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Review of Trinity College Seanad Candidates
national | politics / elections | opinion/analysis Wednesday June 13, 2007 13:03 by Bachelor of Arts
11 candidates for 3 seats.
The University of Dublin constituency has 11 candidates and promises to be compeditive. The electorate consists of those with University of Dublin degrees (Trinity College mainly, but also a few DIT & Froebel College). The constituency shows how elitist the Seanad University seats are. Not only do graduates get more representation, but within graduates there is distinction between NUI and TCD and all others. Ballot papers are to be returned by 11am, 24 July 2007.
Ivana Bacik (Labour member): Probably one of the most prominant candiates. Bacik is a member of the Labour Party and was a candidate for Labour in the 2004 European election. Bacik is a former SU president in TCD.
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There was a profile of Ike Efobi in the media in the last couple of weeks. I can't think where but it mentioned that he has been a member of Fianna Fáil in Leixlip for some time and how he got into studying computers in Trinity. He stressed that he is not running on behalf of Fianna Fáil or on their policy platform.
Source for above is an interview in this week's Sunday Tribune available here:
"Although Efobi has been a member of Fianna Fáil for a number of years, first in Trinity and then in the Matt Farrell Cumman in Leixlip, he is standing as an independent candidate for the Seanad election."
Labour/ Labour 'gene pool'
Fianna Fáil / FF 'gene pool'
Dr. Maurice Guéret
David Martin (ASTI union)
David Hutchinson Edgar
Fine Gael 'gene pool'
Ivana Bacik is one of those dangerous self opinionated up starts
she could ru the Su properly
she tried for the E U parliament
she thinks she knows whats best for everyone all over the world
we dont need her moralising about all and sundry - we have good Old Dave Norris for that
ONE IS ENOUGH
It's got to be Norris again for me - the only politician with a real sense of humour (trendy lefties please note).
David Norris has a great sense of humour and while he opposes both US Imperialism and Israeli Zionism that doesnt make him forget about Womens and LGBT rights. David is also a supporter of Hands Off the People of Iraq, which opposes any Imperialist invasion but also supports the Iranian Socialist Opposition against the Iranian Theocratic Government.
David also supports Choice Ireland and will be speaking at the rally on 30 June.
Ivana Bacik is alongtime campaigner for Womans rights: Legalisation of abortion as part of a comprehensive policy to provide full reproductive health services to all women and men,
and for LGBT rights. Ivana also campaigns on Traveller right and against racism. In particular Ivana calls for: An amnesty for all those who have been resident in Ireland for over 6 months while awaiting resolution of asylum claims.
Like the vast majority of the Irish population I've not got a Seanad vote. It's time the Seanad was abolished. Pat, do you call for support for Bacik & Norris? If you've a vote how will you vote? Personally I would never vote outside the workers' movement, ie if i'd a vote in Trinity seats I'd probably spoil my vote.
If I had a vote in TCD I would vote for Norris & Bacik, not sure which one would get the No 1. They are the best candidates. They both have long records on:
campaigning for Womens & LGBT rights,
campaigning against Racism,
campaigning for a Secular Ireland,
I've never heard David Norris describe himself as a socialist but he is a supporter of workers rights. Both he and Ivana, unlike the PBPA, are not afraid to raise matters like Abortion and make it clear that they support womens rights. While they oppose imperialism they are also prepared to stand up for womens and LGBT rights in Islamic societies.
Whatever about Norris, I don't think Bacik is even worth considering. She's a big time supporter of coalition in Labour. When she was a student union officer she was prominant in ousting left-wingers from positions within the Party. Bacik may be sound on gay rights & women's rights but in general she is on the Right-wing. If she is elected Senator she may well be voting through all sorts of rotten laws under the Labour whip.
Disagree with you Pat. But to be honest it's all abstract as we're both denied the right to vote as we've not got Trinity degrees!! At least with other Senate seats elected cllrs vote!! Senate needs to be abolished. Waste of money. Recycle yard for careerists.
I agree that the Seanad should be abolished.
I disagree with you on Ivana. If shes elected she will not be under the Labour whip, she will sit as an independent same as Mary Henry did.
No point in redebating the change of leadership in LY in the late 80s, i'll find the relevant threads later and post links here.
I think though its better to have Ivana and David there introducing legislation which will embarass the Greens. Lets see them voting against Pro Choice legislation!
Lets agree to disagree. Bacik is a Labour member and will informally be sitting with and co-operating with Labour's Senators. Even if she is formally an independent she may use her Senate profile to run in a Dáil constituency or in Euro election as a Labour candidate. I don't support Labour and would therefore not support Bacik (If I had a vote!!)
No Cork Candidates what a pity...
So far I have only received 3 letters, Shay Conway (Natural Science/Engineering), Maurice Gueret (Medical Doctor), Sean O'Connor ( doesn't say what faculty). When will the other eight get their act together or are they bothered ?
Some interesting contradictions have arisen. You say Maurice is FF, yet he does not claim to be in that organisation and as you know once you join you remain a member for life (sort of like hotel california), there is also a sort of a reference implying that he is the only scientist in the race yet Shay Conway claims to have a Natural Science degree, there may be more when the rest of the literature arrives. Sean's is by far the most interesting, an implication that by promoting rally driving this will in some way " show leadership in Ireland's quest for sustainability and carbon reduction". I'm sure that his faculty is very proud of his lucid thought processes and bitterly regret that he omitted a reference to his faculty in his literature.
"You say Maurice is FF, yet he does not claim to be in that organisation..."
Guess what, he does not want it to be known he is a FFer. Reason is: there is some idiotic view out there that University seats should be "apolitical". I find it strange as they are seats in the National Parliament and should be contested on same issues... who cares what faculty a person studied in!! Do you ask that of your Dáil candidates?
Gueret is a Fianna Fáiler. He sought nomination for the Dublin South Central constituency at the time of the October 1999 by-election. He did not get the nomination; Michael Mulcahy got it but did not win by-election, Mulcahy went on to become Lord Mayor and a TD from 2002 to now.
Rosaleen McDonagh is a well known Traveller and Disability Activist who is thought to have been one of the first Travellers to graduate from TCD. She is not affiliated to any party and works in the area of violence against women and would have a long track record on women's health, lgbt and other cross sectoral issues. This is the second time she has ran as far as I know - She needs first preferences if anyone is thinking about their vote it might make a real difference to give her a number 1 and shake things up a bit.
Ivana counts as a Corkonian. She spent most of her childhood in Macroom.
So cheer up boy!
I really think you've to be an idiot to vote for someone just because they live near you. I'm from Dublin but would happily vote for a candidate from Timbuctoo if they'd the right policies!
Reason Seán O'Connor doesn't mention to which faculty he belongs is, as far as I am aware, he never graduated from Dublin University and perhaps never even went there. His degrees must come from elsewhere. Very interesting what is said about Guerat and FF. He actually boasts about not being a memebr fo a party on his literature. All my info's on www.stephen-douglas.bebo.com and www.stephendouglas.org
'He was educated at Terenure College, Dublin and played SCT rugby. Having lived and worked abroad for many years, including the UK and the Middle East, he now lives in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, with his wife and five children.'
The Governments chief scientist in the recent past had bought his PhD. No-one checked. Maybe Seanie studied in England?
Sure everyone in Enniskerry has a degree.
Surely to God in 2007 this method of appointing people to the Seanad is unconstitutional??? It honestly beggars belief that an academic should be advantaged in this manner in respect of appointment to one of the houses of the oireachtas.
The election of Senators by University graduates is one of the most rotten aspects of this States "democracy". However it's wrong to say it's unconstitutional. The Constitution explicitly outlines that this should happen, so how the hell can it be unconstitutional. Stop having illusions in the Constitution. I reckon you've never read it but you still source it as a document in arguments.
The election members of Parlianment by universities is a remnant of feudalism/early capitalism. It happened first in Scotland under King James VI (later James I of England). It was done to keep the universities happy at one stage in his reign. It was eventually abolished in UK just after WW2 by Labour government. But lives on only in Ireland. In fact there were 4 NUI and 4TCD TDs in Dáil until they were moved to Seanad by de Valera (and reduced by 1 seat to 3). Up until its abolition Stormont Commons had 4 Queens university MPs.
The point about O'Connor not having a degree- who gives a sh1t. I would not vote for him because of his politics. This is a rotten constituency enough without a bunch of a**holes being snobby towards non-TCD graduates.
Hmmm, sounds like we have a jumped up academic in the house. It might not be unconstitutional per se as there is provision for this in the constitution. This is not to say that the 7th ammendment to the constitution is not in conflict with another part of the constitution, for example articles 40.3.1 and 40.3.2, which state:
40.3.1 The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen.
40.3.2 The State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of injustice done, vindicate the life, person, good name, and property rights of every citizen.
I could interpret the 7th ammendment to the constitution and the Election of Members of Seanad Éireann by Institutions of Higher Education Act, 1979, as an unjust attack on my rights as a citizen of Ireland, by mitigating against me if I wanted to seek election to the Seanad by ringfencing Seanad seats for prick like academics such as the one that replied to my last post.
The Seanad is an unfair and undemocratic body. It's a sham of democracy. There are 6 seats chosen by graduates of the more elite colleges and 11 seats chosen by one man (Bertie Ahern).
But that is not unconstitutional. There are loads of apparently conflicting parts of constitution. But you cannot judge the Constitution itself to be unconstitutional. The 1973 act you refer to is supported by an amendment to the Constitution.
Another point, Darragh: The academics don't choose the Senators from NUI and TCD. It is the graduates (ie those that get a degree). The University of Dublin constituency has about 40,000 registered and Naional University constitutency has about 100,000 registered. In addition to this any citizen over 21 can run in these seats so long as they get signatures of 10 graduates.
Like you Darragh, the Seanad University seats make me sick. It really exposes how rotten the irish State is. But nonetheless many ordinary people do have a vote and do use it as a way to express their politics. Remember it was only in 1918 women got any type of vote, and 1922 when equal with men. For most of the existence of Parliaments they've had restricted franchise but activists have still used it as a platform to put forward ideas.
Shane Ross's two nominators are Willie Walsh and David McWilliams. Sums up Ross's politics. Walsh was the architect of the butchering of jobs in Aer Lingus and has driven standards in that airline through the floor. Under his watch Aer Lingus was privatised and is now partly owned by Ryanair.
It is about 4 weeks since the first leaflet arrived from Shay Conway
followed by Sean O'Connor then Maurice Gueret, then a long wait for the rest.
An Post holds up the whole show because a few people left everything to the last minute. I am suspicious. Can we expect last minute, cobble it together, no time for public scrutiny type behavior in the Seanad ?
Stop your anti-An Post right-wing gripes. Shane Ross is full of it all week. The fact is that delivering over 140,000 items of registered post is a logistical problem not to mention the 35 candidates sending items to all voters all wihtin a small timescale. If Shane Ross got his way there would be no An Post and we'd have the private sector owned by big business capitalists taking care of elections to the national parliament. That's probably why Shane Ross would like it as his big business mates would grant him a seat through electoral fraud.
It is a pity that no one in An Post really new the meaning of the word Guarantee when they offered a postal scheme to all the TCD candidates. It was really irresponsible to offer a guarantee (10 working days for a leaflet or 18 working days for an envelope) at a time when they did not know how many candidates would be involved.
An Post could not deliver.
Ballot papers were held up for 5 days until An Post's guarantee was honoured.
Shay Conway is taking part in the An Post bashing that the Government want as part of their privatisation plans. The reality is that the Government and not An Post are to blame for problems. It's the Government that have not given investment needed to keep An Post running as it should. Why doesn't Shay Conway blame the Government?
Shay Conway would be happy to see privatisation of An Post that will see a reduction of postal services, a reducation in jobs and a reducation in working, pay and pension standards in the postal service.
If there are any left-wing voters in this election don't vote for Shay Conway or Shane Ross if you want to defend public services.
Just filling out my Trinity Senate ballot paper at this very moment. Happily placing Senator Ross in first place, followed my Mr. Gueret. Like other posters have mentioned, the less we see of Ms. Bacik the better, hence I will give her number 11 just for symbolism. Efobi will be given 10, because his only apparent claim to fame is that he is black and because he is such I should vote for him. Eh, no. Norris is placed in 4th reason being I think he will be comfortably elected again (I am happy to see him in, he provides a lot of humour) and since Mary Henry's former seat is now up for grabs I should give my 2/3 preference to others more likely to have to scrap for it. Hence, 2/3 to Gueret and O'Connor the two from the FF gene pool...no harm seeing FF dominate the Seanad as they do the Dail. All other lefties and hippies placed in the middle/lower ranks of my ballot paper.
For a person with a Trinity College education you don't seem to have a basic understanding of PRSTV. You seem to think that your 3rd preference will mean something. If you vote No. 1 Shane Ross it's unlikely your lower preferences will be counted unless he is eliminated or if he is over the quota on the 1st count. I don' t think that Ross will be knocked out (he'll at least come in 4th) and he will not exceed the quota on the 1st count (it's unlikely to happen in a 3 seater with 11 candidates). Even if Shane ross does get in on 1st count it will be a lucky dip if your 3rd preference will be counted. The logic of PRSTV is that you get *one* vote and it's exceptional if you get a preference to count if your candidate gets in (or comes in as runner-up)
The only thing that is satiated by giving Bacik a 11th preference is 1. pencil makers and 2. your own smug self-satisfied right-wing ego.
There was a profile on Rosaleen McDonagh in the Observer yesterday.
What a laughable thread. I was lead to believe that it would actually be informative in relation to the candidates standing in the University of Dublin Seanad Election. But no, it is instead a bitch fest about how unfair the university Seanad elections are. Can ye not go and find some other thread to whinge on? If you don't have a vote, or something to say about one of the candidates (and thanks for the info on Gueret), then go and moan about how many kilowatts of energy the Live Earth concerts used or some other suitable cause.
For what it's worth, I believe that Norris and Ross are probably the two best Senators the previous Oireachtas had (granted the competition wasn't that stiff), able to challenge the conventional party lines on a variety of topics from both sides of the spectrum, and if you're gay and have to face the M50 ten times per week, then you'd appreciate both of them for their efforts. Apart from them, Fearghal Quinn and the Mammy, I would be hard pushed to name any of the previous lot.
Just to be accurate about the above reference to myself - here is the exact text of my piece on 1980s Trinity College life in the Sunday Independent. Also, I am not a member of Fianna Fail - nor do I belong to a so-called 'gene pool' of same. Bed-side genetic testing for FF sympathies is still some years away !
"Mischief was a-plenty. The Students Union was a rather pious self-serving lot of pretend-radicals. We certainly ruffled their feathers when I led a gang of medics to form the Trinity Moral Reform Action Group. We gathered 100 signatures and called an Extraordinary General Meeting of the students (the best-attended meeting since the 1960s) to get the sale of condoms banned in the Students Union Shop ! Mistaking us for some right wing Christian sect, the looney lefties mobilised all their forces. But when the packed meeting began, they quickly realised they’d been had. We stood on stage and regaled them with tales of badly exploited and underpaid rubber workers in Brazil. The Education Correspondents of all the daily newspapers enjoyed the fun, but the Trotskyist party-poopers who controlled the Union never saw the funny side. Probably because it was on their faces. "
Maurice likes to take the piss out of SUs then. If elected I'm sure he'll have a great attitude to the students movement (his future voters). I read that article in the newspapers and I formed a negative attitude to Maurice. Reading btwn the lines Maurice and his anti-condom brigade did not get a quorum and it suddenly became a 'joke'. Yeah right! At best you are taking the Mick out of the Students movement's fight for women's rights at the time, at worst you are a conservative anti-contraception doctor.
You were in Fianna Fáil. You sought nomination to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil candidate. You did not get the nomination and you then left Fianna Fáil. Straightforward 'gene-pool' Fianna Fáil in my book
I do have a senate vote with TCD having got in the back door with a DIT degree.
Since the Seanad do little other than rubber stamp Government legisaltion, the Taoiseach gets to nominate 15 senators, my priority in voting has to be on brass tack issues, Human rights.
Human rights are universal, are inalienable and not subject to cultural norms. If it is a defendible human right here it must be the same anywhere else in the world whether it is Ballymun or Beijing.
I am amazed by previous comments that commend some candidates for their self-congratulatory stance on human rights. Apparently it is possible to say that you are a strong supporter of Women's rights at home and yet support the denial of those rights to millions of women abroad.
Everyday women are denied fundamental human rights simply because of their gender. This happens in the third world, the developing world and most blatantly in China. I am of course talking about the sex-selective abortion of millions of infant girls throughout the world. It has reached crisis point in China where their one-child policy has led to a demographic shift in gender balance.
But then for Ivana Bacik and David Norris they can't see beyond the narrow confines of their self-built parapets to acknowledge that abortion could be a tool of repression.
It is an obscene contortion of human rights to say that the deliberate destruction of human life can be one's RIGHT. However if you emote about the tragedy of the situation apparently that means you can wash your hands of the gruesome mechanics of physically ending a life.
Ms Bacik always argues around the extremes when discussing the topic while the truth is more mundane. Most women who terminate pregnancies do not have unviable fetuses or are not the victims of rape. She generates a lot of hot air about the subject but never actually tells us what her negotiating position is. At how many weeks in foetal development does Ms Bacik believe abortion goes from being a right to a criminal wrong or does she subscribe to partial birth abortion. As a candidate who promotes abortion as an option she should clearly state what she sees as her ideal should she become elected and be in a position to promote legislation.
It's odd that in the case of rape, despite the heinous nature of the crime, nobody demands the death sentence for the rapist but a victim of rape, an unborn child, can be summarily executed. This sounds more like Saudi Arabian justice than the supposed enlightened world Ms Bacik resides in.
Instead we are treated to woolly vague cosy mumblings about 'women's right to choose'. At what point does she protect the female fetus's right to life. Now that is the worldwide womens rights I want to hear her defend.
David Norris, -apart from his blinkered supports of everybody's rights, except the unborn, (right on, Dave ) - on the other hand thinks that it is perfectly acceptable for an Irish Senator to insult a head of state of a European country, with which we have diplomatic ties, with libellous slurs about his past. Imagine if Seantor Norris was to insult the president of France, the chancellor of Germany or even the Queen of England with some outrageous slanderous stereotype to suck up to the gallery. I think of Lenihan's 'kebab' remark across the Dail to Joe Higgins, equally reprehensible was Norris's jibe of Pope Benedict as Ratzi the Nazi. While the alliteration of it must have chuffed Dave no end, it belittles the chamber of which he is a current member. He used it a few times even though the Pope's wartime conscripted military service was well known and Benedict's father's resistence to the Nazi's had affected his job. But Dave wouldn't like the truth to get in the way of a good soundbite.
My ten cents worth.
we let too many foreignors into this country. then we told them we need them. now they think they should be running the place. why would we want someone from any foreign land, especially one ruled with corruption and chaos - like nigeria- decicing our future? we do not want any foreignors in our town councils, county councils, our dail or our seanad. it took long enough, and took many lives to get our freedom, - are we going to give it all away again?
Hurray MD. The truth at last. No PC jargon and plainly put.
Website for Maurice Gueret is here: www.drmauricegueret.ie
The real flaw in the Irish constitution is that it assumes that people who graduate from Irish universities are clever.
Almost all "smart" Irish industry comes from California.
Californians and Germans sneer at the Irish 12.5 percent tax rate.
If Enda Kenny increased the corporate tax rate in Ireland to 20% American Multinationals wouldn't blink an eye.
It is still low as far as Americans are concerned.
Instead "12.5% or bust" has saddled Ireland with the anger of the Germans and the French.
It has saddled tte Irish Taxpayer with unjust repaymayent rates for generations.