Monday, December 14, 2009

New representative in the Rotten Borough

This morning they counted the votes in the Seanad byelection caused by the election of Labour's Alan Kelly to the European Parliament in June. Under the rules, even though Councillors, TDs and outgoing Senators can vote for the various panels immediately after a general election, only sitting members of the houses of the Oireachtas can vote for casual vacancies. Talk about making a closed shop even more closed. Of course this happens to work in favour of the government at the moment as had all Councillors had been allowed to vote, the seat would have been retained by the opposition - probably swinging from Lab to FG unless a deal was struck.

In the end the Green's Niall Ó'Brolcháin, former Galway City Councillor and Mayor, was elected by taking 119 of the 205 valid votes cast. This is the same person who after losing his seat in Galway City Council in the local elections in June announced his retirement from public life and who also suggested that the Greens should leave their current coalition if FG and Lab made them an offer. It will be interesting to see if he continues in his maverick (but not Gogarty-esque) ways or will he have to toe the line now that he is part of the establishment.

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