What are FG's proposed political reforms?

asknoquestions

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The election is two months away and there is huge appetite in the electorate for political reform. What are FG's proposals? Disbanding the senate has obviously mooted but I could see this getting watered down.

I would suggest

1. 4 year Dáils
2. 50% proportion of TDs coming from party lists
 


Westlands

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Look up there 'Newpolitics' document. Get rid of the senate, lower no. of TDs to 146. Bring in a new budgetry process and give greater power to Dail committees so they can investigate corruption and the like more fully. There is a lot more.
 

civilserpant

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asknoquestions

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ok, just had a look at the pdf.

Firstly it's riddled with contradictions: "Fine Gael want to reduce the number of public sector employees yet recruit external specialist at the top of their fields yet limit pay to 200k per year."

Leaving that aside, I think people are discontent with the current system where local interests are the primary lowest common denominator. I thought somebody in Fine Gael mentioned party lists. If Fine Gael don't do it, no one will.
 

Westlands

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Riddled with contradictions and you only give one example?! I bit you were so disappointed when you saw they actually have a plan. Maybe if this government got some external assitance (or listened to it) then we wouldn't be in this mess.
 

asknoquestions

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Riddled with contradictions and you only give one example?! I bit you were so disappointed when you saw they actually have a plan. Maybe if this government got some external assitance (or listened to it) then we wouldn't be in this mess.
Well, it's a long document, if I could see those two contradictions in 5 minutes I'm sure I could find more if I looked longer. Anyway, events have made quite a bit of this reduntant I'm sure. Cutting back public spending and privatising is hardly controversial as the IMF will encourage this.

Is anyone going to address my points of party lists and shorter Dáil terms?
 

Rocky

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ok, just had a look at the pdf.

Firstly it's riddled with contradictions: "Fine Gael want to reduce the number of public sector employees yet recruit external specialist at the top of their fields yet limit pay to 200k per year."

Leaving that aside, I think people are discontent with the current system where local interests are the primary lowest common denominator. I thought somebody in Fine Gael mentioned party lists. If Fine Gael don't do it, no one will.
How is that a contradicition?

Of course you can reduce the number of employees and also bring in external specialists and 200k is still an immense amount of money and you can easily get external specialists for that.

Here's Fine Gael's other document which deals with political reform and is probably more towards what you were looking for:
http://www.finegael.org/upload/NewPolitics.pdf
 

asknoquestions

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ok, that's more interesting, but again events have rather overtaken the good intentions therein.

But when the new government is going to have to spend most of its time on economic firefighting, will there really be the time for rewriting the constitution, especially where the civil servants who would be involved in this are being made redundant or fired, including half of those in the Taoiseach's department?

Additionally, I think people would be in favour of local authority reform if a lot of the smaller town and district councils were simply abolished or merged. The IMF might demand this anyway when they see the bill for Facebook conferences in Killarney and the like.
 

asknoquestions

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I've skimmed through the newpolitics doc and it was better than expected. The arguments for getting rid of the Seanad are pretty convincing.

One problem with reducing the number of Dáil seats without fundamentally changing the constituencies is that there is an even greater likelihood of gombeens getting into balance of power positions.

The Citizens' Assembly sounds interesting, especially if the new government was to listen to whatever it said, rather than relying on a pre-written policy document. In other words, you're better off saying that you're willing to engage on political reform rather than trying to sound like you know all the answers.

Some of the things in it are going to happen anyway whoever wins, like water meters and property taxes, they're not really distinguishing factors.

Also, you talk about getting rid of quangos then you talk about a whistleblowers' charter, a register of lobbyists and new electoral commission - these all just sound like more quangos.

And as for corporate governance, I don't think more laws or bodies are needed there, but more enforcement of existing laws would be in order.

Also, if someone comes on here asking about FG policy, telling them to read a couple of 150 page documents and calling them a moron won't win you many friends ... or votes.
 

paulp

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I've skimmed through the newpolitics doc and it was better than expected. The arguments for getting rid of the Seanad are pretty convincing.

One problem with reducing the number of Dáil seats without fundamentally changing the constituencies is that there is an even greater likelihood of gombeens getting into balance of power positions.

The Citizens' Assembly sounds interesting, especially if the new government was to listen to whatever it said, rather than relying on a pre-written policy document. In other words, you're better off saying that you're willing to engage on political reform rather than trying to sound like you know all the answers.

Some of the things in it are going to happen anyway whoever wins, like water meters and property taxes, they're not really distinguishing factors.

Also, you talk about getting rid of quangos then you talk about a whistleblowers' charter, a register of lobbyists and new electoral commission - these all just sound like more quangos.

And as for corporate governance, I don't think more laws or bodies are needed there, but more enforcement of existing laws would be in order.

Also, if someone comes on here asking about FG policy, telling them to read a couple of 150 page documents and calling them a moron won't win you many friends ... or votes.

good for having a look,
Fine Gael do have a comprehensive set of policy docs, this is a substantial diferentiating factor with rest of parties running in the election - whether you agree with them or not, you know where they stand
 

hiding behind a poster

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The election is two months away and there is huge appetite in the electorate for political reform. What are FG's proposals? Disbanding the senate has obviously mooted but I could see this getting watered down.

I would suggest

1. 4 year Dáils
2. 50% proportion of TDs coming from party lists
I don't think 4-year Dails are a good idea - governments are close enough to being in permanent election mode as it is, and shortening the Dail's life by a year would just make that worse. There'd be even more populism in government, and less long-term strategy in the national interest. Re the party lists, I think we'll get there eventually, but trying to go to 50% straightaway would fail. You need to start with a smaller amount, let people see that the sky won't fall in, and then build it up from there.
 
D

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good for having a look,
Fine Gael do have a comprehensive set of policy docs, this is a substantial diferentiating factor with rest of parties running in the election - whether you agree with them or not, you know where they stand
Fair comment - but their problem is that they are not communicating these policies - for example, how many voters have any real understanding of their Health policy? And some of these policies have holes in them that might be flushed out if they were given an airing. If they leave it until the election campaign to do this, all the electorate will remember are the holes!!
 

asknoquestions

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I don't think 4-year Dails are a good idea - governments are close enough to being in permanent election mode as it is, and shortening the Dail's life by a year would just make that worse. There'd be even more populism in government, and less long-term strategy in the national interest. Re the party lists, I think we'll get there eventually, but trying to go to 50% straightaway would fail. You need to start with a smaller amount, let people see that the sky won't fall in, and then build it up from there.
you can hardly argue we saw very much long-term strategy over the past decade and a half...

There should be a public debate on party lists, there are lots of different permutations but if you're talking constitution change it has to be well thought out beforehand.
 

asknoquestions

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good for having a look,
Fine Gael do have a comprehensive set of policy docs, this is a substantial diferentiating factor with rest of parties running in the election - whether you agree with them or not, you know where they stand
it's not so much whether I agree with them or not, but some of the docs don't even agree with each other. On the one hand you want to halve the number of civil servants in the Taoiseach's office, which probably has as much knowledge about the constitution as any other department. On the other hand you want to completely overhaul the constitution which would obviously involve a lot of work from civil servants. It's all very well saying you want to do more with less but it's policy oxymorons like that that are seen as pie in the sky stuff and nothing to do with reality.
 

an innocent abroad

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I want the toughest anti corruption laws re the body politic and the corporate sector, Not the shambles we have now, I want to see Bxxxxxxxxxxxds who collapse an entire country wether it be politically or economically or in our case both, handcuffed and a speedy trial, not the pretence we have now!................... I want to see the so called educated greedy elite treated like the common criminals they are. They do the same damadge to a society as any common criminal and should be treated as such. So if any F.G. Labour. or any decent F.F.? people out there have the Bxxxs to bring these laws/ I won't hold my breath!
 


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