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
The debt crises in Ireland and Europe require a combination of political and economic analysis. This conference includes cutting-edge papers from leading international scholars. Continue reading
Posted by Eoin O’Malley (12 March 2013)
The ‘sort-of’ revelation on Twitter that Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan may have used his Oireachtas privilege have penalty points wiped juxtaposes nicely with the eight month sentence imposed on the former UK cabinet minister, Chris Huhne, for perverting the course of justice in a case that started from misallocated penalty points. Huhne’s case is worthy of a soap opera, but Ming’s may be the comic relief in a tragedy. It shows a profound misunderstanding of the purpose of parliamentary privilege.
Ireland’s constitution gives members of the Oireachtas parliamentary privilege through Article 15.13: Continue reading
Adrian Kavanagh, March 6th 2013
What do Tomas MacGiolla, Dick Roche, Joe Higgins, Brian Hayes and Paul Gogarty all have in common? All of these candidates lost in by-election contests - MacGiolla (Dublin West 1982), Roche (Wicklow 1995), Higgins (Dublin West 1996), Hayes (Dublin South Central 1994) and Gogarty (Dublin West 1996). But they all went on to win seats in subsquent general election contests - MacGiolla (Dublin West November 1982), Roche (Wicklow 1997), Higgins (Dublin West 1997) - and in some cases won these in different constituencies, namely Hayes (Dublin South-West 1997) and Gogarty (Dublin Mid-West 2002).
Posted by Eoin O’Malley (21 February, 2013)
A poll released today by the Pro-Life Campaign seeks to ‘challenge the notion that there is broad middle ground support for abortion in Ireland.’ This polls claims to show that two-thirds of Irish people want ‘legal protection of the unborn’ and suggests that this means Irish people are against legalised abortions. This should surprise some as it follows on from a IpsosMRBI poll in the Irish Times recently which showed a substantial majority in favour of legalised abortions in a variety of circumstances. Continue reading
Posted by Eoin O’Malley (7th January, 2013)
One of the most common complaints about democracy is that it shortens our rulers’ time horizons to an extent that damages our interests. If you are a hereditary absolute monarch, presumably you take a very long view, as you care about the inheritance you leave your children and grandchildren. But if you’re an elected politician you tend to think in terms of the next election.
Political scientists tend to assume that all politicians care about is re-election, and while this might be an oversimplification, it is hardly a controversial assumption. Then politicians think in four or five year cycles. Internationally there is some evidence, though it’s hardly overwhelming, Continue reading