Irish Examiner view: Proposal of 20 junior ministers trying to sop to bruised egos

Irish Examiner view: Proposal of 20 junior ministers trying to sop to bruised egos

This is a small country, physically and in terms of population.

Yet, it has over 30 local authorities and a two-tier parliament. That incongruity is exacerbated as more and more local authorities seem almost indifferent to their elected members — local democracy is not as robust as it might be.

National government, it seems, is at risk of being equally diluted, pushing it beyond practicality or effectiveness.

If current talks to form a government reach a positive conclusion, then 20 ministers of state will be appointed.

This is a bizarre indulgence and just a sop to bruised egos. It is proposed that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael might each get eight junior seats and the Greens would get four.

Only once before, at the 2007 peak of the Bertie Boom, were so many appointed.

The Constitution, for good reasons, limits the number of senior ministers.

The same principle should apply to junior ministers, especially as that would inculcate the culture of compromise necessary to making our ever-more fragmented politics work.

And it is not as if our representatives have so much political capital that they can afford to squander it.

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