Category Archives: Politics

the damaged democrat

Government BuildingsToday’s Sunday Independent Poll shows once again, that there is a lack of confidence in government.

This is not surprising as one of the dangers of economic depression, and an austerity agenda, is that trust is severely damaged.

We should use the opportunity in public discussions about reforming the Seanad to also discuss how we need to revitalise democracy in Ireland! Continue reading

but why did so many not bother to vote?

Yes for ChildrenOnly 30% voted, although the referendum on chidren’s rights was passed, what does the low turn-out tell us.  Were people happy with the referendum and not too worried that it wouldn’t pass.  Or is there a disconnect between the NGO/political consensus and real Ireland?

There was a substantial number of voters who were very unhappy with the change, not trusting establishment Ireland on the issue – and the Yes campaign failed to engage properly with these fears.

But when we canvassed we found many people were not too exercised about the subject, and were happy to have it included in the constitution, so perhaps they just stayed at home.  In the end the Irish people voted 60/40 to change the constitution to recognise the rights of the child, the average percentage result in Irish referenda.

Irish Green Party in Government 2007 to 2011

The Irish Green Party entered Government in coalition with Fianna Fáil in June 2007, and exited in February 2011 just prior to the General Election campaign. The party suffered severe losses in both that General Election and the previous local and European Elections. It now faces the task of rebuilding both the organisation and public confidence in the party. This series of blogs covers some of the more momentous moments of the party’s time in office.

Political Angst – Where are all the women?

An interesting feature regarding female election candidates is that in Ireland one sees clustering of female candidates.  Adrian Kavanagh mentions this in the new Irish General Election 2010 facts and figures blog. This clustering breaks right down into local constituency level.  The higher the percentage of female candidates in poll position, the higher the number of female candidates will be run by all parties in that particular constituency.   When there is a strong threat to a seat by a female the opposing party will ensure they run an equally strong campaign, with female candidate.  The same dynamic occurred in the presidential election following Mary Robinson’s term of office.  Which proves that political parties can and will find female candidates for winnable seats when they need to!  All the usual hand wringing and excuses fly out the window. Continue reading

Ireland should follow Iceland with new constitution

Downtown Reykjavik, Image from

Iceland’s parliamentarians have voted for an assembly of ordinary people who will re-write the country’s constitution, and we should follow suit says Labour Party MEP Nessa Childers.

Eamon Gilmore has already indicated that a review of our constitution will be an important feature in any Labour government and Nessa has drawn a parallel between our experience and theirs, and says we should follow Iceland’s example: “Like us, the Icelanders have endured a terrible economical and political crisis. It is time to fundamentally reassess how our state operates. A revised constitution would establish a new social contract between the state institutions and all its citizens in a process that can help us on the road to national renewal and recovery. Read full text here

Callely controversy highlights lack of political reform

The ongoing revelations regarding Ivor Callely’s expenses claims highlights the lack of accountability and transparency in Irish politics. However only focusing on individual cases, such as Callely, allows the Government to avoid addressing the real issue – their unwillingness to bring public representatives financial accountability into line, at the very least, with  private sector regulations. Continue reading