Survey on Seanad Reform*

The rejection of the Seanad-abolition referendum in 2013 left more questions unanswered than it asked. However, what was clear from discussion during the referendum is that the Seanad as-is is unsatisfactory to the consensus of people. With the question still lingering, and numerous reform bills circulating the Oireachtas, the Government announced in December that it was setting…

Event: What is the Culture of the Second Republic

This is a guest post by Oliver Moran, a member of the national committee of the ‘Second Republic’ political reform movement.   “What do we want?” “Political Reform!” “When do we want it?” “NOW!” I loved this image from Elaine Byrne in a post to this website earlier this summer. It straight away had me wanting to…

Crunch time approaches for the constitutional convention

For those of us who have been following the progress of Ireland’s constitutional convention, tomorrow promises to be an important date. According to the Dáil’s schedule of business, the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government will be providing a statement on the Convention’s first report tomorrow afternoon/evening. While (to the best of my knowledge) no…

Why bother campaigning?

In this newly published work in Electoral Studies, I (along with two colleagues: Dr. Maria Laura Sudulich of EUI Florence and Professor David Farrell of University College Dublin) asked whether candidates who spent more money were more likely to succeed at European Parliament (EP) elections.

Professional politicians and political reform. (Matt Wall)

A couple of interesting stories in the Irish media today caused me to re-consider the notion that political reform should be the exclusive domain of elected politicians. With their electoral mandates, experience of the day-to-day functioning of political institutions and (in Ireland, at least) their exclusive right to initiate constitutional change, our professional politicians certainly…

Some thoughts on ‘Inside the department’ – posted by Matt Wall

A link here to the RTE Player’s version of ‘Inside the Department’, a documentary that provides some interesting insights into the realities of governance in today’s Ireland. Among other things, it documents the difficulty of leading a department that you have verbally eviscerated in opposition (“malevolently dysfunctional” is a particularly good catchphrase).