Answering questions, or questioning answers – where does the debate go from here?

 by: Matt Wall. This post is in response to Elaine’s ‘10 proposals for political reform’. It seems that there is now an incontestable case for far-reaching political reform in the light of all that has happened in Ireland since late 2008; and this case has been crystallised particularly vividly over the last week. However, while…

O’Toole Lays His Cards on the Table

By Matt Wall Fintan O’Toole’s summary of the reforms that he proposes in his new book: ‘Enough is Enough’  advocates ’30 key steps’ to that we need to take to reform democracy in Ireland – many of which have been debated intensely on this site.  Some of these are more contested than others, there are well-rehearsed arguments on either…

If Not Now, When? Why we need parliamentary reform.

Posted by Matt Wall. Gay Mitchell’s article in this morning’s Irish Times again raises the issue of Oireachtas reform. While the text of the article focuses on the development of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mitchell lays out 7 steps that he feels would improve parliamentary oversight writ large. I would love…

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here: should we consider term limits in the Dáil?

By Matthew Wall In this post, I would like to open a discussion around the idea of imposing term limits on our TDs. This is not an idea that has heretofore received much attention in Ireland. As such, the post is primarily concerned with ‘crowd-sourcing’ peoples’ opinions  on how term limits would play out in…

Australia’s electoral administration shows up shortcomings in Irish system

1.8 million Australian voters used the ‘early voting’ facility provided by the Australian electoral commission in the three weeks before today’s election to cast their votes, a record number. The Australians also have facilities for voting if a citizen happens to be outside of the electoral district in which they are registered on the day of the election.…

Gender quota debate rumbles on – but are the two sides talking past each other? (Updated 18th August)

Sarah Carey’s article in today’s Irish Times is the latest contribution in the debate on  whether we should consider adopting party-level gender quotas for the nomination of candidates. This article appears to me to be a particularly striking example of the combative rhetorical strategies that both sides of the debate have employed. Several opinion pieces on this topic have followed the…

Citizens’ Assemblies: delaying mechanisms or reform catalysts?

Following the publication of the Committee on the Constitution’s report    on Ireland’s legislative electoral system, there has been relatively little debate about the merits of its proposal to establish a Citizens’ Assembly (CA). Would establishing a CA be the first step in a process of public engagement and radical institutional reform, or would it simply be…