Win a £150 bet with Betfair as part of Slugger’s Irish Election prediction competition

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Betfair have been in touch about the Election Prediction competition that we’re running here (below – you can read the form guide in a previous post here). We’ve already pointed to their markets here (currently showing 17/2 on a Fine Gael-only government as an outcome and 11/1 on SF getting 23+ seats). Labour are out at 19/1 for getting the most seats (pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will, eh comrades?) Today Betfair have launched their own prediction competition …

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Slugger Awards tickets / Irish Election prediction competition

One of the features of the Slugger Awards night (places limited! Get your tickets now while they last!) is going to be a bit of audience participation – we’re going to see how close the wisdom of the crowd can get to predicting the final outcome of the Irish Election in terms of seats. Details of that will be released on the night (it’ll be a surprise) but in the meantime, we also want a prediction comp to run though …

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And they’re off (well, they’re under starters orders…)

So the 2011 Irish General Election (or #ge11) has just got closer as the Greens withdraw from the government; As Colm Tobin (the other one) puts it, it’s “the equivalent of Bin Laden sprinting towards the Twin Towers with a fire extinguisher.” So instead of a March election, it’s starting to look like a date in February. And what do the bookies think about the outcome now? The markets are unusually interesting for broad election outcomes as there are a …

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MyPolice and WeGov

I’ve just seen that the MyPolice project has moved a bit further forward with the launch of their new beta site. As an idea, it’s been brewing for a while and Lauren Currie outlined some of the thinking behind it (and where it could lead) here on Slugger as part of the Political Innovation essay series a few months ago. It’s an example of what the Personal Democracy Forum’s Micah Sifry refers to as ‘WeGov’ – one of a wider …

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Twitter Joke Trial and what it means for politics

So Paul Chambers has been granted leave to appeal to the High Court over his Twitter Joke conviction, and the hearing should take place sometime between March and June next year. Just to refresh your memory, the whole farago started when Mr Chambers – commenting on disruption at his local airport – said this on Twitter: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky …

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Rubberbandits & Shane for Xmas

I’m only posting this here because I’m surprised no-one has got in before me to do so. First off: Limerick’s  Rubberbandits with Horse Outside; Then Willie O’Dea going in to bat for them heroically on Joe Duffy’s show: “Someone needs to give that man a dictionary to look up ‘irony’” And, lastly, a near-perfect Christmas artifact; Shane MacGowan & the Priests with The Little Drummer Boy: The thing that is sometimes overlooked about Shane is the terrific timbre of his …

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Aerial footage of White Belfast

Just a quick signpost over to the BBC site where (if you haven’t already seen it) there’s a gorgeous video of Belfast from the air. (h/t Phil O’Kane) Paul EvansLiving in London, working as a trade union official in the film and TV industry (opinions my own). Author of “Save Democracy, Abolish Voting” (published by Demsoc in November 2017). Personal website with link to other writing here. On twitter as @paul0evans1 nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com

What do we think about Wikileaks?

I don’t know about you but I’ve been changing my mind about Wikileaks on an hourly basis. On the one hand, the team behind the whole thing have done us a huge service and deserve a medal. On the other, they’re a threat to civilisation as we know it and should be locked up. Thankfully, Debategraph offers all sides to the story (and you can get in there add new strands or weight existing ones). Paul EvansLiving in London, working …

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Why referendums should be banned

In the not too-distant, we are going to be offered a referendum to decide which voting system we prefer in the UK and Northern Ireland. This is the equivalent of being offered a trial-by-combat to decide who should be awarded a peace prize. There is little evidence that referendums make a vote fair. Nor are they widely seen as a means of forming good policies. Yet they have gradually slipped into the British constitution in recent years without much discussion …

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The broadening inkblot: Self-improvement for people who read newspapers (and blogs…)

This is a cross post from Miljenko Williams who blogs at 21st Century Fix. It was originally posted on the Political Innovation site here. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a regular lurker around the blogosphere and the longer, cleverer articles on media websites. You may even go further than that and comment occasionally, “Digg”, share or “like” postings on Facebook. And if you’re very clever with your RSS reader, you may have found a way of getting some of …

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Friday thread: Eleven axe treatments for the weekend

Friday. Three PM. Time for some strings and things to wind a Friday down with. The common theme here is plucked strings. Warning: If you’re an aspiring musician, it may not be wise to to watch any of these as they set the bar a bit high. I don’t want to send you into the weekend in a slough of depression… Firstly, here’s what to do if you’ve got a guitar but can’t get a drummer: This is Iranian-American guitarist …

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False Economy: a change-up for the left

The new False Economy website (building on the success of The Other Taxpayers’ Alliance and the MyDavidCameron sites) marks something of a change-up for the left, not least because it it something of a tribute to the strategic successes of the right over recent years. Watching the student protests throughout the UK and Northern Ireland, alongside the GPO rally in Dublin last Saturday, it’s hard to see what the political utility of street-protest really is. We may have an answer …

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Likely to be bailed-out? Then it’s a ‘going concern’

I’m not quite sure why this story isn’t topping every news bulletin, but the US-based Auditor’s Blog has an account of the big four auditing firms’ appearance before the UK’s House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee to answer questions on competition and their role in the financial crisis. Do read the whole thing if you have time, but this line leaps out: The leadership of the Big 4 audit firms in the UK has admitted that they did not issue …

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Friday thread: Embeddable anxiety

Friday again. Time to lighten up and start chilling out in advance of the weekend? In anxious days like these? Maybe the soundtrack is less Van-the-man and more Dead Kennedys?  Well, every cloud has a silvery lining. For the past 20-30 years or so, politics seems to have developed a safer veneer, and this has been reflected in a more anodyne mainstream music scene. Elections don’t seem to have been about quite as much once The End of History had …

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The Minister for Hardship

I understand that this clip is a send-up of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, but it’s got a bit of currency left, hasn’t it? (Hat tip: Padraig Reidy) In other news, Duncan has three questions which partly boil down into one big one: Is Ireland really the place to adopt the mantra that ‘the markets have failed – we need more markets’? And Charlie McMenemin (no mean blogger himself) has some very pertinent questions in Duncan’s comment thread about how recent …

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A few dark horses for tomorrow

It’s not unheard of for an unfancied novice to have a good race. Likewise, tomorrow we’ve had a lots of sessions suggested, but the best ones may be the ones that haven’t had too much take-up on the uservoice site. That voting mechanism is only advisory. Tomorrow, everyone will have the option to chip their ideas for a session in and see how many takers there are. Rooms are then allocated according to the interest in sessions and everyone should …

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Who’s coming to Slugger’s big day tomorrow?

We’re just shy of 90 registrations for tomorrow at the time of writing and there are still a few tickets left if you want one. You can suggest / rate ideas for sessions here. The one surprising nugget is that there are lots of political activists and people with a professional interest in participation / consultation / democracy, but there are almost no elected politicians registered. Yet. Here’s the snapshot from Eventbrite’s reporting page. The eagle-eyed among you will spot …

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DUP ‘Petition of Concern’ to block double-jobbing bill?

According to Dawn Purvis, the DUP are shaping up to use a ‘Petition of Concern’ to sink her bill that is designed to prevent double-jobbing (where one individual holds the post of a Councillor and an MLA at the same time). The Local Government (Disqualification) Bill has, it seems, passed all-but-one of the assembly’s legislative proces stages. As Purvis says: “The Petition of Concern is a special provision designed to ensure that motions and legislation passed by the Assembly do …

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The Centre-Left in Northern Ireland. Time to step over the obstacles?

As the SDLP gather this weekend, here’s a question for you: As Northern Ireland’s political landscape is still dominated by parties that are essentially communal, is it properly equipped to respond to the challenges posed by the global economic crisis? Personally, I doubt it. From what I’ve seen, the response so far has been a mixture of gesture politics and incoherence. And while there may be early signs of what may aim to be a post-communal political force on the …

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Phil Woolas guilty

… of breaching s106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. Not being in the court, I’m following this via Saddleworth News’ CoverItLive session. It seems (and I stand to be corrected) that the election is now void and a by-election is in the offing. He’s been found guilty of putting out leaflets about his Lib-Dem opponent, Elwyn Watkins, saying that he pandered to Muslim extremists and had illicitly received campaign funding from a rich Arab sheikh. Woolas’ current constituency, …

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