On the 16 April 2014, an Independent TD, Catherine Murphy,tried to get the
Government to agree that Independent candidates in Irish elections would be
allowed to describe themselves as "Independent" on the ballot paper. She
failed in her efforts. Independents in Ireland will continue to be described in
the upcoming local and European elections as "Non-Party".
The term "Non-Party" sounds negative, is negative and can give an
impression that a candidate would like to be in a party but can't make it.
It also conjures up images of someone who is against everything and for
nothing. The opposite is most often the truth.
In the present Dáil, Independent TDs are by a long shot the outstanding
performers. Independents are scoring highly in the polls. Interestingly, the
polls describe them as "Independents", not "Non-Party".
The Government parties of Fine Gael and Labour may well be afraid that a
new breed of TDs who put their country before party may infest the next
Dáil with integrity and non-corruption.
And how horrible it would be if, after achieving power, they were to insist
that in future elections all candidates who belong to parties be henceforth
described as "Non-Independents" on future ballot papers.
An equitable quid pro quo?