Constitutional Assembly – TCD student submission

Posted by Elaine Byrne As part of a class project on deliberative democracy and the Constitutional Assembly, these are the views of the Comparative Political Reform, Senior Sophister Class, Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin Brief Background Statement               A renewed focus on the nature of the democracy in the aftermath of the Arab spring and…

Oireachtas Referendum – The wrong reform

Posted by Elaine Byrne For the last ten years, Ireland was one of the only modern democratic parliaments in the world which was legally prevented from inquiring into matters of national importance. Thursday’s referendum to overturn the 2002 Maguire v Ardagh Supreme Court decision on the Oireachtas Abbeylara inquiry seeks to rectify that. In principle, parliaments should…

Seanad Public Consultation Committee

Posted by Elaine Byrne As part of a process of internal reform, the Seanad have established the Seanad Public Consultation Committee (SPCC) which will be launched next week. According to the Oireachtas press release, this Committee will use new procedures to open up access to the Seanad and to invite submissions from the Public. It…

Irish State Administration Database

posted by Elaine Byrne The excellent Irish State Administration Database is now accessible at http://www.isad.ie This resource provides a dataset capturing the establishment, growth and evolution of Ireland’s state administration from the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922 to the present. In so doing, it constitutes a major research infrastructure for the humanities…

The interrogation of Prof David Farrell

Prof David Farrell gave a compelling lecture this week on electoral reform to the Trinity Senior Sophister class studying Comparative Political Reform.  The class have read and debated the various themes —   Electoral reform has become a lightning rod issue for reformists in many different countries. But is it the wrong answer to the…

Citizens’ Assemblies and Political Reform

Citizens’ Assemblies and Political Reform Speaker: Prof. Kenneth Carty, University of British Columbia, Canada Date: Monday 18 October 2010 – 6 to 8 pm Venue: Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2 The Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Constitution has just recommended that Ireland create a Citizens’ Assembly to consider electoral reform. But…

Tasc discussion papers on FOI

TASC, a left-leaning think tank, have published two discussion papers by Dr. Nat O’Connor which are of particular relevance to political reform. The Role of Access to Information in Ireland’s Democracy and An Economic Argument for Stronger Freedom of Information Laws in Ireland.  The papers are part of a project on Public Information, which will restate…

An Ireland Divided?

By Elaine Byrne Since 2007, the Irish Times and Sunday Business Post polls suggest that a fundamental shift in the Irish party system is occurring. Any analysis of electoral volatility often focuses on the left/right divide. But are we asking the wrong question? Is the ongoing earthquake within the Irish political landscape also because of…