I'm not sure what the job of a TD is it seems to be pretty close to a godfather, you have to ensure that all the roads are pothole free, that the planning process is avoided, that the medical cards are given to those that are not entitled to them. You have to be able to kiss babies and shake loads of hands.
You must ensure that noone else who is capable in your constituency gets to run, that your son and heir or at least a close family connection is lined up behind you in the council.
You must ensure that you can pick the greatest amadán in the county and somehow nurture him to be your running mate, but never a threat. He may get a seat from your surplus but he wont take your seat.
Oh and you have to seat in a commitee and discuss legislation (its not a very important part of teh job and most peaople wont notice if you are not there. But by god dont miss John Kellys funeral.
So I have an idea, its something I have mentioned here before a couple of times in the last year or so and has been suggested again over the last two days by davidos/ daky I think.
1) Change the dail to 100 deputies.
2) Elect 50 from single seat constituencies.
3) Elect 50 from a list system.
4) Clearly define the role of a TD.
5) Reduce drastically the wages for a TD.
6) Define and expand the role of Councillors and the Civic Information Centres.
7) Have strict enforcement for any small favours (such as planning or washing machines) that a TD does. All this patronage should lead to instant dismissal.
Effectively you are downgrading the lustre of the job, get people who are honest. and who want to legislate, not kiss babies.