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Running in two elections at different levels simultaneously

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  • 27-05-2019 2:29am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 19,289 ✭✭✭✭


    What do you all think about the situation with Ciaran Cuffe? What I mean is that he ran for two positions simultaneously and (apparently) cantered home in both. Fair play to him.


    The assumption is that he will take the MEP seat. Given that, he effectively ran for, and won, a council seat for someone else. I know it happens regularly at council level where people resign or go on to be elected as TD or whatever and a replacement is co-opted in. But in this case, where both elections are being decided at the same time, would there be any better way to manage it?


    I can understand the argument maybe that it is his council seat and his party (or maybe himself) can decide to hand it over to whomever he chooses. And you could say that by voting for him that his constituents implicitly voted for him knowing he could be handing it over immediately. But we have STV which allows people to state their back-up choice.


    Is there any better way of doing it? I can't really think of a robust one.


    Would a TD have to resign to run for the local Council elections? Or would they just have to explicitly resign the Dail seat in order to take up the local seat? I assume that kind of rule is in place to prevent piss taking.



    Of course it wouldn't happen for a non brazen shameless politician, if such a creature did exist, and I can't think of any in particular to name, ahem, Healys Rae, cough cough. But suppose a TD ran for the council as if they were retiring the Dail, won comfortably on name-recognition and then handed that council seat over to a family member who wasn't already guided in and continued on as normal in the Dail. I know that they can't serve both simultaneously, but are the rules rigid enough to stop that from happening?


Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,850 ✭✭✭Stop moaning ffs


    I wondered about that.
    I saw him on both ballots and had a wtf? I wasn’t even sure it was allowed but how is he going to do both?

    And is that not kind of a rip on anyone who voted for him in the local? If he passes it off to someone else?
    Something stinks. Surely it’s against the rules?


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    He isn't the only one to have run at both - Gary Gannon also did. Also two people have been elected to the same council twice in Meath and Louth

    It's against no rules - you'll get a party nominated replacement that you may or may not be happy with for the lower seat / may get a nominated replacement for the unchosen seat for the two twofers as Independent replacements aren't guaranteed

    A sitting TD would never run for the council, same for a sitting MEP. If one did for some surreal reason they'dd have to resign one seat of their choosing. Running to try use your name to nominate someone else after you resign would not go down well

    A sitting MEP may run for the Dail - it's not that uncommon - but they published replacement lists when they ran.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,366 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    It used to be extremely common. Sitting TDs would frequently double up as members of local authorities, or as members of the European Parliament. In theory you could be a member of a local authority, the national parliament and the European Parliament simultaneously, as long as the voters are willing to elect you to all three positions.

    SFAIK this is still legal. It's mostly political parties internal rules, rather than electoral law, which discourage or forbid this. Of course the voters can forbid it by simply refusing to elect a candidate who already holds a different elected office, or by refusing to vote for a candidate for more than one office that he may be runnign for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,565 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    It used to be extremely common. Sitting TDs would frequently double up as members of local authorities, or as members of the European Parliament. In theory you could be a member of a local authority, the national parliament and the European Parliament simultaneously, as long as the voters are willing to elect you to all three positions.

    SFAIK this is still legal. It's mostly political parties internal rules, rather than electoral law, which discourage or forbid this. Of course the voters can forbid it by simply refusing to elect a candidate who already holds a different elected office, or by refusing to vote for a candidate for more than one office that he may be runnign for.


    I thought they changed the electoral law to prevent TDs and MEPs being councillors at the same time, hence the outbreak of little Healy-Raes all over the place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,289 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    blanch152 wrote: »
    I thought they changed the electoral law to prevent TDs and MEPs being councillors at the same time, hence the outbreak of little Healy-Raes all over the place.




    Yeah they removed the "dual mandate" donkeys years ago from what I thought.




    Hypothetical scenario, you have a fairly high profile person in the EU like Ming Flanagan. Nothing stopping him from running in his local election and then just handing the council seat over to his pal or cousin if he gets elected to both.


    In theory all the candidates could do this. You could have someone like Frances Fitzgerald who would be fairly well known and a good chance of getting a seat. FG could drop her into a relatively local council constituency where they don't have a strong candidate and where her name recognition might push her across the line where she wouldn't get a seat.




    Leaving the Dail to go to be an MEP triggers a by-election so the issue doesn't arise in the same way


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,289 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    L1011 wrote: »

    A sitting TD would never run for the council, same for a sitting MEP. If one did for some surreal reason they'dd have to resign one seat of their choosing. Running to try use your name to nominate someone else after you resign would not go down well




    Well there are certain areas of the country where, lets just say, certain political dynasties appear to be immune to proper procedure and accountability


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,167 ✭✭✭Fan of Netflix


    Eilis Ryan ran for EU and council seat in Dublin for Workers party, lost her council seat. Gillian O'Brien for PBP got 10k votes in EU election and yet didn't win her council seat! Funny enough I think both of them and Cuffe ran in the North Inner city.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Mirafiori


    Didn't De Valera run in two constituencies in the same General Election once? :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Well there are certain areas of the country where, lets just say, certain political dynasties appear to be immune to proper procedure and accountability

    They get in on their surname regardless


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,800 ✭✭✭✭expectationlost


    What do you all think about the situation with Ciaran Cuffe? What I mean is that he ran for two positions simultaneously and (apparently) cantered home in both. Fair play to him.


    The assumption is that he will take the MEP seat. Given that, he effectively ran for, and won, a council seat for someone else. I know it happens regularly at council level where people resign or go on to be elected as TD or whatever and a replacement is co-opted in. But in this case, where both elections are being decided at the same time, would there be any better way to manage it?


    I can understand the argument maybe that it is his council seat and his party (or maybe himself) can decide to hand it over to whomever he chooses. And you could say that by voting for him that his constituents implicitly voted for him knowing he could be handing it over immediately. But we have STV which allows people to state their back-up choice.


    Is there any better way of doing it? I can't really think of a robust one.


    Would a TD have to resign to run for the local Council elections? Or would they just have to explicitly resign the Dail seat in order to take up the local seat? I assume that kind of rule is in place to prevent piss taking.



    Of course it wouldn't happen for a non brazen shameless politician, if such a creature did exist, and I can't think of any in particular to name, ahem, Healys Rae, cough cough. But suppose a TD ran for the council as if they were retiring the Dail, won comfortably on name-recognition and then handed that council seat over to a family member who wasn't already guided in and continued on as normal in the Dail. I know that they can't serve both simultaneously, but are the rules rigid enough to stop that from happening?


    why would a sitting TD run for a council seat?


    Cuffe could have said who he was thinking of giving his council seat before (like the substitute list for the Euros)

    some do argue the highest loser should be co-opted into the position but you loose the party mandate then, i think that should occur if a Councillor stands down with a year of the next election so they can't unfairly give their potential party successor a boost


    Breda Gardner Kilkenny also went for Euros and council and lost both.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,289 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    why would a sitting TD run for a council seat?


    Used to be very common. Wasn't until about 15 years ago that it was stopped. Why would they do it (if there was a loophole)? As I hypothesized, some chancer might run to get the seat to give to a relative or pal. As you know, the Healys Rae got a few council seats there over the weekend. But there are more of them down there and there are probably constituencies they didn't run in. Maybe Daddy Healy Rae stands in a constituency that mini-Healy Rae would't get elected in, gets elected and then hands it over to mini Healy Rae. Are the rules robust enough to stop Daddy Healy Rae from running, or do they just prevent him from actually taking up the seat. It's a theoretical, rather than likely, question



    As it stands, your current councillor, elected over the weekend, can decide to resign as soon as they take up their seat, and hand their spot over to someone who never ran for election and they'd have it for the next 5 years. Varadkar was co-opted onto Fingal County Council if I am not mistaken, a few years before he ran for election as a TD. I don't think he was voted in (although am open to correction).


    Cuffe could have said who he was thinking of giving his council seat before (like the substitute list for the Euros)
    That possibly would have been a help in this particular scenario. But it wouldn't be 100% binding. If running for both simultaneously then maybe they should have to indicate which one they would prefer and who they would want to replace them.



    some do argue the highest loser should be co-opted into the position but you loose the party mandate then, i think that should occur if a Councillor stands down with a year of the next election so they can't unfairly give their potential party successor a boost


    Well the difficulty in the one-year-before scenario there is that the highest loser has been off doing something for the past 4 years. Might have no interest in taking up the seat.

    On party mandate, you also lose party mandate if your councillor changes party. Which happens regularly enough for independents switching in and out, and also morphing between switches in alliances from the People's front of Judea to the Judeans People's Front etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,800 ✭✭✭✭expectationlost


    Used to be very common. Wasn't until about 15 years ago that it was stopped. Why would they do it (if there was a loophole)? As I hypothesized, some chancer might run to get the seat to give to a relative or pal. As you know, the Healys Rae got a few council seats there over the weekend. But there are more of them down there and there are probably constituencies they didn't run in. Maybe Daddy Healy Rae stands in a constituency that mini-Healy Rae would't get elected in, gets elected and then hands it over to mini Healy Rae. Are the rules robust enough to stop Daddy Healy Rae from running, or do they just prevent him from actually taking up the seat. It's a theoretical, rather than likely, question
    its 2019 not 2004

    That possibly would have been a help in this particular scenario. But it wouldn't be 100% binding. If running for both simultaneously then maybe they should have to indicate which one they would prefer and who they would want to replace them.
    he did say he would go for the MEP

    As it stands, your current councillor, elected over the weekend, can decide to resign as soon as they take up their seat, and hand their spot over to someone who never ran for election and they'd have it for the next 5 years. Varadkar was co-opted onto Fingal County Council if I am not mistaken, a few years before he ran for election as a TD. I don't think he was voted in (although am open to correction).





    Well the difficulty in the one-year-before scenario there is that the highest loser has been off doing something for the past 4 years. Might have no interest in taking up the seat.
    so go for the next highest loser


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,289 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    its 2019 not 2004
    Oh is it? Thanks for clarifying. You see, your response appeared to indicate incredulity that a TD might run for a council seat if they were allowed. I was simply pointing out that when they were allowed, plenty of them did it!




    he did say he would go for the MEP
    Well you can't rock up to the voting centre on the morning of the election and just put your name on the ballot. Or do you mean whether he said he would take the MEP role now? I don't think he stated it yet but common sense would indicate that there is a very high probability that he would rather try to influence policy in Brussels rather than Dublin City Council.


    so go for the next highest loser
    Possibly. Might work alright. Although there could be a better method given that they votes are taking place at the same time. Perhaps they could have just guarded the ballots for a few days and counted the MEP ones first. Then the onus would have been on Cuffe or whoever to designate a person and ask his voters to give his transfers to that person.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    I believe councils are allowed decide whatever method they want for casual replacements; the party suggested co-option is just done by everyone

    For Independents it is usually a case of a full council vote to decide if the suggested replacement is allowed but Cork City Council at least used to go for the highest excluded candidate, which lead to a court case when Mick Barry was elected to the Dail as the party registration he had been elected under no longer existed!


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,800 ✭✭✭✭expectationlost


    L1011 wrote: »
    I believe councils are allowed decide whatever method they want for casual replacements; the party suggested co-option is just done by everyone

    For Independents it is usually a case of a full council vote to decide if the suggested replacement is allowed but Cork City Council at least used to go for the highest excluded candidate, which lead to a court case when Mick Barry was elected to the Dail as the party registration he had been elected under no longer existed!
    it didn't go to court but there was various legal advice taken after Labour initially objected, his party colleague did get his seat https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/fiona-ryan-co-opted-to-replace-mick-barry-on-cork-city-council-1.2624847


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,800 ✭✭✭✭expectationlost


    Oh is it? Thanks for clarifying. You see, your response appeared to indicate incredulity that a TD might run for a council seat if they were allowed. I was simply pointing out that when they were allowed, plenty of them did it!

    they did it when the could be both



    Well you can't rock up to the voting centre on the morning of the election and just put your name on the ballot. Or do you mean whether he said he would take the MEP role now? I don't think he stated it yet but common sense would indicate that there is a very high probability that he would rather try to influence policy in Brussels rather than Dublin City Council.



    If elected, do you promise to sit for the entire five-year term? CiaranCuffe That’s my intention. I love Europe. I love the discussion goes on in Europe. I’ve been a councillor, I’ve been a TD and I would certainly like to be a parliamentarian and I would like to stay for the full five years.

    https://www.thejournal.ie/european-elections-12-4636295-May2019/


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