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Submissions to the Constitutional Convention


Mr. Magpie

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Oct 14, 2011
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I have not see anything on this here.
Do you want to change the way we elect TDs? · TheJournal.ie

Constitutional Convention is seeking submissions from the public on the way in which politicians are elected to Dáil Éireann

The Convention – which has already considered issues such as as same-sex marriage and reducing the presidential term – will consider whether the Constitution should be amended to change the way politicians are elected to the Dáil.

Personally I think we should abolish the party whip system. If we are to outsource our vote to an elected representative, they should be free to vote which ever way they choose on the matter of the day, and not be force to tow the party line. Too many hide behind this system. Free votes should be a feature of the Irish parliamentary tradition.

Submissions can be made here: http://www.constitution.ie/
 


Mr. Magpie

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394

gijoe

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I have not see anything on this here.
Do you want to change the way we elect TDs? · TheJournal.ie




Personally I think we should abolish the party whip system. If we are to outsource our vote to an elected representative, they should be free to vote which ever way they choose on the matter of the day, and not be force to tow the party line. Too many hide behind this system. Free votes should be a feature of the Irish parliamentary tradition.

Submissions can be made here: http://www.constitution.ie/
You cannot abolish the whip system without abolishing the party's first. The whip system is only an internal party discipline mechanism - every deputy can vote as they like on any vote. They choose not to for personal progression and survival in politics reasons.
 

Telemachus

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Website
en.wikipedia.org
Last edited:

gijoe

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The options being looked at
Could Ireland change how it elects its TDs? Here are the options

PR-STV
making current constituencies larger
making current constituencies smaller

Similar to NI or UK

The List System
Closed List
Open List
Free List

Or a mixture - 2/3rds elected by PR-STV and remainder elected by List, used in Germany and New Zeeland.[/QUOTE

No mention of direct democracy no?
I could live with say 100 single seat STV constituencies topped up by 50 list seats for parties that meet a threshold like 4 or 5% that you find in other countries.
 

Mr. Magpie

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You cannot abolish the whip system without abolishing the party's first. The whip system is only an internal party discipline mechanism - every deputy can vote as they like on any vote. They choose not to for personal progression and survival in politics reasons.

The whip system, as use in Ireland, is an oppressive and counter productive as TDs are required to vote with their party. Free votes are not permitted.
Imagine that, free votes are not permitted, not exactly democratic is it?
 

LamportsEdge

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My submission to this 'constitutional convention by appointment'. 'You are a rigged assembly. GET LOST.'
 

artfoley56

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Mar 24, 2011
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as has been shown numerous times, we have a dire need of recall elections in this country as MONC are voted on party lines and not by whether or not the individual should go.

e.g by the signatures of 1/3 of the house, a person could be sent for recall election within 48 hours of that vote

also bring in a constitutional requirement, like germany, that all public representatives are to vote by conscience
 

LamportsEdge

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Imagine if the general election system were proposed as one third of the assembly being installed without a vote by the political parties, and the rest being 'recommended' mysteriously as persons of character...

You wouldn't call that a democracy would you? And yet this is how this supposedly representative assembly has been constituted to muse on the Constitution of a Republic.

Balls. Ignore it. They don't have the right.
 

southwestkerry

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Aug 20, 2008
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All I can say is we need to limit the number of TD's in every county. Like in all seriousness we do not need any more than 60-70 in total to my mind.
SwK
 

florin

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The whip system, as use in Ireland, is an oppressive and counter productive as TDs are required to vote with their party. Free votes are not permitted.
Imagine that, free votes are not permitted, not exactly democratic is it?
Sounds like Democratic centralism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , but the holy joes in FG would deny it. In any case, the obvious way to 'abolish' the whip system would be to vote for parties that don't use it.
 

Spanner Island

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Feb 22, 2011
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No mention of direct democracy no?
Do you really think DD could work here?

Without online voting? ...which if proposed would undoubtedly trigger all the usual whingeing about security and invasion of privacy and all the other crap that any alternative to the pencil and paper method seems to provoke...

We're hardly as organised as Switzerland...
 

gijoe

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Politicians are hogging the mike - surprise surprise......
 

gijoe

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Jaysus but James Bannon is one bumbling idiot. He could not even ask a coherent question.
 

LamportsEdge

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L'etat, c'est nous ... that isn't a constitutional convention of citizens. It is a quango. And just about as independent.
 

Finbar10

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Overall, thought those were reasonably fair informative presentations on MMP.
Though, one issue I'd have is that the possibility of the top-up list being
open wasn't really mentioned at all.
Easy to tell from the questions/comments from TDs is that they unsurprisingly
are quite happy with what they've got!
Pros and cons of PR-STV being discussed now
(Political insider Brendan Halligan of all people being one of the speakers now! :( ).
 

moralhazard77

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Jun 3, 2011
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I have not see anything on this here.
Do you want to change the way we elect TDs? · TheJournal.ie




Personally I think we should abolish the party whip system. If we are to outsource our vote to an elected representative, they should be free to vote which ever way they choose on the matter of the day, and not be force to tow the party line. Too many hide behind this system. Free votes should be a feature of the Irish parliamentary tradition.

Submissions can be made here: http://www.constitution.ie/
Yep a major overhaul of the severe whip system is THE main political reform we urgently need in Ireland. And you are right TD'S do hide behind it. It is a security blanket for them which they can hide behind and removes any accountability to their constituents as they can just say they were following orders.

The rest of the tinkering around the edges, is just a sop to the disenfranchised electorate in the pretence that they are doing something about political reform. Representative democracy is a farce when the "public" representatives ONLY represent their political parties. The citizens of Ireland deserve political representation and if they actually had some, we would probably not be the vassal state that we have become. The whip system in Ireland which is the strictest in the western world is an insult to democracy. The Irish people have no voice at all between elections and that is simply unacceptable in the 21st century.

As the Ombudsman, Emily O' Reilly said in 2010
"tinkering with the nuts and bolts of government, in the absence of reforming our parliament, is not enough;it is to overlook the elephant in the corner."(the whip system)

"Unfortunately, the model of government set out in the Irish Constitution has become more of a fiction than a reality. In practice the Dáil, and to a slightly lesser extent the Seanad, is controlled very firmly by the Government parties through the operation of the whip system. For all practical purposes, and I very much regret having to say this so bluntly, parliament in Ireland has been side-lined and is no longer in a position to hold the executive to account."

Both I, and my predecessor Kevin Murphy, have spoken and written on numerous occasions of the dangers inherent in accepting that parliament is, for the greater part, a charade, that parliamentarians have in many cases lost the sense of parliament as an independent entity acting in the public interest. While few will acknowledge this openly, senior civil servants working with Ministers and sitting in on Oireachtas debates must, in very many instances, become profoundly cynical; either that, or they too have lost the sense that a properly functioning parliament is fundamental to a properly functioning democracy.
Ombudsman's speeches, Office of the Ombudsman
 
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Finbar10

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Results of the vote on electoral systems in today's constitutional convention
(courtesy of Ken Curtin's twitter page):




Was certainly a big liking for citizen's initiatives ("with adequate safeguards"), a majority for two forms of non-parliamentary ministers, and a huge majority for establishing an electoral commission.

A majority for some kind of change to the current electoral system (I suspect many of the one third TDs on the convention may have been voting to retain it as is). The Irish electorate's fondness for PR-STV is evident. Though 86% voted for a constitutional minimum bound (of at least 5) for constituencies (to make the whole system more proportional no doubt). Evidently, given the 86% result, many of the political members must have voted for this also!

Only 20% voted to change from PR-STV entirely to change to MMP. Even here the favoured outcome (60% to 13% was for a non-conventional form of MMP, using multi-seat PR-STV constituencies topped up by a smaller list, e.g. if we had 4 seat PR-STV constituencies everywhere then only maybe only around one-fifth of the overall seats would be in a list to restore full proportionality, unlike 50% for standard MMP with one-seat constituencies).

A majority 59% voted not to change the number of TDs. Again, I suspect, many of the third TD members would have voted no here, but many of the citizen members must have evidently voted no also.

An interesting set of results (though likely most will be simply ignored by government).
 

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