Republic of Ireland – moves towards more direct democracy?

    Donal O’Brolchain reviews pre/post- election developments on direct democracy The February 2016 election continues a pattern of nearly 50 years ie. voters have not re-elected an outgoing government.  Since 1969, this has happened once in 2002.  Despite Ireland’s undoubted successes (eg. joining the EU, a rising population and workforce) over these years, we…

Political reform proposals in the Partnership Government programme – UPDATED

A (still very preliminary) reaction to the Programme for Government proposal that was launched this afternoon (available here). There is a lot of food for thought here. A lot of interesting proposals – at least on paper – and also some daft ones. Certainly a lot to chew over. A fair bit of things that we’d…

Referendums aren’t for the faint hearted

The marriage referendum was an emotional roller-coaster. The reports of thousands taking boats and flights home to vote in the marriage referendum were heart-lifting. Ursula Halligan’s revelation in the last week of the marriage referendum campaign that she had hidden her sexuality from everyone, including at times herself was heart-breaking. She cited the referendum campaign…

On the same-sex marriage and presidential age referendums

By Michael Gallagher The expectation was that the same-sex marriage referendum would deliver a comfortable Yes and the vote on reducing the minimum age for the president an equally decisive No, and that’s just how it worked out. The latter achieved the distinction of delivering the lowest Yes vote (only 27 per cent) of any…