Tag Archives | democracy

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Is British Democracy Becoming A Competition of Incompetence?

If we all stand back and take a ruthless, non-tribal, unheroic look at the standards on offer in the general election, this is a competition of incompetence. It is only because the Labour Party has so lost its way that the Conservatives appear in any way competent. In practice, the Conservative’s current majority and ‘liberation’ more…

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Speaker ignores standing orders and sparks an Assembly walk out…

This morning the dFM withheld his consent for the First Minister to make a statement on behalf of the joint office of the Executive (the artist formerly known as OFMdFM). As Mike Nesbitt raised in a point of order just after the start, this changed the terms on which the Assembly had been summoned. Extraordinarily, the Speaker at more…

Peace and Life by Yaacov AGAM

OPINION: Promote critical thinking skills for better democracy @WFDemocracy Strasbourg 2016

OPINION: Promote critical thinking skills for better democracy: World Forum for Democracy: Strasbourg 2016 by Allan LEONARD for Northern Ireland Foundation 7 November 2016 The 600 seats of the hemicycle of the Council of Europe soon filled with young activists and seasoned practitioners at the 2016 gathering of the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg. more…

Scottish-Referendum

David Cameron and the problem of setting real political choices

David Cameron’s referendums were regarded as reflections of ‘the will of the people’.  But is that true?  Here Peter Emerson of the de Borda Insitute questions that assumption then proposes a better methodology. 2011 Referendum on the Electoral System. Cameron’s first problem?   “Those damned Lib-Dems and the voting system!”  Hence the first ‘which’, to more…

Mairaid McMAHON presentation on e-petitions for Northern Ireland. Xchange Summer School, LIFE Church, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Changing the conversation with e-petitions in Northern Ireland

As part of the Xchange Summer School, Mairaid McMahon announced the launch of e-petitions in Northern Ireland, which is scheduled to appear on the Northern Ireland Assembly website in September 2016. She described the shortcomings of the current system of petitioning politicians, which included the need for support from an MLA — making them gatekeepers more…

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Friday Thread: Could we have a democracy without Politicians?

We are all gearing up for an Assembly election at which we will select decision makers, complain about them for the next five years, and then select a slightly different crew in five years time. This is called democracy. Broadly speaking it works, but given the gridlock in the system and a pervasive sense of more…

Commons

Labour, Syria and the problem with mandates…

DEMOCRACY OR POLITICS: Labour is asking for a two-day debate as a sticking plaster to cover for the lack of compressed wisdom it would get from a functioning internal party debate Labour MPs need some armour if they are to make a principled decision to support the government, and they will have to expose themselves more…

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Soapbox: Is it time to consider giving Loyalists special group rights?

LEVELLING UP: Sophie Long argues that we should equip Loyalists with the necessary power and resources to compete as equal participants in Northern Irish politics. She advocates the fairly radical step of implementing special group rights, not only in order for Loyalism to flourish, but as a matter of justice for minority groups.

Beasts and Gods

Irish Elections: Chasing the Democracy Dream

DEMOS RETURNS: The Athenians and the Romans shared many things, but they had radically different ideas on government. In Rome, most State power was reserved to the winners of elections. Athens focused instead on intensive citizen debate, frequent direct votes, and lottery-appointed officials to handle the bureaucracy.

General Buhari holding a broom "to sweep Nigerian politics clean"£ at a campign rally. Photo: Heinrich Böll Foundation.

A Good Week for Democracy Globally

There was something discomfiting about the funeral of Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore’s achievements under his rule were extraordinary, but the story presented on his death was a sanitised fable. World leaders queued up to subscribe to the cult of wise old Harry, father of the nation. Lee wasn’t so benevolent when challenged. Opposition politicians were more…

Politics in the Pub

Politics In The Pub – Inaugural Event

This is something that Mick Fealty “encouraged” me to do, and I think it’s a great concept so I’ve picked it up and ran with it. I hope for it to become a regular event but for now, let’s just get the first one out of the way Wednesday 4th February 7.30pm Hudson Bar – more…

Mackenzie King (1874-1950), Canadian Prime Minister 1921-6, 1926-30, 1935-48

Essay: Gough Whitlam and the fragility of parliamentary democracy

However over-quoted a historical figure he may be, Winston Churchill certainly gave his global audience plenty to ponder over whenever he opened his mouth or put pen to paper.  His dictum that ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for the all the other forms that have been tried’ still strikes ringing chords, five more…