The influential judge from the Southern District of New York spoke about the flawed rationale for non-prosecution of offences related to the Global Economic Crisis. Judge Rakoff explained, as far as he is aware, the Department of Justice in the US has taken the position that no crime was committed in connection with the events leading up to the financial crisis. Their public position is that they could not indict for three reasons, some of which may be familar to the Irish case.
Adrian Kavanagh, 19 May 2013
Opinion polls in the first half of 2013 have all pointed towards significant gains in Fianna Fail support levels, albeit to varying degrees, leaving Fianna Fail at its highest support level in opinion polls since the IMF-EU bailout in November 2010 and with some of these positioning it as the most popular party in the state ahead of Fine Gael. The latest Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (19th May 2013) continues in this vein, putting national support levels for the main political parties/groupings as follows: Fine Gael 23% (down 1%), Labour 12% (NC), Fianna Fail 26% (down 1%), Sinn Fein 19% (up 3%), Independents and Others 18% (NC), Green Party 2% (down 1%) Continue reading
The study of corruption and political finance in Ireland has tended to be qualitative. This has made it difficult to determine whether problems related to a relatively small number of individuals of the system as a whole. My article, “Business Financing of Politics in Ireland: Theory, Evidence and Reform” in the current issue of Irish Political Studies uses disclosed data to study the potential for corruption. Continue reading
The Quality of Government Institute in Sweden has released a new cross-national and time-series dataset on. Details below
Posted by Eoin O’Malley (15 May)
A new Seanad reform bill was introduced in the Seanad today by Senators Katherine Zappone and Fergal Quinn. It is available here. The main point of the bill are that it should move to a reformed house with new powers, but without requiring constitutional change. It proposed elections by universal suffrage, to close the democratic deficit, with non-geographic constituencies (on these see an interesting post by Michael Gallagher here). The other reforms are to allow the Seanad conduct public inquiries, to monitor secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments), Continue reading
A couple of interesting stories in the Irish media today caused me to re-consider the notion that political reform should be the exclusive domain of elected politicians. With their electoral mandates, experience of the day-to-day functioning of political institutions and (in Ireland, at least) their exclusive right to initiate constitutional change, our professional politicians certainly have more claim than most other social groups or organisations to take the lead on this issue.