You may be under the impression reading my blog of late that I have a thing against our Senators and the Seanad in general. Nothing could be further from the truth, I love our Senators, I think every house should have one. Apart from the Senators that have graced the digital pages of my musings of course.
Labour Senator Denis Landy is one such undesirable. Senator Landy had the misfortune of gracing the front page of the Sunday Independent last July. As a general rule for politicians – if you’re on the front page of the Sindo then its probably not good for your career. Unless it’s Labour Senator John Whelan, who seems to have weekly column slagging off his own comrades in the Labour Party.
Senator Landy made the front page of the Sunday Independent because he said, he was approached by an individual who told him he would get flights and accommodation in New York if he stayed away from voting on the Seanad abolition bill and the abortion bill.
What did Landy do? Rather than reporting the attempted bribe to the relevant authorities, he told his story to the Sindo instead. Senator Landy, ignoring the previous three decades of bribery and corruption and the pissing all over our democracy, won’t tell us who tried to bribe him. When pressed by Hugh O’Connell, even said the ‘bribe’ claim ‘is a matter for himself’.
Because bribing politicians in Ireland hasn’t been a big deal in the past.
In recent days the Senator has removed his head from the sand and has begun campaigning to retain the Seanad. His tweets are all about democracy and saving the Seanad. Including this rather precious exchange with Patrick Nulty, TD for Dublin West.
‘75,000 of them’
What could he possibly be talking about ? There’s not 75,000 votes in his constituency of Tipperary South.
We don’t have 75,000 councillors in Ireland. It may seem that way, but if there was, the world health organisation would classify that as a plague and quarantine the whole country.
Where could he have possibly got 75,000 votes from ?
Senator Landy was elected to the Seanad with just 75 votes. Yes – sweet talking 75 councillors will earn you a €60,000 a year job in the Seanad. Not bad work if you can get it.
Where Landy got his 75,000 number from is simple. During a Seanad election count, the returning officer multiples the number of votes you receive by 1000. They do this because its easier fractionalise when it comes to distributing transfers. And lets face it, being able to say you were elected with 75,000 votes to a €60,000 a year job is far less embarrassing than saying you got 75 members of your own party to elect you.
Denis Landy electoral record.
So, 75 votes equates to 75,000 votes in Senator Landy’s head. 75 votes wouldn’t get you elected to most Town councils but it can get you elected to the Seanad .
Now that he has rekindled his lust for democracy it might be a good idea for Senator Landy to put creed in his deed and tell us who tried corrupt him and the Seanad.