Thursday 30 March 2017

Our councillors will be with us for a while yet

Doing ‘the turn’ for a vote is miles away from seeking bribes for secretly touting influence
Doing ‘the turn’ for a vote is miles away from seeking bribes for secretly touting influence
John Downing

John Downing

Time was when the sociologists, anthropologists, and many's the other "ologist" could not get enough of studying the quaint Irish way of politics.

The main focus was in the 1970s and 1980s and the buzz words were "clientelism" and "brokerage." The two phenomena are cousins - and we need not bother with the fine distinctions. The main "ologists'" theme was that Ireland - in common with other poor, rural societies, with a colonial past - relied unduly on politicians to mediate encounters with the State system.

The general view was that our councillors, TDs and senators could not necessarily get us much beyond our entitlements. But the legend was that politicians could speed delivery and render the effort of getting things less painful.

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