Voting procedures in Dáil Éireann

 

Sir, – A tip for other Fianna Fáil TDs who find themselves forgetting how to vote correctly in the Dáil: the procedure is to sit in your allocated seat and follow the Fine Gael whip’s instructions. – Yours, etc,

AIDAN HARTE,

Donnybrook,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – Micheál Martin accepted the explanation of Lisa Chambers who “mistakenly” voted on behalf of a colleague, proceeded to vote again on her own behalf, and then “forgot” to inform the Dáil teller that she had voted twice.

By contrast, Mr Martin ordered Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins to stand down from the front bench for what was in essence the same type of questionable behaviour as that of Lisa Chambers.

One can’t help but draw parallels with the supportive statements last weekend by Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris about Maria Bailey, whose previous behaviour and judgment, albeit in relation to another matter, were also questionable.

Can it be that there is one code of acceptable behaviour for male TDs and one for female TDs? What a pity that would be in an age of gender equality and what a step backwards. One wonders if there were a female leader at the helm of either party, would they tolerate such double standards? – Yours, etc,

MARY SMITH,

Sandyford,

Dublin 18.

Sir, – Tá or Níl? Have I got this right? If I impersonate another voter in any Irish election or referendum, even with their permission, I can be arrested. However, if I am an elected TD and do similarly, I step down from the front bench. – Yours, etc,

SIOBHÁN

NÍ­ CHUANAIGH,

Clonskeagh, Dublin 14.

Sir, – Just like unruly teenagers in class, those TDs should be told to turn up, sit down, put their phones in their lockers and pay attention. Or do they think that they are above all that? – Yours, etc,

JOHN K ROGERS,

Ballydorey,

Rathowen, Co Westmeath.

Sir, – It appears that TDs of all parties spend more time on the phone and chatting to each other at the back of the Dáil chamber than they do actually listening to debates and subsequently voting on the basis of what they have heard. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN

G CONROY,

Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – Perhaps John Bercow might consider pursuing a career journey across the Irish Sea to put manners on the voting disorder in the Dáil. Somebody needs to call it like it is. – Yours, etc,

CHRISSIE BYRNE,

Sandycove,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – A real case of “fastest finger first”. – Yours, etc,

DAVE O’SULLIVAN,

Athgarvan,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – Surely the most efficient and fool-proof solution to phantom voting in the Dáil is to fit each TD’s chair with a pressure plate pre-programmed with their sitting weight? A TD’s voting button could be connected to the pressure plate and only capable of operating when his or her posterior is in its assigned seat. No training should be required as most politicians already use their rear ends when speaking on weighty issues. – Yours, etc,

KARL MARTIN,

Bayside,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – Is it just coincidence or has the Rugby World Cup gone to the heads of those TDs who have recently revealed their mastery of such key skills as ducking and dodging, feinting movements and dummy runs? – Yours, etc,

DENIS O’DONOGHUE,

Killarney,

Co Kerry.

Sir, – TDs dismissed the option of using an identity card for electronic voting because they might “lose their cards”.

Did they never consider asking their mammies to stitch their ID cards into their mittens? – Yours, etc,

M JOYCE,

Wicklow.