Are politicians fit for the job they actually do…?

One of our new bloggers, Dan Sullivan is on Limerick radio this morning at 9.30am… talking about whether the politicians people chose are actually fit for the job… Hmmm… good question!!!

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  • Mick Fealty

    Good conversation. I’m going to see if we cannot get a copy of that. It has all sorts of resonances with some of our difficulties north of the border.

  • eranu

    “Are politicians fit for the job they actually do…?”
    i doubt anyone would say yes to that question. how can they be fit for the job of running a department when they have no previous experience working in whatever field their department is?

    seems to me the best idea would be to have politicians as some sort of maintenance man / overseer type role keeping the machinery of running the country ticking over. they could then be involved in appointing someone for example to run the health service. that person would have a background of many years working in the health system. they may have a proven track record in managing a hospital or some other high end responsibility.

  • Mick Fealty

    But surely we also need people who can both interpret the ‘public will’ and get othersinside the machine (council officers etc) to act upon it?

  • ulsterfan

    They may not be “fit for purpose”, but we do not deserve any better as we put them in, in the first place.

  • eranu

    mick, i dont think it would take that much to keep intouch with the publics concerns. for starters, they would have less concerns if a department was run well! maybe a few district health/education/etc partnership boards that would allow the public to voice their concerns now and again. a bit like a version of the district policing boards (ish).
    as far as council officers etc goes. im not really familiar with those sort of structures and what they do (if anything). but i think trying to get people into the machine is the last way people should be thinking. we should be looking for a simple management structure with most of the staff actually doing work.

    i bet if a person from a healthcare background came up with an entirely new structure for running the health service it would have a fraction of the middle management staff it has at the min.

  • barnshee

    Of course they are they are all economics/accounting/MBA graduates with extensive experience in commerce. Now they are sharing their skills and knowledge for the benefit of joe public.

    Alternatively they may be un/under educated turds who failed (inter alia)the 11+ ignored the opportunities piled up via education and in answer to at their own inadequacy whinged/bombed/gurned their way to well paid jobs- and are now out of their depth.

    Sadly drowning is not an option

    Match to your local MLA/MP as appropriate

  • jj

    Surely the point here is that anyone who puts themselves up for election is qualified as the public vote them in! Given the wide range of issues that MLA’s are meant to deal with, i doubt any qualification would cover it. Sure, there are some real dopes up on the hill, but we could all stand for election if we chose to!

  • eranu

    barnshee, you sound as if you think that being able to blow things up and calculate the number of protestants / catholics in a room at a single glance, are NOT skills that people look for when seeking people to run NI !! 😀

  • eranu

    jj, we did put *anyone* up for election, and we got a culture minister that said they didnt know much about ‘culture’ (Poots i think), and we have martina that thinks correct spelling isnt important! (i’ll stay out of that one..) then theres the slow motion car crash of watching someone who has nothing but nice sounding pc phrases, trying to reorganise education. if you think thats a mess now then wait until she tries to implement her ideas!

    we need to put people in charge of departments with a background in the business of the department. that would involve having a skilled person in a higher position than the elected mla, so thats never really going to happen. realistically perhaps once elected, the minister could put together a team drawn, for example, from the health system. confidence in the minister would then be boosted by health care workers having respect for the people in the ministers team.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    If you want different candidates and MLA’s you have to get involved with the parties. It’s the party that chooses the candidate and lets face it most people vote for their party of choice not the individual. Some people get a personal vote as well but the party affiliation makes a huge difference. Unfortunately the kind of thing that party activists like to reward don’t neccessarily equate to good governance. I think it will get better over time myself.

  • Dan Sullivan

    I would prefer to veer away from qualified since it is up to the people as voters to decide that. Instead, what I was trying to get at is that when making the choice of who to vote for (and with PR-STV you can pick a person as well as a party) that you are clear in your own mind what it is you want them to be able to do. Voting for someone because they have a nice smile and were once the captain of a football team is no way to select people to make decisions on development plans or how best to balance the competing needs of the general population.

    For too long in the republic we’ve been electing glorified administrators who take no responsibility for any negative outcomes. It’s always magically the staff’s fault.