There was a piece in the Irish Times yesterday about ending or modifying the practice of paying for free postage for candidates.
I assisted a TD in 2007 by creating some filter software on the electoral register for a Dublin constituency for the An Post free mail out. While the An Post element is free to the candidates, the printing is at the candidate’s own expense and the candidate wanted to reduce the overhead. I produced a reduced list that substituted the “Family name Household” where there was more than one person with the same surname at the one address. I think it reduced the mail-out by something of the order 30% or more. (I believe I’m still owed pints for that, and yes I’d be open to doing the same for others but solely on a commercial basis in future.). So reductions are feasible whatever about the notion advanced in the article of houses not being uniquely numbered. The notion of a single booklet isn’t a bad one. Fact is that you can’t get much info on a DL leaflet anyway. To remove the facility entirely would mean that those with enough cash to fund a drop would be much better placed to get their name out there. So some sort of mass delivery makes sense.
The other massive mail out cost that is much unheralded is the NUI and TCD Seanad panels. I ran for the NUI panel and we had to provided them with 108,000 DL leaflets, there were 24 candidates (but I think 4/5 didn’t send anything out) so that’s well over a €1 million for just the NUI, TCD would have been under half that size.