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 S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)

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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:55 pm

Important thing when dealing with MNCs is when you have superiod bargaining power, as we did fifteen years ago, you use it. It is likely that Ireland could have mandated that many MNCs source materials from spin off indigenous companies who could have also supplied overseas companies when the MNCs move on. Thailand did similar with Singer Sewing Machine parts many years ago. Of course we were too busy spending dosh to worry about such things...
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:21 am

johnfás wrote:
Important thing when dealing with MNCs is when you have superiod bargaining power, as we did fifteen years ago, you use it. It is likely that Ireland could have mandated that many MNCs source materials from spin off indigenous companies who could have also supplied overseas companies when the MNCs move on. Thailand did similar with Singer Sewing Machine parts many years ago. Of course we were too busy spending dosh to worry about such things...

I am sure that there are EU rules against that - I very much doubt that you can discriminate against other EU countries.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:01 am

It isn't discrimination, it is like this. In the early 1990s companies were scrambling to get into Ireland for a whole host of reasons - low corporation tax, access to European markets etc. At that time, Ireland had tremendous bargaining power in terms of what we could get in return for them coming. They wanted to be here so we should have got as much for the Irish State as possible.

Take the following example. When Intel set up in Ireland they received a huge grant from the Irish Government. This was at a time that Intel really really wanted to be in Ireland. Such grants, when we had alot of bargaining power, should have had stipulations about supply, research etc which created spin off indigenous Irish companies which if Intel were to leave this expertise could be sold to AMD or anyone else. This is not illegal, it is what alot of States who have been successful in their management of MNCs have done.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:23 am

1. Were in the E.U. and the Euro.
2. We speak English.
3. Our I.T.'s and some University's produce alot of useful graduates in science, engineering, computers etc. Could improve this by reducing the numbers studying wasterful degrees in Arts, humanities. I am not saying we dont need some people to study arts, just a lot less.
4. Our armed forces are tiny, therefore more resourses are available to be used in the producive side of the economy.
5. Mild climate with long growing season compared to other countries at our latitude.
6. Low tax rates, for the moment......
7. One of the best countries in the world for making/ growing butter, milk, potatoes, turnips, beef, cabbage, chesse, whiskey. Theres a very good meal there. John Wayne said that the meal of ham, potatoes and cabbage he had in Ireland was the best food he ever had, he may have been hungry.
8. Our small farms are perfect for maximising E.U. grants, and these payments from Europe keep our rural areas alive.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:33 am

It is actually quite difficult to make a list of Ireland's strengths. Here is my attempt:


1. Tolerance. Ireland is actually a rather tolerant place - there has been a huge surge in immigration without any real problems. This may have been helped by our illusion of wealth and the fact that most immigrants were of a white Catholic background, but there is a good possibility that those who remain permanently will be easily assimilated.

2. Size. The fact that the country has a relatively small population means that it conflicts are not as bitter. Everyone knows everyone else. You will not get the same sort of class warfare as you saw in England. I have often wondered if the right-wing nature of US politics is due to the fact that it is a country of immigrants and that people are not as closely related to each other (or do not feel as closely related to one another). Perhaps there some biological/political theory to explain this.

3. Language. This is a mixed blessing.
a) English. On the one hand, the fact that Ireland is English-speaking makes attracting foreign investment from the US and elsewhere easier. This is only a temporary advantage however. English is becoming more and more the international language. As virtually all Europeans start to learn English at school, our advantage will diminish and disappear.
b) Irish. I think that the Irish language is important as a badge of national identity. I think also that the fact that everyone has a cúpla focal promotes social cohesion to some extent. I also think that it does have economic value in cultural and tourism terms.

4. Agriculture. Ireland was traditionally seen as a clean agricultural country. I am not sure how much damage was done to our reputation by mad cow disease and the poisoned pigs but I am sure our reputation can be redeemed. We should be able to produce more premium food products like Kerrygold. The fact that we are on an island means that we do have slightly more control over our environment.

5. Dublin. The scale of Dublin means that it can be a centre for certain industries (software?, software localisation?). The housing boom and the huge oversupply of housing may have a positive side-effect if managed correctly, in that rents will fall and Dublin will become a very affordable city.

6. The Euro. The fact that we are in the eurozone is a strength, given the example of Iceland.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:28 pm

1. People. For some reason, unknown to me, we seem to be lateral thinkers to a greater extent than most.

2. Land. No shortage of it, obvious implications for food production & associated industries.

3. Other natural resources. Wind, Wave, More Gas finds with a 50/50 return maybe.

4. People, again. We are only 20 years away from hard times, the decision makers in place here have direct experience of very difficult economic times, this will stand to them now.

5. Very low taxes. Room for disimprovement here, Oh! The pain, but like a bit of S&M and I do, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

6. Very high home/property ownership rates. The possibility of moving to the continental model of large scale regulated rented accommodation, both residential & commercial.
There is here the possibility of;
a) Providing a medium return, secure investment to encourage returning mobile Irish foreign investments, including from our own national pension fund.
b) Increasing hugely the cash available to our banks with the resulting large scale repayment of mortgages, this cash is then available to loan to business, with job maintenance a priority.
c) Making a large dent in personal indebtedness via the repayment of mortgages & vastly increasing the cash supply available for personal investment in business & more general economic activity.

And many more already mentioned by others.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:26 pm

1) Europe and the Euro (provided we don't mess it up in October)
2) Anglozone/English speaking
3) Clever people with communications skills. A good education system, with a Government that has, for the last 10 years, given science the importance it deserves
4) a young population
5) Renewables out there to be exploited
6) the most representative and public responsive electoral system out there. Here's to STV, never want to live without it again
7) Enough room to plant more TREES
Cool Low population density, room to breathe
9) a strong ag sector (we're really going to need it as the fossil fuels begin to go)
10) Signs that there may be oil and gas out there off the West coast (here's hoping)
11) People have a practical and down to earth outlook here, worth it's weight in gold. Nice antidote to spin, anyway....not that we'd ever let our politicians away with that here, I hope.
12) that potential gold mine in Monaghan... anyone heard anything about that recently??
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:53 pm

expat girl wrote:
1) Europe and the Euro (provided we don't mess it up in October) ok
2) Anglozone/English speaking. Double-edged sword. We are really bad at other languages
3) Clever people with communications skills. A good education system, with a Government that has, for the last 10 years, given science the importance it deserves. Give you the benefit of doubt
4) a young population. A very mixed bag
5) Renewables out there to be exploited. Yes agreed. Intelligent planning needed here
6) the most representative and public responsive electoral system out there. Here's to STV, never want to live without it again. I am at a loss to understand this at all, at all????? What a Face
7) Enough room to plant more TREES. ?????
Cool Low population density, room to breathe. Dire planning screws this up
9) a strong ag sector (we're really going to need it as the fossil fuels begin to go) Possibly
10) Signs that there may be oil and gas out there off the West coast (here's hoping) Start praying
11) People have a practical and down to earth outlook here, worth it's weight in gold. Nice antidote to spin, anyway....not that we'd ever let our politicians away with that here, I hope. Perhaps.
12) that potential gold mine in Monaghan... anyone heard anything about that recently?? Hospital pass
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:35 pm

Well, Slim, re STV, I used to live in both Canada and the UK, with one man, one vote. The citizens of the province in which I lived were badly represented; the makeup of the Government was always decided by the citizens of Ontario and Quebec in the east, which were much more populous. Minority parties never got a look-in. In the UK, I lived in a South Wales constituency where a dead donkey with a labour rosette would have been returned as an MP; meanwhile, in the parents in law's constituency on the other side of the Bristol channel, same situation applied, except that the moribund ass had to have blue decorations. Neither MP exactly killed themselves on behalf of their constituents; this is what a honking overall majority for aeons will do to your motivation. The planning corruption had to be seen to be believed; the constituency in which I lived built family homes on a not well cleaned up toxic dump (I could smell phenol in the air a mile away when they opened it up). Entirely coincidentally, the council were building themselves 25million worth of new offices in a nearby town

Viva STV, it leads people to believe that they will be heard; at least if enough of them have a similar cause. I am aware of the drawback (delay and procrastination in decision making) but all in all, it is a better system that keeps unaccountable levels of exucutive power out of the hands of the Cabinet.

And one man, one vote is the reason why 50% of the British public protested against Iraq, but the Govt and opposition united to back it.

Call that representative government?? I don't
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:56 pm

expat girl wrote:
Well, Slim, re STV, I used to live in both Canada and the UK, with one man, one vote. The citizens of the province in which I lived were badly represented; the makeup of the Government was always decided by the citizens of Ontario and Quebec in the east, which were much more populous. Minority parties never got a look-in. In the UK, I lived in a South Wales constituency where a dead donkey with a labour rosette would have been returned as an MP; meanwhile, in the parents in law's constituency on the other side of the Bristol channel, same situation applied, except that the moribund ass had to have blue decorations. Neither MP exactly killed themselves on behalf of their constituents; this is what a honking overall majority for aeons will do to your motivation. The planning corruption had to be seen to be believed; the constituency in which I lived built family homes on a not well cleaned up toxic dump (I could smell phenol in the air a mile away when they opened it up). Entirely coincidentally, the council were building themselves 25million worth of new offices in a nearby town

Viva STV, it leads people to believe that they will be heard; at least if enough of them have a similar cause. I am aware of the drawback (delay and procrastination in decision making) but all in all, it is a better system that keeps unaccountable levels of exucutive power out of the hands of the Cabinet.

And one man, one vote is the reason why 50% of the British public protested against Iraq, but the Govt and opposition united to back it.

Call that representative government?? I don't

Of course I don't, but nor do I call what we have anything much better. Your example of the dead donkey in South Wales can easily be equated with Beverly Flynn in Mayo, Jackie Healy-Rae in Kerry South or Mary Coughlan in Donegal South-West. None of these would recognise a political concept born of a philosophical conviction if it came up behind them and bit them on the arse. Yet the large gobshite population of these places vote such people into the highest forum of democracy in the land. They are not alone, just simply the most offensive I can think of at the moment.

You mentioned that we have a responsive system. If by that, you mean we have access to our TDs, then I presume you mean at the "clinics" they generously hold. But these clinics are for their benefit, not ours. It is to cultivate the (misleading) impression that by going to them , and they generating a pile of irrelevant correspondence, that "he tried his best". If you are entitled to something, you will get it. If not, you wont. We have Citizens Advice Bureaux for this stuff anyway.

The fact of the matter is that our system is not working. Cowan, Lenihan and Coughlan are all inheritors of the rotten boroughs their fathers or uncles built up. All they had to do to get them was to stay alive long enough. This dynastic nonsense blocks any fresh talent going into politics. Real talent goes into law, medicine, engineering, self employment or Dublin Airport departure lounge. For within our present structure, politics makes no sense for an increasing number of people. A few simply got out of the Dail having arrived at this conclusion. Jim Glennon (FF), George Bermingham (FG), Pat McCartan (WP) and Ivan Yates (FG) come to mind. They knew it was a waste of time
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:10 am

You have a point, but dynastic political representation is not a phenomenon unique to this island (the Bushes?? the Kennedys? the Clintons? the Milibands?? Ed Balls and his wife Yvette?? I could continue)

At least, here, 4 out of five (or 3/4 or 2/3) of TDs in a constituency have to work for a living. By contrast, in the UK, for example, only 10% of constituencies are up for grabs in any one election. And I'm sure the US presidential map, in all its red and blue glory, is still up there for a viewing.

People here seem to perpetually assume that "it's always better overseas" and that we are peculiarly badly run. Not always true; we're dealing with a small population, a peripheral location and VERY FEW natural resources

The surprise is not our current financial state. The surprise is that we ever got out of the 1980s, economically.

After 5-6 years of New Labour, whose motto should have been "all spin and no substance", things seem pretty good over here, actually. Even still.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:20 am

Slim Buddha wrote:
Real talent goes into law, medicine, engineering, self employment or Dublin Airport departure lounge.
You forgot to mention the civil service. I have heard them complimented by foreigners.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:32 am

Slim Buddha wrote:
Your example of the dead donkey in South Wales can easily be equated with Beverly Flynn in Mayo, Jackie Healy-Rae in Kerry South or Mary Coughlan in Donegal South-West. None of these would recognise a political concept born of a philosophical conviction if it came up behind them and bit them on the arse. Yet the large gobshite population of these places vote such people into the highest forum of democracy in the land.
You lost the argument right there. The only difference between the “gobshite population of these places” and yourself, is that they don’t agree with you, to my mind that’s a plus for them, to you it’s a minus, but either way that’s all there is between you, a difference of opinion……and some name calling.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:54 am

expat girl wrote:
You have a point, but dynastic political representation is not a phenomenon unique to this island (the Bushes?? the Kennedys? the Clintons? the Milibands?? Ed Balls and his wife Yvette?? I could continue)

At least, here, 4 out of five (or 3/4 or 2/3) of TDs in a constituency have to work for a living. By contrast, in the UK, for example, only 10% of constituencies are up for grabs in any one election. And I'm sure the US presidential map, in all its red and blue glory, is still up there for a viewing.

People here seem to perpetually assume that "it's always better overseas" and that we are peculiarly badly run. Not always true; we're dealing with a small population, a peripheral location and VERY FEW natural resources

The surprise is not our current financial state. The surprise is that we ever got out of the 1980s, economically.

After 5-6 years of New Labour, whose motto should have been "all spin and no substance", things seem pretty good over here, actually. Even still.

Again the dismal US/UK comparison, expat girl, but no harm, it is your experience (the UK anyway) . I lived in both the UK and US and saw the failures in both countries on every level. Politics included.

When I went to Germany first, my eyes were opened. Hospitals worked and were clean. Public transport was miles ahead of that which I experienced in thew "Anglosphere". Education was better. There are downsides, of course. Taxes are high in Germany and it has a bureaucracy from hell.

I don't live there anymore because I dont like high taxes or hellish bureaucracy. But I do like good government, good hospitals andgood schools. So I live in Switzerland.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:58 am

tonys wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Your example of the dead donkey in South Wales can easily be equated with Beverly Flynn in Mayo, Jackie Healy-Rae in Kerry South or Mary Coughlan in Donegal South-West. None of these would recognise a political concept born of a philosophical conviction if it came up behind them and bit them on the arse. Yet the large gobshite population of these places vote such people into the highest forum of democracy in the land.
You lost the argument right there. The only difference between the “gobshite population of these places” and yourself, is that they don’t agree with you, to my mind that’s a plus for them, to you it’s a minus, but either way that’s all there is between you, a difference of opinion……and some name calling.

If they actually are gobshites, you have to honour them with the correct description. Like every nation, Ireland has a proportion of gobshites among the population as a whole. To deny it is to deny reality. It is no surprise that they vote for those of a like mind.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:00 am

Agreed, I won't argue with you re the continent. But the population of the combined anglozone is roughly equivalent to that of the whole EU. They are also an important comparison. It may well be that the Continental (well, German/Scandinavian) will beat the Anglozone model through this recession hands down. If it does, so much the better. I'd prefer to be closer to Berlin than Boston..
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:01 am

905 wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Real talent goes into law, medicine, engineering, self employment or Dublin Airport departure lounge.
You forgot to mention the civil service. I have heard them complimented by foreigners.

I worked with many colleagues from Holland, France and Germany in Dublin. They had a high opinion of the Revenue and Social Welfare. Having said that, they thought our banks were rubbish.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:09 am

Theres a history of enlightened autocracy in Germany, stretching back to Frederick the great, through to Bismarcks social reforms down to today. Germans need though to shrug off the prussian rigidity and bureacrcy which was only imposed on them in the 19th century and look south to Switzerland for better accountability. Committments to Europe and to the east are stunting German democratic devlopment.

Back to ourselves - while we are not the worst, we have a lot of work to do. STV is a lot better than the first past the post, but in the end its just a milder form of "winner takes it all" and sufficient only to elect deputies. We need more direct democracy, and england is moving in that direction, so its time we took note.

I agree with Tonys re the gobshite people. I dont think they are gobshites at and I think that they have got what they wanted and deserved within the constraints provided by the present system.
The people, like the markets, are always right.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:13 am

expat girl wrote:
Agreed, I won't argue with you re the continent. But the population of the combined anglozone is roughly equivalent to that of the whole EU. They are also an important comparison. It may well be that the Continental (well, German/Scandinavian) will beat the Anglozone model through this recession hands down. If it does, so much the better. I'd prefer to be closer to Berlin than Boston..

I would draw a dividing line between the americans and the rest of the angloshere. Americans have direct democracy in 25 states and have separation of powers enshrined in the constitution. Politically their inheritance is only partly british. The Canadian senate is appointed.
Canada like Germany is a well run state, but not the model democracy.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:26 am

Respvblica wrote:
expat girl wrote:
Agreed, I won't argue with you re the continent. But the population of the combined anglozone is roughly equivalent to that of the whole EU. They are also an important comparison. It may well be that the Continental (well, German/Scandinavian) will beat the Anglozone model through this recession hands down. If it does, so much the better. I'd prefer to be closer to Berlin than Boston..

I would draw a dividing line between the americans and the rest of the angloshere. Americans have direct democracy in 25 states and have separation of powers enshrined in the constitution. Politically their inheritance is only partly british. The Canadian senate is appointed.
Canada like Germany is a well run state, but not the model democracy.

Germany has 16 Bundesländer enjoying a high degree of autonomy within the federal republic. Whatever autonomy our county councils had was removed by FF in 1977 as part of the Dutch Auction election of that year.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:39 am

Slim Buddha wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
expat girl wrote:
Agreed, I won't argue with you re the continent. But the population of the combined anglozone is roughly equivalent to that of the whole EU. They are also an important comparison. It may well be that the Continental (well, German/Scandinavian) will beat the Anglozone model through this recession hands down. If it does, so much the better. I'd prefer to be closer to Berlin than Boston..

I would draw a dividing line between the americans and the rest of the angloshere. Americans have direct democracy in 25 states and have separation of powers enshrined in the constitution. Politically their inheritance is only partly british. The Canadian senate is appointed.
Canada like Germany is a well run state, but not the model democracy.

Germany has 16 Bundesländer enjoying a high degree of autonomy within the federal republic. Whatever autonomy our county councils had was removed by FF in 1977 as part of the Dutch Auction election of that year.

Was that when the rates went? That was certainly a disaster. There's been more erosion of power since then - a lot of environmental control went to the EPA, who tend to act like a licensing, rather than a decision making authority on the environment. But I'm off topic. A strength is the amount of easy access and communication between the public and local representatives. They tend to value every vote, as opposed to say the UK, where politics at local level is more party political and top down.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:48 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
expat girl wrote:
Agreed, I won't argue with you re the continent. But the population of the combined anglozone is roughly equivalent to that of the whole EU. They are also an important comparison. It may well be that the Continental (well, German/Scandinavian) will beat the Anglozone model through this recession hands down. If it does, so much the better. I'd prefer to be closer to Berlin than Boston..

I would draw a dividing line between the americans and the rest of the angloshere. Americans have direct democracy in 25 states and have separation of powers enshrined in the constitution. Politically their inheritance is only partly british. The Canadian senate is appointed.
Canada like Germany is a well run state, but not the model democracy.

Germany has 16 Bundesländer enjoying a high degree of autonomy within the federal republic. Whatever autonomy our county councils had was removed by FF in 1977 as part of the Dutch Auction election of that year.

Was that when the rates went? That was certainly a disaster. There's been more erosion of power since then - a lot of environmental control went to the EPA, who tend to act like a licensing, rather than a decision making authority on the environment. But I'm off topic. A strength is the amount of easy access and communication between the public and local representatives. They tend to value every vote, as opposed to say the UK, where politics at local level is more party political and top down.

It was indeed when rates went, cactus. Power became centralised to a much greater extent in the hands of the Minister for the Environment. If you examine the roll-call of names of individuals who have held that position since 1977, you will realise what a terrible mistake that decision actually was.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:10 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Slim Buddha wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
expat girl wrote:
Agreed, I won't argue with you re the continent. But the population of the combined anglozone is roughly equivalent to that of the whole EU. They are also an important comparison. It may well be that the Continental (well, German/Scandinavian) will beat the Anglozone model through this recession hands down. If it does, so much the better. I'd prefer to be closer to Berlin than Boston..

I would draw a dividing line between the americans and the rest of the angloshere. Americans have direct democracy in 25 states and have separation of powers enshrined in the constitution. Politically their inheritance is only partly british. The Canadian senate is appointed.
Canada like Germany is a well run state, but not the model democracy.

Germany has 16 Bundesländer enjoying a high degree of autonomy within the federal republic. Whatever autonomy our county councils had was removed by FF in 1977 as part of the Dutch Auction election of that year.

Was that when the rates went? That was certainly a disaster. There's been more erosion of power since then - a lot of environmental control went to the EPA, who tend to act like a licensing, rather than a decision making authority on the environment. But I'm off topic. A strength is the amount of easy access and communication between the public and local representatives. They tend to value every vote, as opposed to say the UK, where politics at local level is more party political and top down.

But is this a strength? Its clear that our system overloads the representative with local problems. These are the same reps who have to work on national issues.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:12 pm

Parochialism is certainly not a strength of our system. The ready communication between constituents and their representatives, particularly national representatives, is partly what has caused this gombeenism.
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PostSubject: Re: S - Ireland's Biggest Strengths - SWOT (at Edo's suggestion)   Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:36 pm

johnfás wrote:
Parochialism is certainly not a strength of our system. The ready communication between constituents and their representatives, particularly national representatives, is partly what has caused this gombeenism.

That is one of the advantages of a SWOT - it allows for something to be both a strength and a weakness. There will be a good few of these. You might want to post about parochialism on the Weaknesses thread.
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