Your cut-out-and-keep guide to #indyref night

Independence Posters Seen Throughout Scotland

Want to work out the outcome of the referendum before all of the results are in? Dr. Chris Hanretty from the University of East Anglia, shows how the outcome will be predictable from the early declarations. This handy guide first appeared on uea.politics.org

It’s 10pm on Thursday 18th September. The polls in the Scottish independence referendum have just closed. You’re anxious to know whether Scots have voted for independence — but you’d like to know before 6:30 the next morning. (Maybe you have some large foreign currency trades to execute).

Thankfully, using our handy cut-out-and-keep guide to each local authority area, you can start making informed guesses about the likely outcome as soon as the first partial results come in. Continue reading

FoI and other DPER reforms very welcome

As the Government renegotiates its priorities and reshuffles the Cabinet, it is an appropriate time to look back and assess the Government’s achievements under its political reform programme.

There has been a good deal of criticism at the slow pace of change and at the apparent absence of an appetite for reform among the Government with little meaningful reform to decrease executive dominance which is arguably among the greatest problems in our system. Continue reading

Open Government Partnership (OGP) Europe Regional Meeting in Dublin 8 & 9 May

posted on behalf of DPER

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin T.D., will host the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Europe Regional Meeting in Dublin Castle on 8 & 9 May.

The agenda comprises both working group and plenary sessions addressed by a range of invited experts from across Europe and will include a number of Ministers.
Day 1 of the conference will focus on themes including legislative openness, measuring progress in open government, best practice in Nordic countries, the EU’s role in promoting transparency and accountability.
Day 2 of the conference has a significant open data theme throughout the day beginning with -
· a private sector panel (speakers including Microsoft, IBM and SME sector) who will discuss how the private sector can contribute to open government through technology and corporate transparency; and a session on open government and public services and the economic impact of open data; and
· other sessions will include fiscal openness, citizen participation, whistleblowing, access to information and open contracting. Continue reading

Reform Alliance Conference

Posted on behalf of Senator Fidelma Healy Eames

The Reform Alliance is looking for ideas on reform in advance of the conference Saturday.

http://www.reformalliance.ie/your-reform/

The reforms will be tweeted on a big screen live throughout the sessions and we will also provide space for attendees to tweet their own ideas live on the day with #reform.

Despite some of the media depictions drawing parallels to Daniel O’Connell’s famous “Monster Meetings”, or that this is an Ard Fheis style meeting precipitating the launch of a new party, neither of these representations are accurate. Continue reading

Maternity Leave for Women Parliamentarians: Issues and Proposals

article-1314283-0B4D596E000005DC-686_634x373By Claire McGing, NUI Maynooth

Parliaments, of which the Dáil and Seanad are no exception, are highly gendered institutions. Since the rules were written by men at a time in which women were not expected to participate in politics, the very norms, rules and culture of parliament conform to a male lifestyle. This is why the idea of maternity leave in politics is a problematic, at times controversial, one – lengthy periods away from office for child-bearing don’t ‘fit’ with institutional notions of representative democracy as politicians weren’t really meant to get pregnant in the first place. But, if the will is there, parliaments can be reconceptualised and reformed to catch up with the gendered realities of modern society.

Continue reading

Seanad Referendum in Perspective

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By Michael Marsh

Another weekend of referendums is now over and the debate is well under way as to what the result means: what did the people say when they spoke? We have various evidence to go on: the polls, anecdotal evidence, and the nature of the campaign itself, but all these are flawed. The polls after all were ‘wrong’, or at least did not provide any simple indication of what would happen and so the ‘intentions’ voiced in the polls may diverge from the reality of what people did. Anecdotes are just that, often chosen to fit an argument rather that employed to test one. And the campaign themes themselves are not necessarily those that motivated most voters to pick yes, no, or indeed to switch off. Continue reading

Voters Parties and Elections: Post mortem on the Seanad referendum

2013A - Seanad AbolitionOn Friday October 4th voters decided not to abolish Seanad Éireann. Voters Parties and Elections are delighted to invite you to an open debate on the campaign and result. It was a colourful campaign with allegations of populism and power grabbing levelled at the government by political parties and campaign groups on the No side. The Yes side focused on the cost of the Upper House and have tapped into public hostility towards politicians and the political system, yet failed to win in any Dublin constituency. Despite the emergence of new civil society groups OneHouse and Democracy Now, the campaign was dominated by elites and seems to have largely passed the public by. Concerns about apathy and a low turnout are encouraging many to dismiss the idea of further referendums. But is this a logical response? And what really did happen in those last few crucial days of the campaign?

Come along to hear from all sides on Thursday 10 October 5.30pm