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 Reform of the Oireachtas

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PostSubject: Reform of the Oireachtas   Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:07 pm

We have two houses. The role of the upper house is supposedly to hold the lower and more powerful house to account. In my view it fails miserably. I also think that the lower house itself has ceased to function in a fair and democractic way and has become little more than a place to grandstand and whose solitary important function is to elect the Taoiseach and the government. Therefore we have the show of chief whips having to waste peoples time in ensuring that TDs are at hand to ensure the government survives. I think its a circus that is no longer achieveing its intended purpose.

I think we have to look at the pupose and goal of every mechanism in the machine and reassign functions, with the possibility of removing some parts that serve no purpose. Of course ideally we should be devolving power to the people directly where possible but if we cant reach that utopian ideal immediately we should

It seems to me that if you want proper checks and balances then you need separation of power and we need checks and balances to at least simulate democratic accountability and then very importantly guard against power which can be concentrated and used in such a way that is not in the interests of the people as a whole.
I see this as already occurring in the way that the social partnerships have ensured that some sections of society are protected from the economic crisis while the public in general is not. This kind of favourtism is both anti-republican and a symptom of the lack of democracy in the system. What to do?

Allowing for the fact that many are still attached to the parliamentary system and any change that occurrs must be done in a sure and deliberate manner, I think that a directly elected executive, like they have in teh american and french systems is probably not for us..at least not yet.

The following is merely a scenario which I have conceived on the fly and you are welcome to pull it to pieces.
Anyway the two houses are directly elected every four years, but at staggered intervals. The Taoiseach and the ministers are elected not from the Dail but the senate, but the Dail in the manner of the US congress still controls of the purse strings. This ensures separation of powers while maintaining the parliamentary system that many prefer.
I would add that I would also want the following(although they are not part of this discussion):
1. Abolition of the office of the presidency. The referral of constitutional matters could be done by a council of state for no extra cost.
2. Localism with devolution of powers(discussed on another thread)
3. Direct democracy with initiative, referendum and recall of a senator, TD or government.


The senate would also interface with local and european matters.


The idea is that no house or office is fully in control of everything. This then means that it is more difficult to satisfy partisan or sectional interest groups which I think are the bane of our society. It will also mean that spending will be more easily controlled. On teh donwside the power to change things for a percieved beneficial goal is probably weakened unless of course you have something approaching a consensus. This I would see as an advantage and better in the long term. Slow and deliberative decision making involving more people is inherantly safer and less risky than having an all-powerful executive branch.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:36 am

laa dee daa Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:45 am

Respvblica wrote:
laa dee daa Very Happy

Well, there's not much to argue with there, is there?
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:46 am

Respvblica wrote:
laa dee daa Very Happy

I'm just reading now Wink

Just while I'm reading - what broadly would you think could be a basis for reform ? My own view is that there should be more responsibility given to everyone so there should be more public voting more often. Perhaps the Seanad could be adjusted to include councils and other random members of the public on voting committees like juries simply because we perhaps need to develop more of the sense that we're part of a social system in which our individual actions are important and meaningful.

We need to be getting more feedback in and more action on that feedback. That would take generations to establish though...
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:04 am

Respvblica wrote:
I think we have to look at the pupose and goal of every mechanism in the machine and reassign functions, with the possibility of removing some parts that serve no purpose. Of course ideally we should be devolving power to the people directly where possible but if we cant reach that utopian ideal immediately we should
...
The idea is that no house or office is fully in control of everything. This then means that it is more difficult to satisfy partisan or sectional interest groups which I think are the bane of our society. It will also mean that spending will be more easily controlled. On teh donwside the power to change things for a percieved beneficial goal is probably weakened unless of course you have something approaching a consensus. This I would see as an advantage and better in the long term. Slow and deliberative decision making involving more people is inherantly safer and less risky than having an all-powerful executive branch.
OK the Seanad is more or less useless - is there anything in it worth saving if the whole thing is going to be dismantled ? It is ineffective - they can stall a bill or some legislation but that's it - can it originate legislation or do anything else at all ?

Reforming the Seanad and the rest would definitely have to make it difficult to have those sectional interests as you call them running the shop - I fear that this is the source of many of our cares in politics and economics here - are you confident your system would achieve that ? I like the idea of staggering the Seanad and Dáil - what about making a limit on number of elections to either house to two terms or combining that with a national list system where people can choose to keep who they see as the most effective TDs ? Do we need more technology for this or could we use phones or what though - the barriers against reform are technological I fear - we can't use phones because they're "not secure" and we can't use evoting machines because they're too expensive etc. - can't we abandon parts of the secret ballot too where it's certain there would not be fixing ?

I'd also agree with dispensing with the office of president - don't we have a cadre of diplomats to do the president's job anyway ? I don't begrudge us spending 3 million a year on a president but it's just a bauble and an anachronistic one at that.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:19 am

I'd say myself that I'd like to see the Senate become more like the House of Lords - a house of politicians emeritus, and in the job for life. That, after all, is what a Senate is supposed to be - a house of elders (senex = old man).
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:31 am

ibis wrote:
I'd say myself that I'd like to see the Senate become more like the House of Lords - a house of politicians emeritus, and in the job for life. That, after all, is what a Senate is supposed to be - a house of elders (senex = old man).

Interesting one - do you think it's important to our Society as a whole that there is a layer of elders who are respected and bounced off of for their views and votes ? I couldn't disagree that wisdom is very often the preserve of the aged and that this could be leveraged a bit more.

The object would be to get this wisdom to affect or effect policy and to influence society at large if possible. That's a big thing but could more to be done to get them to influence policy some more if that's what you have in mind ?
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:45 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
ibis wrote:
I'd say myself that I'd like to see the Senate become more like the House of Lords - a house of politicians emeritus, and in the job for life. That, after all, is what a Senate is supposed to be - a house of elders (senex = old man).

Interesting one - do you think it's important to our Society as a whole that there is a layer of elders who are respected and bounced off of for their views and votes ? I couldn't disagree that wisdom is very often the preserve of the aged and that this could be leveraged a bit more.

The object would be to get this wisdom to affect or effect policy and to influence society at large if possible. That's a big thing but could more to be done to get them to influence policy some more if that's what you have in mind ?

I'm hazy this far on any exact details, but the House of Lords really does seem to act as a brake on government lunacy. It's essentially staffed by life peers, which is to say political appointees - but, importantly, they're in for life once they're in. No re-election, no re-appointment. That sounds terrifically undemocratic, of course, but the reality seems to be that since their powers mostly consist of being able to stop things, it all works out. When the government of the day rushes to be seen to be doing something about the issue de jour, and cooks up some hasty legislation, the Lords get to say "whoah". Our Senate, being either temporary political appointees, or directly elected, are prone to simply going with the government. When, if ever, do you recall the Senate blocking something?
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:00 am

ibis wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
ibis wrote:
I'd say myself that I'd like to see the Senate become more like the House of Lords - a house of politicians emeritus, and in the job for life. That, after all, is what a Senate is supposed to be - a house of elders (senex = old man).

Interesting one - do you think it's important to our Society as a whole that there is a layer of elders who are respected and bounced off of for their views and votes ? I couldn't disagree that wisdom is very often the preserve of the aged and that this could be leveraged a bit more.

The object would be to get this wisdom to affect or effect policy and to influence society at large if possible. That's a big thing but could more to be done to get them to influence policy some more if that's what you have in mind ?

I'm hazy this far on any exact details, but the House of Lords really does seem to act as a brake on government lunacy. It's essentially staffed by life peers, which is to say political appointees - but, importantly, they're in for life once they're in. No re-election, no re-appointment. That sounds terrifically undemocratic, of course, but the reality seems to be that since their powers mostly consist of being able to stop things, it all works out. When the government of the day rushes to be seen to be doing something about the issue de jour, and cooks up some hasty legislation, the Lords get to say "whoah". Our Senate, being either temporary political appointees, or directly elected, are prone to simply going with the government. When, if ever, do you recall the Senate blocking something?

I didn't realise they were elected for life - are they really ? I was glued to their debate on teh ratification of Lisbon but other than that I've seen nothing. It was worth watching at the time - plenty of passion and searching there - probably unfettered of the influences of party, clan, ideology or tribe - or are they ? They can't be just a voice from a bygone time can they - they must be open to politicising someway.

Have they really blocked a lot of important stuff so ? Are they a kind of paternal/parental and arbitrating influence on the whole process ?

This discussion is hard going at this time of night by jove...
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:01 pm

I'm against the idea of having people in power for lilfe(even it isnt ultimate executive power) so whether it works in the UK or not, I wouldnt be interested. It is my opinion that every position of political power should be elected by the people and held to account to by the people.

Auditor. I dont think the reformed Senate will solve all our problems, but I see it as a step in the right direction. It would be part of a general reform which includes direct democracy and localism.
The main point here is to achieve a separation of powers.
Seanad=Exec power, foreign affairs, regional affairs
Dail= Financial, economic power

The senators which would form the government would need approval Dail approval for their budgets. Normal legislation would originate in the Dail and members of the Dail could perhaps initiate a referendum on recall etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:36 pm

Just watched a fair bit of the FG Ard Fheis from Wexford. I was impressed by their speakers - particularly Kieran O'Donnell and Senator John Paul Phelan. One of the principal criticisms of FF has been vote-buying and I don't want to derail the thread by dragging a partisan skew into the thread but perhaps it could be looked at as objectively as possible if FF were responsible for 'vote-buying' or 'election-buying' using generous budgets to pamper specific sectors which in the long or even medium run proved unsustainable.

Could the potential for election-buying be reformed out of our systems at all ?
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:43 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Just watched a fair bit of the FG Ard Fheis from Wexford. I was impressed by their speakers - particularly Kieran O'Donnell and Senator John Paul Phelan. One of the principal criticisms of FF has been vote-buying and I don't want to derail the thread by dragging a partisan skew into the thread but perhaps it could be looked at as objectively as possible if FF were responsible for 'vote-buying' or 'election-buying' using generous budgets to pamper specific sectors which in the long or even medium run proved unsustainable.

Could the potential for election-buying be reformed out of our systems at all ?

I don't think so. The candidates for a position can hardly be prevented from saying what they would do once elected to that position - and there will always be a competitive advantage for the candidate who proposes the most attractive deal.

It's a built-in feature of democracy, I'm afraid, and a very good argument against electing the EU's Commissioners.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:16 pm

The most urgent element of the Oireachtas requiring reform is the Seanad. I would propose a directly elected Seanad, with fixed 5 year terms, regardless of how long a Dáil lasts. I'd favour 64 members, 2 from each of the 32 counties, along the American model.

The current built in Government majority is a sham, though it might be in doubt if FF suffer a wipeout at the locals next year.

I'd also agree with a move to a more direct model of democracy. We could surely use powers of initiative and recall.


Last edited by coc on Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:26 pm

ibis wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Just watched a fair bit of the FG Ard Fheis from Wexford. I was impressed by their speakers - particularly Kieran O'Donnell and Senator John Paul Phelan. One of the principal criticisms of FF has been vote-buying and I don't want to derail the thread by dragging a partisan skew into the thread but perhaps it could be looked at as objectively as possible if FF were responsible for 'vote-buying' or 'election-buying' using generous budgets to pamper specific sectors which in the long or even medium run proved unsustainable.

Could the potential for election-buying be reformed out of our systems at all ?

I don't think so. The candidates for a position can hardly be prevented from saying what they would do once elected to that position - and there will always be a competitive advantage for the candidate who proposes the most attractive deal.

It's a built-in feature of democracy, I'm afraid, and a very good argument against electing the EU's Commissioners.

That argument against electing Commissioners could be taken a step further, of course...

You're right about the problem though. It is multiplied quite a bit in our own national politics, where all politics is indeed local, if not personal. Clientilism is particularly strong in our country, and it would take a psychological revolution to remove it. Which isn't going to happen...
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:17 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
ibis wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Just watched a fair bit of the FG Ard Fheis from Wexford. I was impressed by their speakers - particularly Kieran O'Donnell and Senator John Paul Phelan. One of the principal criticisms of FF has been vote-buying and I don't want to derail the thread by dragging a partisan skew into the thread but perhaps it could be looked at as objectively as possible if FF were responsible for 'vote-buying' or 'election-buying' using generous budgets to pamper specific sectors which in the long or even medium run proved unsustainable.

Could the potential for election-buying be reformed out of our systems at all ?

I don't think so. The candidates for a position can hardly be prevented from saying what they would do once elected to that position - and there will always be a competitive advantage for the candidate who proposes the most attractive deal.

It's a built-in feature of democracy, I'm afraid, and a very good argument against electing the EU's Commissioners.

That argument against electing Commissioners could be taken a step further, of course...

It's probably why we don't directly vote for Ministers...

toxic avenger wrote:
You're right about the problem though. It is multiplied quite a bit in our own national politics, where all politics is indeed local, if not personal. Clientilism is particularly strong in our country, and it would take a psychological revolution to remove it. Which isn't going to happen...

We've had a clientilist and localist power system in this country for thousands of years. It's evidently extremely difficult to remove.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:57 am

Well Direct Deomcracy, depending on how deeply it is implemented, deals with the clientalism issue, by simply moving more power from the reps to the people. In larger blocks it is harder to implement, but that is were the checks and balances come in. The Seanad should watch the Dail and vice versa. Same with Europe.

FF have definitely been dishonourable in regards to the democractic institutions of this state. They've been bribing electorates since as long as I can remember. They should be shamed out of using the word republican.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:32 am

Respvblica wrote:
Well Direct Deomcracy, depending on how deeply it is implemented, deals with the clientalism issue, by simply moving more power from the reps to the people. In larger blocks it is harder to implement, but that is were the checks and balances come in. The Seanad should watch the Dail and vice versa. Same with Europe.

FF have definitely been dishonourable in regards to the democractic institutions of this state. They've been bribing electorates since as long as I can remember. They should be shamed out of using the word republican.

Would you be able to give a good example of Direct Democracy ?
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:36 am

cactus flower wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
Well Direct Deomcracy, depending on how deeply it is implemented, deals with the clientalism issue, by simply moving more power from the reps to the people. In larger blocks it is harder to implement, but that is were the checks and balances come in. The Seanad should watch the Dail and vice versa. Same with Europe.

FF have definitely been dishonourable in regards to the democractic institutions of this state. They've been bribing electorates since as long as I can remember. They should be shamed out of using the word republican.

Would you be able to give a good example of Direct Democracy ?

??
ah sure switzerland and about half the american states use a lot of direct democracy. Its most easily implemented using RIR which is Referendum,Initiative and Recall. I suppose Ireland's NO at Lisbon was DD in action.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:01 am

ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
You're right about the problem though. It is multiplied quite a bit in our own national politics, where all politics is indeed local, if not personal. Clientilism is particularly strong in our country, and it would take a psychological revolution to remove it. Which isn't going to happen...

We've had a clientilist and localist power system in this country for thousands of years. It's evidently extremely difficult to remove.

I suggest two ways of removing it. Firstly, the Senate (which going by Respvblica's scheme holds and elects Taoiseach and ministers) consists of members not linked to local constituencies. We are a small country and do not need the people responsible for national decision-making tied to particular constituency matters or worse, chosen on geographical party political grounds.

Secondly, we need some ban on what are effectively hereditary seats in the Dail. I am tired of the argument that TD's offspring, by being brought up in a 'political household', are extra qualified for the job. They are not, because the job is to represent people living outside the political establishment, not to carry on representing daddy's favoured contacts. If a ban on a son or daughter running for a parent's seat sounds too draconian for you how about a signifcant gap (e.g. an electoral term) between parent stepping down and child running.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:16 am

Arete wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
You're right about the problem though. It is multiplied quite a bit in our own national politics, where all politics is indeed local, if not personal. Clientilism is particularly strong in our country, and it would take a psychological revolution to remove it. Which isn't going to happen...

We've had a clientilist and localist power system in this country for thousands of years. It's evidently extremely difficult to remove.

I suggest two ways of removing it. Firstly, the Senate (which going by Respvblica's scheme holds and elects Taoiseach and ministers) consists of members not linked to local constituencies. We are a small country and do not need the people responsible for national decision-making tied to particular constituency matters or worse, chosen on geographical party political grounds.

Secondly, we need some ban on what are effectively hereditary seats in the Dail. I am tired of the argument that TD's offspring, by being brought up in a 'political household', are extra qualified for the job. They are not, because the job is to represent people living outside the political establishment, not to carry on representing daddy's favoured contacts. If a ban on a son or daughter running for a parent's seat sounds too draconian for you how about a signifcant gap (e.g. an electoral term) between parent stepping down and child running.

I've seen a few of these "handovers" close up, and there is something creepy about them, a bit like "Alien" when the thing leaps from yer man's abdomen.
Father to son, there is usually a prolonged shadowing process, before the separation. I've also seen a daughter step in, totally unprepared, after her father died. She turned out to be a brilliant local rep.

I would like to see an end to it, because it displays an unwarranted assumption of entitlement, which is a dirty word right now.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:46 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Arete wrote:
ibis wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
You're right about the problem though. It is multiplied quite a bit in our own national politics, where all politics is indeed local, if not personal. Clientilism is particularly strong in our country, and it would take a psychological revolution to remove it. Which isn't going to happen...

We've had a clientilist and localist power system in this country for thousands of years. It's evidently extremely difficult to remove.

I suggest two ways of removing it. Firstly, the Senate (which going by Respvblica's scheme holds and elects Taoiseach and ministers) consists of members not linked to local constituencies. We are a small country and do not need the people responsible for national decision-making tied to particular constituency matters or worse, chosen on geographical party political grounds.

Secondly, we need some ban on what are effectively hereditary seats in the Dail. I am tired of the argument that TD's offspring, by being brought up in a 'political household', are extra qualified for the job. They are not, because the job is to represent people living outside the political establishment, not to carry on representing daddy's favoured contacts. If a ban on a son or daughter running for a parent's seat sounds too draconian for you how about a signifcant gap (e.g. an electoral term) between parent stepping down and child running.

I've seen a few of these "handovers" close up, and there is something creepy about them, a bit like "Alien" when the thing leaps from yer man's abdomen.
Father to son, there is usually a prolonged shadowing process, before the separation. I've also seen a daughter step in, totally unprepared, after her father died. She turned out to be a brilliant local rep.

I would like to see an end to it, because it displays an unwarranted assumption of entitlement, which is a dirty word right now.

I'm sympathetic to banning it too, but I think we have to allow any citizen some freedom to run for election. The problem is, is that with the parliamentary system as we have it, the contacts as Arete said, flow easily to the offspring or relative.
The power to move contacts and clients is what makes the inheited seat so predictable. If we also add more direct democracy at the local side(localism), the clientalistic structure becomes less relevent.
Another improvement, which avoids having to ban the practice, is to use a caucus system or leave the selection of the candidate directly to the people, as they do in America.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:39 pm

I know it's a Parliamentary Democracy and all but does it have to be 100% Parliamentary ? There is no way of making a concerted citizen-wide lobbying effort to reform anything, indeed is there even a mechanism in the body of Laws and statutes that we have which allow for the set up as it is to develop ?

One thing that would balance out the Parliament only hegemony is for the citizen to be able to reboot the Govt. This would be a nuclear option but would need the consensus of a terrible number of people by petition first to generate a Referendum. The Referendum might not be a simple Yes No but would contain these questions:

This government should not fall

This government should fall and the ruling parties lose all their entitlements and the TDs may not run again, ever

This government should fall and the ruling parties lose 25% their entitlements

This government should fall and the ruling parties lose 50% their entitlements
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:58 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
I know it's a Parliamentary Democracy and all but does it have to be 100% Parliamentary ? There is no way of making a concerted citizen-wide lobbying effort to reform anything, indeed is there even a mechanism in the body of Laws and statutes that we have which allow for the set up as it is to develop ?

One thing that would balance out the Parliament only hegemony is for the citizen to be able to reboot the Govt. This would be a nuclear option but would need the consensus of a terrible number of people by petition first to generate a Referendum. The Referendum might not be a simple Yes No but would contain these questions:

This government should not fall

This government should fall and the ruling parties lose all their entitlements and the TDs may not run again, ever

This government should fall and the ruling parties lose 25% their entitlements

This government should fall and the ruling parties lose 50% their entitlements

You mean RECALL as used across the US?
Its a pity Mary H on all her well paid travels to the US didnt stop to learn about that very worthwhile institution.

I think I would like to see a referndum come down to two possible answers. If the Dail/legistlature was properly decoupled from the executive, it might become a good forum for guiding the debate and setting the questions. The other source of referendums would come from the mechanism of Initiative, by getting a petitition.

A hundred years ago there was a big campaign to get RIR(referendum, initiative and recall) instituted in the Western states of the US. Formelry the most corrupt states, Oregon, California etc are now among the least corrupt and most prosperous. We need to start a similar campaign across Europe. You could do it in Ireland on its own, but our future is also closely tied to that of the continent, that if the continent is undemocratic that will in turn influence us whether we like it or not. We need to waken the sleeping giant.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:09 pm

Respvblica wrote:
You mean RECALL as used across the US?
So somebody else thought of this before me ? That's a good name but I prefer REBOOT because they could be booted out again and again if necessary. Do they suspend their pensions if recalled in America (is it federally or just in some states btw ?) I don't see how they can be entitled to a red cent if the electorate is so unhappy with them they are moved to a petitition for a referendum, if that's how it works in the States. Is it ? Sure they are given a redundancy package of about six months wages but that's it buddy. How often can this happen do you know ? I'd imagine once a term ... ?

Quote :
Its a pity Mary H on all her well paid travels to the US didnt stop to learn about that very worthwhile institution.
Do ANY of our parties think along these lines I wonder ?? It might occur especially to a party who is successful enough but not so much so that they are happy on the Opposition benches and want to find a way of getting the others out .. No chance FG would consider it as a policy in a campaign like you think needs to be started below ?

Quote :
I think I would like to see a referndum come down to two possible answers. If the Dail/legistlature was properly decoupled from the executive, it might become a good forum for guiding the debate and setting the questions. The other source of referendums would come from the mechanism of Initiative, by getting a petitition.

Can you give an example of legislature/executive decoupling - I just am unable to picture it in my head. Don't ye think it's essential that Referendums should come from other sources than Dáil debates and elected governments ? Currently I don't know if a lobby group or other source can stimulate a Referendum.
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PostSubject: Re: Reform of the Oireachtas   Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:04 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
You mean RECALL as used across the US?
So somebody else thought of this before me ? That's a good name but I prefer REBOOT because they could be booted out again and again if necessary. Do they suspend their pensions if recalled in America (is it federally or just in some states btw ?) I don't see how they can be entitled to a red cent if the electorate is so unhappy with them they are moved to a petitition for a referendum, if that's how it works in the States. Is it ? Sure they are given a redundancy package of about six months wages but that's it buddy. How often can this happen do you know ? I'd imagine once a term ... ?
Yup, but here have a look at this.
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/legismgt/elect/initiat.htm
Reboot sounds good but i we want to ever run with this we are going to need the support of parties and parliamentarians somehwere down the line. Once R.I.R is in the constitution we can move it on from there.

Auditor #9 wrote:
Quote :
Its a pity Mary H on all her well paid travels to the US didnt stop to learn about that very worthwhile institution.
Do ANY of our parties think along these lines I wonder ?? It might occur especially to a party who is successful enough but not so much so that they are happy on the Opposition benches and want to find a way of getting the others out .. No chance FG would consider it as a policy in a campaign like you think needs to be started below ?
Sadly its my experience that FG are not really interested. Lucinda Creighton and Gay Mitchell dont seem to be too happy about us currently having referendums for Europe but theres a big moevement for Direct democracy among British Tories would you believe. Google Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell. These boys are up to some good I tell ye.


Auditor #9 wrote:
Quote :
I think I would like to see a referndum come down to two possible answers. If the Dail/legistlature was properly decoupled from the executive, it might become a good forum for guiding the debate and setting the questions. The other source of referendums would come from the mechanism of Initiative, by getting a petitition.

Can you give an example of legislature/executive decoupling - I just am unable to picture it in my head. Don't ye think it's essential that Referendums should come from other sources than Dáil debates and elected governments ? Currently I don't know if a lobby group or other source can stimulate a Referendum.

Right, in another thread I pooposed a scheme whereby the government would be elected from the Senate. The Dail would be the main legislature in that, like the US Congress it would have the vote on the budget. They would also be elected every 4 years at staggereed intervals, the senate elections would be 2010, Dail in 2012 etc. With that we have finally broken the stanglehold on power that the Dail has.

Finally we should take some inspiration from people like William U'ren. The guy made it his one goal to get direct democracy into the states and finally achieved it. While FG and FF may be unresponsive, I think the thing I intend to do - at some stage at least- is attempt to help link pro-democratic people from around europe into a meaningful alliance. I personally dont have time, but maybe in the future I do, or maybe someone reading will be the U'ren of the 21st century. In Spain, on the political chat radio stations there is some disastisfaction with the democratic deficut in their own country, so there is a market out there. It just needs to be united and mobilised.
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