Tag Archives | Political reform

Ireland’s problem is the ‘dead-ending almost all policies before they even can be implemented’

Given the day that’s in it in Belfast, here’s a timely intervention from an Irish government backbencher on his own party’s failure to implement meaningful political reform: Fine Gael needs to commit immediately to loosening the grip that government holds on Dáil Éireann. This means, as a starting point: A declaration that the whip will more…

Politics, reform and disbelief: “Imaginary patronage goes hand in hand with imaginary clients.”

Fintan O’Toole begins his IT column this week with a fundamental materialist question about political reform: If the Government is serious about ending the politics of patronage, it has to address two questions. What will politicians do without patronage? And how will voters respond to being told that TDs and ministers can’t get them favours more…

How to get nominated for Seanad Eireann (in one easy lesson)…

Interesting insight into just how odd the electoral mechanism to the upper chamber in Dublin is, and just what an insiderly game the business of public appointments is. The Arts Minister, Heather Humphreys, has defended a decision to appoint Fine Gael’s Seanad by-election candidate to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) more…

Seanad Eireann and an emerging consensus for functional reform?

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

  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…

Fine Gael need to get themselves a good public sector legacy on reform..

Fine Gael logo

I’ve heard two angles on the issue of the over neglected issue of political reform… One, Brendan Keenan on Marian Finucane this morning suggested that since Fine Gael shows little appetite for anything other than rescuing the country from economic doom, Fianna Fail might use a rejuvenated reform agenda as a powerful ticket back to more…

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

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

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

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…

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…”

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…”

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…”

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?

Leinsterhouse

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

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…”

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…