The Quality of Government Institute in Sweden has released a new cross-national and time-series dataset on. Details below
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.
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
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
The 2012 Annual Conference will be hosted by the University Of Ulster, Magee Campus, Londonderry, and will take place on 19-21 October 2012 in the City Hotel, Queen’s Quay. The headline theme for this conference will be “Politics, Culture and Society in a Changing Ireland“.
Full Details available at http://psai.ie/conference.asp
A link here to the RTE Player’s version of ‘Inside the Department’, a documentary that provides some interesting insights into the realities of governance in today’s Ireland. Among other things, it documents the difficulty of leading a department that you have verbally eviscerated in opposition (“malevolently dysfunctional” is a particularly good catchphrase).
Here is a link to the ‘The Week in Politics’ coverage of the political reform debate on RTE last night – Brian Dowling’s report touches on a lot of key themes, and much of the discussion explores important ideas. Definitely worth a watch IMO. I’ve posted some reactions of my own below…
Eoin O’Malley (26 October 2011)
We might be interested in betting markets as a rival to polling for measuring shifts in support, particularly in Ireland where polling is comparatively infrequent and irregular. The idea is that people putting real money on a result may know something, and that those who do have information will see value in odds, and the market will be efficient because bad offers will be exploited by those with information. I’ve tracked the Paddy Power election odds for over a month, and graphed what the market thinks the result will be, over time – it is a representation of the odds for ‘who will be the next Irish President?’. Continue reading
By Eoin O’Malley
The latest opinion poll (analysed here) indicates that the Labour party is bearing the brunt of governing whereas Fine Gael and Enda Kenny seem to be enjoying an extended honeymoon with the electorate. This is backed up by the analysis of polcors in Ireland, one of whom reported here that Gilmore was seen as ‘dithering’ and ineffectual in cabinet. reports of Kenny’s performance in cabinet are that he is effective and fair – surprising many. So do small parties always do badly in government, and if so why?
Enda Kenny’s 20th of July speech on Child Protection was broadly positively received by Irish public opinion. That it was given by a practicing Catholic and leader of a conservative and Christian democratic party only amplified the message that a final straw had been reached as regards child protection and the responsibility of the Church in relation to civil law in this area.
The speech, and the diplomatic spat that followed, has also served to highlight the curious case of Vatican sovereignty and the dual role of the Pope as both spiritual and temporal leader. The temporal power of the Pope traces its roots to the donation of Pepin, a Frankish king, in the 8th Century and not the fraudulent ‘Donation of Constantine’ occasionally used by medieval Popes to attempt to assert their authority over the kings of Europe. As the power of the Papacy and the size of the Papal states waxed and waned over the centuries, the Holy See emerged as the unit of Papal sovereignty regardless of the size or even, occasionally, the lack of actual territory. Regardless any uncertainty over the status of the Pope as a temporal sovereign was finally resolved with the Continue reading