Kerry and Ireland need to make real change. It's no longer good enough that we pass the buck between the domestic Troika of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail. I will do everything i can to secure a recovery for all and a society for all.
The abolition of water charges and the winding down of Irish Water. A referendum on the ownership of the public water supply.
Increased funding for our health system, increasing mental health spending, in garda numbers and stations, and in the social safety net.
Stopping the TTIP trade agreement. It is a corporate power grab disguised as a free trade agreement. It will affect every aspect of our way of life.
Candidate positions on the election issues:
Budget and taxes
What should the priority be in the next budget?
With a growing economy, government revenue is increasing. This can be put back into the economy in the form of tax cuts or increased spending on public services, or it can be used to reduce the national debt.
"Our public services are cracking under the pressure. We must invest in education, Health, Gardaí and the social safety net. When a government spends the public will see benefits in their pockets in the long term. we must also begin to re-balance the tax burden, for fairness."
Should high earners pay more tax than they currently do?
There are two income tax rates: the standard rate of 20% applies to all income up to a certain amount (€33,800 for a single person); and the higher rate of 40%, applies to all income earned over that amount. The Universal Social Charge is also payable at different rates depending on income.
Yes, to reduce economic inequality high earners should pay more tax
No, high earners pay enough at present
No, to reward work high earners should pay less tax than they do now
None of the above
"The richest 25% now have more that 75% of the wealth. The lowest incomes share only 0.2% of the wealth.
It is massive inequality and must be solved through policies that create a flourishing middle class - that way everyone will benefit from the lowest incomes to the highest."
Water should be free at the point of use and funded through general taxation
The current policy (with capped charges per household) should be maintained
Households that use more water (above a set allowance) should pay more
None of the above
"Establishment parties will privatize out water supply, the charges will skyrocket and water poverty will be a new hell for many. There is no need for charges - none. Progressive taxation will fix the supply and a referendum to enshrine ownership in the constitution will stop the privatization agenda"
No, it is high enough; further increases could mean fewer jobs
No, the minimum wage is too high and should be decreased
None of the above
"In the medium term, we need to bring in the medium wage in line with the Living Wage- the cost of living in this country. Putting money in people's pockets will turn the economy around, helping to ease the transition to the living wage."
Yes, to improve rent certainty increases should be capped in line with inflation
No, current controls on rent are adequate
No, rent controls are to be opposed as they reduce the supply of housing
None of the above
"Among a number of other issue like security of tender and increase in the number of social houses. The current waiting list for social housing is 135,000. You can find out more here:http: //www.right2change.ie/policy-principles-progressive-irish-government"
The Department of the Environment provides funding to local authorities for Traveller accommodation (e.g. halting sites and group housing schemes), but many local authorities have been reluctant to build these sites due to local opposition.
Should the state do more to cover the cost of childcare?
The cost of childcare in Ireland is high by international standards. From September 2016, children over the age of three will be entitled to free pre-school for three hours a day. Beyond that it is up to parents to pay.
Yes, even if it means less resources available for other measures
No, current subsidies for childcare are adequate
No, the cost of childcare should be borne by parents
None of the above
"Affordable, quality Childcare to help parents return to work must be a priority of the next government. If elected I will do my best to establish such. Forcing people into work through cuts to social welfare payments is abhorrent. We need to support our children and their working parents."
Yes, schools should instruct pupils in line with their religions ethos
Pupils should learn about various religions, not one particular faith
No, religion should only be taught outside of school
None of the above
"I believe in the separation of church and state in education, health and other services. Pupils should learn of all religions and schools should be accommodating of all faiths, giving access to private,quiet areas for prayer or meditation if the pupil desires, but not as a course."
Yes, schools should be able to serve their own religious community first
Yes, but only if there are suitable alternatives (e.g. non-denominational schools) in the area
No, religion should have no place in school admissions policies for state-funded schools
None of the above
"I believe in the separation of church and state in education, health and other services. We are a modern nation and such have welcomed other faiths in to our society, schools should not discriminate against children of other faiths. We cannot leave 1 child behind in education."
Should we accept more refugees in Ireland than we currently do?
In response to the migrant crisis, the current government has agreed to accept more refugees. However, Ireland still takes a relatively small number of refugees compared to some EU countries (such as Germany and Sweden).
Yes, we should accept a greater number of refugees
No, we accept enough already
No, we should accept fewer refugees than we currently do
None of the above
"WE should accept the 4000 target of refugees. Help them acclimatize, train them to get them into work, help home them and welcome them into society. Many refugees will wish to return to their homelands in the coming years. We must look at more solutions to the problem of people risking journeys."
Some argue that greater integration is necessary to tackle EU-wide issues such as the financial crisis and the migrant crisis, while others believe that the EU interferes too much in the affairs of member states.
Yes, more power should be returned to member states
The current level of integration is acceptable
No, European integration should be pushed further
None of the above
"The Euro was a mistake. We gave up too much economic sovereignty for the cause. The E.U has turned on it's citizens and is a bloated mas of bureaucracy and un-elected officials. I believe it's current iteration must be reformed. More must be done to create a more democratic E.U."
"We need to take windfarms out of people's back yards and move them to off shore locations. With the right technology and locations we could drive down the cost of energy in this state for people and for businesses. but we cannot have windfarms so close to communities."
Should we sign up to the EU’s targets on reducing emissions?
The European Commission wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. Some groups are opposed to this because they believe it would have a negative impact on certain sectors, such as agriculture.
Currently only the government can call a referendum. In some countries, citizens can initiate a referendum to introduce or overturn legislation or amend the constitution, once a certain number of signatures are collected.
No, there should be a greater focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment
None of the above
"In some cases, including sexual assault cases, we have seen worryingly lack sentences. We must look to strengthen sentences, including for white collar crime. But the above question is too broad, we need to look at reform right across sentencing law."
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WhichCandidate is an independent website that aims to provide information to voters on the policy views of election candidates and political parties in Ireland during specific election campaigns. The policy positions of candidates are provided by the candidates themselves or by their political party.
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All officially registered candidates can voluntarily register on our site using their personal email account and edit their profile page. Candidates are responsible for keeping their user passwords confidential. By registering on the site, candidates can provide voters with information about their campaign. Candidates can also complete the policy questions, or they can alternatively continue to have their party policy positions displayed on their profile page. Candidates can also choose to provide their contact information on their profile page, such as email address.
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This information will be publicly available on the website for the purposes of informing the general public. An anonymised version of the completed questionnaire will be stored in a secure location by the University of Limerick and may be used for research purposes, for example research on political representation.
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WhichCandidate does not collect any identifying information about web visitors on this website. If you answer the policy survey on the website, or if you complete the optional questionnaire at the end of the survey, we will retain this information for research purposes (described below). None of these questions ask for information that could identify the user.
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The anonymous information collected on web visitors is used for the following purposes:
Answers provided to the policy questions are used to provide information to users on their match with election candidates.
Answers provided to the policy questions and to the optional questionnaire are used for academic research on public opinion and political representation.
Answers provided to the policy questions and to the optional questionnaire are shared with election candidates on an non-partisan basis, at no charge, to help improve the policial system.
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Frequenty Asked Questions
What is WhichCandidate?
WhichCandidate is a ‘voting advice application’ that allows voters to compare their own policy views with those of the candidates standing for election.
It aims to inform voters about the policy positions of candidates and to help voters to make a more informed voting decision.
How does it work?
A set of relevant policy issues are selected by the research team in advance of the election. Election candidates are contacted to complete a questionnaire on these issues. Each participating candidate is given a public profile on the website, incorporating their answers to the questionnaire.
Voters who visit the website are asked the same set of questions, and their answers are compared with the answers of the candidates. A customised results page is then presented to each user, containing a ranking of candidates ordered by how closely their answers match.
How is the ranking calculated?
First, we calculate the proximity of a user to a candidate on each question. To give an example, a question might have three answer options: Agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Disagree. Proximity can in this case be either:
1 (if the user and candidate select the same answer)
0.5 (if one selects the middle option and the other selects Agree or Disagree)
0 (if one selects Agree and the other selects Disagree)
We then take the average proximity between the user and candidate across all the questions that the user has answered. If for example a user has a proximity score of 0.5 to a candidate across all questions, the overall match with this candidate is expressed as 50%.
Some issues are more important to me than others. Can this be taken into account?
You first select the issues that are important to you, and you are then presented with questions related to those issues. You will only be matched with candidates on those issues. In addition, if there are any specific questions that you are not interested in, you can simply select 'no opinion' and they will be excluded from calculation.
Some candidates appear to be missing
We endeavoured to contact all declared candidates. Some candidates have declined to share their policy views with us and are not featured on the website. If you would like to see more candidates from your area on the website, please urge them to contact us and complete the survey.
If you are a candidate and were not contacted by us, please let us know.
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WhichCandidate is not associated with any political party or election candidate. It is run by researchers at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick. It is supported by funding from the Irish Research Council.
Who do I contact?
Any queries or feedback on WhichCandidate can be sent to Rory Costello at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick