Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Labour Civil Union bill and Colm O'Gorman's leader's reaction

I was struck when listening to the radio on last Tuesday night by the vehemence of Minister McDowell's response to the opposition during the debate about the Labour civil union Bill.

It then occurred to me that it must be even more strange for Colm O'Gorman, someone for whom the notion of civil unions in Ireland is of more than academic interest, that the party he is now a member of and a candidate for was playing politics with this issue.

What exactly is so defective about the Labour Bill? Indeed, what was so terrible about the Labour Bill that meant that he as minister for Justice wasn't proposing amendments and then passing it into law with a view to revising it later. Instead he has long fingered the proposal for a number of years at least.

Perhaps the truth lies more in the fact that the PDs may be dependent on the transfers of FF candidates in a number of constituencies and irrespective of the PD's own position it is important not to spook the FFers.

The so called progressive Arab world and U.L.

I was looking for some news on blogs and came across this awful story. And to think this is one of the so called progressive Arab nations that the US is so keen to promote.

And to think my own alma mater is allegedly "after me" for this lidal, biddy veedayooh. I guess I can hope to avoid a spell in cokey.

Mention in 'da paper'

My nomination got a mention in the paper or should I say da paper today. One minor inaccuracy I'm a UL graduate and as such not an NUI graduate, won't want people to think I was try to deliberately mislead anyone.

Monday, February 19, 2007

NUI Update on the register

I was talking with someone from the NUI recently and it appears there may be something of a quandary over the registers of the two university panels.

There is a new register available every June 1st. The register to be used for an election is meant to be the one in effect when the Dail is dissolved. For this upcoming election it is widely believe that the Dail will be dissolved mid April. Meaning the new 2007 register would not be used, reverting to using the existing 2006 register. This means that recent graduates will not be included on the register.

However, when a similar situation arose in 2002 the NUI used the new register which they had compiled even though it had not yet come into effect. In the same election TCD on contrast used its previous register.

This time out the pressure is on TCD to use a new register as in the preparation of the 2006/07 register they misled 700 voters who had properly set in their registration forms

The boxes that the votes were in were overlooked/lost/misplaced. Senator Norris of TCD has raised a stink - rightly so in my view. It now seems that the best way for TCD to get out of their problem is to use their new register which should include these 700 names along with any other new folks. Unless they perchance mislay some of them too! However, that in turn means that the NUI is highly likely to also use a new register. So what you might say? Well, one thing is that candidates need the register in order to campaign .And given that the resources the NUI and TCD allocate to the task of updating their registers typically have from end of Feb to beginning of June to complete their task, slightly more than 3 months but this year they may need to issue the register earlier perhaps 6 weeks earlier in 50% of the time they would normally have. With it would appear at this time no extra resources allocated. And also no actual deadline to work against since they don't know when the Dail will be dissolved.

Either a decision should be made to use the existing register unless the Dail is dissolved after June 1st or more resources need to dedicated to updating the register to ensure that the work can be completed in time.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Last autumn, I declared my intention to contest the NUI Seanad panel. Since then I've been hugely encouraged by the support I've received from people across the country and beyond. I am contesting this election for the 23rd Seanad as an candidate for the NUI Constituency. Feel free to read some biographical information

While the main reason for deciding to contest these elections is that as a UL graduate I, like many others, not allowed to vote in the Seanad elections, that isn't my only concern. I am seeking to draw attention to a number of other issues. Amongst them

A reversal of the imposition of residential charges on disabled adults.

A commitment to resourcing research and facilitating lifelong learning.

Broader Seanad Reform to allow all Irish citizens a vote.

Reforms to ensure consistency in sentencing and the delivery of real justice.

I'm running as an independent but doesn't mean that I'm indifferent to the government. I'll be straight with you, if you genuinely believe that the last ten years of government have been the remotely close to the best we could have aimed to have then I'm probably not the guy for you. We've had governments that have contented themselves with not rocking the boat, cabinets of mediocrity and a Taoiseach more in the moulds of middle management than leadership.

I believe that we have more in our grasp that we imagine. And if we were to lift our eyes above,

I know that much of my views will sound like they were lifted from the script of the West Wing but would that be so bad?