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Manner in which referenda are held and fixed term Parliament?

ger12

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Truly puzzling where this is coming from or really dark FG forces at play? An upcoming Citizens’ Assembly will tackle a couple of "issues" under the Chairwomanship of Justice Mary Laffoy.

Supreme Court judge to chair assembly on repealing Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution;
How we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population;
Fixed-term parliaments;
The manner in which referendums are held;
How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change.

The Brits have fixed Parliament therefore we should? Nah. As for referenda, a hidden attack to yet again rid the State of that pesky McKenna Judgement?
 


ger12

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Catalpast

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I would not put any faith in the impartiality of this assembly

It will 100% certain recommend a Referendum on the 8th

This is just a exercise in manipulation

IMO a wholesale Repeal of the 8th has very little chance of being passed

The devil is in the detail I suppose

- but there will be no angels blowing trumpets for this to pass....:evil:
 

shiel

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Get rid of the whole thing and re-instate the one party state we had during the celtic tiger era.
 

Dasayev

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I don't see how a fixed term parliament would work under our system. It does seem to be nothing more than typical copy cat thinking.

What we will get out of this assembly is a referendum on the 8th, and another, on some trivial issue that will attempt to give cover to the fact that the assembly was all about the 8th in the first place.
 

lostexpectation

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Last edited:

shiel

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Manner in which referenda are held


it was strange thing for the Department Minister for Environment Community and Local Government Alan Kelly at the time to propose a referenfum on the age of the president https://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/bills28/bills/2015/615/document1.htm and then have no real push from anyone in the government parties to argue for it (or against it).
The Irish media pretty well ignored that referendum and concentrated on getting the other one passed.
 

shiel

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so the media didn't prpose it the gov did
The government also proposed the abolition of the Seanad but the media conducted a campaign to maintain the Seanad as a bolt hole for their cronies.

Younger people who would have been made eligible to stand for president did not vote for that referendum as it was not supported by media.

Media pretty well decide.
 

Mad as Fish

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Fixed term parliaments are just another step along the way to a dictatorship.

We have been hearing from the ignorant and unread long enough about a government being elected to rule rather than govern and now they are trying to cement that affront to liberty and democracy into law! The blueshirts really have no idea about a fair and just society governed by the people for the people, until, that is, their dream state bites them on the ass and they can't do anything about it, then you'll hear the howls of anguish! Just imagine their faces if SF got five unshiftable years in office!
 
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shiel

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What is point of Dail if it subcontracts its decisions to lowest bidder.
The point of the Dail is it is made up of representatives of the people who vote in elections.

You and I might not like them and I decry the influence the media have in deciding who represents us but the alternative is totalitarianism.
 

FunkyBoogaloo

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On the subject of referenda I suspect Article 27 will be looked at (again) - remember the FG/Lab govt already tried to remove the right of the citizen to initiate a referendum.

Also, as per the OP, McKenna will come under scrutiny too I imagine.


Any future proposals on constitutional amendments to water those down will get a big fat NO from me.
 
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The point of the Dail is it is made up of representatives of the people who vote in elections.

You and I might not like them and I decry the influence the media have in deciding who represents us but the alternative is totalitarianism.
Exactly

It is THEY who should be deciding on our constitution NOT a convention stuffed full of unelected political hacks with a single agenda.
 

lostexpectation

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Exactly

It is THEY who should be deciding on our constitution NOT a convention stuffed full of unelected political hacks with a single agenda.
the people decide the constitution, the gov propose changes
 

lostexpectation

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As proposed by a non elected quango stuffed by the Govt.
but that isn't true the gov decides, there this idea the marriage equality referendum came from the constitutional convention when actually it was from FG/LP coalition deal
 

Finbar10

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Truly puzzling where this is coming from or really dark FG forces at play? An upcoming Citizens’ Assembly will tackle a couple of "issues" under the Chairwomanship of Justice Mary Laffoy.

Supreme Court judge to chair assembly on repealing Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution;
How we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population;
Fixed-term parliaments;
The manner in which referendums are held;
How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change.

The Brits have fixed Parliament therefore we should? Nah. As for referenda, a hidden attack to yet again rid the State of that pesky McKenna Judgement?
In theory, if the ninety-nine citizens were actually randomly chosen, then IMO there's a good chance they might hammer out some reasonable compromise proposal on abortion. If a similar polling company methodology to last time is used, though, I wouldn't be confident of such an outcome. A polling company can impose broad socio-economic, age, regional etc. categories on the participants. However, if there's anything like the 40-to-1 ratio of people asked to people actually agreeing to take part of last time, then probably only those most passionate on the issue will end up on the convention. Then, depending on whether more of these are pro or anti-abortion, the convention will likely either recommend a blanket repeal of the eight or otherwise some very minor tinkering with what's there. That's unless the polling company actually picks people according to their prior opinions on abortion, but that could be construed as trying pre-determine the outcome.

Of the other topics, fixed-term parliaments is probably the most interesting. Several European countries have this in some form. They seem most useful where there's a very proportional electoral system (usual PR list system) where multiple parties may be trying to form a coalition. Norway, Sweden and Germany would be examples. Italy used to be a country with highly proportionate electoral system without fixed terms. Hence, it tended to have short unstable governments. Israel was also such an example, but now IIRC has a fixed term system.

Something like the Swedish system might be most appropriate here. Sweden has regular general elections exactly every four years. However, its prime minister can also call interim extraordinary general elections. However, any such governments formed can only then last up until the next scheduled regular election.

I guess such a semi-fixed term system might be of use here if we continue to produce fragmented Dáils like the current one. For example, at the moment Fianna Fáil seems to be resigned to propping up the current government for the next 2-3 years and then triggering a GE when the moment seems right to them. Under the Swedish system they might not bother. They could indeed force a GE in two years. However, even if they then won power they could only govern for another two years (greatly lessening the attraction of pulling the plug).

In Germany, similarly, parliament is supposed to last the full four years (and almost always does). It's technically possible for it to dissolve earlier, but is awkward to do this and may involve a trip to the courts (has happened only once I think). They also have a mechanism called a "constructive vote of no confidence". Votes of no confidence in a government are only allowed if the name of an alternative chancellor is attached. If the vote succeeds then that the parliament isn't dissolved and the new person becomes chancellor. This is another mechanism that increases stability.

There are some mild attactions in such mechanisms I think. Politicians would probably like them too (adds stability to the electoral cycle). In Sweden, parliaments generally almost always run the full term (there are almost never interim elections).

If a five year term was chosen, I suppose it could be staggered so that European and local elections always are held half-way through the Dáil term.

I'd be somewhat wary of the item: "the manner in which referendums are held". I'd be supportive of the long-standing jurisprudence developed by the Irish courts on this (McKenna, Coughlan, McCrystal judgments etc.). IMO this is an important democratic constitutional protection. My impression is that at least some of Irish political science academics who are likely to be on the academic advisory panel would be somewhat hostile to this approach. Short of recommending a constitutional amendment, which is unlikely, there's probably not much they can do though. This module may end up advocating a permanently standing electoral/referendum commission, which might actually not be a bad idea.

Most of the other items sound fairly waffley to be honest!
 

shiel

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Stuffed quango used by cowardly Govt to hide lack of backbone.
Lets just follow the media agenda and bring back the celtic tiger government and let the media lick their arses as they did in celtic tiger times.
 

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