Is the only truly new Dáil an independent Dáil ?

Liam Weeks* Reading the calls for reform from afar, there seems to be one overarching theme: a desire to improve the calibre of parliamentarians. To date, most of these calls have been misguided as many from outside the political science community persist with the notion of electoral reform as a panacea that will transform the…

Will Fianna Fáil change leader?

Eoin O’Malley (UPDATED 17 January, 2011) The fact that Cowen has pushed for a vote of confidence in his leadership would seem to indicate that he is secure that he has the numbers to win it. He has the advantage of having spent the previous three days canvassing support openly, whereas Micheál Martin was unable or unwilling to…

Jumping Ship from Brussels to Dublin: a question of legitimacy

John O’Brennan (10 January, 2011) It is somewhat perplexing for many Irish citizens when they find that individuals elected to political office very recently decide to jump ship, once a seemingly better career opportunity presents itself. It is only 18 months since the elections to the European Parliament took place in July 2009. The Parliament’s…

Yet another crazy idea for electoral reform

David Farrell (January 10 2011) Former Attorney General John Rogers has returned to the theme of electoral reform. In a presentation on The Week in Politics on RTE last night and also in today’s Irish Times he set out the latest version of his ideas for a new electoral system (for discussion on the previous…

Abolishing the Seanad

By Michael Gallagher Like most contributors to the site, I’m unconvinced by what little rationale has so far been offered for the abolition of the Seanad. First, no-one has seriously, or even flippantly, suggested that bicameralism is the cause of the current economic difficulties. Just what is the problem that abolition of the Seanad is…

After the Seanad….

Posted by Séin Ó Muineacháin This is a copy of an article I wrote for the journal Public Affairs Ireland when Enda Kenny first floated the idea of Seanad abolition. It deals with the political and constitutional implications of such a move. The debate on the necessity of a second house of the Oireachtas has…

Abolishing the Senate does not a political reform make

Posted by David Farrell (January 4, 2011) The silly season’s came early this year: barely two days into the New Year and a senior government minister flies a kite on abolishing Seanad Éireann. Speculation was rife yesterday that the government might steal a pass on the main opposition parties by setting a referendum question to…