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Independents in Ireland Dare not Speak their Name

category national | elections / politics | news report author Wednesday April 23, 2014 17:33author by Justin Morahan Report this post to the editors

Government says: We decide what to call you

There can be no Independents listed on Irish ballot papers although they are coming in at over 20% in the polls

On the 16 April 2014, an Independent TD, Catherine Murphy, tried to get the Government to agree that Independent candidates in Irish elections would be allowed to describe themselves as "Independent" on the ballot paper. She failed in her efforts. Minister Alex White (Labour) read out a most unconvincing Civil Servant's set of reasons for this decision. Independents in Ireland will therefore continue to be described in the upcoming local and European elections as "Non-Party".

The term "Non-Party" sounds negative, is negative and can give an impression that a candidate would like to be in a party but can't make it.
It also conjures up images of someone who is against everything and for nothing. The opposite is most often the truth.

In the present Dáil, Independent TDs (along with a few notable party members), are by a long shot the outstanding performers. Independents are scoring highly in the polls. Interestingly, the polls describe them as "Independents", not "Non-Party".

The Government parties of Fine Gael and Labour may well be afraid that a new breed of TDs who put their country before party may infest the next Dáil with integrity and non-corruption.

And how horrible it would be if, after achieving power, they were to insist that in future elections all candidates who belong to parties be henceforth described as "Non-Independents" on future ballot papers.

An equitable quid pro quo?

author by Tpublication date Wed Apr 23, 2014 23:19Report this post to the editors

The attached image here illustrates what is meant in the above article and it is a good point too.

And the link below has some good discussion on the nature of independents in an election system in terms of effects and influence

Image of ballot paper with independents indicated as "Non Party"
Image of ballot paper with independents indicated as "Non Party"

Related Link: http://independentforum.wordpress.com/dail/
author by seanorpublication date Sat May 17, 2014 10:54Report this post to the editors

A list, on the web, of each independent candidate, where/what position (EU or local) they're standing for, and WHAT they stand for on different issues would be useful. There are some I wouldn't want to vote for because they don't represent my views on, for example, abortion law. There are others in my area who may represent things I agree with, or not, but it's difficult to tell.

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