Interpreting the EP elections in Ireland in 2014

EuroParl Elections

Posted on behalf of Dr Stephen Quinlan

Voters head to the polls on Friday for European and local elections, the first nationwide election since the 2011 Presidential contest (excluding referndums). Interpretations of what the result will mean for each of the parties, domestic politics, and what it may tell us about Irish people’s attitudes towards the EU more generally are likely to be commonplace. This contribution examines some of the characteristics of European Parliament (EP) elections to help us understand how voters have approached these elections in the past and provides us with a starting point of what we may expect this weekend when the ballot boxes are opened and how the results may be interpreted. This piece builds on a 2009 report in Irish Political Studies examining the 2009 EP elections in Ireland, which is now available in a virtual free issue of the journal available at: http://explore.tandfonline.come/page/pgas/fips_elections. Elswhere, Aodh Quinlivan provides a similar synthesis of the local elections that are also taking place on Friday. Continue reading

Getting Reform Right for EU legislative oversight

committe3By Gavin Barrett (UCD School of Law) 30 September

Oireachtas reform is a hot topic at present. Many cite the need for the Oireachtas to do its European Union-related work better as an objective justifying retaining the Seanad. Others claim the Dáil alone can do such work and more besides.

It seems worthwhile asking, therefore: just how well is the Oireachtas doing its European Union-related scrutiny and legislative work at present? Continue reading

Should we postpone the referendum on the Fiscal Compact?

The Change is Now!

Posted by Eoin O’Malley (26 April, 2012)

François Hollande had made it clear in campaigning for the French presidency that he was no fan of the Fiscal Compact and indicated that he would be against French ratification of the Treaty. Now that his election looks more than likely he has again stated his opposition to the Treaty. In today’s Irish Times he is reported as saying

“There will be a renegotiation. Will the Treaty be changed? I hope so. Or another Treaty arranged? That is up for negotiation. But the Treaty, as is, will not be ratified.” Continue reading

Internet Win – Wikipedia entry on ‘Citizens’ Assembly’

I recall studying the Enlightenment in West European history and being fascinated by Diderot’s Encyclopédie project. It was an amazing effort and achievement in its own right, but can really only be understood in the broader context of Enlightement goals and values, perhaps best explained by Kant in his essay: ‘An Answer to the Question: “What is Enlightenment?”

Kant explains his thesis in an admirably succint manner in the essay’s first line: ‘Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity’. Knowledge and reason can allow us to take greater control of our own individual and collective destiny – rather than remaining passive and fearful. However, one’s capacity to learn is limited by available resources, and the media is often skewed in its presentation of the political world.

Continue reading