Keeffe insisted that this school was not a priority for him, as Rathcormac was not a place where he gained many votes. He knows this from the activities of the much-loved tallymen at the 2007 general election.

Media commentators were virtually unanimous in their condemnation of electronic voting, often on the basis that it would deprive them of several days entertainment at that blood-sport known as “the count”. The inevitable demise of the tallyman was cited as a prime example of the supposedly huge cultural loss entailed in a switch to electronic voting.

How do those commentators now feel about the use to which the tallyman’s work is applied? How do we reform our electoral system to stop gombeen politicians behaving like this in future?

Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Independent & the Irish Examiner.