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Is it time for an executive presidency?


just4ever

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Nov 13, 2009
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376
Our present government has shown us that the present system isn't working. Is it time that we abolish the role of Taoiseach and have a President who can appoint their own cabinet from any walk of life so we can have experts rather than politicians making the crucial decisions? Opinions please.
 

disgruntledcitizen

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Jul 19, 2009
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in principal i'd be all in favour of such a system, however do you think it would not be abused / used in a job's for the boys approach ? can you imagine what utter gobsh1tes we'd have been stuck with had Bertie become such a President in the 07 election ? Paddy the Plaster as a minister ?

until the whole body politic is reformed root and branch we'd only be trading elected gombeens for unelected even bigger gombeens....
 

Red_93

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Mar 20, 2010
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4,678
Probably. Perhaps a system whereby the president, vice president and cabinet are all on the one ticket - unlike in America where it's only the President and VP and the cabinet is undemocratically appointed afterwards. I also think it might make the decision making process more efficient - more of a consensus building approach rather than the current system whereby the opposition produces a private members motion, the gov votes it down and then comes up with a near identical version a few months later, this due to the fact that governments would not need a majority to govern.
 
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B

Boggle

in principal i'd be all in favour of such a system, however do you think it would not be abused / used in a job's for the boys approach ? can you imagine what utter gobsh1tes we'd have been stuck with had Bertie become such a President in the 07 election ? Paddy the Plaster as a minister ?

until the whole body politic is reformed root and branch we'd only be trading elected gombeens for unelected even bigger gombeens....
Depends on the system and on whether we allow political parties to spend wildly on their candidates.
Look at the American system - it's not hugely better than ours as they still really only have two choices of president as outsiders are largely dead in the water as political parties have too much money.

If we had a system which allowed anyone to stand with the same chance of becoming president then it would be better but how to do that is difficult to figure out.

I would suggest that in principle, electing capable people to president and allowing him/her suggest the ministers would be better (if it goes wrong there is no hiding from the blame). I think if we were to do that though we should rip our political system apart and design a whole new system which is fit for purpose.
 

Thomas Ofiannachta

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Aug 8, 2010
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my own feelings is that the best system in oractice is one that can be maintained and regulated properly, be it left wing right wing, KFC chicken wing......

But in theory an executive is a lovely idea......
 

disgruntledcitizen

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I think if we were to do that though we should rip our political system apart and design a whole new system which is fit for purpose.
i think thats the key point. also whilst i don't think a US voter is any smarter than an Irish voter, god knows enough of them vote for as dumb a reason as people do here, there needs to be a way to ensure that the candidates are really top drawer and fit for purpose, how that could be achieved is anyones guess, without same we run the risk of having muppets like Bertie again and again :roll:
 

dresden8

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Feb 5, 2009
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14,937
Who would have gotten the Finance job?

Seanie or FFingers?

The problem with Irish democracy is the Irish people.
 

Cato

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Aug 21, 2005
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The executive branch would have to be far more accountable to the legislative branch than is the case in the US. There would have to be term limits in order to save us from our own stupidity from time to time. I agree with the suggestion that the cabinet would have to be named and voted on beforehand with any replacements being ratified by the legislative branch. Finally, spending limits would have to be in force to prevent the perversion of democracy that occurs in the US.
 

President Bartlet

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It would mean we can get rid of the presidency as it exists and save some money. The Taoiseach always has been the Chief Executive and could easily do the role of Head of State as well. It would mean that a repetition of the 1997 Z-list presidential election can be avoided
 

Cato

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The problem with Irish democracy is the Irish people.
That indeed may be the biggest weakness in the plan. The Irish people are just to attached to the local, pork-belly, clientalist, gombeen man and are seriously lacking in civic virtue. There are exceptions of course. Many of them. Just not enough - yet (I'm hopeful!)
 

liamfoley

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Jun 27, 2008
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3,282
Depends on how the cabinet are appointed, would they have to be elected to the legislature or otherwise approved by the legislature as in the USA?
 
B

Boggle

i think thats the key point. also whilst i don't think a US voter is any smarter than an Irish voter, god knows enough of them vote for as dumb a reason as people do here, there needs to be a way to ensure that the candidates are really top drawer and fit for purpose, how that could be achieved is anyones guess, without same we run the risk of having muppets like Bertie again and again :roll:
I don't know. People are going to do what people are going to do and we cannot stop people voting on local issues so maybe we should set up the system to cater for that...
Off the top of my head, I'd split elections into 2 sections. President (who selects ministers) and represents national interests and td's who are to represent local concerns (but cannot interfere with govt departments, only ministers may do that).
I'd also dilute the power of political parties as they are meaningless instruments designed with the sole reason of attaining power. I'd do this by preventing them from funding election candidates and limiting their ability to influence elections to endorsing candidates.
I'd also ban the party whip system. For a functioning democracy, a government bill has to be able to be voted down without risking the stability of the govt. Each candidate is elected individually based on what he believes - allowing him to be controlled by 3rd party groups should be unconstitutional.
 
B

Boggle

That indeed may be the biggest weakness in the plan. The Irish people are just to attached to the local, pork-belly, clientalist, gombeen man and are seriously lacking in civic virtue. There are exceptions of course. Many of them. Just not enough - yet (I'm hopeful!)
Surely any effective system has to allow for that.

Maybe splitting the leadership (national) from the td's (local) ight stop them having to decide between intelligent reasoned candidates and irrational populist grabbers.
 

just4ever

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Nov 13, 2009
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376
Depends on how the cabinet are appointed, would they have to be elected to the legislature or otherwise approved by the legislature as in the USA?
I would say approved by the legislature but not members. Ideally people who aren't career politicians but who are experts in their portfolios. Eg, an army general in defence, a senior judge in justice etc.
 

Red_93

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Mar 20, 2010
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4,678
Depends on how the cabinet are appointed, would they have to be elected to the legislature or otherwise approved by the legislature as in the USA?
Well, here's my proposal. Have expert outsiders - ie. people who are not elected members of the legislature make up the cabinet. However, have them on the ticket for everyone to see before the election, rather than just the president and the VP. Of course, this might challenge the independence of say an economist, but lots of them have run for election in the past (George Lee, Garrett FitzGerald, Eithne Fitzgerald, Alan Dukes etc). So rather than being approved by the legislature, let them be approved by the electorate instead.
 

liamfoley

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I would say approved by the legislature but not members. Ideally people who aren't career politicians but who are experts in their portfolios. Eg, an army general in defence, a senior judge in justice etc.
That would violate Montesquieu's separation of powers, anyway knowledge of the law does not always mean someone will be a good legislator.
 

Pauli

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Sep 22, 2006
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1,181
in principal i'd be all in favour of such a system, however do you think it would not be abused / used in a job's for the boys approach ? can you imagine what utter gobsh1tes we'd have been stuck with had Bertie become such a President in the 07 election ? Paddy the Plaster as a minister ?

until the whole body politic is reformed root and branch we'd only be trading elected gombeens for unelected even bigger gombeens....
+1. It is bad enough that we have a simpleton like Mary Coughlan as Minister for Education (and, God forbid, Tanaiste). But, for better or worse, she was (somehow) elected to the Dail. Now for Paddy the Plastereer to be Minister for Education would be to enable FF further insult the nation. And it would be the type of stunt the ditch rat Ahern would have pulled had it been possible.

So while executive presidency works in some countries, FF would seize the opportunity to make the non-functioning system we have now degenerate into farcical slapstick.
 

just4ever

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Nov 13, 2009
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376
That would violate Montesquieu's separation of powers, anyway knowledge of the law does not always mean someone will be a good legislator.
Sorry, i meant a retired senior judge and general. I don't mean these roles specifically anyway, they are just examples. What I'm advocating is experts instead of politicians.
 

just4ever

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Nov 13, 2009
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376
To a large extent it will neutralize the powers of the parties too. At the moment people predict that Labour will be the 3rd biggest party in the next Dáil, but Eamon Gilmore is the most popular leader. Therefore if he was running for President rather than a Dáil seat he would probably be elected.
 
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