Vote Labour, Get a Free Sinn Fein Senator
The Seanad election is a joke, and Councillors are ignoring their public mandates. When people voted for the Green Party in 2004, they did not think they were voting to elect Fianna Fáil Senators. And when people voted for the Labour Party in 2004, they did not think they were voting to elect a Sinn Féin Senator. >>>
The Green Party leadership is refusing to allow its Councillors to talk about its voting pact with Fianna Fáil. After failing in a bid to monitor Councillors’ votes before they were cast, the leadership it now using emotional blackmail to keep them in line, threatening that Green Party staff will lose their jobs unless Green Party Councillors vote for Fianna Fáil Senators.
Party resources are allocated based on the number of TDs and Senators who are not Ministers, and a private email to Green Councillors says:
Three of our TDs now hold Ministerial office, leaving three others. So our resources may be cut in half unless we get these Seanad seats. By resources I mean staff and office space. It is important that everyone appreciates the full implications of this deal falling apart. Obviously this is a sensitive point, especially for members of staff, so please treat this information as confidential.
The Labour Party is on the brink of agreeing a deal to help elect a Sinn Féin Senator. A party spokesperson justifies this by saying that:
There has always been horse-trading in Seanad elections, and there is no objection in principle to a deal with Sinn Féin.
Well, presumably there is no objection from Joe Costello, who is directing the Seanad election campaign for the Labour Party. Costello was one of the TDs who tried to go to Columbia to visit the Birdwatching Three, before Pat Rabbitte told him to focus on issues closer to home.
The Seanad Generally
Of course, the Seanad election is a joke for many more reasons than the above. It is an inherently elitist and undemocratic election, and the Seanad should either be reformed completely or else abolished.
But, while we are waiting for that to happen, it would be nice if local Councillors voted on the basis of the mandates that they sought from the people.