Tag Archives | Political reform

Seanad Eireann and an emerging consensus for functional reform?

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So Seanad Reform? It hasn’t gone away you know!  Leaving aside the practical consideration of how progress is to be made in discussions of future reforms, on the table are five ‘live’ documents: Senator John Crowne’s Seanad Electoral Reform Bill 2013 (March 2013) Senators Zappone and Quinn’s Seanad Bill 2013 (published on behalf of Democracy Matters) more…

A real chance to promote Assembly reform must not be lost

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  Just a reminder if you need it -and you can hardly be blamed if you have noticed. You have until 28 March to submit your proposals to reform the politics of Northern Ireland. The Assembly and Executive Review Committee is carrying out  a review of the GFA arrangements which is required by 2015. They more…

What if we ran reduced dHondt with a ninety seat Assembly?

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All the news with the informal tweeted D’Hondt, along with Brian’s article on local democracy got me thinking what would happen if this election had taken place in the context of 90 MLAs and only 6 ministries being selected under D’Hondt. Hopefully this’ll provide enough intrigue to carry on ’til Monday when the ministers are more…

One Man One Vote… Err… Not In Belfast

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Unionist votes are worth more than Nationalist votes, all thanks to 6 men staring down a hole! Just look at the following distribution though Belfast’s current District Electoral Areas: Victoria has an electorate of 25,814 and has 7 seats Oldpark has an electorate of 22,408 and has 6 seats Upper Falls has an electorate of more…

Political reform ideas for a new era in Ireland

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Political reform proposals are emerging thick and fast in the wake of the Irish election to try to ensure that never again will such an existential crisis catch the whole country unawares. For outsiders the process just beginning will provide a new and fascinating test  of the relevance of political reform to  profound real life more…

Trench warfare, kamikaze style…

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The Northern Ireland Executive’s trench warfare continued today with NI deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, issuing a statement claiming that the UUP and the SDLP “were lobbying for public money for their parties in talks with the British government in exchange for adopting an oppositional role in the Assembly.” Well, it’s a variation on his more…

“Trench warfare has erupted…”

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Via Newshound.  In the Sunday Times Liam Clarke welcomes the “trench warfare” the parties are engaging in over the Northern Ireland Executive’s draft spending plans.   Apparently, it’s better than the sectarian squabbling that went before…  ANYhoo…  From the transcribed Sunday Times article The eruption of public anger and megaphone diplomacy reflects the poisonous atmosphere around more…

“I have heard it from very good authority…”

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When is calling for a properly-funded opposition not a call for a properly-funded opposition? When it’s secret negotiations over compensation for lost ministerial funds… At least, that’s the line the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, has been busily spinning to anyone who will listen. And it comes “from very good authority”… “within the NIO”. more…

“That long term approach is not confined to policing…”

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Confirmation that the UK government is to provide an additional £200million to help the PSNI combat the continuing, and increasing, terrorist threat here – over four years with £57.1m in 2011-12, £53.3m in 2012-13, £62.4m in 2013-14 and £26.7m in the final year. And the BBC report carries these comments from the NI Justice Minister, the Alliance more…

Why not have a virtual Dail Eireann?

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Nice post from Dan Sullivan, who also blogs with Slugger, which identfies a kink in the in idea that shorter working days (or rather nights) are more friendly. Hmm, not for those TDs who live down country says Dan. Instead, he suggests: …a solution to this might be to question why we need the Dail more…

Political reform: Brief case for a constitutional convention 2.0

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There are some batty ideas doing the rounds at the moment, not least with regard to political reform in the Republic. The best I’ve heard so far was from James on Twitter the other night, which suggested emigrants could get the vote, if they lived in a number of extra territorial uber-constituencies (ahem, Northern Ireland more…

“It’s all a bit hasty and half-cock…”

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The Guardian‘s Michael White attempts to get to grips with the various parties’ sudden positioning on the need for political reform ahead of the Irish general election. Why are all the parties thrashing around for reform? You must have guessed. Because after 20 years of purring happily as the Celtic Tiger economy, the Republic of Ireland has more…

Getting beyond the likely ‘gridlock’ of future reforms…

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There’s a canny piece from John Rogers, Labour’s former Attorney General from 1984-87 in the Irish Times today on the subject of political reform in the Republic. He starts by usefully restating the bleedin’ obvious on why the much researched and much debated Seanad reforms never happened: The truth probably is that none of the more…

Ireland’s colonial legacy: “A parliament collapsed into a government”

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Re-Reading the history of Irish Republicanism through the prism of Martin Frampton’s latest book, Legion of the Rearguard I’m struck mostly by its pervasively inchoate character. That’s an impression substantiated not just by the strong historical tradition of dissent, but even by apparently random action of that most constitutionalist of Taoisigh, John A Costello who more…

Spending cuts prompt Peter’s move on political reform. Will it work?

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So Peter is moving on this at last. What’s not clear is his next move other than into thin air.  Cutting the sizes of the overblown Assembly and Executive is an appropriate  aim with additional political motives. It follows on the  proposed reduction of Westminster seats and Stormont constituencies to 15 and the reduction by one of more…