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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 24, 2009 @ 10:48 am

    How to Bribe a Politician

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    This just in. Never heard of this fellow, Ross O’Mullane before. His name has an unfortunate echo of the satirical character Ross O’Carroll-Kelly but I take it he’s for real and that his candidacy in Dublin South is genuine.

     YouTube Preview Image

    Or maybe not. He also sent me the email below. Bribe a Politician on the web, eh? No more brown envelopes? Sounds like the end of civilisation as we (unfortunately) have known it.

    More generally, Mr O’Mullane appears to be a proponent of internet democracy. The fiasco of the e-voting machines has set back the notion of e-democracy by many years but could still be a good idea, if properly administered and with the right safeguards and precautions. More than that, it is is probably inevitable. Anyway, here’s the message from Ross O’Mullane, or should that be “Ross O’Mullane”? Oi mean, loike, you  never know, goys.

    Political Bribery Made Easy with New Website  

    www.bribeapolitician.com is a website where members of the public can take part in the secretive world of bribing and lobbying elected representatives. On an online form, web users can select what elected representative, political party or organisation they wish to support. Then they can choose what category the donation falls in to, options include references to questionable governmental decisions in the alcohol, construction and banking industries.To complete the ‘transaction’ the person must enter a donation amount before being whisked off to a secure bribing environment. “Political parties are struggling with the web, all this transparency and communication is distracting them from their core goals – which are acquiring or staying in power and fund-raising” says website founder Ross O’Mullane, he continues “Now thanks to www.bribeapolitician.com, people can scratch a politicians back on a one-to-one basis, or join forces and form lobby groups from the comfort of their own home.”O’Mullane claims the website was setup in an attempt to make government more efficient. “No more having to travel to dimly lit hotel lounges, no more awkward brown enveloped exchanges – now you can ‘interact’ with your elected representative without having to touch their greasy palms.”================================================================================

    Serious Note:
    Bribeapolitician.com has been set up to highlight the cronyism and bribery that has destroyed our country. Ross O’Mullane is running for Dail Eireann in the upcoming by-election for Dublin South. His campaign is centred around a website www.unitedminds.ie where people can discuss ideas and then create his mandate – it’s direct democracy via the web.

    • paul m says:

      “where people can discuss ideas and then create his mandate”

      Not to sound cynical but that’s hilarious. You give me the good ideas, I’ll run on them giving me an air of forward thinking and appearing to be addressing the issues at hand. Doesn’t sound like a new concept to me. We’ve been sold the gilded (guilty?) promises before, just door-to-door not browser-to-browser.

      Reminds me of the time I went to school guidance counsellor and said I wanted to do Art in college. She then rather patronisingly said that I should go get her the application forms and prospectus, she’d have a read through them and then I could come back to see her again and she’d tell me about the course. The icing on the cake was her follow-up remark, when she expressed surprise I was applying for Art as my grades were very high and therefore would I not consider Architecture or Engineering?

      That in essence touches on the mindset within this country’s establishments. Success (and/or happiness) being a measure of the supposed merit of your job within the pre-established professional hierarchy from top dog to bottom feeder coupled with those social circles you are expected to mingle with someday. So is it about to change? Will we see the non-conformists rise to the forefront to show clear thinking within an establishment with the most arcane of written (and unwritten) rules?

      Best of luck to Mr O’Mullane, I suspect we will see a torrent of independent fresh faces competing to tap into the discontent as a means to bolster their public careers, and of course to revamp Irish politics. Clearly You’re a Star isn’t good enough these days.

    • Joanna Tuffy T.D. says:

      Deaglán,

      Because I am such an anorak about your blog I am pretty sure that Ross posted a comment on one of your posts in January.

      He’s been reported upon a couple of times in your paper too.

      Video creative. Not much of a fan of his website and I couldn’t even make a donation! On a more serious note the video has some valid political points (even a bit of a lefty I think) but the website is just cynical about politics.

      Joanna

    • Clark J Hazarde says:

      This is brilliant – another populist politician is exactly what Éire needs.

    • Paul M – I understand why you would be so cynical, but to expand on “where people can discuss ideas and then create his mandate”

      - this would be an on-going conversation with web users and constituents, it’s not about me furthering my career as much as citizens having a voice.

      - rather than once every five years “listening” to constituents, I will be able to do this in real time.

      - also, it being web based I’ll be more open to scrutiny, and the system will be more transparent.

      I am not claiming to have the solution to using the web to make technology more efficient – but I am trying something.


      Deaglán
      - many thanks for the coverage. the bribeapolitician.com website is a stunt to get some attention, + I think people should be reminded of the transactions of “our” political parties on a regular basis.

    • Kynos says:

      Janey this is class. I tried to get Bertie to put a monkey on the 3:30 at Kempton Park but it wouldn’t let me. Would have been a sure-fire win going on form. Have to admire the guy’s style though. Cynicism? Sure it’s the new Black.

    • Paul M - points noted, to expand on “where people can discuss ideas and then create his mandate” – this will be an ongoing process, rather than once every five years, I should (in theory) have an accurate indication of my constituent’s views on any issue in real time.

      Joanna - http://www.bribeapolitician.com is not cynical about politics – it is cynical of our form of representative democracy. (thanks for other notes, amazed you recalled I posted before!)

      Clark – populist seems to be the dirty word for democratic?

      Deaglán – thanks for publicity.

      READERS – open to your feedback and ideas on unitedminds.ie – would love to hear from you.

    • The two main issues on the voter’s forum are “Legalise All Drugs (imbalancers)” and another about an underwater tunnel to Holyhead.

      I blogged about it myself yesterday. Idealistic concept IMO (some are more cynical) … it’d never ever work and it wouldn’t constitute a direct democracy by any means.

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      Ross, what would make far more sense is to have a third virtual chamber to the Oireachtas which would involve continuous mass participation. With ongoing discussion and everyone getting to vote once per day via the Red Button, we don’t need you for that. Just cut out the middle man completely.

      Call it OirectaPie.

    • An Fear Bolg says:

      Ross,

      My ideas that I would like to see in your mandate:

      (a) Lower taxes;
      (b) More and better public services;
      (c) Jobs for everyone/booming economy.

      THANKS!

    • Kynos says:

      Good luck Ross. I’ll drop by.

    • sw says:

      RO’M is the proponent of tacky marketing, not e-democracy

    • Kynos says:

      The only positive comment on this appears to be from me, who am a completely non-partisan political animal (believing as I do in Parity of Contempt for virtually all. None of them, NONE, shouted STOP when Bertie and Co. whored this country’s ports to foreign despots and slaves. They’ve all a share of guilt in the greatest act of self-deception perpetrated on the country yet. No. Not the housing bubble. But Ireland’s being forced to participate as a belligerent in a war of choice and aggression, and forced to become a passive facilitator of kidnap and torture).

      Criticism of Ross here is driven more by trepidation about his likes and the world of pain awaiting the current ruling parties from the ordinary Joe/Jo Voter than by disdain for his efforts I’ll warrant. Though given the contempt in which the ruling parties hold the Irish People from whom (under God) all authority allegedly flows … perhaps not. Never mind, Ross. Gandhi once said “First they ignore us, then they laugh at us, then they fight us, then we win.” Hard rain’s gonna fall this year for Ireland and Irish politicians of the…um…”traditional” caste. Not as if some of us haven’t been trying to warn ye for a long time now but nothing is so hard as to make people see that which their incomes and personal aggrandisement depend on their not seeing. We are living in interesting times. Schadenfreude is also the new black amongst some of us. I welcome the likes of Ross who is an ordinary guy sick to his back teeth with the disgusting tissue of corruption, dishonesty, cronyism and the moral vacuum Irish politics has become. Which is why we find ourselves in the Catastrophe we are in today.

    • Dan – really like that idea.

      Kynos – thanks for positivity. I’m fully open to constructive criticism, often what i meet are threatened members of these political social clubs.

      Thanks to all readers!


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