Is the Dail serving any useful function

Socratus O' Pericles

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It serves many not only useful but vital functions - surely the question should be how it can serve them better.

In theory yes but if it has been circumvented by years of disrespect,undermining and being got around then perhaps the country although ostensibly democratic is in fact oligarchic, in the sense that profit is privatised and loss is socialised -not the true workings of a free annd fair market.Also the beneficiaries of the system are the main supporters of the status quo.
 


oscartango

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Is the Dail serving any useful function ?

Yes, it keeps them off the streets.

(Except Cowen escapes every now and then to open roads.)
 

farnaby

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You know it's a ranting thread when 3 pages in no-one has mentioned that we get new legislation (good or bad) through the Dail which, ye know, might actually impact our lives a bit, hence 'useful'.

But yeah, in both form and content our parliamentary system is flawed and has led us where we are now. Not in abject failure, but in utter mediocrity for years to come. Why? Because we have the opportunity only to vote for local representatives, and rely on them to form a dynamic, expert leadership. It's like buying a herd of hyenas hoping a few of them will be lions.
 

evercloserunion

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You know it's a ranting thread when 3 pages in no-one has mentioned that we get new legislation (good or bad) through the Dail which, ye know, might actually impact our lives a bit, hence 'useful'.

But yeah, in both form and content our parliamentary system is flawed and has led us where we are now. Not in abject failure, but in utter mediocrity for years to come. Why? Because we have the opportunity only to vote for local representatives, and rely on them to form a dynamic, expert leadership. It's like buying a herd of hyenas hoping a few of them will be lions.
The point of the OP is that as voting in the Dáil on legislation is determined along party lines because of the whip system, and the government by definition has majority support in the Dáil, it is effectively the government which dictates which legislation goes through.
 

Rocky

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You know it's a ranting thread when 3 pages in no-one has mentioned that we get new legislation (good or bad) through the Dail which, ye know, might actually impact our lives a bit, hence 'useful'.
You don't really need the Dail to pass legalisation though. The Dail could never sit and every bill the cabinet agrees on would automatically become law and you would get much the same result as we have today.
 

ivnryn

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You don't really need the Dail to pass legalisation though. The Dail could never sit and every bill the cabinet agrees on would automatically become law and you would get much the same result as we have today.
Surely, there is some behind the scenes negotiation on legislation? If the cabinet decided directly, then it would be easier to pass controversial legislation.
 

Rocky

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Surely, there is some behind the scenes negotiation on legislation? If the cabinet decided directly, then it would be easier to pass controversial legislation.
To my knowledge very little. It would be easier to pass controversial legislation, but that's because the legalisation would get less media attention as TDs wouldn't get a chance to rant about it and it would be done a lot quicker.
 

evercloserunion

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Yes, the Dáil is less important for its role in determining what legislation gets passed than for its role as a forum for public scrutiny of cabinet's legislative initiatives. Which is appropriate, I suppose, since Dáil is the Irish for forum.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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In actual fact it could be the senior civil servants that run the country on pretence that there is democracy. As things stand effectively it is the CABINET that passes legislation the fact that they can stroll about sixty other flunkies through the lobbies is never questioned and is hardly inspiring. Who advises the Cabinet and tells them what is and isn't allowed, what they can and can't afford etc. =THE SENIOR CIVIL SERVANTS!
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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It's a decent question.

Its main role is to elect a Taoiseach. On top of that it ensures that the government retains the support of the majority of TDs, as if that isn't the case it loses votes in the Dail and the government is then incapable of running the country and either an election is called or a new government takes over. Leader’s questions also give the party leaders a chance to question and attack the government.

Beyond that though very little and it should do more. Fianna Fail over the last 12 years has done a lot to weaken the institution, but then it wasn't in great shape before that either and a greater role for the Dail is needed. It would even be a move in the right direction if the government simply showed it more respect.

Not much respect today. The greens are beneath contempt though.
 


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