Friday, 11 March 2022

What's my line?

And they're off! There are 17 horses in the race to be the newest member of Seanad Éireann representing the University of Dublin aka TCD. This change is a result of political musical chairs following election of Labour's Ivana Bacik to Dáil Éireann on 8 July 2021 at a by-election in Dublin Bay South. You'd surely rather be in the Dáil if you're looking for more than a cosy sinecure. Quite apart from the fact that a TD's salary [€100,191] is a lot of Mars Bars more than a senator's [€70,168] It's been a bit over two years since I got my papers as Citizen Bob. One of the unexpected benefits of this change of status is that, for the first time this life, I get a vote in the Seanad's TCD Constituency being both a graduate [BA Natural Science 1977, me] and a citizen.

Since 1938, there has been space in the Seanad for 3 TCD representatives making a total of 22 incumbents, of some of whom you may have heard. Perhaps not [R] Ernest "Ovid" Alton Chair of Latin; 1938 TCD Senator and 1942-1952 TCD Provost. Currently, apart from Bacik, "we" are trusting David Norris [public egg multiprevs] and Lynn Ruane [good egg prev] to Do The Right Thing. I live a very retiring life up a bohereen in the hills, so the first I heard about the upcoming outing for Democracy was receiving a flyer in the post from one of the candidates. That was a clear and consoling indication that I was indeed on the electoral roll, having applied [you have to apply] at the very beginning of Coronarama. The following day there arrived another handful of densely packed information leaflets about prospective senators. Getting the postage paid by The Man is one of the perks of Democracy na Éireann. If I'd had m'ear to the ground in time, I might have thrun my hat in the ring as candidate #18.

And let's talk about flyers and costs. As of yesterday I've received 12 puffs from 12 of the candidates. All with the same return address - a PO Box in Blackrock. One of those was the only post we got that day, requiring Pete the Post to make a special detour up our lane. If they are all processed through the same [free to candidate!] delivery service. National post rate is €1.10 per item, so my delivery has cost someone 12 x 1.10 = €13. The electorate is about 70,000 people; some of who live abroad and will require higher stamp costs; but let's ignore that and fantasize about what the plain people of Ireland could better do with €900,000. My vote is for 3 starter homes for indigent TCD graduates. FFS - why not bundle all the guff into one envelope . . . or better still send PDFs to all of us.

Each of the candidates is asked to say what they do . . . perhaps to let voters estimate if they have spare capacity for the onerous job of being a Senator. In 2022 we have: Barrister x 2; Consultant; Councillor; Entrepreneur; Ex-ambassador; Journalist; Minority rep; PhD student x 3; Professor; Psychologist; Public Rep; Pychologist; Social worker; Writer. There is a link for a bigger statement of platform for each of them. I'll have to do a bit of reading here because, with one or two exceptions, I've never 'eard of 'em. Wikipedia has a more useful summary of what the Gang of 17 stand for. I can't in all conscience vote for the three clearly New Irish candidates [Ali, Chu, Oleborode] just to stick one to the patriarchy. It would also be silly-pedantic to reject the "Pychologist-writer" juSt becauSe thiS 'writer' is carelesS on the Spelinge. Help me out in the comments.


  1. Ok I did some rankings and then got tired. Voting for new Irish is not about a 'sticking it to the patriarchy' as shits/giggles but because representation matters and all issues which impact people are more keenly felt by minorities and are therefore more likely to be championed across the board rather than for a dominant group. It is astounding how many who feel homelessness is an issue will champion old Irish first (while excluding Mincaire). So in ranking for me New Irish first and New Irish/Women first, followed by women. Minorities also get a higher ranking, including those with disabilities.
    Personal peeves are those writing in the 3rd person, sounds by rote and disinterested in putting personal above professional. Also people who put their martial and child credentials at the top of their list. In this case only some women did this. I don't care, what has that got to do with anything. Also having a political affiliation is a concern for me so Independents get higher ranking than others, although Hazel Chu (the only one I know) gets a pass for this as I liked her tweets during her time as Mayor. Two candidates have no bio links, one does exist but there is no link to it. I'm assuming that this is the fault of the web/IT person who owns the site rather than the candidates themselves (otherwise their ranking goes down). Two candidates get a no vote from me, one with no information on what platform they are running on and the other who think's its funny to write 'Also, with 16 other candidates, it seemed everybody else was doing it and he didn’t want to feel left out.'. I'd kick him out of his course for that. There are a number of sound older men who've done good things, they don't need a vote, they will continue to do good things. Will email you my list.

  2. My biggest issue was the ballot paper and info. I wanted to know one basic fact: when does it need to be sent back. Maybe I missed it but I couldn't see. Your Web link was useful for that (answer end of march). My two main criteria were , what has the person done recently about things they care about (doers not talkers) and to down weight people who are famous or have photos of them with famous people and upweight people who actively represent unlistened to minorities ( this is more than surname or other attributes). Sorting the fliers in order was really fast, well faster than wordle anyway.