Playing Twenty Questions

Last week, Damien Mulley emailed a goodly number of bloggers and asked them for a max of 5 questions they’d like politicians to answer on their door steps.

Some of the subjects were fairly predictable- each person took the chance to take a quick ride on their hobby horses, myself included. However, there are also a fair number of interesting questions raised. And in some cases, the questions are ones that I’d also like answered- because if the answer was what the questioner seemed to want, I’d be dropping them down my preference list pronto.

Here are some that caught my eye.
“Do you have a plan to compensate people who are hard hit by a property crash because they overextended themselves by trying to be property investors?” – Treasa Lynch
My answer: If you do, you’ll be fighting to implement it over my dead body. (Granted, that won’t be much of a fight, as I’ll be dead. But I might haunt you.) Transferring money from the general public purse to compensate those who have overextended themselves in unwise investment is regressive.

“What are you practically doing to encourage decentralisation?”- Conor O’Neill
My answer: The first step to practical implementation of decentralisation would be to abandon the current decentralisation plan. It is actively hindering the delivery of public services.

“If elected Minister for Justice what constitutional amendments would you like to see introduced?”
Fiona De Londras
My answer: Only if dragged by absolute need ought the Department of Justice attempt to alter the constitution. They’ve got a lot in the administrative and legislative spheres to get right first.

“Will you support the mention of God, in the Christian sense only, in the draft European Constitution?”- Steven Day
My answer: Gods shouldn’t be in constitutions. It makes things messy. And if our imaginary candidate did want to make sure that the Christian God got a plum spot I start to have doubts about his opinions about other things. You know, things that might actually matter.

“Are you going to properly empower local government? Do you believe it should be empowered?”- Anon
My answer: Local government is rotten to the core. Clean it up before you try to give it power over anything it doesn’t already have in its dirty mitts.

“Will you insist any new money for the health service be given only in parallel to the introduction of private service provision?”- Mr. Waghorne
My answer: Don’t we already have private service provision? In fact, I think I have health insurance for just such a reason.

But there was one issue that lots of people wanted an answer to;
“Can you promise, with no ifs or buts, that there are no circumstances in which you would enter government with Sinn Fein or govern relying on their votes?”
“Did you spend the last 30 years justifying murder on the basis that your politics was more important than the dead people’s lives?”
“Are there any parties that you would not go into coalition with and why?”
“Would their party ever go into a coalition with Sinn Fein?”
“Will you go into government with Sinn Fein?”

My answer: It’s good to see that I’m not the only person for whom the Sinn Fein question is a deal-breaker.


  • […] But as Simon said earlier this week a few blogging voters are interested in the views of parties towards Sinn Fein as potential coalescees. Will this spread to the general electorate? […]

  • Keith Martin says:

    There are too choices facing the electorate in May 2007.

    1. More of the same

    2. A fairer society

    This is the richest this country has ever been and there have been great improvements but with all these resources at hand this country should be so much better. But our health service is a sham, our streets aren’t safe and greed is god.

    Time for change!

  • Simon McGarr says:

    I think change is needed as well. But I’d be interested in hearing why you think that opinion is an increasingly minority view.

    If the message isn’t coming across in an appealing way, it’s time to examine what’s wrong with that presentation and take remedial action.

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