How should we rewrite our constitution?

Looking on from abroad for most of the campaign, I was amazed at some of the proposals for reform that emerged. Both of the government parties have posted documents detailing these promises on their websites. In my opinion, Labour had one of the most radical political reform policy platforms of the campaign. The key plank…

Reforms are driven by optics

The Dáil debated possible new Dáil reforms yesterday. The reforms introduced by the Chief Whip Paul Kehoe are to include: The introduction of Topical Issue Debates to replace the current Adjournment Debates Extra Dáil sitting days – on the first Friday of every month – to provide time for TDs to introduce their own Bills…

Ministers still have power to effect policy change

As ministers prepare to take what will surely seem a well-earned break, they’ll probably be feeling a bit sorry for themselves. The celebrity induced honeymoon hasn’t given way to an economic miracle and the likelihood is that when they come back they will be straight into a fight with Brendan Howlin for money. The argument has been made that…

John Major’s political reform proposals

In a recent lecture to the Ditchley Foundation, former UK prime minister John Major calls for political reforms, especially the use of more experts in government and the role of politicians as a mediator between experts and the public. The details of his proposals are a bit unclear, but are discussed in a blog by…

Can Fianna Fáil Change to Survive?

Post by David Farrell (July 12, 2011) It is not just political systems that need to be reformed from time to time, parties also need to go through a process of renewal if they’re to survive the trials and tribulations of electoral politics.  As reported in today’s Irish Times, Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party met yesterday…