Posted by David Farrell (March 8, 2012)
The government’s (presumably first) annual report 2012 includes a chapter on political reform, helpfully listing the achievements to date. At first blush, if we take the list purely at face value, it does look impressive enough: Continue reading
Today’s Sunday Independent is interesting for what appears to have been an in depth interview given by Joan Burton. The interviews is here and the analysis here. Continue reading
Stephen Collins writing in last Saturday’s Irish Times he argues that one of the big commitments made by the Coalition during the February election and again after it took office was that it would reform the political system. He adds that while there have been some welcome changes to date, they represent a tinkering at the edges rather than fundamental reform. Continue reading
Eoin O’Malley 24 October
The referendum on the 30th amendment – the inquiries referendum – is on the face of it something most people would want to support. It seeks to empower the Oireachtas to hold inquiries which should strengthen the government oversight function. Specifically it seeks to overturn (or render void) the decision in Maguire v. Ireland (the Abbeylara Judgement) which among other things:
“as there was no provision in the Constitution which expressly authorised the Oireachtas to conduct inquiries of the nature which had been undertaken by the Abbeylara sub-committee, any such power must be inherent or implied. Continue reading
Post by David Farrell (September 13, 2011)
The Irish Times reports today (here) that the proposed constitutional amendment to reverse Abberylara — a move that was promised in the Programme for Government — was published yesterday. This will give Oireachtas committees the sort of scrutiny powers that are common in other democracies. The referendum on this will be held on October 27, the same day as the Presidential election. As the Irish Examiner reports (here), in presenting the amendment to the Dail, Minister Howlin said that, if passed, this would open the way for a parliamentary investigation of the banking crisis.
Post by David Farrell (July 11 2011)
A re-reading of the Coalition Government’s Programme for Government is timely. It’s worth taking stock of the political reform proposals that have been implemented, those that are on going, and those that are (firmly) promised. There has been some undoubted progress, but a lot – a lot – still needs to be done. Continue reading
Posted by Jane Suiter
I’ve just seen this press release from earlier today. It fits with a previous post but I thought as this may be the first time a Minister has put legislation to a committee before the floor of the House it merited its own thread. This looks to me to be a significant step and I hope the committee makes the most if it and hears a wide range of evidence.
I have simply cut and paste the release below: Continue reading
Joanna Tuffy TD argues that cutting the number of TDs and indeed abolishing the Seanad are not political reform. I think that many here would be inclined to agree with her. If these “reforms” are to go ahead they should be accompanied with a decentralisation of the power of the executive. But surely Deputy Tuffy should go further and demand some real power for committees for example. That would also serve to undermine accusations that TDs arguing against a cut in their numbers are merely trying to ring fence their own positions. I am still unsure why Irish TDs are happy that they only get sight of Bills once they have been passed by the House. Why not push for relevant Bills to go to committees at the earliest stage? It would make for a more interesting job and would mean devolving some of the power that has been increasingly centralised in the executive over the short history of our state.
Very interesting article from Shane Ross on Sunday about his perspective on the ‘contest’ for the PAC chairmanship. If you didn’t get to read it, I’d suggest following the link for a look.
This is a story that went relatively unnoticed in the Irish weekend radio/newspaper coverage that I picked up from Amsterdam, but it seems to me to be quite telling. The story builds on Jane’s earlier post about the depth and impact of the reforms that the new government has undertaken to the Committee system. This insider account of the nomination process for the PAC chairmanship reinforces Jane’s conclusion that ’ The parties still nominate and divvy up the chairmanships’.
By Jane Suiter
The Government is now 100 days in office, a date by which it stated it would have achieved significant reforms. Eyes have of course been on the economy but what is its record in political reform?
The Programme for Government promised reform in a number of area including parliamentary reform, a broader constitutional review and measures to reduce executive dominance/
Specifically it promised to put a number of issues to referendum and some of these have now been promised later this year or next year. But a few remain outstanding Continue reading