Quick fixes that could make a difference?

In the various debates on the media, on twitter and on blogs like this there has been much call for specifics, for real practical suggestions on reforms that could be implemented without the need for full scale referendum debates over constitutional reform. To that end, those of us involved in making regular contributions to this…

Party finance to enable democracy

Few could argue that the regime of political finance has not had an impact on Irish politics and policy. It was the famous Tent at Ballybrit each year which symbolised the symbiotic relationship between Fianna Fáil and the property industry. Thanks to Elaine Byrne we know that the property industry accounted for more donations than…

Intellectuals against ideas

Posted by Dan O’Brien Reading this blog in recent weeks and Elaine Byrne’s piece in Tuesday’s Irish Times, it strikes me that while anti-intellectualism has long been a feature of Irish life, it seems that even the intellectual class in Ireland is hostile to ideas. Some thoughts. First, last weekend a conference was held on…

Department of Finance

John Considine and Theresa Reidy University College Cork The Department of Finance has set out its mission statement in very broad terms. Its role is ‘To support the achievement of the Government’s economic and social objectives by promoting a sound, sustainable economic and budgetary environment, continuing improvements in the efficiency of public services, and an…

Local government reform

The Irish Times reports that Fianna Fail is completing a submission to feed into the Government’s promised White Paper on local government reform. The report indicates that there is some disagreement among the Coalition partners as to the importance of mayors with Fianna Fail preferring less executive powers. There is also some discussion on amalgamating…

Are we being too timid?

Strong stuff from Elaine Byrne and Fintan O’Toole in today’s Irish Times. The latter berates the Irish people for lacking the ‘political viagra’ necessary to push through true political reform; whereas the former throws a punch directly at blogs such as this for ‘pouring cold water’ on the question of fundamental constitutional overhaul. Fair points?…