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Wanted: Insight into other parliamentary whip systems worldwide.


mr. jings

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
8,091
Since the strict parliamentary party whip system in Dáil Éireann seems to make a mockery of the separation of powers in the State, by letting the executive lead the legislature around by the nose, I was just wondering if anybody has any decent knowledge and experience of other political systems with less rigid party whip systems. For example, I've heard anecdotally that Germany has a looser system in certain instances, and that the UK HoC is a little more flexible that it used to be. If so, can you see any of those systems being implemented over here, and then actually working as something better than a fig leaf for the current state of affairs.

Mods feel free to merge this with another thread, I just thought it would be nice to read constructively about people's insight into alternative whip systems, without having to wade through loads of been-there-done-that posts ripping our current system to shreds.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to any posts!
 


Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,776
Since the strict parliamentary party whip system in Dáil Éireann seems to make a mockery of the separation of powers in the State, by letting the executive lead the legislature around by the nose, I was just wondering if anybody has any decent knowledge and experience of other political systems with less rigid party whip systems. For example, I've heard anecdotally that Germany has a looser system in certain instances, and that the UK HoC is a little more flexible that it used to be. If so, can you see any of those systems being implemented over here, and then actually working as something better than a fig leaf for the current state of affairs.

Mods feel free to merge this with another thread, I just thought it would be nice to read constructively about people's insight into alternative whip systems, without having to wade through loads of been-there-done-that posts ripping our current system to shreds.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to any posts!
It's difficult to highlight the differences without highlight the dearth of actual political debate that occurs in this country. Whipping in Ireland isn't as arduous a task here as it is in say the UK or US because there's no real political division between the main parties, let alone within the parties themselves.

You'll get occasional individual pieces (Govt want to close down hospital in ballygobackwards, local Govt TD has to be seen to vote against) and occasional larger arguments on personal belief items like abortion in Labour, but you don't get internal divisions on say Europe like the Tories have, health reform that the Dems did or relations with unions like Labour UK did.

In general the rule here is: You've been voted in because of your party name, not your ability/beliefs, so you vote for the party. And people have been happy to do it by and large.
 

anons

Active member
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
172
Talk of directly "reforming" the whip system is a complete red herring. The system as it currently stands persists because it is in the interest of those being whipped, given the broader institutional structure of the Oireachtas.

This is an established fact of political science. Other whip systems perform differently due to fact that members of parliament face different incentives.

Commentators who talk about "reforming the whip system" as a key measure in some political reform manifesto are either being deliberately misleading or simply ignorant of the topic. I suspect those who hold political power are happy either way.
 

'orebel

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
20,532
It's difficult to highlight the differences without highlight the dearth of actual political debate that occurs in this country. Whipping in Ireland isn't as arduous a task here as it is in say the UK or US because there's no real political division between the main parties, let alone within the parties themselves.

You'll get occasional individual pieces (Govt want to close down hospital in ballygobackwards, local Govt TD has to be seen to vote against) and occasional larger arguments on personal belief items like abortion in Labour, but you don't get internal divisions on say Europe like the Tories have, health reform that the Dems did or relations with unions like Labour UK did.

In general the rule here is: You've been voted in because of your party name, not your ability/beliefs, so you vote for the party. And people have been happy to do it by and large.
Utterly depressing.
 

ibis

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
12,359
It's difficult to highlight the differences without highlight the dearth of actual political debate that occurs in this country. Whipping in Ireland isn't as arduous a task here as it is in say the UK or US because there's no real political division between the main parties, let alone within the parties themselves.

You'll get occasional individual pieces (Govt want to close down hospital in ballygobackwards, local Govt TD has to be seen to vote against) and occasional larger arguments on personal belief items like abortion in Labour, but you don't get internal divisions on say Europe like the Tories have, health reform that the Dems did or relations with unions like Labour UK did.

In general the rule here is: You've been voted in because of your party name, not your ability/beliefs, so you vote for the party. And people have been happy to do it by and large.
I wouldn't have said that was the general rule at all - quite the reverse, if anything. People like Lowry and the Healy-Raes are clearly voted in because of their name, whatever their party.
 

ibis

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
12,359
Talk of directly "reforming" the whip system is a complete red herring. The system as it currently stands persists because it is in the interest of those being whipped, given the broader institutional structure of the Oireachtas.

This is an established fact of political science. Other whip systems perform differently due to fact that members of parliament face different incentives.

Commentators who talk about "reforming the whip system" as a key measure in some political reform manifesto are either being deliberately misleading or simply ignorant of the topic. I suspect those who hold political power are happy either way.
You could expand on that a bit, rather than just saying "it's an established political fact", perhaps. Otherwise the obvious, and equally compelling, counter-argument is that it's an established political fact that that's not the case!
 

R3volution_R3ady

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,368
Administration should be as local as possible.

What we need in government is competition. If taxes were set at a local level, you'd have a situation whereby local government competed with other governments in the country for people to reside there. I can't see any sense whatsoever in having a big government in Dail Eireann deciding the fate of the whole country. Why must everyone be thrown under the same bus?!

But of course, the special interests and the self-preservation goals of a political class would rather die than see any meaningful change that directly benefitted the very people they claim to represent.
 

changeit

Active member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
154
Why do we need so many TDs (and the associated expense) when they are all bound by the whip ? Most of them like having it in place, it allows them to hide their lack leadership and/or concern about anything else other than getting re-elected.
 

Tea Party Patriot

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
11,557
It's difficult to highlight the differences without highlight the dearth of actual political debate that occurs in this country. Whipping in Ireland isn't as arduous a task here as it is in say the UK or US because there's no real political division between the main parties, let alone within the parties themselves.

You'll get occasional individual pieces (Govt want to close down hospital in ballygobackwards, local Govt TD has to be seen to vote against) and occasional larger arguments on personal belief items like abortion in Labour, but you don't get internal divisions on say Europe like the Tories have, health reform that the Dems did or relations with unions like Labour UK did.

In general the rule here is: You've been voted in because of your party name, not your ability/beliefs, so you vote for the party. And people have been happy to do it by and large.
Utterly depressing.
Perhaps so but it is the truth. Even look at things like the stag hunting bill a few years ago with many rural FF TDs who openly opposed it verbally voting for it with the exception of one.

Independents (with perhaps the honourable exceptions of Shane Ross and Stephen Donnelly) don't generally get voted into the Dáil based on national issues.

Blind touting of the party line appears to be the order of the day.
 

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