Updated: I've updated the charts and figures to reflect a couple of changes. Firstly, a small number (<10) of MPs were attributed to the wrong party, due to an error in scraping from Tweetminster - that's now fixed. Secondly, I was inadvertently excluding any think tank followed only by one party - they're now back in. The results change very little.
By Kevin Rafter (Dublin City University)
Some years ago when writing a biography of Martin Mansergh – then a backroom political adviser – I had the opportunity to interview Fr Alec Reid, the Redemptorist priest who was a central player in the Irish peace process, and whose funeral took place this week.
I am the co-director (with Dr Kristof Jacobs) of an ECPR workshop at the 2014 Joint Sessions in Salamanca (see here for details). Academics from ECPR member institutions are welcome to apply. Deadline for proposals — December 1.
The puzzling relationship between economic crisis and democracy
Recently, a lot of research efforts have been put into examining the impact of the economic crisis on such topics as welfare state reform; financial system reform; public disaffection, protest and mobilisation; economic voting; European integration and, lastly, the fate of populist parties. However, to date the broader impact of the crisis on our democratic institutions has largely been ignored. This is especially unfortunate as the crisis presents an unprecedented opportunity to examine the impact of economic downturns on the procedural quality of democracy. More specifically the current crisis should enable the study of processes of change to democratic structures and processes – so called political reforms – and how these tend to take place under extreme circumstances. Continue reading
The European Periphery and European Integration: A one day conference
85 St. Stephen’s Green,
Tuesday, 3 December 2013 Continue reading
On 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
- The debate will be chaired by Dr Jane Suiter (DCU)Our expert panel includes: Continue reading
The Seanad referendum is an unfortunate distraction from the need for real and sustained political and constitutional reform. Up till now I have not expressed a view either way on the question of whether the Seanad should be abolished or not.
But on October 4 I (like hopefully many other citizens) will be going to my local polling station to vote. The question that’s been bothering me for the past number of weeks is how should I vote. And I have decided to vote ‘No’. Continue reading
“What do we want?” “Political Reform!” “When do we want it?” “NOW!” I loved this image from Elaine Byrne in a post to this website earlier this summer. It straight away had me wanting to create placards and take to the streets chanting.
But what do we want? Among a section of the thinking classes, the summer schools did something to bring great minds closer together. Now, what about the rest of us? What do I want? And what can I do (while I wait for the revolution) to make it happen?
Second Republic (www.2nd-republic.ie) has been quietly working towards answering such question over the past few months. What we’ve done is to organise a facilitated, day-long discussion of around 100 people on the “culture of the Second Republic”.
These 100 people will be made up of a mix of invitees and the general public. A little under two thirds of these places have already been accounted for and we are now making a push to fill the last places. (And that’s where you come in!), you can register for the event here: http://2ndrepublic.eventbrite.ie/
According to the Irish Times report by Stephen Collins, the measures will only come into force if the electorate gives a mandate to abolish the Seanad. At first glance the commitment to consult experts and civil society before the pre-legislative stage to develop legislation before Bills are drafted is positive and in line with the OECD’s 2008 recommendations in its report on Ireland.
Why are some of the announced measures contingent on the Seanad referendum passing?
Elaine Byrne, University of New South Wales: 4 September 2013
“10 reports in 75 years – NO reforms introduced to the Seanad” is Fine Gael’s slogan to abolish the Seanad.
That’s not true. The Seanad was reformed in 1947 with the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947. A longer version of my Sunday Independent article will be published on Historyhub.ie later this week.
The Act addressed the areas which had been open to abuse during the 1938 and 1943 Seanad elections.