Voting options in the byelections


Sir, – A smart leader would have found a way to avoid the upcoming byelections. It was not impossible to do so. They are unnecessary and will cost a huge amount which could be better spent on the needy rather than the greedy.

As a concerned citizen I felt I needed to make a protest and so lodged my nomination in Cork North-Central and €500. Having thought further, I realised that being on the ballot paper would only add credibility to the process. Everyone who takes part, including the electorate, is giving these elections a credence they don’t deserve right now.

Having withdrawn on Friday, November 15th, I felt I still had a responsibility to the needy and the young. Later that day I heard about the 157 young people who sat in the Dáil earlier. The same number as the TDs who were absent. One has to ask why they were absent most especially on this truly historic day?

The maturity of our youth was impressive. I thank them for giving me hope. Perhaps some day one will be a great leader of this country. We have not had one in many years.

In elections in our third-level colleges, students are mature enough to be given the option “Return to Nominations” on ballot papers. This allows them to signal their dissatisfaction with all candidates without spoiling their vote. Ironically it appears that only two of the wider electorate currently have this privilege. One is a Mr Varadkar and the second a Mr Martin. Why not the rest of us?

I will need this option on Friday as I may be voting “return to nominations” (RTN or R) across my ballot.

Think of the power refusing to endorse any of the candidates on the ballot paper would give the electorate. Elected candidates would have to respect these votes – especially if the percentage of them was high. It would demand more of candidates who would be required to show leadership much earlier. It would allow voters to make a mature choice and it might even make our children proud. – Yours, etc,


Kerry Pike, Co Cork.