Monday, June 18, 2007

Ignoring the Seanad elections

RTE radio is losing listeners because it's refusing to cover the Seanad elections. That's according to FF Senator Terry Leyden. His comment is the silliest, but only by a little, of all the nonsense in this article in this week's Sunday Independent.

RTE's spokesman justified the lack of coverage by pointing out that most of RTE's audience has no say in who is elected to the Seanad. He also noted that they'd be obliged to give equal time to all the candidates, which would be impractical. He forgot to mention that the Seanad is essentially a powerless talk shop, where the unelected (to the Dáil) and the unelectable gather to ... well, I don't know what. Not much of use, anyway.

Here are some choice quotes that illustrate how far removed some of these people are from the real world:
  • Brendan Price suggested that RTE's decision "was akin to censorship"
  • Mary Henry said, "The Trinity electorate is nearly 50,000 and the NUI is more than 100,000". Yeah, but how many of those 150,000 will actually vote?
  • Wildlife campaigner and Seanad candidate Brendan Ryan said, "The truth is that the electorate for the two constituencies of NUI and Trinity is far in excess of the the audiences achieved for programmes they like to make a fuss of". Uggh, again how many people who can vote actually CARE? I don't.
I think these folks have a slightly inflated sense of themselves. Really they should just be happy that Senators get all sorts of expenses and nice perks that will help them get elected to the Dail next time AND that they draw a nice salary. (I couldn't find what the current salary and expenses are, however. State secret?)