Wednesday 7 December 2016

10-year limit for TDs would deny voters valuable experience

Niamh Gallagher

Published 05/09/2016 | 02:30

‘Is it not the beauty of our Dáil that it is a mix of older and younger experienced TDs
and novices?’ Photo: Tony Gavin
‘Is it not the beauty of our Dáil that it is a mix of older and younger experienced TDs and novices?’ Photo: Tony Gavin

Scarcely a week ago, Junior Minister Sean Canney of the Independent Alliance called for a two-term limit for TDs in office. Under the proposed limit, the maximum time any elected representative could serve would be 10 years.

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This move - made all the more bizarre by the fact that it is being suggested by a sitting politician - is yet another one designed to discredit politics and play to public cynicism towards politicians.

It is a ridiculous suggestion. In what other profession would experience be sniffed at in favour of greenness, and expertise thrown to one side? Can we imagine a surgeon being asked to lay down his tools after 10 years, or a university lecturer with years of wisdom being asked to step to one side in favour of a junior colleague? As a patient or student, who would be satisfied with that?

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