Are You Registered to Vote?

Disenfranchised citizens throughout the New Or...

Its that time again to make sure that you are on the register to vote in the Referendum on the 30th Amendment to the Constitution (the Fiscal Compact) on May 31st. The deadline for the applying to be added to the supplementary register is Monday May 14th.

Local authorities are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the register of electors. The current register came into force on 15 February 2012.   People can check with their local authority directly or on www.checktheregister.ie to see if they are registered to vote in the forthcoming referendum. For those who are not registered, application forms (RFA 2) are available from your local authority and can be downloaded from www.checktheregister.ie.

There is also a narrow window of opportunity that will arise for those voters who are eligible for, but not already included in, the postal or special voters lists, and who are thinking of applying for inclusion in the supplements to those lists.The latest date for receipt of such applications, if the persons applying wish to be postal or special voters, as appropriate, at the forthcoming referendum is two days after the Polling Day Order for the referendum is made by the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan.  The Minister has not yet made the Polling Day Order for the Referendum, but eligible voters who will be seeking to avail of this facility are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The following are entitled to a postal vote:

Whole time members of the Defence Forces,

  • Garda Síochána,
  • Irish Diplomats serving abroad and their spouses/partners,
  • Persons living at home who are unable to go to a polling station to vote because of a physical illness or physical disability,
  • Persons whose occupations are likely to prevent them from voting at their local polling station on election day, including full-time students registered at home who are living elsewhere while attending an educational institution in the State.

So if you intend on voting in the Referendum make sure you are registered!

What is Joan Burton up to?

Crop of Joan Burton at launch of the Labour Pa...
Crop of Joan Burton at launch of the Labour Party's 2011 General Election campaign. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is the Minister for Social Protection, Labour’s Joan Burton, up to? First she complains loudly about Fine Gael Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan meeting Michael Lowry after the Moriarty report and a photo of taken at the NYSE involving an Taoiseach Enda Kenny and business man Denis O’Brien.

It now turns out that Joan Burton met with Denis O’Brien at that same event. Hypocrisy much?

This emerged last night at the Labour Party Conference which is currently underway in Galway.

But What she is playing at? Is she trying to split the Government? If there is some sort of controversy Joan seems to be the first Minister to the nearest microphone and spout something which may or not be related to the issue.

She did it on the Fiscal Compact drawing a comparison with a deal on the Promissory Note.

So is Joan running a long campaign for leadership or is she hoping for early elections before Labour slip further in polls.

Only time will tell.

Stronger Local Democracy – Options for Change

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Green Party Leader, John Gormley, launched a Green Paper Yesterday enititled “Stronger Local Democracy- Options for Change”. In his remarks on the announcment he had the following to say.

“Stronger Local Democracy presents a set of options for change which share a strong common theme of renewing local democratic leadership. Local government in Ireland is capable of doing much more to meet the needs of local communities. The options presented in this paper suggest how we might achieve that stronger local government system,”

Fine Gael’s Environment Spokesman, Phil Hogan TD, called the plan ‘High in Rhetoric but low in detail’, he explained

“The proposals include a directly elected Mayor for Dublin, with the possibility of directly elected Mayors in other cities and counties, but do not explain the functions of this office.”

Ciarán Lynch TD, Labours Spokesperson on Housing and Local Government welcomed the publication of the Green Paper, but he went to say

“The Green paper is, perhaps by its very nature, full of woolly aspiration, but it now needs to be tightened up, and flesh needs to be put on those bones. It is vital that as the reform process moves towards White Paper status, that these proposals become a reality, and not just a worthy list of aspirations that languish on the Govt’s desk, like we have seen in other areas of government.”

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Local Government, Martin Ferris TD had the following remarks to say

“While I welcome some of the proposals including the introduction of directly elected Mayors and the provision for holding plebiscites, I believe that in general it does not go far enough in setting out guidelines for a more radical strengthening of local democracy.”

He went on to say that nothing was being done to challenge the power of City and County Managers.

The Green Paper can be downloaded from the Departments Website in PDF