Cllr Dominick Donnelly welcomes reduced spending limits in upcoming elections

10 February 2009

Lower campaign spending is sensible and makes for better politics

The Green Party’s candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, has welcomed the introduction for the first time ever of limits on the amount of money that candidates can spend in the forthcoming local election campaign. He also welcomed the announcement today by Green Minister for Local Government John Gormley that there will be a new 60 day time period during which the limits apply, which is twice as long as the period that applied during the 2007 Dáil election campaign.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “Lower spending by candidates during the forthcoming election campaign is a no brainer. In a time of deep economic turmoil, less spending equals less financial waste. It also makes for better politics, by levelling the playing field for all election candidates and reducing the influence of vested interest in the political system. The days of candidates spending nearly €40,000 to get elected to local councils is over. The limits are not unreasonably restrictive but they will curb the excesses seen in recent elections.

“Candidates standing for election on Friday 5 June in the Carrigaline area of Cork County Council will be able to spend a maximum of €15,000, although I expect that most will spend considerably less than that.

“I also welcome the publication of a study which presents options on: the establishment of an Electoral Commission in Ireland that will take over the functions of the Standards in Public Office Commission; organising the electoral register; constituency revisions; the funding of the political system; how elections and referenda are run; the modernisation of electoral law; the registration of political parties; and research and awareness activities.

“The announcements made today are sensible, progressive and important components of the Green Party’s ongoing programme of political reform. I look forward to the forthcoming publication of John Gormley’s white paper on local government reform, which will redefine how politics operates in our communities, and will bring power closer to the people. One of the founding principles of the Green Party is that political, social and economic decisions should be taken at the lowest effective level. We are making good progress towards the realisation of that principle,” Cllr. Donnelly concluded.

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