Your Voting System
They are two Houses in the Irish Parliament or Oireachtas: the Dáil and the Seanad (Senate). On the 26th of February, the Irish electorate will elect the members of the 32nd Dáil who will assemble shortly afterwards to elect a Taoiseach (Prime Minister) following agreement on the Government. Most Senate members are elected separately and some are appointed by the Taoiseach.
Leinster House in Dublin hosts the Oireachtas.
The people of Ireland directly elect the members of Dáil Éireann (who are called Deputies or TDs). Citizens aged 18 years and over may vote. By law, a general election to Dáil Éireann must be held at least every five years. The country is divided into areas known as constituencies. The size of these constituencies varies and they may elect either three, four or five TDs. According to the Constitution, there must be at least one TD for every 20,000 to 30,000 people. A TD may be a member of a political party, or be an independent.
The election takes place in the first round.
Role of my TD?
The main parliamentary function of TDs is to pass laws. They also take part in debates and make representations on behalf of members of the public, interest groups and in the case of TDs, their constituents. In addition, TDs may ask parliamentary questions about issues such as fracking or social welfare.
What is the role and function of the Dáil?
- Introduces and debates Bills;
- Debates issues of public concern;
- Examines and oversees Government policy and administration;
- Approves the funding of Government departments.
166 TDs representing 43 constituencies.
“Vote Frack Free”?
Fracking is a major problem for the Irish environment and human health. It will need a majority of TDs to support a Ban Fracking Bill to make sure that Fracking is not introduced in Ireland. “Vote Frack Free” is a campaign that lobbies all candidates about Fracking and urges them to sign a pledge to support legislation that will ban fracking in Ireland. Shale gas is a fossil fuel, an energy source of the past, and is not compatible with sustainable development in the future.