Monday, April 25, 2011

The General Election - A Members View.

While we undoubtedly achieved huge gains in the General Election, I can't help but feel that some of these gains were only made through brutally hard work and a certain amount of good fortune. The truth I discovered in this campaign is that our party is still not fit for purpose despite four years since efforts begun following the disasterious General Election campaign in 2007.

Many of the problems identified then, and further identified in Killian Forde's departing note, still exist and show no signs of being rectified, and until they are rectified I feel that the party will be continuing to float along while being the organisational equivalent of the Titanic. Briefly, I'll outline some of the problems I've identified:

1. Communication: The party still lacks effective communications between grassroots and it's structures. For someone trying to flag some issue or aid in some project it's still, as Killian Forde pointed out, a near impossible task of attempting to navigate through a maze of bureaucracy whether policy groups, committees, or an executive that is uncontactable directly.

2. Structures: We have redundant structures which function as simply a rubber stamp for the decisions of subordinate structures, one fine example being the Cuige. Sinn Fein is the only organisation I've been a member of in which the concept of a structure which by-passes all other structures has been conceived or even found necessary, going by the name of the Organisation Development Unit (ODU). Surely this indicates that there are dire organisational problems, which the ODU should have been a temporary fix to until some kind of reform could take place.

3. Appointments: There has still been no changes to how the party seeks candidates for full-time positions within the party. This is still resulting in people who lack qualification in the areas they are responsible for getting the job. An odd advertisement in An Phoblacht does not count as transparent recruitment while other jobs are appointed almost without competition. The party is still in clear breach of employment legislation as long as this practice continues.

To conclude, I think that it is vital that our party must be a mirror reflection of the Ireland we wish to create. The grand aspirations are no good if those who seek to bring them about cannot act in their image.