Want to Start a Party?

Yesterday I read the news that Sean Sherlock had sign into law the “not” Sopa Ireland law. Despite 80,000 people saying please don’t. Despite businesses in the tech industry saying it was a bad idea. At the same time he announced a public consultation on copyright law in Ireland… Why he had to bring in the law before the consultation is beyond me, but that’s politics in Ireland..

On the same day Éamon Ó Cuív listened to his conscience (or at least the bit of his conscience that wants him to be re-elected) and resigned his position as deputy leader of Fianna Fail… Leading to a multitude of jokes on twitter about it being 90 years on and once again an eamon and a micheal are splitting the party over a treaty.

Let’s not forget Inkgate.. where Sinn Fein’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh managed to consume over €50k in toner ink in just under 2 years.. maybe that’s a reasonable amount of ink.. who knows..

It seemed to me, reading these stories that politics is broken. Politicians complain that people don’t’ get involved, but when they do get involved they get ignored. I can guarantee you that we will not get a grown up debate on the EU referendum.. instead we’ll get threats and cajoling.

I’m an adult. Treat me like one. Give me the respect of engaging in a proper debate with facts, and not spun opinion!.

So I sent out a tweet in exasperation asking who I should vote for in the next election.. closely followed by a tweet wondering if anyone would be interested in forming a new party..

People were. I got suggestions of forming a Pirate party, a Crafters Party (which morphed into a makers party).. a party that wasn’t nominally “left” or “right”.. A party that focuses on being scientifically literate and technologically adept.

Here’s what I want:

•A Party that treats me like a grownup. I understand that we’re in a bad place financially. The dog on the streets know we’re going to need a second bailout. If I know it, the markets do, and no amount of grinning and saying we’re on track is going to change it. Be honest with me. Trust me to make the right decision with all of the facts.

•A party that gets the modern world. The internet is global. The future is global. We need a party that gets that.

•I’m pro Europe. I think there’s a lot that needs to be done differently, but I think it’s generally a good thing. I’d like a party that’s not anti-europe.

•I want a party that’s pro-education. There’s a level of short sightedness in cutting education funding. I know we have no money, but education, research and development is the future. If we could even introduce a class in critical thinking (and remove religion) then we could go a long way to increasing young people’s ability to adapt to new possibilities. I think space needs to be provided for user lead groups like coder dojo. We need to let kids enjoy knowledge.

What do you want from your government? What party would you vote for? Don’t let our generation and the one that’s coming up after us be written off as uninvolved.

I get that politics is ultimately about compromise. To get the least worst solution. And that it’s hard. But I think we owe it to ourselves to try and make it better.

Here’s what we need to do in order to register as a new party:
To be registered, your party has to satisfy the Registrar that:

•It is organised to contest elections
•It does not have less than 300 recorded members aged 18 or over. A party that applies for registration as a party organised to contest elections in part of the State, local elections or elections to Údarás na Gaeltachta only needs 100 recorded members aged 18 or over and at least least half of the party’s recorded members are on the Register of Electors. Or
•The party has at least one member who, at the time of the application, is a member of the Dáil or a representative of the European Parliament and who certifies in writing to the Registrar that he or she is a member of the party
•In the case of a party that applies as a party organised to contest only local elections, the party has at least three members who, at the time of application, are members of a local authority and who each certify that he or she is a member of the party
•In the case of a party that applies as a party organised to only contest elections to Údarás na Gaeltachta, the party has at least one member who, at the time of application, is a member of Údarás na Gaeltachta and certifies that he or she is a member of the party.

In addition, the party must have a constitution, a memorandum or another document or set of rules that have been adopted by the party and that provide for:

•An annual or other periodic meeting or conference of the party
•An executive committee or similar body elected by the party, which administers the business of the party.
Maybe this will go nowhere.. but maybe we’ll start something good, something that strikes a chord, something that works. Maybe I’m just naive**.

still… how about it.. Want to start a party?

**Probably Naive :)

7 thoughts on “Want to Start a Party?

  1. Good manifesto. I would get behind it if it had a greener tinge to it. But then, I say to myself, the Greens already agree with all of the above.

    You might then say: but what about their time in government?

    To which I reply, that’s the problem with political parties. Compromise, as you say, is part and parcel of politics. You always end up feeling let down and angry by the people you voted for.

    • I agree about the green issues, which is why I want a focus on science and critical thinking in education.

      The Greens were the party closest to my heart on a lot of issues, but they didn’t seem to have a grasp on the financial side of things. Maybe that’s because they were in with Fianna Fail.

      I just think there’s a generation of people who are switched off from the current democratic setup.. and we may never get them back. Something has to change.

  2. Fair play for wanting to force change and your passion about Ireland is clear to see. Would take a huge commitment to undertake what you are proposing and there would be lots of deterrents along the way. There is no doubt that the way we are governed needs to change and you do know you would be taking on a political Mafia in taking on the Irish party structure.

    Have you considered running as a councillor? This may give you a better taste of what is in store. This is where all the crap in this country starts in my opinion and an area that needs a major overhaul. If you were to run with your manifesto during the next council elections in your jurisdiction, you would get a more economically viable picture of how it stacks up.

    There are some good guys on twitter who would offer you feedback and advice on what you are proposing. Good luck with it!

    • Yes I’d consider running for local elections.. although given that I live in one area and spend all my time in another I’d struggle to figure out where I would stand :)

      Right now I am just trying to figure out if there is an appetite for something new..

  3. If I read that correctly to run for government you have to have at least one party member who is already in government, is that correct?

    • No.. it’s an either/or situation:

      It does not have less than 300 recorded members aged 18 or over. A party that applies for registration as a party organised to contest elections in part of the State, local elections or elections to Údarás na Gaeltachta only needs 100 recorded members aged 18 or over and at least least half of the party’s recorded members are on the Register of Electors. Or•The party has at least one member who, at the time of the application, is a member of the Dáil or a representative of the European Parliament and who certifies in writing to the Registrar that he or she is a member of the party

  4. I’d be happy to be involved. I’m not sure if I’m eligible to do much officially, since I’m an immigrant, but I’m happy to help. Current technology can save money whilst saving money if it’s used right. How much money is spent on windows licenses just in government organisations? That could be saved by distributing linux distros. Ubuntu is pretty damn user friendly by now. There is also the possibility that the next android version will be bootable on normal PCs. Everyone already knows how to use that. Remember this could be implemented tomorrow and save everyone heaps of cash.
    Using Khan Academy could drastically decrease the cost and increase the efficiency of the educational system. Mexico is about to implement it to bolster its economy, why shouldn’t Ireland? It’s already in English, it just needs to be captioned in Irish to have everyone covered.
    Then there is abortion. Reproductive rights give societies strength. Maybe hard to do, but certainly one of the battles that is well worth the struggle. Here education also plays a role. Sexual education needs to improve. The standards we should strive for are already available, we just need to implement them. This of course involves showing the catholic lobby the door, but people should be ready for that anyways.
    I’m sure there is lots more to add.

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