The influential judge from the Southern District of New York spoke about the flawed rationale for non-prosecution of offences related to the Global Economic Crisis. Judge Rakoff explained, as far as he is aware, the Department of Justice in the US has taken the position that no crime was committed in connection with the events leading up to the financial crisis. Their public position is that they could not indict for three reasons, some of which may be familar to the Irish case.
The study of corruption and political finance in Ireland has tended to be qualitative. This has made it difficult to determine whether problems related to a relatively small number of individuals of the system as a whole. My article, “Business Financing of Politics in Ireland: Theory, Evidence and Reform” in the current issue of Irish Political Studies uses disclosed data to study the potential for corruption. Continue reading
The Salz Review into Barclays shares similar findings to the Honohan and the Regling and Watson Banking Inquiries. Salz attributed the extraordinary failings at Barclays to “corporate corruption” while the Irish approach has been to focus on “group think”.
“Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society,” warned Machiavelli. He was wrong as the Independent Review into Business Practices at Barclays, the latest in a series of reports into the corrosive nature of investment banking, makes abundantly clear.
The probe into the manipulation of benchmark interest rates at Libor ultimately resulted in a £290m million settlement by Barclays with US and British regulatory authorities in June 2012. In February 2013, Barclays surprised everyone when it revealed that it had set aside £1 billion to cover mis-selling as part of a damages bill for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and the cost of compensating small businesses, bringing its overall estimated legal liabilities to £2.6 billion.
Adrian Kavanagh, March 6th 2013
What do Tomas MacGiolla, Dick Roche, Joe Higgins, Brian Hayes and Paul Gogarty all have in common? All of these candidates lost in by-election contests - MacGiolla (Dublin West 1982), Roche (Wicklow 1995), Higgins (Dublin West 1996), Hayes (Dublin South Central 1994) and Gogarty (Dublin West 1996). But they all went on to win seats in subsquent general election contests - MacGiolla (Dublin West November 1982), Roche (Wicklow 1997), Higgins (Dublin West 1997) - and in some cases won these in different constituencies, namely Hayes (Dublin South-West 1997) and Gogarty (Dublin Mid-West 2002).
Posted by Elaine Byrne
Deputy Brendan Griffin (Kerry South) has introduced a proposed amendment to the constitution which seeks to -
- Hold a referendum on reducing the Dail to 101 members
- From 100 evenly populated constituencies
- Retain the PRSTV system.
Deputy Griffin says the primary purpose of the amendment is to help “ensure that the attention of parliamentarians can be more focused on parliamentary/legislative/policy issues and not on competing locally with constituency rivals, both inside and outside their parties”. He believes it would also lead to a less congested Dail. He argues that, at present, “many Deputies are waiting for weeks to raise a matter on Topical Issues and very often do not get selected high enough in the order of oral questions to have their issue discussed using that avenue”.
The Bill can be found here.
This book examines the fortunes of small political parties in Ireland and asks why no new party has yet emerged. While the type of minor political party in Ireland has varied, their fate, it seems, has not. Although some enjoy a brief time in the sun, termination would appear to be the long-term prospect for all minor parties. The usual pattern is a speedy ascent, an impact on the political system including a time in government, followed by a prolonged death. This book examines this pattern of evolution for the smaller parties in Irish politics.
As the Irish state has changed, so too have the types of parties that have emerged. With the first-time entry of the Greens into government in 2007, their wipe-out in 2011, the dissolution of the Progressive Democrats in 2009, and the failure of a new party to emerge despite the ongoing financial crisis, the time is ripe for this analysis.
Contributors include Des O’Malley, founder of the Progressive Democrats, Dan Boyle, former Green TD and Senator, Catherine Murphy TD, and a range of Ireland’s leading political scientists, including John Coakley, Gary Murphy, Kevin Rafter and Eoin O’Malley.
The book is available from Easons, most bookstores and thehistorypress.ie. Its RRP is €20.
On Friday, the Ireland Stat pilot website went live at http://www.irelandstat.gov.ie
According to the DPER the objective of Ireland Stat is “to provide a whole-of-Government performance measurement system. At its simplest the website brings together data from a whole variety of different sources and sets them in the context of Department’s goals to show what Ireland has achieved, what it did in order to deliver on those goals, what it cost and how Ireland compares internationally.”
It is still very much at the beta stage and many of the categories are empty, nonetheless it looks as if it has the potential to be an interesting site, although much detail would have to be added.
There is a consultation process where suggestions may be used for future developments and improvements on the website.
Regular contributor Donal has asked us to link to his case for Swiss-style citizens initiative and direct democracy, which the Human Rights in Ireland website* has just published as part of the series Shadow Constitutional Convention,
He argues that there may be change in the criteria of decision-making at the top; change in social habits at the bottom. But unless these two are bridged by the mutual education of the democratic process, communication between the top and the bottom may cease. In Ireland, where the stimulus to change is external, something like this may in fact be happening
Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street
November 2 2012
An event organised by We the Citizens, in cooperation with the Royal Irish Academy and the G1000 (Belgium)
This event is designed to coincide with the establishment of the Irish government’s constitutional convention. This is the first time an Irish government has involved ordinary citizens in discussions about constitutional reform. Mini-publics may be a relatively new phenomenon to Ireland, but their use is quite widespread in a number of other countries, such as the Icelandic constitutional council, the British Columbia citizens’ assembly, the Dutch citizens’ forum, or the Belgian G1000 citizen summit. This event aims at reviewing these and other examples of deliberation in practice.
The participants include some of the world’s leading experts in the field:
- Ken Carty (University of British Columbia) – the academic director of the British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly (Canada)
- Henk van der Kolk (University of Twente) – the academic director of the Dutch Bürgerforum
- Erikur Bergmann (Bifrost University) – former member of the Icelandic Constitutional Council
- Didier Caluwaerts (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgique), Min Reuchamps (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgique), Peter Vermeersch (University of Leuven) – members of the academic team of the G1000 citizen summit (Belgium)
- David Farrell (UCD), Eoin O’Malley (DCU) and Jane Suiter (DCU) – members of the academic team of We the Citizens (Ireland)
- Other academics specializing in the study of deliberation, including: André Bächtiger (Universität Luzern), Gemma Carney (NUIG), Patrick Fournier (University of Montreal), Clodagh Harris (UCC), Kaisa Herne (Turku University), Gerry Stoker (Southampton University)
To register, please contact Claudia Saba email@example.com
For more information, David Farrell David.Farrell@ucd.ie
John Drennan’s Sindo article points to growing backbench opposition to the government’s proposed referendum on abolishing the Seanad. This development is unsurprising, given the tightness of electoral margins in Ireland’s political system and the personal investment of Oireachtas members in retaining their positions (although, as we all know, the pension’s not too bad if you do get the boot). However, the naked self-interest on display in this debate is enough to sicken even a seasoned observer of the venality of the Irish political class.