Vote for Eric!

3 February, 2011

I see from this morning’s paper that at least one candidate in the general election has had the good sense (?) to adopt my somewhat unusual political manifesto, which I set out in a post last September (link), and which I repeat here:

  1. I will not put purely local constituency interests before national interests.
  2. I will not help you to jump a queue for spurious reasons.
  3. I will not help you get something to which you are not in principle entitled.
  4. I will not hold “clinics” – here are my contact details – please make an appointment to see me, or send me an email,  if it’s important.
  5. If you want assistance on a purely local government matter, well here’s a list of all the local government representatives.  Don’t bother me about it…..
  6. I will not support any Government measure which will increase expenditure significantly, unless it is clear where the extra taxation will come from.
  7. I will not claim for reimbursement of any unvouched expenses.
  8. I will publish online all the expenses I have claimed.
  9. I will not go to your funeral (or that of any member of your family) unless I actually know and like you.
  10. I will not perform the opening ceremony for your shop/pub/hairdressing business/laundry/….
  11. If you break the law, I will not plead with the Minister, or with officialdom, for clemency
  12. I will not accept additional payment for serving on any Oireachtas committee.
  13. I will spend almost all my available time on legislative and parliamentary matters.

 According to The Irish Times,

Eric Coyle-Higgins, an Independent candidate in Kildare North, has made a bold election pledge.   “I promise never to attend a funeral, save where the deceased was personally known to me.”   But that’s not his only electoral promise by any means. He also pledges “never to call to constituents’ doors seeking their votes” or to hold traditional party clinics.   He continues: “I promise never to accept so much as a single cent in travel expenses . . . or to pursue the interests of Kildare North with indifference to the overall national interests . . . or to otherwise engage in political gombeenism”.

Well done, Eric.  That’s putting it up to the voters, who keep screaming that crap politicians get elected to Dáil Éireann, but who insist on electing those same crap politicians because “they are good for the constituency”. 

It should be interesting to watch –  I just wish I had a vote in Kildare North.  But I’m not holding my breath: I fear local gombeenism will continue to triumph over national issues, because it will take a change to our electoral system to make any appreciable difference.


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