In an effort to ensure that all our members are as well informed as they need to be about the General Election and to give candidates an opportunity to let us know what their policies and answers to questions, we'd like your help in compiling the list of question that every candidate should answer.
Over on Newstalk, Tom Dunne has shared a door-stop list, as follows:
What do you think of the questions? Are there more that should be asked? What questions should the party leaders ask? What will you be asking candidates that come to your door?
Will you go into coalition or support a minority government with either FF or FG? If they say yes, I say no thanks.
How do you plan to tackle the €19bn deficit? The most important question that needs to be asked.
If FF: how do you dissociate the partys actions from your continued supportive membership? Why did you join FF and is it not long past you leaving? You wouldn't eat a cherry out of a diaper so why should I vote for the one 'good' FFer?
If your party is in Government, will they make provisions for the reversal of the blasphemy law?
1. Will you or will you not introduce legislation to renege on the bank guarantee and burn the bondholders of the Irish banks?
2. Given that the political system in Ireland is horrifically flawed, would you support the introduction of a direct democratic system in this country so that the people could govern themselves?
3. The Green Party proposed an 'Economic Treason' bill in January. Will you introduce this and make it retrospective?
Do you have a policy on tackling and/or simplifying the ridiculous web of regressive taxes that exist in this country?
eg. VAT, VRT, fuel duty, tourist taxes etc etc
A few good questions would be:
"Are you going to have Bertie Ahern, Charlie McCreevy and Brian Cowen tried for negligence and treason?"
"Will others such as Michael Woods who accepted full liability on behalf of the Irish People for the abuse of institutionalised children by the Church, Gardai and other state officials, Martin Cullen who presided over the voting machine farce, the collection of imbeciles (Ray Burke, Noel Dempsey et al) who gave away our natural resources in the Corrib Gas field, Mary Harney for her part in allowing a HR IT system to spiral completely out of control (from €9M to €220M in costs without implementation) as well as giving contracts to Consultants far in excess of what they deserve, also be shown the inside of Mountjoy rather than swanning off into the sunset with their unbelievable pensions?"
"Will you address the issue of over representation as it currently stands AKA why is there 166 of you when only about 10 of you are doing anything at a National level while the rest of you waste our extremely hard earned tax euros on getting re-elected over your entire term of office?"
"Why do you think it's necessary to remove the Seanad altogether when whats needed is radical reform in the shape of reducing the numbers to about 15 in total and ensuring those 15 are party apolitical and allowing everyone to vote for the entire membership of the Seanad??"
"Will you introduce accountability to the Public Service including sackable offences, real performance measures and so on. Also will you re-introduce benchmarking on the basis that 'what went up, must come down in line with private sector salaries (as I seem to recall the entire logic of benchmarking I was based - in reverse of course)'"
Oh and of course:
"Can I get those potholes that completely wrecked the rim of one of my car wheels last week filled in because thats what I though my €600 per annum road tax was for?"
To Gerry Adams- Are/were you in the IRA? Where are all 'missing' buried?
Q: How will you eliminate the deficit?
Q: What exactly do ye know of the Hi-Tech sector?
Q: Will you support a removal of the the Treason Act 1939?
Q: What is your position on the right to life?
What will you do to reform the prisons?
Would you bring back execution for when cowen, ahern, mccreevy and lenihan are guilty of negligence and treason.
Love it!!!! But ... let them pay for their time in Mountjoy with their pensions. While I believe they should be prosecuted and serve I've paid enough for and to these wretched people. Legislation passed for this please.
Without reference to whose fault it was, what are your proposals for improvements to the current EU/IMF bailout arrangement?
How will you create jobs? If you're planning on saying anything vague such as "by getting the economy moving", "by generating economic growth","by attracting foreign investment", I also want three specific examples of the method you would use, to back up each such assertion please.
Where do you stand on the Corporation Tax Rate?
Ireland has suffered a lot due to "parish-pump politics". The number of new roads in a certain part of Kerry springs to mind. Would you reform the methods we use to elect our representatives, so that each has a stronger sense of loyalty to the country as a whole than to their local areas and so that political dynasties are removed? If so, how?
Who will be your front-bench? Do they as individuals have any experience in the areas they are about to take charge of, or will it be a case of pick the people first, and then squash them into roles whether they're suitable or not? (Jobs for the boys)
The HSE is not functioning effectively. There are too many admin. people and not enough front line healthcare workers. The embargo on recruiting is having a very negative effect, as seen by the numbers on trolleys at Christmas. On the other hand the HSE is relatively young and there is a school of thought that any radical overhaul of health service, as this was, takes time to get rewards. Where do you stand on all this? Would you scrap, reform or support the current HSE? If scrap or reform, please state the changes you would make and why.
Inspired by the previous question, most new governments engage in chopping, changing and renaming of departments to signal "reform". This can often be an expensive exercise, in a futile attempt to get the public to believe they are bringing about change. Are you planning any butchery of the Civil Service? What specific changes would you make and how would they be of benefit?
A great job has been done promoting Ireland as a tourist destination. Most polls suggest that foreign people view Ireland as a beautiful country and a desirable place to visit. However, they then discover that planning a holiday to Ireland can be very hard work for a lot of people. The rather hilarious list of documents on website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website that a person may have to produce (depending on where they are from) includes:
- confirmation of a hotel booking or a letter of invitation from their reference in Ireland confirming that accommodation will be provided
- If they are employed, confirmation from the employer of this, of their dates of annual leave, and of the date they are returning to work
- 3 consecutive payslips.
These are just a sample, there are many more.
Given that most of the countries that are booming at the moment, China etc., are outside the EU, what is your policy on torturing tourists?
There are some very good questions here.
I hope those proposing them will not mind my answering a lot of them on my own site - once the election has been officially called and my application for standing has been accepted by our county returning officer.
If FF : Are you corrupt ?