We were away….we’re back!

Many of you have noticed that politicalreform.ie has been down since July. I’d like to say that it was in preparation of a major relaunch, but it wasn’t. It was a failure of too many people involved in running the site, and none of us taking responsibility. A catalogue of unpaid bills, misunderstandings and amateurism meant it took longer than it should have to get back up and running. We’re back now!

Good news for Fine Gael and Sinn Fein: Constituency-level analysis of the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (14th September 2014)

Originally posted on Irish Elections: Geography, Facts and Analyses:

Adrian Kavanagh, 13th September 2014 (still being updated!)

The latest in the series of Red C polls has brought good news especially for Fine Gael and Sinn Fein. While Labour sees a one percentage point increase in the party’s poll levels, this is well off the levels of increase observed in last months’ Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes poll. There is a notable fall in support levels for the Independents and Others grouping, while Fianna Fail support levels remain unchanged at a disappointing 18% level although that party seems to perform better in actual electoral contests than they have been in opinion polls. The latest Sunday Business Post-Red C poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Sunday Business Post-Red C poll ): Fine Gael 28% (up 3%), Sinn Fein 23% (up 1%), Fianna Fail 18% (NC), Labour Party 8% (up 1%), Independents, Green Party and Others 23% (down 5%). My…

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Posted on behalf of the Royal Irish Academy

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Royal Irish Academy Discourse: ‘International Human Rights and Democratic Public Ethics’ by Professor Richard Bellamy

University of Limerick, 6 June 2014 at 18:00

We are pleased to invite you to attend a Royal Irish Academy Discourse by Professor Richard Bellamy (European University Institute), with a response by the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, entitled ‘International Human Rights and Democratic Public Ethics’. This Discourse will take place in the Graduate Entry Medical School Lecture Theatre at the University of Limerick, on 6 June at 18:00. This event is being held under the auspices of the President of Ireland Ethics Initiative and in association with the Limerick City of Culture 2014.
For any queries regarding this Discourse please contact discourse@ria.ie
Attendance is free but early booking is advised.

Minor Shuffling in the North’s European Election

Posted on behalf of Gerard McCann and Paul Hainsworth

This blog builds upon a series of reports on the European Parliament elections in Northern Ireland by the authors. Previous reports are available free online in a virtual issue of Irish Political Studies on Local and European Parliament elections http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/pgas/fips_elections

As expected with the European elections in Northern Ireland, the traditional cultural and political fault lines have appeared as forcefully as ever with the expectation being that Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party will take two of the three seats and the bulk of the votes. This election – together with the Local Council elections this time round – has given the population of the North another opportunity to restate their entrenchment on the constitutional issue.The nationalist vote has the additional interest of the possibility of Alex Attwood of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) succeeding the Unionist Party’s long standing MEP Jim Nicholson. The possibility of having a two-thirds bloc from the nationalist community representing the people of Northern Ireland in Brussels has however caused some disquiet within the unionist camp. The DUP have rallied around their candidate Diane Dodds with the call not to split the unionist vote. This strategy is an attempt to ensure the seat of the Ulster Unionist candidate. Continue reading

Local Elections 2014

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Posted on behalf of Dr Aodh Quinlivan, UCC

This blog builds upon a 2009 Local Election Report (co-authored with Dr Liam Weeks). The report is available to access free, online, in a virtual issue of Irish Political Studies on Local Government and European Parliament elections  http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/pgas/fips_elections

Local elections in Ireland are regarded as somewhat of a mystery. A major reason for this is because the local government system itself and its structures are perceived to be complex. If people do not understand the system or what local authorities actually do, it is not surprising that local elections are either seen as unimportant or irrelevant. This apathy is shared by large portions of the media who opt to analyse local elections merely in the context of what they mean for national politics and the next general election.

On 23 May we will have our 24th set of county and city council local elections since the ‘modern’ system of local government was introduced with the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898. These elections have taken place in 1899, 1902, 1905, 1908, 1911, 1914, 1920, 1925, 1928, 1934, 1942, 1945, 1950, 1955, 1960, 1967, 1974, 1979, 1985, 1991, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Continue reading

Open Government Partnership (OGP) Europe Regional Meeting in Dublin 8 & 9 May

posted on behalf of DPER

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin T.D., will host the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Europe Regional Meeting in Dublin Castle on 8 & 9 May.

The agenda comprises both working group and plenary sessions addressed by a range of invited experts from across Europe and will include a number of Ministers.
Day 1 of the conference will focus on themes including legislative openness, measuring progress in open government, best practice in Nordic countries, the EU’s role in promoting transparency and accountability.
Day 2 of the conference has a significant open data theme throughout the day beginning with -
· a private sector panel (speakers including Microsoft, IBM and SME sector) who will discuss how the private sector can contribute to open government through technology and corporate transparency; and a session on open government and public services and the economic impact of open data; and
· other sessions will include fiscal openness, citizen participation, whistleblowing, access to information and open contracting. Continue reading

Knowledge Democracy: the potential of participatory and deliberative democratic research in applied academy, community and policy contexts

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Posted on behalf of Dr Clodagh Harris (UCC) and Dr Gemma Carney (QUB)

On Monday April 7th the PSAI specialist group on participatory and deliberative democracy in partnership with Campus Engage will be hosting a seminar on ‘Knowledge Democracy: the potential of participatory and deliberative democratic research in applied academy, community and policy contexts’.

Professor Gerry Stoker (University of Southampton), the key note speaker will present on ‘Using research to see like a citizen’. Other papers will look at the relevance of political science, civic engagement in higher education, and citizen participation and empowerment in local government. The seminar will run from 10-1pm and will take place in the NUI offices in Merrion Square. All are welcome. Please contact Dr Gemma Carney at g.carney@qub.ac.uk to register. Full programme below. Continue reading