Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland: Belfast Consultation Event, this Thursday 10 December 2020…

The recent post by Dr Alan Renwick on how the mechanics of a unification referendum need attention highlighted that the Interim Report of the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland was published on 26 November. Following the launch of this report, a number of online consultation events are being held which will provide an opportunity for public discussion of the report’s purposes, analysis, and conclusions. Once such webinar is being co-hosted by The Democracy Unit at Queen’s …

Read more…Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland: Belfast Consultation Event, this Thursday 10 December 2020…

The mechanics of a unification referendum need attention

Dr Alan Renwick is Chair of the Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland. He is Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit at University College London, and an expert on referendums around the world. An independent group of academics has just published a report on how any future referendums on the question of Irish unification would best be designed and conducted. The group, which I chair, has no view on whether such referendums – or unification itself …

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Academic working group launches public consultation on unification referendums on the island of Ireland.

The Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland is today launching a public consultation asking people for their views on the prospect of a referendum on Northern Ireland’s constitutional future. The group is neither for nor against such a referendum – it is simply seeking to clarify the process. This post introduces the group and sets out some of the key questions it is asking. You can access the survey by clicking here. What is the Working …

Read more…Academic working group launches public consultation on unification referendums on the island of Ireland.

The Alternative – what if Ireland was still part of the UK and an in/out referendum was to be held tomorrow? (Lyric Theatre from 8 October)

Speaking to The Alternative’s co-writer Michael Patrick about new counterfactual play The Alternative – Fishamble’s winning A Play For Ireland – which is set in an Ireland that is still part of the United Kingdom, but on the eve of an in/out referendum. Live from the studios of BBC Dublin, it’s the final leaders’ debate the night before the poll … In the Lyric Theatre from 8-13 October.

Barcelona vs Madrid

The Spirit of Franco never really left the Spanish state. Sometimes it is hard to see from the outside world but in the run-up to the Catalan referendum the Spanish Government are clearly trampling over basic human rights in their efforts to prevent the referendum from even taking place. Yesterday some 100,000 pro-independence posters were seized by the State after raids in various printing shops. Today they came back for the printing equipment! In newsrooms armed police came with a warning to …

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“…if you want trouble again in the north play that game. It’s a dangerous game”

There’s been some focus on the comments at the weekend by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern warning about any attempt to “force” a border poll in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.  His remarks are placed in a wider context by the fuller quote in the Belfast Telegraph. Speaking on Newstalk radio, the former Irish prime minister said: “The idea of a border poll… was put there when when I was conceding Articles two and three of the constitution and we were giving …

Read more…“…if you want trouble again in the north play that game. It’s a dangerous game”

The political capital of asking for what you will not get…

Brexit has led to increasing demands for IndyRef2 and an NI border poll, and on principle, the British Government has not exactly been slow to rule them out.  Nicola Sturgeon is making the case that Brexit is changing the opinion of a large number of people in Scotland [A major change of circumstances? – Ed] and Sinn Fein have made a similar case. However, all of this is apparently for nothing, because James Brokenshire has to be persuaded that the …

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After Colombian Peace Accord rejected at the polls, whither Santos, and FARC?

As noted by Paul at some length here, Referendums are turning out to be something of a game of Russian Roulette for ruling political elites (and in the case of Colombia, political insurgents). Colombia has by the narrowest of margins voted to reject a peace deal ratified by the President and the leader of the FARC rebels just last week. The BBC were reporting on Saturday that Colombia has never rejected any motion put to them in a referendum (including one …

Read more…After Colombian Peace Accord rejected at the polls, whither Santos, and FARC?

Why Colombia faces a much stiffer Referendum test than Northern Ireland in 1998…

The Constitutional Court of Colombia has given President Santos four months to complete his four years of Havana Talks with the FARC and put the deal to the people in a referendum. Remind you of Senator George Mitchell in 1998, musing: ‘I’m fed up with these Stormont Castle Buildings, I’m having a child soon, I’m outta here by Easter, unless you guys get off the pot’? There are eight other uncanny similarities in the upcoming plebiscite across Colombia, with ours …

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So what happens now?

Well, the markets are currently having their say, but I would strongly advise that we look at them in a week and a half and see if they recover from the initial shock. Now for Andy’s predictions on what happens from here. Negotiating our way out The next step is Article 50 notice to leave the EU, which by the look of it requires an Act of Parliament, which may or may not happen before the summer recess in July. …

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UPDATED #EURef extention: In NI, it doesn’t exist..

And there’s another digital divide. After last night’s big TV event with Nigel Farage and David Cameron there’s been such a rush to get registered to vote in the 23rd June Referendum that the deadline has been extended until tomorrow night. According to the Telegraph… Of the total 525,000 who registered on Tuesday, 132,000 were aged under 25 and a further 170,000 were aged 25 to 34. There were 51,600 applications made by those aged over 55. How did they get that …

Read more…UPDATED #EURef extention: In NI, it doesn’t exist..

Schrödinger’s Ireland – The current state of Unity, is it alive or dead?

“A United Ireland is Inevitable: Discuss” I went to a debate in Omagh on this topic, hosted by Sinn Féin’s Barry McElduff, with an open mind, willing to be challenged and frankly, looking for a way to understand the rationale behind the United Ireland cause. Most of what I know about partition, the Easter Rising and that era came from a trip to Kilmainham Jail a couple of years ago.  What I do know though is that this happened a long …

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The Greek Deal…A final act of subversion?

John O’Donovan, Radio Producer, presenter and lecturer in media says that Greece now needs an election before any deal can be agreed. After a victorious referendum result that saw the Greek people defeat an austerity deal by a clear mandate of 61%, Greece has now been bounced into what appears to be an even more swingeing bailout deal. The third bailout deal will keep Greece in the Eurozone, if it is passed in the Greek Parliament by Wednesday, but at …

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#SluggerReport: Greece votes No (but does anyone here know what that means?)

listen to ‘Greece Votes No, but what does that mean?’ on audioBoom Today, there was only one topic worth tackling. The result of yesterday’s Greek Referendum. Key reference today is Pete’s post from early 2011: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”? The #SluggerReport goes out on Periscope live 10am with a edited podcast appearing on Slugger’s audioBoo page later. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics …

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Greek Referendum: “a chunk of undecided voters to fight over.”

Via the Guardian’s Greece crisis blog.   Another wrinkle for the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, and those agitating on their behalf, to contemplate ahead of the controversial, and confused, on/off/on 5 July referendum in Greece. GPO poll Yes 47.1% No 43.2% Undecided 6.3% (via @euro2day_gr) #Greferendum #Greece #politics pic.twitter.com/xJRr3K2uAC — MacroPolis (@MacroPolis_gr) July 1, 2015 Pete Baker

“For those who can’t read Greekdebtspeak, well, you’re on your own”

With European leaders, including Syriza’s erstwhile ally the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, warning Greek voters that they will be, effectively, deciding whether or not they want to stay in the eurozone, the BBC takes a side-ways look at the wording of the controversial 5 July referendum the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras suddenly announced at the weekend.  From the BBC article Voters go to the polls for the Greek referendum. pic.twitter.com/xpp3OWEvgX — Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) June 29, 2015 Here’s the …

Read more…“For those who can’t read Greekdebtspeak, well, you’re on your own”

More Greek gamesmanship…

With the Greek Parliament, and Greece’s creditors in Europe and elsewhere, discussing the latest sudden manoeuvre by the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, via the Guardian’s live-blog, here’s a reminder of Alexis Tspiras’ criticism of ex-PM George Papandreou’s, failed, attempt to hold a similar referendum in 2011. @graemewearden A transcript of @atsipras‘s scathing criticism of the 2011 proposed referendum, with compliments. pic.twitter.com/TIqQ10ZAdp — Finisterre67 (@Finisterre67) June 27, 2015 With the new manoeuvre almost certainly designed to short-circuit the …

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Losing the armour after decades of hurt

Paul Francis Quinn is a singer and in this heartfelt piece he describes exactly what the recent marriage referendum result meant for him and many others. In 1986, near the end of a long, balmy and sleepless summer, a heterosexual male friend and I took the DART from the suburbs of Bray. Into the city we went and once there he promptly deposited me in a dingy, beer stained bar called “The George”. A third of the size it is …

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Cartoon – The collapse of…

Disregarding the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Irish voted overwhelmingly in favour of equal marriage. Quite the collapse of power. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ www.brianjohnspencer.com/

Yes to Marriage Equality!

Gay people have long been subjected to the nonsensical presumption that they and the activities in which they engage are unnatural; as if the concept of opposite-sex marriage is somehow more natural than the concept of same-sex marriage. This happens to form one of the most popular moral attacks against homosexuality out there. Both types of marriage are non-static social constructs and, thus, both are inherently as natural or unnatural as each other (if one indeed wishes to invoke such a false and meaningless dichotomy as …

Read more…Yes to Marriage Equality!