Thursday, May 04, 2006


Who's the Dick responsible for this mess?

Dick, Dick, Dick... I see the Government, and in particular the Minister for the Environment Dick Roche, are sweating profusely now after the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern last night told the Dáil that the electoral system could be open to voter fraud if the register is not properly updated before the next General Election.

In a farcical state of affairs (no pun intended), it has emerged that 17,000 people eligible to vote in the Dublin South-East constituency are not registered and a further 15,000 people who have died or moved from the area are still on the register.

Mr Ahern told TDs that local authority officials and Census enumerators would have to go door-to-door to update the Electoral Register:

"I am afraid it will have to be a shank’s mare exercise, which is the only way we will get a good register.

"We need to take on that challenge this year. Otherwise, with far too many people on the register, it is open to voter fraud."

Mr Ahern added that there were houses in his own constituency where up to 80 people were registered.

Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte said Environment Minister Dick Roche (pictured above) should not be blaming local authorities as the responsibility rested with his department.

Mr Ahern replied that the Electoral Acts give powers to Mr Roche who then delegates them to the local authorities.

Mr Rabbitte summed things up in a fashion that was as fitting as it was funny:

"The Taoiseach spent Easter paying homage to the founders of the state. He is now administering a state where we cannot even have the right to vote, although he admits that he provides for the dead generations to vote. How are we supposed to take this seriously?"

Indeed. It seems only in this country could this kind of incompetent boobery take place.

As if that wasn't worrying enough for the Government, the Irish Examiner has reported on a warning from Labour Party TD Eamon Gilmore that the Government might be forced to pay out compensation to voters if they are denied their constitutional right to vote.

I think it's really embarrassing beyond belief that we are now faced with a situation where, rather than Fianna Fáil asking the electorate for their votes, the electorate are actually asking Fianna Fáil for the right to vote.

Soldiers of destiny? More like debility.


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