Stamping out corruption

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The RTÉ Prime Time Investigates report on corruption among some councillors broadcast last night inevitably draws a reaction of how do we rid a country of corruption. A simple answer might be to stop electing probably corrupt candidates. Charles Haughey continued to get elected even though rumours that he amassed his fortune corruptly were rife. Michael Lowry continues to get elected despite the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal, and if a fellow with the nickname ‘Stroke’ later gets convicted for corruption, surely his electors knew what they were doing.

Another reaction is to Continue reading

Irish Polling Indicator: good autumn for Fine Gael

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Estimated party support with shaded 95% uncertainty margins

Fine Gael has strengthened its position in the polls over the last few months. At 29% it polls about 3% higher than in July of this year. Independents and small parties went down, however, from 27% to 22% over the same period of time. These are the most important findings from the new Irish Polling Indicator, which aggregates all available opinion polls. Continue reading

OECD Report on Dáil Reform.

Published by Elaine Byrne 13 November 2015

The OECD published a preliminary draft of its Review of Budget Oversight by Parliament: Ireland this week.

The report can be accessed here

Key points:

  • Budget oversight by the Irish parliamentary chambers is under-developed by international standards.
  • 17 recommendations which include –
  1. Ex ante parliamentary input to medium-term fiscal planning;
  2. Ex ante parliamentary input on budget priorities;
  3. Early publication of full budgetary information and legislative proposals;
  4. Timely consideration of the Estimates of Expenditure;
  5. Performance Dialogue with joint committees in early year;
  6. Re-introduce “Pre-Budget Estimates” showing “no policy change” expenditure baselines;
  7. Establish an Irish Parliamentary Budget Office to support parliamentary engagement and budget scrutiny;
  8. Continuing Professional Development of parliamentarians and officials;
  9. “Performance hearings” with joint committees in early part of the year (February-March);
  10. Power for joint committees to recommend changes to performance information;
  11. Systematic review of existing performance metrics;
  12. Estimates Performance Reports;
  13. Promotion of IrelandStat as an authoritative portal for public performance;
  14. Linkages to higher level strategies and articulation of a “National Performance Framework”;
  15. Establishment of a “National Performance Quality Panel”;
  16. Role for Irish Parliamentary Budget Office in supporting performance scrutiny;
  17. Selective Audit of Performance Information by the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General in reports to the Public Accounts Committee and other committees.

Irish Citizens Decide: A Review of the Irish Convention on the Constitution

A free event to be held at UCD Newman House, November 13, 2015, 9.30am-1.00pm

To register, see here

Ireland’s Convention on the Constitution, which met from late 2012 to early 2014, was a world first both in allowing ordinary citizens a place in discussions about the future of our Constitution and also due to its role in the calling of the marriage referendum earlier this year.

This half-day seminar – which has been supported by the Department of the Taoiseach – will review the work, operation and outcomes of the Convention. The panelists will include former members and organisers of the Convention, the academic team who supported and monitored its operation, and journalists who provided critical coverage of it.

Programme

9.30 arrive and registration

9.45: Welcome and introduction: Prof Ken Carty (research director of the British Columbia citizens’ assembly) will make some opening remarks

10.00: Panel discussion on the Convention and its outcomes. Confirmed participants include: Tom Arnold (Chair of the Convention), Art O’Leary (Secretary), Dr Jane Suiter (DCU), Dearbhail McDonald (Legal Editor, Irish Independent), and Senator Katherine Zappone, Deirdre Donaghy and Aideen Larkin (three members of the Convention).

11.30: tea/coffee break

12.00: What can we learn from the Irish Constitutional Convention? A presentation of research findings by the academic team who supported the work of the Convention.

13.00: End of workshop. A free lunch will be provided.

Reflections on the new architecture of European economic governance – 27 November

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Posted on behalf of Dr Emmanuelle Schon-Quinlivan

Since 2009, many articles and books have been written on the causes to the Eurozone crisis, the potential solutions as well as their consequences for European economic integration. Most of the literature has taken a liberal intergovernmentalist approach or even ‘new intergovermentalist’ stance which focuses on the prevalence of the Member States’ role in the handling of the crisis and the consequential relegation of the European Commission as an unwilling agent in manoeuvring to gain more powers. In a multi-level economic governance context which has seen the reshuffling of the power cards between the various stakeholders, this workshop has selected contributions addressing issues of power, supranational entrepreneurship and integration.

The workshop will take place at the NUI offices on Merrion Square on November 27. Everyone is welcome at the workshop, please email Dr Emmanuelle Schon-Quinlivan at e.schon@ucc.ie to confirm attendance for catering purposes. Further information is available at http://www.ucc.ie/en/government/news/fullstory-609936-en.html Continue reading

Irish Polling Indicator: Independents/Others are popular, but fragmented

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About five months out from the expected date of the general elections, Fine Gael continues to lead in the opinion polls with around 26% support. While the party is down about 10% compared to the last general elections, its competitors are fragmented and therefore Enda Kenny’s party manages to continue its lead. This is estimated by the Irish Polling Indicator, which aggregates the results of the four major Irish polling companies. Continue reading