Posted by Elaine Byrne
Dr Niamh Hardiman of UCD wrote a piece yesterday for the Sunday Business Post on governance which is posted in full below. Her edited collected, Irish Governance In Crisis, published by Manchester University Press (2012) is launched this week. Niamh Hardiman teaches in UCD School of Politics and International Relations.
What are we changing exactly?
Irish politics is generally held to be in grave need of reform. The global economic crisis since 2008 showed how poorly prepared we were for any downturn, let alone anything on the scale of the crisis that has engulfed us. Our attempts to get to the bottom of successive scandals by setting up tribunals of inquiry have left us disillusioned. The party system itself, which seemed so remarkably durable throughout good times and bad, is now more fluid than it has been in a long time: Fianna Fáil’s once-dominant position has been overturned, and Sinn Féin and other parties are scrambling to fill the gap. But the current Fine Gael-Labour coalition controls a historically large majority, and has promised to undertake a new round of political reform. This is a good moment to pause and consider what exactly it is we wish to reform.