Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Political reform

Seanad Eireann and an emerging consensus for functional reform?

Thu 10 October 2013, 3:08pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

A real chance to promote Assembly reform must not be lost

Thu 14 February 2013, 11:33am

Tweet   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. […] more »

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

Sun 1 April 2012, 7:35pm
Fine Gael logo

Tweet 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 […] more »

Sinn Fein’s human rights agenda for the Republic’s constitutional convention…

Tue 28 February 2012, 12:47pm

Tweet The Taoiseach is tonight to brief other party and group leaders in the Dail on the long promised constitutional convention; a review of the Republic’s ropey governance system. In fact not everything that needs fixing need bother the Supreme Court. Sinn Fein have been relatively quick out of the blocks to share their agenda, […] more »

Politicians have to maintain the illusion there is no miracle they can’t perform

Tue 12 July 2011, 8:32am

Tweet Events in Roscommon these past weeks show that politicians will never hesitate in making a step ladder of the people to get at a vote that could go to an opponent. The proximate political problem about the decision to axe 24/7 A&E at the County Hospital stems from the reckless promise made by the […] more »

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

Sun 15 May 2011, 9:08am

Tweet 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 […] more »

One Man One Vote… Err… Not In Belfast

Thu 12 May 2011, 2:43pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

Political reform ideas for a new era in Ireland

Fri 4 March 2011, 11:00am

Tweet 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 […] more »

Trench warfare, kamikaze style…

Tue 22 February 2011, 7:46pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

“Trench warfare has erupted…”

Tue 22 February 2011, 2:41pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

“this is significantly exacerbated by the political situation in Northern Ireland”

Mon 21 February 2011, 3:44pm

Tweet As well as those briefings by the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, both he and the NI First Minister have been dismissing political criticism of the draft NI Executive spending plans as ‘electioneering’.  No doubt that’s a consideration for some, but it’s not a charge that can be levelled at the Assembly’s Finance Committee. […] more »

“I have heard it from very good authority…”

Sat 19 February 2011, 1:03pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Thu 17 February 2011, 11:26pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

Why not have a virtual Dail Eireann?

Fri 11 February 2011, 11:55am

Tweet 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 […] more »

Political reform: Brief case for a constitutional convention 2.0

Wed 9 February 2011, 11:49am

Tweet 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 […] more »

“It’s all a bit hasty and half-cock…”

Tue 8 February 2011, 2:10pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

Getting beyond the likely ‘gridlock’ of future reforms…

Mon 10 January 2011, 5:50pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Mon 1 November 2010, 4:03pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

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

Fri 8 October 2010, 12:13pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

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