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General Politics => International General Discussion => Topic started by: Јas on August 23, 2007, 12:11:49 pm



Title: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on August 23, 2007, 12:11:49 pm
Decided that it would be good to have a thread on Irish politics. There aren't really enough major stories to merit a stream of threads, but the continuous and occasional can certainly sustain one (I hope), so let's see how it goes.



Anyway, today's big story is the surprise resignation of Labour party leader, Pat Rabbitte. Though a contest was probably to be expected when his leadership would have had to come up for a vote at next years party conference, this move was not anticipated. The party's performance in the election, though around the usual return for Labour, fell below expectations and it was immediately clear that there was significant dissatisfaction within elements of the party with the electoral strategy (i.e. the alliance with Fine Gael).

Deputy Leader Liz McManus will now act as leader until the leadership election which is (*I think*) currently timetabled for 8 weeks away. McManus will be an obvious contender, as will a few others. At this stage though, I'd imagine Eamon Gilmore is probably best placed. More as and when...

Irish Times piece (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2007/0823/breaking40.htm); RTÉ story (http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0823/labour.html)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on August 24, 2007, 03:51:56 am
Whooaaahhh.... First I heard about this. You leave the country for a few weeks and the sh**t hits the fan.

Michael D for the leadership! :)

(Or Tommy Broughan, now that would be an interesting choice.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on August 24, 2007, 02:21:48 pm
Whooaaahhh.... First I heard about this.

Jas...first for breaking news!

Michael D for the leadership! :)

(Or Tommy Broughan, now that would be an interesting choice.)

Interesting would be the right word, alright :)

Anyhoo, as of yet, nobody has declared themselves officially in the race.
Three members though have declared an interest though...

Eamon Gilmore (Dún Laoighaire)
The early front-runner. Formerly-Democratic Left (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Left_%28Ireland%29); formerly formerly Worker's Party; formerly formerly formerly associated with Official Sinn Féin. Was active in student politics - ex-President of my old college's Student Union and ex-President of the Union of Students of Ireland. Worked for a trade union (SIPTU) prior to becoming a TD in 1989. He has a safe seat in Dún Laoighaire. He was a Junior Minister during the Rainbow government (FG; Lab; DemLeft, 1994-97). Unsuccessfully contested for the Labour leadership in 2002 against Rabbitte.

Joan Burton (Dublin W)
An ex-lecturer, she was first elected in the 'Spring Tide' of 1992 (Labour's best ever election). An Old Labour (in the Irish as opp. UK sense) member, she was a Junior Minister during the Rainbow but lost her seat to Socialist Party candidate Joe Higgins in 1997. She was re-elected in 2002 and was a leadership candidate then also. Put in a very creditable performance, but obviously wasn't enough. Dublin West will amost certainly get an extra seat next time out, making her seat a safe one.

Tommy Broughan (Dublin NE)
Brougham is an ex-teacher and was also elected during the 1992 Spring Tide, Dublin NE representing a particularly remarkable 2 gains for Labour. His seat is not as safe as the previous two, but it would be a bad election for the party in this sort of seat disappeared for them. He has been strongly critical of the Labour election pact with FG - very openly so on election night. Not likely to get very far in a leadership contest. One pundit today suggested he'd do well to get someone to second his nomination.

Plenty of other potential candidates out there, even with a Dáil team of 20. (Liz McManus; Jan O'Sullivan; Brendan Howlin... ) Still a game of wait and see, the party executive will be meeting next Saturday. By then, we should have a clearer picture of who the contenders will be. It's likely that a new leader won't be in place until October.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on August 28, 2007, 01:22:20 pm
In the race for the Labour leadership, Eamon Gilmore formally announced his candidacy this morning. He is the strong favourite to win, especially following the announcement of former leadership hopeful Brendan Howlin (Lab-Wexford) that he would not be running.

We also have the first person who has officially entered the race for the Deputy Leadership position - Jan O'Sullivan (Lab-Limerick E).



In other news, a Sinn Féin town and county councillor based in Wexford, Jimmy Fleming, has announced that he's leaving the party for Fianna Fáil. This sort of move, i.e. defecting from one party to another, is actually very unusual in Irish politics -where the norm for persons leaving a party is usually to sit as an Independent, which is more viable politically here than in many other places. It is particularly unusual in that it is a Sinn Féin defection, and a Sinn Féin defection in the South, and further a SF defection to Fianna Fáil. It's as yet unclear what the reason for the move is.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on August 29, 2007, 12:27:05 pm
It looks like Eamonn Gilmore... Gully = not happy, Thinks labour should try someone from that uncivilized backwater outside the pale. Or Tommy Broughan, someone who actually bring something new. Gilmore = Rabbite Part Deux. At least Burton and McManus have the "OMG A WOMAN!11!1" factor


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on August 29, 2007, 01:59:07 pm
It looks like Eamonn Gilmore... Gully = not happy, Thinks labour should try someone from that uncivilized backwater outside the pale.

The problem there being that Labour don't really have that many from outside the Pale and those that are aren't really suitable.

Or Tommy Broughan, someone who actually bring something new.

Something new, yes. For some reason, I'd be inclined to think that Brougham leadership would potentially result in very bad results for the party.

Gilmore is originally from the West so that might help.

Gilmore = Rabbite Part Deux.

True.
They have remarkably similar backgorunds. Both born in the West, involved in student politics in Galway and nationally, involved in the unions, ex-Workers Party and Democratic Left.

At least Burton and McManus have the "OMG A WOMAN!11!1" factor

Yeah, but listening to either of them makes me very uncomfortable and I've never been able to put a finger on why exactly that is.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on August 29, 2007, 07:16:50 pm
I agree that Broughan would not do too well... he's way too North Dublin for any real success, but to be honest all I see is a field of mediocre in front of me.. Remember the most successful Labour leader ever was based in Kerry North, another Dublin Southite is not what the labour party needs. How about a long shot..... Brian O'Shea? Jack Wall (well.. outside Dublin)? Or actually coming to think of, Willie Penrose would be a good-ish choice.

Burton is too much like Teacher who thinks you have to speak at a rather simple level and constantly rehash the same point before it goes in - a point which often doesn't lead anywhere at all. Actually that's the problem with Irish politics... too many damn Teachers and lawyers. And Fianna Fail, obviously. And kids in Celtic hoodies who write up the 'Ra on walls, And the "Tiocfaidh ar la" crowd, and the Craggy Islanders and the Corruption and the Pariochalism, Localism and so on...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 06, 2007, 02:41:02 pm
Since last post Eamonn Gilmore (Lab; Dun Laoghaire) has been elected leader of the labour party in a non-contest. ;(

So thats yet another failure for the Labour party come 2012.. I can't really see what Gilmore brings to the table outside of Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South where I imagine they might gain seats from the Greens depending on how things turn out (Here in DS labour would have probably won a seat if not for the disaster which was running two candidates). Again consolidating Labour's image as a "Dublin" Party.



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 06, 2007, 02:46:16 pm
He has said that they will fight the next election as an independent party not allying with anyone else and set the rather ambitious target of 30 seats.

Interesting that in England, Scotland, and now Ireland, the respective Labour parties have all changed leaders in non-contests. Rhodri Morgan and Mark Durkan watch out!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 06, 2007, 02:50:35 pm
He has said that they will fight the next election as an independent party not allying with anyone else and set the rather ambitious target of 30 seats.


... Which is five years away (even If the greens decide to catipulate Bertie still has enough of a majority; thus my ever growing conspiracy theory towards why the Greens are in goverment - Scape goats for new Enviormental taxes to be levied due to an increasing deficit - which is due to the decline in the Housing market.)

Of course what do Labour plan to do after 2012 even if they get 30 seats? I assume now Gilmore is going to take a "wait and see" approach. And It's hard to see where Labour could pick up an extra 10 - perhaps a barrier on 5 at most - and that is if no-one retires.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 06, 2007, 03:11:28 pm
He has said that they will fight the next election as an independent party not allying with anyone else and set the rather ambitious target of 30 seats.


... Which is five years away (even If the greens decide to catipulate Bertie still has enough of a majority; thus my ever growing conspiracy theory towards why the Greens are in goverment - Scape goats for new Enviormental taxes to be levied due to an increasing deficit - which is due to the decline in the Housing market.)

Woah, woah, woah. No need to start talking about deficits. The Budget has been in surplus for about 10 years now, hasn't it? Though it's shrank considerably, I don't think we're likely to see a serious deficit issue unless there's a serious change in out economic fortunes in the near future.

The slowing housing market is certainly a huge concern but even with the Greens in government I don't think we'll see environmental taxes really being used to prop up the exchequer. Not yet anyway. Incentivisation is likely to remain the focus of envisonmental taxes for years to come.

I also think that Bertie took on the Greens because their demands were so low and they proved easy to dominate in the government formation negotiations, while the benefits of adding their 6 seats to the government total add hugely to  government stability and in effect his own safety as Taoiseach for years.

Of course what do Labour plan to do after 2012 even if they get 30 seats?

If you ask me, the same thing that Spring should have done in 1992. Force a FF-FG coalition and sit as opposition leader for 5 years heading into the next election.

I assume now Gilmore is going to take a "wait and see" approach. And It's hard to see where Labour could pick up an extra 10 - perhaps a barrier on 5 at most - and that is if no-one retires.

I think high 20s is doable, on a good day. Especially if we see the Green vote dissipate. Will also depend on how SF perform.

Their problem is getting the right candidates. The party is aging very fast and there is a real dearth of young electable talent.

30 seats is a big ask and Gilmore is no Dick Spring, but maybe...just maybe, if circumstances are right...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on September 06, 2007, 03:14:25 pm
Interesting that in England, Scotland, and now Ireland, the respective Labour parties have all changed leaders in non-contests. Rhodri Morgan and Mark Durkan watch out!

It would be very surprising if there's no contest when Morgan retires (most likely in 2009). Rumoured candidates include:

Carwyn Jones (Bridgend)
Andrew Davies (Swansea West)
Edwina Hart  (Gower)
Huw Lewis (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Leighton Andrews (Rhondda)
Jane Davidson (Pontypridd)

It'd be very surprising if Lewis and Andrews both run, ditto some of the other "candidates".


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 06, 2007, 05:52:10 pm
Interesting that in England, Scotland, and now Ireland, the respective Labour parties have all changed leaders in non-contests. Rhodri Morgan and Mark Durkan watch out!

It would be very surprising if there's no contest when Morgan retires (most likely in 2009). Rumoured candidates include:

Carwyn Jones (Bridgend)
Andrew Davies (Swansea West)
Edwina Hart  (Gower)
Huw Lewis (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Leighton Andrews (Rhondda)
Jane Davidson (Pontypridd)

It'd be very surprising if Lewis and Andrews both run, ditto some of the other "candidates".

You had to ruin the Atmosphere, man....

In my mini-Conspiracy theory I should have also said "and make Fianna Fail an excuse to weasel out of their promise to cut the top rate of Income tax" but hey it's not like Fianna Fail to make Sh*t up in their manifesto, now is it? (Yes, Yes, I know all parties do it, but FF have a peculiar history..)

I'm still amazed that Dick Spring didn't decide to go for the FG + DL option immediatly, hell both Lab + DL got over 40 seats in that election. Now together they're only on 20... (and there are very few actual gains, a second seat in Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire - maybe, a seat in Dublin South, both Tipperary's, Kerry and Louth... Possible in level of likelyhood. They will probably lose Galway West if Michael D retires and Waterford if Brian O'Shea does likewise...)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 07, 2007, 07:09:37 am
In my mini-Conspiracy theory I should have also said "and make Fianna Fail an excuse to weasel out of their promise to cut the top rate of Income tax" but hey it's not like Fianna Fail to make Sh*t up in their manifesto, now is it? (Yes, Yes, I know all parties do it, but FF have a peculiar history..)

More plausible ground here. Though I'll also agree that FF need no help in backing out of electoral promises.

I'm still amazed that Dick Spring didn't decide to go for the FG + DL option immediatly, hell both Lab + DL got over 40 seats in that election. Now together they're only on 20... (and there are very few actual gains, a second seat in Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire - maybe, a seat in Dublin South, both Tipperary's, Kerry and Louth... Possible in level of likelyhood. They will probably lose Galway West if Michael D retires and Waterford if Brian O'Shea does likewise...)

Yeah, the list of Labour targets make a sorry picture.

IMO, these are the most likely in order...

1st Tier
1. Dublin South Central: Byrne came very close against Ó Snodaigh.
2. Dublin North: Should be able to pick up anti-establishment Green votes
3. Meath West: Hannigan should be able to give this another good shot next time from his Senate seat. Shouldn't take a great deal to unseat FF here.

2nd Tier
4. Kerry North: O'Brien fell apart but there is a Labour vote here obviously.
5. Tipperary South: Probably dependent on Healy not running.
6. Dublin South: Would need a single strong candidate and would be dependent major gains into Ryan's support.

3rd Tier
7. Kerry South: Would be and should be doable except that O'Donoghue is now CC.

The 'We Live in Hope' Category
Wicklow; Carlow-Kilkenny; Dublin North Central; Louth; Dún Laoighaire; Tipperary North

There are leftist votes in all of them. But Labour would have to get lucky in terms of circumstances, candidates and other factors to pick off any of them next time out.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 07, 2007, 07:28:34 am
Kerry is likely to be merged into one five-seat constituency and Louth is to gain a seat iirc. But the big problem for Labour here is that alot of their traditional vote has gone to SF. In Kerry also alot of that vote seemed to be personal; so what hope labour without Dick Spring or the Moyninhans?

Look at 1992 and where Labour gained, not just in the particular obvious places but Clare, Laois-Offaly, Sligo-Leitrim, Two seats in Dublin North East (Both gains).. they lost all but one of those (Broughan's seat in DNE) in 1997 and have never came close to getting them back, and almost certainly have no chance now.

Of course you are correct that alot of Labour's vote depend on how well the Greens do in Goverment (or rather; how well they do in Goverment in regards to satisfying their 'base'.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 07, 2007, 12:51:09 pm
Kerry is likely to be merged into one five-seat constituency and Louth is to gain a seat iirc.

Ah, true, I didn't consider any boundary changes there. Yes, those changes are definite possibiles, I wouldn't put it past the Commission though to retain two 3 seaters based in Kerry (probably by working in some of Limerick into the equation). They have an unnatural love of 3-seaters... >:(

But the big problem for Labour here is that alot of their traditional vote has gone to SF. In Kerry also alot of that vote seemed to be personal; so what hope labour without Dick Spring or the Moyninhans?

Yeah, not great. Ferris has done well in Kerry North, but a crucial point for Labour next time out will be how SF on the whole perform. Have SF peaked? Or was this election a temporary blip on their path to more seats?

Look at 1992 and where Labour gained, not just in the particular obvious places but Clare, Laois-Offaly, Sligo-Leitrim, Two seats in Dublin North East (Both gains).. they lost all but one of those (Broughan's seat in DNE) in 1997 and have never came close to getting them back, and almost certainly have no chance now.

Yep, but then nobody expected them to gain those seats in 1992, not even the Labour party themselves. You would have gotten fantastic odds on a Labour gain in Clare even on election day in 1992.

Of course you are correct that alot of Labour's vote depend on how well the Greens do in Goverment (or rather; how well they do in Goverment in regards to satisfying their 'base'.)

Yep, I think Labour's challenge will be to try and dominate all shades of the left. They need to eat into Green votes, SF votes as well as those ultra soft leftists who have voted with FF recently. Not an easy task though.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 07, 2007, 03:41:41 pm
Sadly all we can say is wait and see (for another five years... :(  ). The Greens may turn out to a success after all; or maybe they will get more transfers from FF but lose their labour-FG transfers.. who knows?

And yes there should be more five seaters. Especially in North Dublin which at times seems to be completely gerrymandered to benefit FF (and to a lesser extent; FG - who always do badly there, at least in recent election). Oh, and bring back six seaters too - One Donegal constituency, and one Roscommon-Sligo-Leitrim constituency would be good.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Undisguised Sockpuppet on September 08, 2007, 10:21:54 am
Why don't you guys abolish gerrymandering?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 08, 2007, 05:39:47 pm
Why don't you guys abolish gerrymandering?

Electoral constituencies are multi-member and decided upon by an independent panel. While these facts don't necessarily preclude the possibility of gerrymandering occuring, they do reduce it's likelihood and potential effectiveness. I wouldn't accept that gerrymandering (as practised in the US) is actually happening here.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 08, 2007, 06:17:23 pm
Why don't you guys abolish gerrymandering?

Electoral constituencies are multi-member and decided upon by an independent panel. While these facts don't necessarily preclude the possibility of gerrymandering occuring, they do reduce it's likelihood and potential effectiveness. I wouldn't accept that gerrymandering (as practised in the US) is actually happening here.

Thus the "seems to be" in my original post. (Though you have to admit that alot of the current districts benefit FF, especially at SF's expense funnily enough.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 08, 2007, 06:30:16 pm
Why don't you guys abolish gerrymandering?

Electoral constituencies are multi-member and decided upon by an independent panel. While these facts don't necessarily preclude the possibility of gerrymandering occuring, they do reduce it's likelihood and potential effectiveness. I wouldn't accept that gerrymandering (as practised in the US) is actually happening here.

Thus the "seems to be" in my original post. (Though you have to admit that alot of the current districts benefit FF, especially at SF's expense funnily enough.)

Not so sure.

It would probably have taken a concerted effort at gerrymandering to increase the number of Dublin SF TDs on the last election numbers while still working with mainly 3-seater constituencies. Plus, II'd imagine it very difficult work gerrymandering Dublin to either the benefit or detriment of FF simply redrawing constituencies without actually changing the actual size of the seats (i.e. more 3 or 5 seaters or whatever).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 08, 2007, 06:39:35 pm
Why don't you guys abolish gerrymandering?

Electoral constituencies are multi-member and decided upon by an independent panel. While these facts don't necessarily preclude the possibility of gerrymandering occuring, they do reduce it's likelihood and potential effectiveness. I wouldn't accept that gerrymandering (as practised in the US) is actually happening here.

Thus the "seems to be" in my original post. (Though you have to admit that alot of the current districts benefit FF, especially at SF's expense funnily enough.)

Not so sure.

It would probably have taken a concerted effort at gerrymandering to increase the number of Dublin SF TDs on the last election numbers while still working with mainly 3-seater constituencies. Plus, II'd imagine it very difficult work gerrymandering Dublin to either the benefit or detriment of FF simply redrawing constituencies without actually changing the actual size of the seats (i.e. more 3 or 5 seaters or whatever).

By my comment I was referring to the fact that in as far as North Dublin is concerned, the commission love of three seaters is screwing SF over (not that I actually thinks a bad thing in a results way; the process is bad though, obviously) - this may change as the commission is looking into uniting Dublin North Central and Dublin North East into a 5 seater 'Dublin East', with some of DNE being broken off to join Dublin North, which would then become 5 seats aswell. There is definetly one SF quota in "Dublin East". And if the constituency commission brought back six seaters than SF would odds on to gain at least one if not two in Donegal and possibly one in a united Sligo-Roscommon-Leitrim constituency. There is also a significant SF vote in Dublin North West and Dublin Central, with great SF potential in Dublin West (Though I suspect that Joe Higgins takes alot of their votes; but I cannae be sure of that) - Turn the Northside map from about 6-7 three\four seaters into a couple of five seaters and you'd get a couple of SF seats.

Most southside (well, south Eastside) constituencies that are five seaters would NEVER elect a Sinn Fein candidate, including my own.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 08, 2007, 06:52:37 pm
By my comment I was referring to the fact that in as far as North Dublin is concerned, the commission love of three seaters is screwing SF over (not that I actually thinks a bad thing in a results way; the process is bad though, obviously) - this may change as the commission is looking into uniting Dublin North Central and Dublin North East into a 5 seater 'Dublin East', with some of DNE being broken off to join Dublin North, which would then become 5 seats aswell. There is definetly one SF quota in "Dublin East". And if the constituency commission brought back six seaters than SF would odds on to gain at least one if not two in Donegal and possibly one in a united Sligo-Roscommon-Leitrim constituency. There is also a significant SF vote in Dublin North West and Dublin Central, with great SF potential in Dublin West (Though I suspect that Joe Higgins takes alot of their votes; but I cannae be sure of that) - Turn the Northside map from about 6-7 three\four seaters into a couple of five seaters and you'd get a couple of SF seats.

Most southside (well, south Eastside) constituencies that are five seaters would NEVER elected a Sinn Fein candidate, including my own.

Yep, true.

It is though unfortunately beyond the powers of the commission to play with anything other than 3, 4 or 5-seaters.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 08, 2007, 07:01:15 pm
By my comment I was referring to the fact that in as far as North Dublin is concerned, the commission love of three seaters is screwing SF over (not that I actually thinks a bad thing in a results way; the process is bad though, obviously) - this may change as the commission is looking into uniting Dublin North Central and Dublin North East into a 5 seater 'Dublin East', with some of DNE being broken off to join Dublin North, which would then become 5 seats aswell. There is definetly one SF quota in "Dublin East". And if the constituency commission brought back six seaters than SF would odds on to gain at least one if not two in Donegal and possibly one in a united Sligo-Roscommon-Leitrim constituency. There is also a significant SF vote in Dublin North West and Dublin Central, with great SF potential in Dublin West (Though I suspect that Joe Higgins takes alot of their votes; but I cannae be sure of that) - Turn the Northside map from about 6-7 three\four seaters into a couple of five seaters and you'd get a couple of SF seats.

Most southside (well, south Eastside) constituencies that are five seaters would NEVER elected a Sinn Fein candidate, including my own.

Yep, true.

It is though unfortunately beyond the powers of the commission to play with anything other than 3, 4 or 5-seaters.

Really? Must have been misinformed. :( - I wonder when that was made into law (Tullymander? - though it seems to be alot earlier?) in the early days of the state there were eight seat constituencies in places like Dublin North. With PR-STV we don't need such a decentralized system as we have in the present.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 08, 2007, 07:10:14 pm
Really? Must have been misinformed. :( - I wonder when that was made into law (Tullymander? - though it seems to be alot earlier?) in the early days of the state there were eight seat constituencies in places like Dublin North. With PR-STV we don't need such a decentralized system as we have in the present.

It's actually a legislative requirement, though for the life of me I can't think which Act it is at the moment. Will have to look up some stuff.

The record BTW is a 9-seater, which was Galway from the 4th (http://electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=1923&cons=734) to the 8th (http://electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=1933&cons=734) Dáil.
Since the 13th Dáil, all constituencies have been either 3,4 or 5-seaters.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 08, 2007, 07:18:46 pm
Really? Must have been misinformed. :( - I wonder when that was made into law (Tullymander? - though it seems to be alot earlier?) in the early days of the state there were eight seat constituencies in places like Dublin North. With PR-STV we don't need such a decentralized system as we have in the present.

It's actually a legislative requirement, though for the life of me I can't think which Act it is at the moment. Will have to look up some stuff.

The record BTW is a 9-seater, which was Galway from the 4th (http://electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=1923&cons=734) to the 8th (http://electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=1933&cons=734) Dáil.
Since the 13th Dáil, all constituencies have been either 3,4 or 5-seaters.

Galway - always going for FF since 1922... and I like Galway City (Despite my earlier sig copied from Uncyclopedia). :(

An interesting utterly unrelated question here for you Jas to do with the previous referendum on citizenship - which passed ridiculously and to as little fanfair and debate as possible (80-20 in favour of reform): What county recorded the highest and lowest votes in favour? Admittely here we're only talking about a 10 percent difference but the results surprised me quite a lot. (Another interesting aside, the county most in favour had the highest turnout, while those opposed had higher than usual turnouts.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 08, 2007, 07:29:50 pm
An interesting utterly unrelated question here for you Jas to do with the previous referendum on citizenship - which passed ridiculously and to as little fanfair and debate as possible (80-20 in favour of reform):

I recall all too well as one of the 20%.

What county recorded the highest and lowest votes in favour? Admittely here we're only talking about a 10 percent difference but the results surprised me quite a lot. (Another interesting aside, both these counties had by far the highest turnouts.)

I seem to recall looking at the results and being surprised to find that it was Sligo which stood out as the most opposed (in a referendum which had remarkably uniform results across the country) - for reasons I couldn't explain then, or now for that matter.

No idea about which county was strongest in support.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 08, 2007, 07:38:35 pm
http://www.electoralgeography.com/en/countries/i/ireland/2004-referendum-ireland.html (http://www.electoralgeography.com/en/countries/i/ireland/2004-referendum-ireland.html)

Unsurprisingly Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown was the county council with the highest level of opposition - but passed unusually highly in the other Dublin counties. But as for county level you were right about Sligo, but this I'm trying to figure out (Opposition percentage in bold):

Sligo County 68.95% 73.36% 26.64%
Then..
Donegal County 62.22% 74.65% 25.35%
And..
Leitrim County 75.70% 76.29% 23.71%

But then in the exact same region:
Longford County 71.29% 84.37% 15.63% - lowest level of oppositon.

What happened there ???


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 09, 2007, 07:30:32 am
http://www.electoralgeography.com/en/countries/i/ireland/2004-referendum-ireland.html (http://www.electoralgeography.com/en/countries/i/ireland/2004-referendum-ireland.html)

Unsurprisingly Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown was the county council with the highest level of opposition - but passed unusually highly in the other Dublin counties. But as for county level you were right about Sligo, but this I'm trying to figure out (Opposition percentage in bold):

Sligo County 68.95% 73.36% 26.64%
Then..
Donegal County 62.22% 74.65% 25.35%
And..
Leitrim County 75.70% 76.29% 23.71%

But then in the exact same region:
Longford County 71.29% 84.37% 15.63% - lowest level of oppositon.

What happened there ???

Well the most academic answer I can give you is that Longford is just wierd.
Actually, I'm very surprised by the relatively high support in Donegal, I would've thought they'd be one of the most opposed.

The various referenda are probably the best actual measure of the relative liberalism (or otherwise) across the country, given the remarkable absense of ideology in electoral politics.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 09, 2007, 09:16:30 am
http://www.electoralgeography.com/en/countries/i/ireland/2004-referendum-ireland.html (http://www.electoralgeography.com/en/countries/i/ireland/2004-referendum-ireland.html)

Unsurprisingly Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown was the county council with the highest level of opposition - but passed unusually highly in the other Dublin counties. But as for county level you were right about Sligo, but this I'm trying to figure out (Opposition percentage in bold):

Sligo County 68.95% 73.36% 26.64%
Then..
Donegal County 62.22% 74.65% 25.35%
And..
Leitrim County 75.70% 76.29% 23.71%

But then in the exact same region:
Longford County 71.29% 84.37% 15.63% - lowest level of oppositon.

What happened there ???

Well the most academic answer I can give you is that Longford is just wierd.
Actually, I'm very surprised by the relatively high support in Donegal, I would've thought they'd be one of the most opposed.

The various referenda are probably the best actual measure of the relative liberalism (or otherwise) across the country, given the remarkable absense of ideology in electoral politics.

True. The Abortion referendums are amble examples of that. (In 2002, only four counties voted for 'no' - happily for us it happened to be in counties where most of the people happened to live. The constituency-by-constituency results show this even more closely - it's on the site of the previous link under referendum - 2002.)

EDIT: Also local election results; especially in Dublin are quite very revealing (and show an unusual - for Ireland - level of Class-based voting). I just wish I knew about this link before starting my Redistricting project on International board.

http://www.electionsireland.org/results/local/council.cfm?election=2004L&area= (http://www.electionsireland.org/results/local/council.cfm?election=2004L&area=)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 14, 2007, 03:27:37 pm
Significant anniversary in Irish history today, it's 400 years since the Flight of the Earls.

And today the current recognised leader of the Gael is also facing difficult times. Though Mr. Ahern will probably decide not to flee the country, á la O'Neill and O'Donnell, he is undergoing a difficult questioning process at the Mahon Tribunal. Today was his second day before the Tribunal answering questions about his personal finances from the early 90s. No killer blow yet, but he's clearly unable to paint a picture which will satisfy all. And it's not over yet, Day 3 in the hotseat will follow shortly. Watch this space...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on September 14, 2007, 03:32:54 pm
(http://www.dojo.ie/donal/images/t-shirt_front.gif)

Saved for posterity.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 14, 2007, 03:40:50 pm
I saw someone at Dublin Castle (the venue of the Tribunal) wearing a t-shirt which I thought worked well. It said:

Been There
Done That
Bought the Taoiseach


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 14, 2007, 04:01:37 pm
Now that I think of it, in a discussion on this:

(http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Media/Pix/pictures/2007/09/13/gordon372.jpg)

on one of the Irish politics discussion sites, someone suggested for here:
"Not Bassett, Just Bertie" - which I thought was quite fitting.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 14, 2007, 05:34:55 pm
Significant anniversary in Irish history today, it's 400 years since the Flight of the Earls.

And today the current recognised leader of the Gael is also facing difficult times. Though Mr. Ahern will probably decide not to flee the country, á la O'Neill and O'Donnell, he is undergoing a difficult questioning process at the Mahon Tribunal. Today was his second day before the Tribunal answering questions about his personal finances from the early 90s. No killer blow yet, but he's clearly unable to paint a picture which will satisfy all. And it's not over yet, Day 3 in the hotseat will follow shortly. Watch this space...

I can't doubt that even the biggest FF hack (except possibly Eoghan Harris) can not help but admit that this is the most convienent outbreak of amnesia I can ever remember outside of questions which begin "so where were you two last night?"

We also learnt today while Bertie Ahern was minister for Finance he didn't seem to know much details about how wills operate (as apparently he left some mysterious-gotten cash inside his girlfriend's bank account and not his, because "in case he died suddenly and she could get the money".)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 22, 2007, 07:18:18 pm
The first major opinion poll since the election will be published in the Sunday Business Post this morning - polling for the SBP by RedC as usual.. Overall, not a great deal of change.

The headlines are likely to compare the poll with the General Election figures. Personally, given that RedC released a poll the day before the election - I think those figures offer a better reflection of any trends which may or may not be there. Doing so gives quite different perspectives on how well the the Greens and SF are doing.

23 May24 May23 Sept
RedCElectionRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.640
Fine Gael2627.327
Labour1110.111
Green64.77
Sinn Féin96.96
PD32.73
Other76.66


And on Bertiegate:
Do you believe An Taoiseach's evidence about his personal finances given at the Mahon Tribunal?
Yes: 32
No: 42
DK: 26

Is the Mahon Tribunal right to investigate these matters?
Yes: 50
No: 43
DK: 7

Should An Taoiseach resign if he is found to have lied to the Tribunal?
Yes: 59 [includes 40% of FF voters]
No: 34
DK: 7

The paper also indicates that Ahern is likely to face at least another 5-7 days before the Tribunal answering questions on his finances.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 22, 2007, 07:24:06 pm
Wow.. I didn't expect Green % to be that high, or maybe It's too early for anyone to make a serious judgement yet. As I said already should the goverment not collapse I suspect that whatever votes the greens will lose from the "sellout" crowd they will gain more in second preferences from FF voters. (Perhaps getting alot of those which ATM go to the PDs; which the below poll doesn't give me much pessissism that they are anything but defunct.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 23, 2007, 09:35:10 am
Wow.. I didn't expect Green % to be that high, or maybe It's too early for anyone to make a serious judgement yet. As I said already should the goverment not collapse I suspect that whatever votes the greens will lose from the "sellout" crowd they will gain more in second preferences from FF voters. (Perhaps getting alot of those which ATM go to the PDs; which the below poll doesn't give me much pessissism that they are anything but defunct.)

Up until the election, nobody was really sure how big the respective 'fundie' and 'realo' wings of the party were. The vote to go into government and the Gormley v. McKenna leadership vote give some insight into that as far as the party membership is concerned.

There's no doubt though that they're performing a delicate balancing act. Gormley made comments at the conference this week to the effect that neither he nor Ryan have been inhibited in any way in their ministerial roles by FF - and used as an example his refusal to approve the County Monaghan Development Plan.

I think it's still too early to tell whether the Greens will be able to hold onto their entire base - or whether they'll have to hunt out pastures new. Personally, I think the latter. The whole issue over the Tara motorway thing (with more protests over the past few days by the type of people the Greens would be the natural choice for) highlights the fact that there will be difficult choices for the Greens and they won't always be able to make the decision that would please their voters. If the list of these decision expands too much, thy find themselves in a very precarious position - and if Bertie should fall, then I suspect Brian Cowen wouldn't take a lot of convincing to help show them the door if things got difficult.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 26, 2007, 09:49:12 am
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has laid down a motion of no confidence in An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern which will be dealt with later this evening on the first day of the new Dáil term. It will be the first motion of no confidence vote put forward against a Taoiseach since 1994.

Yesterday, the new Labour leader Eamon Gilmore called on Ahern to resign for his failure to properly account for himself before the Mahon Tribunal. The motion is brought for the same reasons. However, it has no real chance of success. I don't see any way in which the coalition partners (PDs, Greens or the rag-tag Indepenedents) will not support Ahern. The move is really just a political stunt to keep the issue in the news and set the terms for the upcoming Dáil term - in which case I think it misjudged.

The Dáil standing orders limit how often these sort of motions can be brought (I think it may be limited to one every 6 months) - so I don't think they should be used unless they have a genuine shot at succeeding. While the Tribunal issue may eventually bring Bertie down, I can only see it happening if the Tribunal lawyers can actually produce solid evidence or if the Tribunal judge gives a fairly damning account of Ahern in the next Tribunal report.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 27, 2007, 04:32:58 pm
FTR, the government won the confidence vote 81 to 76.

No real surprise. Notably though Ned O'Keefe (FF-Cork East) went AWOL. It's fair to say that O'Keefe isn't Ahern's biggest fan and it'll be interesting to see what consequences may follow. (The other 7 government absentees would appear to have been expected.)

Today however the government won a vote on a motion by a single vote when it appears there was significant absenteeism. The vote was on one of the controversial political stories of the summer - the decision by Aer Lingus to abandon it's Shannon-Heathrow route in favour of Belfast-Heathrow. THe government owning 25% of Aer Lingus faced considerable criticism over their refusal to try and stop the move or even officially oppose it. RTÉ reported than (unlike the confidence motion vote) pairing was in operation. It'll take a while for the full list of voters to appear, but it will be interesting to see whether the FF Mid-Western TDs voted, given their apparant disagreement with the government on this issue.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 28, 2007, 06:10:32 pm
Turns out the FF Mid-West contingent were all present and correct. In any normal political country, this would represent be the height of hypocracy. Not here though... >:(

Notably, Ned O'Keefe missed this vote as well. The Chief Whip has demanded an explanation...we'll have to wait and see if there's any developments.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 28, 2007, 06:11:52 pm
I love the "OMG TEH GOVERMENT ALMOST LOST HOW DARE TDs BE INDEPENDENT!!111" reaction.

Which is why:
a) Democracy is really a joke in Ireland.
b) The Parliamentary system is alot of bollocks really.

At least now I have more to watch the blood letting and theatre Mahon Tribunal continue without the media thinking it somehow irrelevant.. Now come on, greenies, time to show some backbone.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 28, 2007, 06:30:07 pm
I love the "OMG TEH GOVERMENT ALMOST LOST HOW DARE TDs BE INDEPENDENT!!111" reaction.

Which is why:
a) Democracy is really a joke in Ireland.
b) The Parliamentary system is alot of bollocks really.

Considerably stronger language than I'd use, but I have sympathy with these points. The fused executive-legislature in particular bothers me; that and the Seanad's neutered state.

At least now I have more to watch the blood letting and theatre Mahon Tribunal continue without the media thinking it somehow irrelevant.. Now come on, greenies, time to show some backbone.

The Greens have proven they will hold firm. They have now firmly nailed themselves to Bertie and only a smoking gun or the next Mahon report would give them reason to exit.

The decision to bring them into government though clearly paid off this week - otherwise the Government would have found huge difficulty in winning the confidence vote (and would almost certainly have lost the Shannon vote).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 28, 2007, 06:49:57 pm
I love the "OMG TEH GOVERMENT ALMOST LOST HOW DARE TDs BE INDEPENDENT!!111" reaction.

Which is why:
a) Democracy is really a joke in Ireland.
b) The Parliamentary system is alot of bollocks really.

Considerably stronger language than I'd use, but I have sympathy with these points. The fused executive-legislature in particular bothers me; that and the Seanad's neutered state.

At least now I have more to watch the blood letting and theatre Mahon Tribunal continue without the media thinking it somehow irrelevant.. Now come on, greenies, time to show some backbone.

The Greens have proven they will hold firm. They have now firmly nailed themselves to Bertie and only a smoking gun or the next Mahon report would give them reason to exit.

The decision to bring them into government though clearly paid off this week - otherwise the Government would have found huge difficulty in winning the confidence vote (and would almost certainly have lost the Shannon vote).

Sadly I'd have to agree about the Greens - funny before the election I was thinking of joining the Young Greens.. not a chance of that happening now. Perhaps they should have stuck two minute ads on buddhist meditation.

As for the original point; I'm not even sure that Ireland needs a symbolic executor - but having an obvious leader is such a plus point for the intellectually lazy to focus on (also known as "the Meeja".) One thing about the 2007 Green Party Manifesto which alot of the document the Greens forgot about when going into goverment was a plan to reduce the number TDs to 120 (GOOD LUCK) - Ah well, the more I go on the more I tempted towards Radicalism.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 29, 2007, 07:36:25 am
Sadly I'd have to agree about the Greens - funny before the election I was thinking of joining the Young Greens.. not a chance of that happening now. Perhaps they should have stuck two minute ads on buddhist meditation.

;D

As for the original point; I'm not even sure that Ireland needs a symbolic executor - but having an obvious leader is such a plus point for the intellectually lazy to focus on (also known as "the Meeja".) One thing about the 2007 Green Party Manifesto which alot of the document the Greens forgot about when going into goverment was a plan to reduce the number TDs to 120 (GOOD LUCK) - Ah well, the more I go on the more I tempted towards Radicalism.

120 TDs - oh no! Then the quality of the cabinet would surely inevitably decline. If the government had only 60-odd TDs instead of 80-odd (and I use 'odd' intentionally) then goodness knows how many more gormless so-and-soes end up making decisions on educaton and whatnot.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 30, 2007, 05:07:18 am
Sadly I'd have to agree about the Greens - funny before the election I was thinking of joining the Young Greens.. not a chance of that happening now. Perhaps they should have stuck two minute ads on buddhist meditation.

;D

As for the original point; I'm not even sure that Ireland needs a symbolic executor - but having an obvious leader is such a plus point for the intellectually lazy to focus on (also known as "the Meeja".) One thing about the 2007 Green Party Manifesto which alot of the document the Greens forgot about when going into goverment was a plan to reduce the number TDs to 120 (GOOD LUCK) - Ah well, the more I go on the more I tempted towards Radicalism.

120 TDs - oh no! Then the quality of the cabinet would surely inevitably decline. If the government had only 60-odd TDs instead of 80-odd (and I use 'odd' intentionally) then goodness knows how many more gormless so-and-soes end up making decisions on educaton and whatnot.

Yes clearly with only 120TDs we would miss some great contributors to democracy such as, say, Michael Mulcahy, Cyprian Brady, Barry Andrews, John Curran, Charlie Flanagan (see I can be biased against FG too. ;) ), All the Waterford TDs, et al.

Wait a minute, what am I talking about - this is Ireland - where your level of political mediocrity is more likely to get you elected. Being a FF TD is a pretty sweet job.. 100,000 a year often for doing near fuck all except being yes men to the goverment but because of the "Keltik Tigah" you won't ever lose your seat unless you're an idiot.. I mean just look at, well, Michael Mulcahy, Cyprian Brady (oooh.. he's on the radio now), Barry Andrews, etc...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 01, 2007, 11:09:41 am
Yes clearly with only 120TDs we would miss some great contributors to democracy such as, say, Michael Mulcahy, Cyprian Brady, Barry Andrews, John Curran, Charlie Flanagan (see I can be biased against FG too. ;) ), All the Waterford TDs, et al.

I don't disagree that there are multiple members who we could do without. I'm just saying that we'll lose some of the more capable ones too. And the more you cut it by, the more likely one is to have to appoint lower quality candidates to higher offices.

Wait a minute, what am I talking about - this is Ireland - where your level of political mediocrity is more likely to get you elected. Being a FF TD is a pretty sweet job.. 100,000 a year often for doing near fuck all except being yes men to the goverment but because of the "Keltik Tigah" you won't ever lose your seat unless you're an idiot.. I mean just look at, well, Michael Mulcahy, Cyprian Brady (oooh.. he's on the radio now), Barry Andrews, etc...

I don't disagree with this either. I'd have no problem with paying them less, for example. I would say also though that I'd imagine lowering the number of seats would also strengthen the power of the party whip.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 20, 2007, 01:28:17 pm
I'm going to carry this discussion on education in Ireland over from another thread, mainly so as not to derail the other thread (on the global warming debate).

I suppose it depends on what you expect/want out of an education system. Our system wasn't developed with the aim of producing a large number of citizen philosophers certainly.

Well Obviously. I don't want "Citizen philosophers" - Citizens yes, the basis of our modern civilisation is the idea of constant questioning and participation with the processes which dominate the world around us (the most Irish people do in that regard is vote; if even that and most don't vote on the basis I've just mentioned.) yet the ability to ask questions is not even taught in school. I don't want to spend too long on this as this distracts from the basis of this thread (Though I *Could* bore for Ireland on this topic.) but it seems pretty obvious that the why Global warming is debated has it origins in the way these things are taught in School.

It's more a matter of teaching basic skills with the hope of ending up with at least the semblance of a capable workforce. In primary school the focus is on literacy and numeracy (and on Irish - but this is for cultural and historical reasons more so than for any educational benefit - which isn't to deny that there may be educational benefit to it). In secondary, this process continues with more developed literacy and numeracy skills, languages, and some vocational subjects (sciences; accounting; woodwork; tech graphics; home ec; etc.).

And I think, by and large, the system reaches its primary objective - it does produce a capable workforce.

I didn't say that the system doesn't work in what it's aims are. Just that it's aims are alot of crap - I don't like the idea of entire generations being processed in this way so that they work for some business and consume more.

I think the aim of producing a potential workforce is a legitimate one. It's quite simply necessary for our economy to function. Literacy and numeracy rates are very high. Over half of our young people now go on to third level education. Advancement through the education system is now reasonably meritocratic. I think these are all positives.

I don't think that it's the education system which is responsible for the rise of consumer culture or conspicuous consumption.

Is there any wonder therefore that our Democracy is so degraded

Our levels of electoral turnout aren't bad. We have free and open elections at multiple levels and regular referenda to boot. We have the rule of law; solid Constitutional protections; and human rights legislation.

Sure, I'm not delighted with the current crop of politicans - but the people giveth and the people can taketh away. I don't think I can agree that our democracy is 'degraded'.

and our culture is so mind numbingly dumb?

Is Irish culture dumb?

Anne Enright has just won the Man Booker Prize, just two years after John Banville. Not all that long ago Seamus Heaney won the Nobel for Literature. Of course, I would be writing for quite some time if I was to even just list highly rated Irish writers from times past and indeed present, be they poets, novelists, playrights, etc. We're not lacking in terms of filmmakers, musicians or comedians either. Beyond the arts, we have a strong sporting culture; our own language and our own 'take' on another.

I think as a nation we stand out and this is strongly helped by a strong sense of cultural identity.

Almost quite ancillary to that process, it does allow for a certain amount of 'education' in the meaning which I think you intend, but this is almost circumstantial as it's not really the intent. And with the development of the 'points race', education in this sense will only be hindered as both student and teacher must focus on a fairly rigid structure which becomes much more a test of memory than of intelligence.

No doubt about that on any of the points you've mentioned; Personally I still consider it a great achievement of mine that I just didn't give a Sh!t when coming onto my Junior and Leaving certs unlike all those "Daddy wants to me to do Medicine" types (For the Americans here; getting into a Medicine or law course in Ireland has obscene requirements; The Leaving cert exam is the final exam taken at the end of your final year at Secondary school which alone determines how one makes it into college.) who were usually I found were rather notable of their airheadness despite their getting 500+ Points. The people I would consider most intelligent in School who were often the ones you didn't at all give the system any respect while still playing an active role in the school and had a genuine curiousity about "The Real World" (So not the Rugby Jocks).

In short, Exams are the dumbest possible way in the history of mankind to test intelligence.

A few small points.

I do think that changes should be made to second level education in the country in a number of areas, but one stong point in favour of the points system is that it is a completely objective, impartial system. It's nice to know that it doesn't matter who you are in terms of your family background or class or where you're from or whatever - the CAO computer will treat everyone the same. But I'll certainly agree with you on the lack of definitive correlation between points and intelligence, something that I surprised time and again in college.

Secondly, I don't think many Leaving Cert exam setters would claim that their papers test 'intelligence', they test knowledge in a particular subject area. One's intelligence per se isn't officially tested, but then why should it?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 20, 2007, 03:34:12 pm
Quote
I think the aim of producing a potential workforce is a legitimate one. It's quite simply necessary for our economy to function. Literacy and numeracy rates are very high. Over half of our young people now go on to third level education. Advancement through the education system is now reasonably meritocratic. I think these are all positives.

I never said they weren't positive; just that we should aspire to more than that. It depends on whether we wish to see ourselves more as a society driven by ideals or purely by economic concerns; all goverments over the past 150 years or so have chosen the latter. Though personality from experience I think it's waste of time to have about half of the student population in education after the age of 14 (to pick a rough estimate).. and if we keep the current situation as it is I don't think employers will complain too much on missing out learning Intregal Calculus or Bismarck's Foreign Policy.

But I don't think have such an industrial like system of Education is good for Children or inevitably for Society as a whole. Also those Literacy and Numeracy statistics you state are very relative; how do you define those terms? (I not saying that Ireland has a bad standard here or anything; but statistics in this tend to vary alot on criteria.)

Quote
I don't think that it's the education system which is responsible for the rise of consumer culture or conspicuous consumption.

Not Directly. But in a much more subtle indirect way I would so say.

Let me put this way, each class in a school has a structure and that structure is pretty unchanged from the age of 4 to 18 in the Irish system. That structure is there is a teacher who is the centre of the class who is supposed to be font of the required curriculum (more on that later..) and then there are the children who rarely speak and "recieve" knowledge from the teacher, who generally rewards them somehow if they do well and absconds them if they don't. Now as this is seen as the "natural" way of teaching it may not be seen as a big deal, but there are assumptions in this method here which are very important to point out and it is this that is most often imparted in school as opposed to the "official" curriculum (Most Children forget roughly 80% iirc of all the content they learn in a class once it's over. But here I refer to is the "Hidden Curriculum" - what is learnt without even being recognized; the sort of training you get sitting in a similiar position for 14 years straight.)

1) Authority Figures, like Parents (Here Teachers) are genuinely seen to be the holders of knowledge, knowledge and education is what the teacher gives you.
2) In schools there are textbooks which give out this knowledge; which creates a division between the learning in "School" and "non-school" learning. Textbooks are useless when learning things outside of the school enviorment
3) All Questions have "right" and "wrong" answers which are not to be doubted as they held by the authority figure to be truth; accepting the "right" answer (regardless of whether it is 2+2=4 or to be more nebelous, a good story.) without question is the name of the game. ("The first thing you learn in school is to learn how to lie - HL Mencken) Those who are wrong; perhaps because they are just not interested in the subject or just don't have academic ability in it are often punished - a system where praise (and thus Status; especially towards ones parents who love to have straight A grade child) and derision is often given out by how much you accept what the teacher says. So it's no surprise that the least gifted (or for that matter, the most gifted) get alienated from the system.
4) Our civilisation, which is based on Questions, is not even taught in schools. It's an Authoritian system of knowledge driven mainly by an industrial set up. (Ever noticed how Schools and Offices are often alike? Or Schools and Prisons for that matter?)

Now of course here I'm really referring to the first years of Education which are formative of the rest of Ireland's formal system.

But add to this the Curriculum, We both know about the pointless endavour of Irish and the Cultural\Political reasons behind it. But let's look more closely at how each subject (and that's another thing - that division is totally arbirtary. Another thing you learn in School, History is History, Maths is Maths, English is English, Mechanacial engineering is Mechanacial engineering. And never the twain shall meet. I'm a believer in the idea to have true understanding of anything you need to understand it's history. But this form of Education I'm referring to how has nothing to do with Understanding) is taught and what is taught.

- Maths: Actually I think in the Irish system the teaching of Maths is one of the better things about it as shows coginitive ability at abstract taught and unlike most another subjects can't really be bluffed at an exam. But here again comes into my point about the division of ideas; in Maths education we never shown why Calculus? The idea of learning is divorced from function; while I'm not a fan of the idea that education should be "relevant" in Mediaspeak (in other words, made fit into a way which suits students who cram for exams) I just think that this is yet another example of the idea the system alienates students; many of whom actually are interested in knowing stuff. Not to mention that Maths must be continued till age 18; against the interests of most students. Even from the functional POV this is mass Stupidity; if Children show no ability at Maths why keep them on after say 12 once numerical ability becomes obvious; will they repent once they hit Algebra and decide to become Engineers? Don't be silly.

- History: This is a particular issue of mine; let's take the Junior Cert History Syllabus I did back in 2003 - or to be more precise the exam itself (The paper is here: http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exampapers/2003/JC004ALP1EV.pdf (http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exampapers/2003/JC004ALP1EV.pdf)) to keep things simple I gave I kept to the essay questions:

Example A: Write one of three following personal accounts:
- A lord or lady of a Medevil Castle.
- A farmer in Pre-Christian Ireland
- A named Religious reformer.

This is a form of biography; but in the end of Trivial biography. Actually that's 80% of Irish schools teach is trivia. When discussing Luther or Pre-Christian Ireland the textbooks usually went into fairly detailed (for 15 year olds) information about personal lives; but they failed to show why these things matterd; why they should be taught; what is their impact today In other words; it created a totally artifical division between history and the present. The fractured nature of the curriculum (inevitable in such a short space of time) makes this issue even worse. In other words, the majority of information students learn about history is school is mainly the gather of trivia; such as say the lives of Lords and ladies - purely an academic interest - without even the idea of context. I believe History matters too much to be divorced from the modern day world like it is in school (and I won't go into how school textbooks often try to justify Irish Nationalism.. it's not that their wrong per se; but rather that they are ideological at all. But then again I'm against textbooks)

Now I'm running out of space; and I want to watch the Rugby. And I've even explained my starting point. I told you I could bore for Ireland on this topic. If you to learn what I actually stand for and put the above in a much more coherent manner that there is Neil Postman's book Teaching as a subversive activity - 40 years old but still very, very relevant. And to be brief, here is what I am for: The Socratic Method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_Method)



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 20, 2007, 04:19:29 pm
South Africa won.. Yay!

Now you may be wondering, But Gully what does that have to do with Consumerism?.. Well.. Quite a bit.

The decisions we make as adults are conditioned by the events and surroundings of our childhood; of which School is clearly an important part (but how important is difficult to determine) and as I have shown imo the two most vital things one learns in school is 1) how to adapt to the social structure; a classroom is like an office, an industrial plant, etc in it's hierachial structure those that succeed are often those who play best to the system (not neccesarily the most intelligent; not even always the most book smart) and 2) the distinction between what is important and what is not is based on trivia (such as the lives of Lord and ladies of manors) and not in any way connected to the tangiable world outside.

Therefore this feeds into consumerism and alienation felt often by those of lesser class as well; okay I don't think it's the main factor for the rise of consumerism or alienation but it does exist. Any system which rewards the ability to think inside the system is almost incestuous; outside ideas are dangerous.. and as schools don't teach the ability to question the world around the students or even engage in it in a serious way then it creates an enviorment of distance between "intellectualism" and "the real world"; which is seen to be highly desirable and whose status in which is often marked by material goods.

Here I quote Postman twice, as he is more eloquent than me on this topic:

Quote
In order to understand what kind of behaviors classrooms promote, one must become accustomed to observing what, in fact, students actually do in them. What students do in a classroom is what they learn (as Dewey would say), and what they learn to do is the classroom's message (as McLuhan would say). Now, what is it that students do in the classroom? Well, mostly they sit and listen to the teacher. Mostly, they are required to believe in authorities, or at least pretend to such belief when they take tests. Mostly they are required to remember. They are almost never required to make observations, formulate definitions, or perform any intellectual operations that go beyond repeating what someone else says is true. They are rarely encouraged to ask substantive questions, although they are permitted to ask about administrative and technical details. (How long should the paper be? Does spelling count? When is the assignment due?) It is practically unheard of for students to play any role in determining what problems are worth studying or what procedures of inquiry ought to be used. Examine the types of questions teachers ask in classrooms, and you will find that most of them are what might technically be called "convergent questions," but what might more simply be called "Guess what I am thinking " questions.

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In plain, what passes for a curriculum in today's schools is little else than a strategy of distraction... It is largely defined to keep students from knowing themselves and their environment in any realistic sense; which is to say, it does not allow inquiry into most of the critical problems that comprise the content of the world outside the school (...one of the main differences between the "advantaged" student and the "disadvantaged" is that the former has an economic stake in giving his attention to the curriculum while the latter does not. In other words, the only relevance of the curriculum for the "advantaged" student is that, if he does what he is told, there will be a tangible payoff.)

And many more here: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Neil_Postman#Teaching_as_a_Subversive_Activity_.281969.29 (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Neil_Postman#Teaching_as_a_Subversive_Activity_.281969.29)

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Our levels of electoral turnout aren't bad. We have free and open elections at multiple levels and regular referenda to boot. We have the rule of law; solid Constitutional protections; and human rights legislation.

Sure, I'm not delighted with the current crop of politicans - but the people giveth and the people can taketh away. I don't think I can agree that our democracy is 'degraded'.

You are making the fatal (and very common) mistake of confusing elections with Democracy; Democracy is about debate and there is almost none of that in Ireland right now. The business of elections is dominated by Media machines and other Financial interests which often try and shy away from what is known as "The issues" and when "The issues" are confronted by any party it usually ends that all the parties nearly speak from the same hymn sheet.

Watch Questions & Answers much? Then you know what a joke "debate" in this democracy consists of. And if we don't have debate and discussion among the populace about where we are going and what is our function as a society and how it should be ordered than all we doing is handing power over to (an often morally bankrupt) Political class which wields power as is it's will. Which is what has happened all over the western world; and is growing more and more Authoritian. And whatever opposition there is tends to come from extremism (of both left and right) and from Waco-type conspiracists.

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Is Irish culture dumb?

Anne Enright has just won the Man Booker Prize, just two years after John Banville. Not all that long ago Seamus Heaney won the Nobel for Literature. Of course, I would be writing for quite some time if I was to even just list highly rated Irish writers from times past and indeed present, be they poets, novelists, playrights, etc. We're not lacking in terms of filmmakers, musicians or comedians either. Beyond the arts, we have a strong sporting culture; our own language and our own 'take' on another.

I think as a nation we stand out and this is strongly helped by a strong sense of cultural identity.

You are again making another mistake; using high culture as a barometer. When I meant culture I refererred in general to what the average person does with his life outside of the parameters of work, etc - what does (s)he do, what is his\her reason to be and how is this shown in a mass context?. A book by Jordan outsold all the man Booker entries combined in the UK; should I don't think that Enright entirely defines what I am describing.

What I am describing though is mainly RTE and the tabloids and the aforementioned consumerism, and no I don't try to be some patrician who looks down upon the habits of the plebs as inferior to my own (actually that last bit of that second Postman quote is very relevant here.) and I would not consider myself the most "cultured" person myself; far from it. But there are certain cultures which are compitable with democracy and those that are not; Ireland's present values (or even historical ones; replace consumerism with "The Catholic Church") Imo are not compitable to the true idea of Democracy.

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I do think that changes should be made to second level education in the country in a number of areas, but one stong point in favour of the points system is that it is a completely objective, impartial system. It's nice to know that it doesn't matter who you are in terms of your family background or class or where you're from or whatever - the CAO computer will treat everyone the same. But I'll certainly agree with you on the lack of definitive correlation between points and intelligence, something that I surprised time and again in college.

It's Meritocratic only in theory. Anyone whose ever been to a Rugby school on the Southside of Dublin can tell you this easily. Grind Schools, anyone? (Which I despise as they are the opposite of education; though I'm not complaining about how I got a B in leaving cert Classical studies thanks to attending one. Hey, if the system is there to be abused and you have the means..)

Anyway in terms of Class most of the real problems already begin once the baby is out of the womb; never mind schooling.

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Secondly, I don't think many Leaving Cert exam setters would claim that their papers test 'intelligence', they test knowledge in a particular subject area. One's intelligence per se isn't officially tested, but then why should it?

It only tests the ability to regurgitate trivia. Which is sometimes mistaken for intelligence.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 21, 2007, 10:38:24 am
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I think the aim of producing a potential workforce is a legitimate one. It's quite simply necessary for our economy to function. Literacy and numeracy rates are very high. Over half of our young people now go on to third level education. Advancement through the education system is now reasonably meritocratic. I think these are all positives.

I never said they weren't positive; just that we should aspire to more than that. It depends on whether we wish to see ourselves more as a society driven by ideals or purely by economic concerns; all goverments over the past 150 years or so have chosen the latter.

2 questions:
Who decides what those ideals should be?
What would you like those ideals to be?

Though personality from experience I think it's waste of time to have about half of the student population in education after the age of 14 (to pick a rough estimate).. and if we keep the current situation as it is I don't think employers will complain too much on missing out learning Intregal Calculus or Bismarck's Foreign Policy.

Presumably though those students who would leave at age 14 would (hopefully) enter the workforce. They are likely to find themselves in unskilled employment prone and subject to economic insecurity. Under the current system (whatever the value of the 'education' they are receiving) their future economic prospects increase with every year in the system they complete.

But I don't think have such an industrial like system of Education is good for Children or inevitably for Society as a whole. Also those Literacy and Numeracy statistics you state are very relative; how do you define those terms? (I not saying that Ireland has a bad standard here or anything; but statistics in this tend to vary alot on criteria.)

Certainly the literacy and numeracy stats are relative. I could try and look up the stats and how they're calculated - my assertion is based simply on my own observations in this regard. For want of anything better though, I would suggest that anyone who can pass the Ordinary Level Junior Cert papers in English and Maths easily clear the bar as far as literacy and numeracy are concerned. The vast majority surpass this (completely arbitrary and on the spot) standard.

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I don't think that it's the education system which is responsible for the rise of consumer culture or conspicuous consumption.

Not Directly. But in a much more subtle indirect way I would so say.

Let me put this way, each class in a school has a structure and that structure is pretty unchanged from the age of 4 to 18 in the Irish system. That structure is there is a teacher who is the centre of the class who is supposed to be font of the required curriculum (more on that later..) and then there are the children who rarely speak and "recieve" knowledge from the teacher, who generally rewards them somehow if they do well and absconds them if they don't. Now as this is seen as the "natural" way of teaching it may not be seen as a big deal, but there are assumptions in this method here which are very important to point out and it is this that is most often imparted in school as opposed to the "official" curriculum (Most Children forget roughly 80% iirc of all the content they learn in a class once it's over. But here I refer to is the "Hidden Curriculum" - what is learnt without even being recognized; the sort of training you get sitting in a similiar position for 14 years straight.)

1) Authority Figures, like Parents (Here Teachers) are genuinely seen to be the holders of knowledge, knowledge and education is what the teacher gives you.

Surely though parents and teaches are, in fact, holders of knowledge and they do impart impart knowledge to their students?


2) In schools there are textbooks which give out this knowledge; which creates a division between the learning in "School" and "non-school" learning. Textbooks are useless when learning things outside of the school enviorment

Books contain information/ideas; different books are useful in different contexts. I don't really understand the point being made here either.

3) All Questions have "right" and "wrong" answers which are not to be doubted as they held by the authority figure to be truth; accepting the "right" answer (regardless of whether it is 2+2=4 or to be more nebelous, a good story.) without question is the name of the game. ("The first thing you learn in school is to learn how to lie - HL Mencken) Those who are wrong; perhaps because they are just not interested in the subject or just don't have academic ability in it are often punished - a system where praise (and thus Status; especially towards ones parents who love to have straight A grade child) and derision is often given out by how much you accept what the teacher says. So it's no surprise that the least gifted (or for that matter, the most gifted) get alienated from the system.

Well, I don't think the system instills the idea that there are only right or wrong answers, anymore - though certainly in many cases it is perfectly clear cut that answers are right or wrong (most clearly in maths, for example). Depends on the individual subject and the teacher, the extent to which there is a willingness to accept as valid very different answers.

I don't necessarily disagree with the remainder of your statement here though.

4) Our civilisation, which is based on Questions, is not even taught in schools. It's an Authoritian system of knowledge driven mainly by an industrial set up. (Ever noticed how Schools and Offices are often alike? Or Schools and Prisons for that matter?)

How do you come to the conclusion that our civilisation is based on questions?

(And by the by, I'd acceot similarities between schools and offices - to an extent; but I feel that the school/prison analogy doesn't really hold up.)

Now of course here I'm really referring to the first years of Education which are formative of the rest of Ireland's formal system.

But add to this the Curriculum, We both know about the pointless endavour of Irish and the Cultural\Political reasons behind it. But let's look more closely at how each subject (and that's another thing - that division is totally arbirtary. Another thing you learn in School, History is History, Maths is Maths, English is English, Mechanacial engineering is Mechanacial
engineering. And never the twain shall meet. I'm a believer in the idea to have true understanding of anything you need to understand it's history. But this form of Education I'm referring to how has nothing to do with Understanding) is taught and what is taught.

- Maths: Actually I think in the Irish system the teaching of Maths is one of the better things about it as shows coginitive ability at abstract taught and unlike most another subjects can't really be bluffed at an exam. But here again comes into my point about the division of ideas; in Maths education we never shown why Calculus? The idea of learning is divorced from function; while I'm not a fan of the idea that education should be "relevant" in Mediaspeak (in other words, made fit into a way which suits students who cram for exams) I just think that this is yet another example of the idea the system alienates students; many of whom actually are interested in knowing stuff. Not to mention that Maths must be continued till age 18; against the interests of most students. Even from the functional POV this is mass Stupidity; if Children show no ability at Maths why keep them on after say 12 once numerical ability becomes obvious; will they repent once they hit Algebra and decide to become Engineers? Don't be silly.

Agree with a lot of this.
Essentially forcing students to stick with Maths to the Leaving is a fruitless endeavour. I'd be quite happy to see it become optional post-Junior Cert.

I also think the fact that Maths can't really be bluffed and does require some active problem solving skills that can't fully be by-passed by rote learning to be a good thing - though this is exactly the reason why (IMO) so many students fear Maths exams.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 21, 2007, 10:39:05 am
- History: This is a particular issue of mine; let's take the Junior Cert History Syllabus I did back in 2003 - or to be more precise the exam itself (The paper is here: http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exampapers/2003/JC004ALP1EV.pdf (http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exampapers/2003/JC004ALP1EV.pdf)) to keep things simple I gave I kept to the essay questions:

Example A: Write one of three following personal accounts:
- A lord or lady of a Medevil Castle.
- A farmer in Pre-Christian Ireland
- A named Religious reformer.

This is a form of biography; but in the end of Trivial biography. Actually that's 80% of Irish schools teach is trivia. When discussing Luther or Pre-Christian Ireland the textbooks usually went into fairly detailed (for 15 year olds) information about personal lives; but they failed to show why these things matterd; why they should be taught; what is their impact today In other words; it created a totally artifical division between history and the present. The fractured nature of the curriculum (inevitable in such a short space of time) makes this issue even worse. In other words, the majority of information students learn about history is school is mainly the gather of trivia; such as say the lives of Lords and ladies - purely an academic interest - without even the idea of context. I believe History matters too much to be divorced from the modern day world like it is in school (and I won't go into how school textbooks often try to justify Irish Nationalism.. it's not that their wrong per se; but rather that they are ideological at all. But then again I'm against textbooks)

Again, don't really disagree a great deal.

Though I would note that on the Leaving Cert History paper, the requirement of a research piece attempts to get around the simple fact regurgitation element to an extent, by requiring the student to actively pursue his own historical research on a subject of their own choosing.

I'd also suggest that writing a non-ideological book on history may well be an effort in futility - or would simply reduce history to a list of facts or figures. The best that might be achievable is to try and openly acknowledge the biases/ideologies at play.

Now I'm running out of space; and I want to watch the Rugby. And I've even explained my starting point. I told you I could bore for Ireland on this topic. If you to learn what I actually stand for and put the above in a much more coherent manner that there is Neil Postman's book Teaching as a subversive activity - 40 years old but still very, very relevant. And to be brief, here is what I am for: The Socratic Method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_Method)

Ah, the Socratic method. I've had some experience with a newbie law lecturer (recently returned from the States, where I understand this method is widely used in law schools) who tried to operate a class in this manner. He had to give up very quickly, as of course nobody would answer his questions.

Not that I've got anything against the Socratic method itself - indeed I've been known to use it in everyday life and indeed on occasion in this forum - but I'm not sure how workable it would be. It depends upon the class being willing to volunteer effort and answers - and I suspect it would actually help the distinction between students the teacher approves of and disapproves of, much more than the current system.

South Africa won.. Yay!

Now you may be wondering, But Gully what does that have to do with Consumerism?.. Well.. Quite a bit.

The decisions we make as adults are conditioned by the events and surroundings of our childhood; of which School is clearly an important part (but how important is difficult to determine) and as I have shown imo the two most vital things one learns in school is 1) how to adapt to the social structure; a classroom is like an office, an industrial plant, etc in it's hierachial structure those that succeed are often those who play best to the system (not neccesarily the most intelligent; not even always the most book smart) and 2) the distinction between what is important and what is not is based on trivia (such as the lives of Lord and ladies of manors) and not in any way connected to the tangiable world outside.

Therefore this feeds into consumerism and alienation felt often by those of lesser class as well; okay I don't think it's the main factor for the rise of consumerism or alienation but it does exist. Any system which rewards the ability to think inside the system is almost incestuous; outside ideas are dangerous.. and as schools don't teach the ability to question the world around the students or even engage in it in a serious way then it creates an enviorment of distance between "intellectualism" and "the real world"; which is seen to be highly desirable and whose status in which is often marked by material goods.

I don't see how the conclusion (highlighted in red) follows from the preceeding points (which I largely agree with).

Here I quote Postman twice, as he is more eloquent than me on this topic:

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In order to understand what kind of behaviors classrooms promote, one must become accustomed to observing what, in fact, students actually do in them. What students do in a classroom is what they learn (as Dewey would say), and what they learn to do is the classroom's message (as McLuhan would say). Now, what is it that students do in the classroom? Well, mostly they sit and listen to the teacher. Mostly, they are required to believe in authorities, or at least pretend to such belief when they take tests. Mostly they are required to remember. They are almost never required to make observations, formulate definitions, or perform any intellectual operations that go beyond repeating what someone else says is true. They are rarely encouraged to ask substantive questions, although they are permitted to ask about administrative and technical details. (How long should the paper be? Does spelling count? When is the assignment due?) It is practically unheard of for students to play any role in determining what problems are worth studying or what procedures of inquiry ought to be used. Examine the types of questions teachers ask in classrooms, and you will find that most of them are what might technically be called "convergent questions," but what might more simply be called "Guess what I am thinking " questions.

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In plain, what passes for a curriculum in today's schools is little else than a strategy of distraction... It is largely defined to keep students from knowing themselves and their environment in any realistic sense; which is to say, it does not allow inquiry into most of the critical problems that comprise the content of the world outside the school (...one of the main differences between the "advantaged" student and the "disadvantaged" is that the former has an economic stake in giving his attention to the curriculum while the latter does not. In other words, the only relevance of the curriculum for the "advantaged" student is that, if he does what he is told, there will be a tangible payoff.)

Largely agree with the first quote, disagree with the second.

I don't believe that the school curriculum was designed to misdirect students from some form of higher truth. In fact, I'd suggest that those forming it have the best of intentions (whether or not I agree with their decisions).
I also disagree that the suggestion that some students have an economic stake in the system and that others do not, purely on the basis of their economic status.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 21, 2007, 10:39:35 am
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Our levels of electoral turnout aren't bad. We have free and open elections at multiple levels and regular referenda to boot. We have the rule of law; solid Constitutional protections; and human rights legislation.

Sure, I'm not delighted with the current crop of politicans - but the people giveth and the people can taketh away. I don't think I can agree that our democracy is 'degraded'.

You are making the fatal (and very common) mistake of confusing elections with Democracy; Democracy is about debate and there is almost none of that in Ireland right now. The business of elections is dominated by Media machines and other Financial interests which often try and shy away from what is known as "The issues" and when "The issues" are confronted by any party it usually ends that all the parties nearly speak from the same hymn sheet.

Watch Questions & Answers much? Then you know what a joke "debate" in this democracy consists of. And if we don't have debate and discussion among the populace about where we are going and what is our function as a society and how it should be ordered than all we doing is handing power over to (an often morally bankrupt) Political class which wields power as is it's will. Which is what has happened all over the western world; and is growing more and more Authoritian. And whatever opposition there is tends to come from extremism (of both left and right) and from Waco-type conspiracists.

Actually, completely disagree.
There is a non-ceasing debate of political issues in a media very hungry to fill newspapers/webpages/radio and TV time. Everyone's voice can be heard on all of these platforms, again by a media eager to fill time/space with the opinions of anyone wiling to express them.

While debate is important, I would stand by the assertion that it is elections which are the fundamental. And as I've already stated, you, me or anyone else is free to project a message to the people for it to be judged.

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Is Irish culture dumb?

Anne Enright has just won the Man Booker Prize, just two years after John Banville. Not all that long ago Seamus Heaney won the Nobel for Literature. Of course, I would be writing for quite some time if I was to even just list highly rated Irish writers from times past and indeed present, be they poets, novelists, playrights, etc. We're not lacking in terms of filmmakers, musicians or comedians either. Beyond the arts, we have a strong sporting culture; our own language and our own 'take' on another.

I think as a nation we stand out and this is strongly helped by a strong sense of cultural identity.

You are again making another mistake; using high culture as a barometer. When I meant culture I refererred in general to what the average person does with his life outside of the parameters of work, etc - what does (s)he do, what is his\her reason to be and how is this shown in a mass context?. A book by Jordan outsold all the man Booker entries combined in the UK; should I don't think that Enright entirely defines what I am describing.

What I am describing though is mainly RTE and the tabloids and the aforementioned consumerism, and no I don't try to be some patrician who looks down upon the habits of the plebs as inferior to my own (actually that last bit of that second Postman quote is very relevant here.) and I would not consider myself the most "cultured" person myself; far from it. But there are certain cultures which are compitable with democracy and those that are not; Ireland's present values (or even historical ones; replace consumerism with "The Catholic Church") Imo are not compitable to the true idea of Democracy.

Ah, but then what is there inherently wrong with the culture the 'average man' engages with? Whether it be Jordan's book or whatever - surely one can't decide that one form of culture is more or less valid than any other? And if the man freely chooses Jordan over Enright, or vice versa, what does that have to do with our democracy?

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I do think that changes should be made to second level education in the country in a number of areas, but one stong point in favour of the points system is that it is a completely objective, impartial system. It's nice to know that it doesn't matter who you are in terms of your family background or class or where you're from or whatever - the CAO computer will treat everyone the same. But I'll certainly agree with you on the lack of definitive correlation between points and intelligence, something that I surprised time and again in college.

It's Meritocratic only in theory. Anyone whose ever been to a Rugby school on the Southside of Dublin can tell you this easily. Grind Schools, anyone? (Which I despise as they are the opposite of education; though I'm not complaining about how I got a B in leaving cert Classical studies thanks to attending one. Hey, if the system is there to be abused and you have the means..)

Anyway in terms of Class most of the real problems already begin once the baby is out of the womb; never mind schooling.

Disagree again. While it's certainly not perfectly meritocratic and money can certainly help, I still feel that there is a large meritocratic element to it.

Money doesn't buy you grades, but it can buy you the ability to force your child into a 'school' wherein they will be forced to engage with the material. This doesn't mean that the system still isn't meritocratic, whatever their motives (or maybe more properly the motives of their parents), they will still face the same paper on the same terms as the rest of us. And I can say plainly, that the rest of us are doing better and going further because of this system (and because of free university education) than ever before. Social mobility is more visible than ever.

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Secondly, I don't think many Leaving Cert exam setters would claim that their papers test 'intelligence', they test knowledge in a particular subject area. One's intelligence per se isn't officially tested, but then why should it?

It only tests the ability to regurgitate trivia. Which is sometimes mistaken for intelligence.

Ah, well then the problem is with those who (mistakenly) have that perception, not necessarily with the exam itself.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 21, 2007, 11:15:06 am
God that take a long time to reply.. Before I begin I want to say one thing:

I hate the Sunday Independent. That is all.

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2 questions:
Who decides what those ideals should be?
What would you like those ideals to be?

Good Questions. Especially the first one; to which I say "us" (whoever we are), my attitude to state education is somewhat ambivilant. On the one hand it creates a near-monopoly of information that is transmitted to future generations; on the other hand it is a guarentee of at least certain standards (at least in theory) of literacy, numeracy, etc which kept. Ideally though schools should be run by parents who each have a collective decision in the running of the school; or at least by committed individuals. Though I admit that achieving this is near impossible in a modern day context.

As for what Ideals I would to see spread; that's simple: Democracy, Debate, an awareness of the world around them, a place where pupils are 'trained' not just in functions but in the art of being human (however you define it) - which is why I am not a fan of this distinction in the first place between "School" and "not School". Should I somehow (There will be a day) out there find a palatable woman to inseminate and have children I hope to home school them.

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Presumably though those students who would leave at age 14 would (hopefully) enter the workforce. They are likely to find themselves in unskilled employment prone and subject to economic insecurity. Under the current system (whatever the value of the 'education' they are receiving) their future economic prospects increase with every year in the system they complete.

No doubt utterly true; just I think I often finds that having late adolscents in schools who simply just don't want to be there just holds everyone back. I don't have a clue how to deal with this though (*NOT* segregrating classes in terms of "intelligence" though, whatever that is.)

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Certainly the literacy and numeracy stats are relative. I could try and look up the stats and how they're calculated - my assertion is based simply on my own observations in this regard. For want of anything better though, I would suggest that anyone who can pass the Ordinary Level Junior Cert papers in English and Maths easily clear the bar as far as literacy and numeracy are concerned. The vast majority surpass this (completely arbitrary and on the spot) standard.

I would agree with that being a very rough guide; but somewhat accurate. Though English in second level education is all about the art of bullshit. Which as you see, I am expert on. ;)

If we must have some sort of standard (and here it's probably a neccesary undesirable) then at least it should be applied by continous assessment and not the old fashioned "one big exam" method.

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Surely though parents and teaches are, in fact, holders of knowledge and they do impart impart knowledge to their students?

Yes sort of; perhaps I didn't make this clear enough. Children are meant to accept what the teacher says as undoubted truth; never learning how to question where that conclussion came from. Not to mention that most of these answers are rather superficial anyway (Why do nouns matter anyway? Grammar is just a function of expressing ideas; not an idea in itself. Though admittely the Irish system has shied away from Grammar recently.)

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Books contain information/ideas; different books are useful in different contexts. I don't really understand the point being made here either

See the above point about unquestioned leaders and where the answer comes from. Textbooks especially need to questioned. How much distortions are in an average school history textbook?

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Well, I don't think the system instills the idea that there are only right or wrong answers, anymore - though certainly in many cases it is perfectly clear cut that answers are right or wrong (most clearly in maths, for example). Depends on the individual subject and the teacher, the extent to which there is a willingness to accept as valid very different answers.

Perhaps not Right or wrong in a concrete sense but it still makes a distinction between "good" and "bad" answers and the role of role learning in all this. This is at it's at worst in Honours Irish where students just learn off essays (and pretty much do the same in English) except with varations for certain question wording, etc. Anyway, Getting back to Postman - "All answer should lead to another Question" and perhaps more pointedly "Children start school as Question marks and leave as full stops". Knowing that the Battle of Hastings happened in 1066 between the armies of William of Normandy and Harold Godwission is just trivia when not provided with sufficient context; the question that must asked is why? Why is event X important today; what does it mean for my life. That's the most important thing here; not achieving some abstract academic standard but achieving understanding on how to understand.

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How do you come to the conclusion that our civilisation is based on questions?

The Scientific method is based upon questioning; and that is the basis of our modern society (That is the technology discovered by said method.) and the same can be extended for the social sciences aswell - especially since the start of the last century. Which is about providing understanding and causes much more than the old victorian methods based upon bogus ideas like Evolutionism and the Great men theory. Which were clearly societal prejudices.

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(And by the by, I'd acceot similarities between schools and offices - to an extent; but I feel that the school/prison analogy doesn't really hold up.)

Slight Hyperbole. But one does learn to accept authority of sorts in schools.

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Though I would note that on the Leaving Cert History paper, the requirement of a research piece attempts to get around the simple fact regurgitation element to an extent, by requiring the student to actively pursue his own historical research on a subject of their own choosing.

I'd also suggest that writing a non-ideological book on history may well be an effort in futility - or would simply reduce history to a list of facts or figures. The best that might be achievable is to try and openly acknowledge the biases/ideologies at play.

I agree; though here I should point out as a member of the class of 2006 I was the first to pass the new history syllabus with it's research project to be completed as an outside assignment to be finished by easter. So Ha-Ha. :P

Strongly, Strongly agree on that last bit about ideology though. Though having an ideology should not remove ambiguity from the replace; a common pet habit among certain left-wing historians I can think of.

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Ah, the Socratic method. I've had some experience with a newbie law lecturer (recently returned from the States, where I understand this method is widely used in law schools) who tried to operate a class in this manner. He had to give up very quickly, as of course nobody would answer his questions.

Not that I've got anything against the Socratic method itself - indeed I've been known to use it in everyday life and indeed on occasion in this forum - but I'm not sure how workable it would be. It depends upon the class being willing to volunteer effort and answers - and I suspect it would actually help the distinction between students the teacher approves of and disapproves of, much more than the current system.

Anyone who has ever education in Ireland (and I imagine elsewhere) has seen the following scene: End of lecture\class, Lecturer\teachers says "Any Questions?", Silence for two minutes, Everybody leaves, afterwards you meet people who ask you questions which could have been answered earlier. I suspect this is a learned behaviour; not just in school but the way move people from a very early age live very passive lives (especially us; I mean I've spend nearly a month on this forum and I joined 11 months ago.) and can only be tackled in the early stages of education; A method of continous questioning ala the Socratic Method from a very early age would be a solution to defeating stage fright imo.

I'll continue my reply in due time..


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 21, 2007, 11:34:48 am
Quote
I don't see how the conclusion (highlighted in red) follows from the preceeding points (which I largely agree with).

Because:
1) School as it is trains you for the patterns of life you will gain as an adult
2) School as it is, is based around not questioning but accepting said ideas (and fitting it into examinations.)

Right now in Ireland the dominant way of thinking is Consumerism; especially in certain areas near where I live (Ever been to Dundrum? It's hell) while it used to be the Catholic Church. By accepting certain ideas as fact it doesn't prepare to pupils to challenge the accepted order of things around the world. Which is why the school system supports consumerism, at least in an indirect manner (not too dissimiliar to way even secular schools managed in a way to support the Catholic church during it's hegemony; The Church's apparent popular collapse though is quite an interesting case study on how attitudes change and why. But that would need a post all to it's self.)

Quote
I don't believe that the school curriculum was designed to misdirect students from some form of higher truth. In fact, I'd suggest that those forming it have the best of intentions (whether or not I agree with their decisions).
I also disagree that the suggestion that some students have an economic stake in the system and that others do not, purely on the basis of their economic status.

Not from a higher truth as such as trying to make one pupil seek a higher truth - of course I don't expect that students at the age of 18 should be all knowing and ready to be the next Voltaire but a sufficient competence in questioning is what I ask for. Plus on the second half of that quote is still relevant on how pupils see themselves; the attitude of "I will be a burger flipper forever" (not too uncommon) is not exactly conjusive to a good education in the current system. Not too mention that among certain (especially working) classes it was traditional to value work above education (which in the long term was not hugely beneficial for their children, and retarded any attempt at social mobility.)

Quote
Actually, completely disagree.
There is a non-ceasing debate of political issues in a media very hungry to fill newspapers/webpages/radio and TV time. Everyone's voice can be heard on all of these platforms, again by a media eager to fill time/space with the opinions of anyone wiling to express them.

While debate is important, I would stand by the assertion that it is elections which are the fundamental. And as I've already stated, you, me or anyone else is free to project a message to the people for it to be judged.

The existence of Debate and the standard of Debate are too very different things. Unless you've lived in a cave during the election campaign I don't think you would have been free of the good old "meaningless soundbite" (Indah I found was surprisingly good at them; if only he didn't remind people of a dodgy country lawyer with a strange accent (at least around here).) That's not debate.

The Sunday Independant - It's arguements are mostly irrelevant and if not, are fantastic constructors of "left"\"Right" Strawmen. The only paper worth a damn is the Irish Times. (Surprised?) Though I admit I need to read more of the Examiner before making a judgement.

Quote
Ah, but then what is there inherently wrong with the culture the 'average man' engages with? Whether it be Jordan's book or whatever - surely one can't decide that one form of culture is more or less valid than any other? And if the man freely chooses Jordan over Enright, or vice versa, what does that have to do with our democracy?

Well I won't comment on Enright (whose book I haven't read but smacks me as the sort of fashionable literature which is based upon almost pornographic misery, read mainly by smug intellectuals but that's another matter.) or on Jordan; my point relates that in order for democracy - that is, work by the people - to work then there needs to be an active debate involving a vast majority of citizens in their country\county\town\vicinity and show that they have a stake in their own govermental destiny which goes beyond voting for some Seamus Brennan every five years. If Popular culture is filled with things not even remotely connected to people's lives then it can't serve as a functioning part of democracy. (So choosing between Enright and Jordan is not undemocratic either way; it's when such discourse dominates the media does it become an issue. Read Brave New World or 1984 much?)

Quote
Disagree again. While it's certainly not perfectly meritocratic and money can certainly help, I still feel that there is a large meritocratic element to it.

Money doesn't buy you grades, but it can buy you the ability to force your child into a 'school' wherein they will be forced to engage with the material. This doesn't mean that the system still isn't meritocratic, whatever their motives (or maybe more properly the motives of their parents), they will still face the same paper on the same terms as the rest of us. And I can say plainly, that the rest of us are doing better and going further because of this system (and because of free university education) than ever before. Social mobility is more visible than ever.

I was merely pointing out that it's not purely meritocratic. Though you are right in some ways. It's actually quite funny how Social mobility is almost never mentioned as an issue around here. IMO it was the aspirational classes which re-elected Bertie Ahern.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 21, 2007, 11:43:37 am
OK, well I agree with most of that, especially...

I hate the Sunday Independent.

You're not alone.
Otherwise, I've just got one (very) tangential question.

See the above point about unquestioned leaders and where the answer comes from. Textbooks especially need to questioned. How much distortions are in an average school history textbook?

Well, unless the book is covering matters of which I have personal experience, then it's very difficult for me to say that just about anything therein is a distortion unless the book directly contradicts itself; or, someone else (preferably many other people with some evidence) asserts that there is a distortion.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 21, 2007, 11:49:28 am
Quote
Well, unless the book is covering matters of which I have personal experience, then it's very difficult for me to say that just about anything therein is a distortion unless the book directly contradicts itself; or, someone else (preferably many other people with some evidence) asserts that there is a distortion.

Which is why the Socratic method is desirable as with a certain number of people one is likely to note a distortion. Especially the teacher. Plus I don't to teach pupils certain facts per se as how to gain facts or how facts should be viewed. I think this is time for Postman again:

Quote
If every college teacher taught his courses in the manner we have suggested, there would be no needs for a methods course. Every course would be a course in methods of learning and, therefore, in methods of teaching. For example, a "literature" course would be a course in the process of learning how to read. A history course would be a course in the process of learning how to do history. And so on. But this is the most farfetched possibility of all since college teachers, generally speaking, are more fixated on the Trivia game, than any group of teachers in the educational hierarchy. Thus we are left with the hope that, if methods courses could be redesigned to be model learning environments, the educational revolution might begin. In other words, it will begin as soon as there are enough young teachers who sufficiently despise the crippling environments they are employed to supervise to want to subvert them.

Though I must say I'm somewhat dissapointed by the shortness of your reply. Perhaps I want to be questioned in this manner; even the socratic method must go under the socratic method too. I though must leave with this comment.

Quote
You're not alone.

Worst. Paper. Ever.



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 21, 2007, 12:05:29 pm
Quote
I don't see how the conclusion (highlighted in red) follows from the preceeding points (which I largely agree with).

Because:
1) School as it is trains you for the patterns of life you will gain as an adult
2) School as it is, is based around not questioning but accepting said ideas (and fitting it into examinations.)

Right now in Ireland the dominant way of thinking is Consumerism; especially in certain areas near where I live (Ever been to Dundrum? It's hell) while it used to be the Catholic Church. By accepting certain ideas as fact it doesn't prepare to pupils to challenge the accepted order of things around the world. Which is why the school system supports consumerism, at least in an indirect manner (not too dissimiliar to way even secular schools managed in a way to support the Catholic church during it's hegemony; The Church's apparent popular collapse though is quite an interesting case study on how attitudes change and why. But that would need a post all to it's self.)

Well, I would have thought that the fact that the hegemony has changed from Catholicism to Consumerism is evidence in itself against the theory that schools produce persons effectively indoctrinated into accepting the system as is; and indeed that it's not possible for those very same students may not change the system.


Plus on the second half of that quote is still relevant on how pupils see themselves; the attitude of "I will be a burger flipper forever" (not too uncommon) is not exactly conjusive to a good education in the current system. Not too mention that among certain (especially working) classes it was traditional to value work above education (which in the long term was not hugely beneficial for their children, and retarded any attempt at social mobility.)

Ah, but I don't accept that that attitude (resignation to dead-endedness) is pervasive, or at the very least is nowhere near as pervasive as it once was.

Quote
Actually, completely disagree.
There is a non-ceasing debate of political issues in a media very hungry to fill newspapers/webpages/radio and TV time. Everyone's voice can be heard on all of these platforms, again by a media eager to fill time/space with the opinions of anyone wiling to express them.

While debate is important, I would stand by the assertion that it is elections which are the fundamental. And as I've already stated, you, me or anyone else is free to project a message to the people for it to be judged.

The existence of Debate and the standard of Debate are too very different things. Unless you've lived in a cave during the election campaign I don't think you would have been free of the good old "meaningless soundbite" (Indah I found was surprisingly good at them; if only he didn't remind people of a dodgy country lawyer with a strange accent (at least around here).) That's not debate.

The Sunday Independant - It's arguements are mostly irrelevant and if not, are fantastic constructors of "left"\"Right" Strawmen. The only paper worth a damn is the Irish Times. (Surprised?) Though I admit I need to read more of the Examiner before making a judgement.

Ah, but I would suggest people largely get the level or standard of debate they want to receive and the media would accommodate them. It's as easy to fill up newspaper with commentary on and debate regarding political issues as it is with footballing ones; or celebrity ones. The people, particularly through the newspaper market (but also through the TV market) choose the source of news they feel most comfortable with.

If the market suddenly shifted this week and The Irish Times circulation figures soared while The Irish Sun withered and we saw similar shifts in radio and TV, we'd quickly see the market saturated with debate of a different standard.

(Personally, The Irish Times is my paper of choice. I don't have much time for any of the rest.)

Quote
Ah, but then what is there inherently wrong with the culture the 'average man' engages with? Whether it be Jordan's book or whatever - surely one can't decide that one form of culture is more or less valid than any other? And if the man freely chooses Jordan over Enright, or vice versa, what does that have to do with our democracy?

Well I won't comment on Enright (whose book I haven't read but smacks me as the sort of fashionable literature which is based upon almost pornographic misery, read mainly by smug intellectuals but that's another matter.) or on Jordan; my point relates that in order for democracy - that is, work by the people - to work then there needs to be an active debate involving a vast majority of citizens in their country\county\town\vicinity and show that they have a stake in their own govermental destiny which goes beyond voting for some Seamus Brennan every five years.

And what form should this debate take?

If Popular culture is filled with things not even remotely connected to people's lives then it can't serve as a functioning part of democracy.

But simply by the act of choosing to involve themselves with pop culture, it becomes connected to their lives. And if they freely choose to connect with this culture in whatever form, then what right does anyone have to object to it?

(So choosing between Enright and Jordan is not undemocratic either way; it's when such discourse dominates the media does it become an issue. Read Brave New World or 1984 much?)

Ah, but in 1984 the state determined the news. In the real world, the people/market determines what is news (as I've went through above).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 21, 2007, 12:09:09 pm
Though I must say I'm somewhat dissapointed by the shortness of your reply. Perhaps I want to be questioned in this manner; even the socratic method must go under the socratic method too. I though must leave with this comment.

You can take it that anything I didn't reply to there I either agree with or only disagree on what are minor points.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 21, 2007, 01:31:58 pm
Quote
Well, I would have thought that the fact that the hegemony has changed from Catholicism to Consumerism is evidence in itself against the theory that schools produce persons effectively indoctrinated into accepting the system as is; and indeed that it's not possible for those very same students may not change the system.

Ah, I left out that word "Hegemony" for a reason (and not being a Marxist is one of them). When I saw "dominant" I mean pervasive and common - of course in Ireland there are different levels of what can be considered Culture dependant on Race, Class, Location, etc. Consumerism is more dominant among certain groups (of course you will always find individual expections but in general..) than others. Often I find the media debate on it to be either a) Shrill (OMG WE R A HORRIBLE NATION, SHOPPING=NEW GOD!111 type crapola common among the "liberal" press) or b) Complacent and celebratory (The Tabloids and the Sunday Independant).. Eventually due to a varient of factors such as Economic Growth, exposure to new ideas from abroad, increased tourism, a more "liberal" viewpoint taken among the younger generation which eventually seeped into the media - the Catholic Church's power collapsed. (Arrange those causes in which ever order you think relevant; or add your own.)

Consumerism is though quite a different thing to the Church - for a start it has no obvious figurehead. One thing that is common throughout Irish History is that there is a tendency to blame the events or power brokers of the past for the problems of the present; usually for legitimate reasons but often completely overboard and never takes into account our own actions - For Example: Since Independance it was the British Empire, now it's the Church soon I imagine Neo-liberalism will be the scapegoat, as it's never our fault. My ideas do not imo indicate "brainwashing" or anything as obviously manipulative as that, rather I think School system breeds a sort of Intellectual laziness; which is at the heart of the problem of our society.

Quote
Ah, but I don't accept that that attitude (resignation to dead-endedness) is pervasive, or at the very least is nowhere near as pervasive as it once was.

True. But it certainly exists. As we can see by the amount of people who seem to be relishing the upcoming recession. Twats.

Quote
Ah, but I would suggest people largely get the level or standard of debate they want to receive and the media would accommodate them. It's as easy to fill up newspaper with commentary on and debate regarding political issues as it is with footballing ones; or celebrity ones. The people, particularly through the newspaper market (but also through the TV market) choose the source of news they feel most comfortable with.

If the market suddenly shifted this week and The Irish Times circulation figures soared while The Irish Sun withered and we saw similar shifts in radio and TV, we'd quickly see the market saturated with debate of a different standard

I agree; but why is the Market as it is? Unlike the Libertarians you can't see the Market as some sort of independent body free from Society. (see all my above points)

Quote
And what form should this debate take?

Good Question; and may I say that this should be reached by a Democratic decision.

Quote
But simply by the act of choosing to involve themselves with pop culture, it becomes connected to their lives. And if they freely choose to connect with this culture in whatever form, then what right does anyone have to object to it?

Well that might depend on how one define "lives". No I don't wish to sound like a snob who wishes the plebs would drop their silly bread and circuses. I'm more curious to why the bread and circuses are so popular in the first place.

Quote
Ah, but in 1984 the state determined the news. In the real world, the people/market determines what is news (as I've went through above).

The idea I was mentioning was how the Media dominated discourse often to pursue agendas; in both books it was promoting one way of life which happened to be version of life put out by the state above "subversive" alternative ideas. If we just accept everything as it is, then it is an intellectual failure on our part. And I'm not just talking about tinkering with how the state governs things; which is what most of the debates on this forum are about in reality.

(Whatever you post next; I probably won't be able to reply to it for at least another week. But I look forward to it none the less.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 22, 2007, 10:13:24 am
Consumerism is though quite a different thing to the Church - for a start it has no obvious figurehead.

I'd argue that it does have figureheads - lots of them, just like the church has a whole series of 'figureheads' (priests, bishops, etc.), so does Consumerism (Hilton; Beckham; Moss; etc. etc.).

One thing that is common throughout Irish History is that there is a tendency to blame the events or power brokers of the past for the problems of the present; usually for legitimate reasons but often completely overboard and never takes into account our own actions

True, but it's almost a natural human reaction to avoid blame (see John Delaney). Nor as a nation are we alone when it comes to pointing elsewhere when a problem arises. (Not that this is the right thing to do, of course.)

Quote
Ah, but I don't accept that that attitude (resignation to dead-endedness) is pervasive, or at the very least is nowhere near as pervasive as it once was.

True. But it certainly exists. As we can see by the amount of people who seem to be relishing the upcoming recession. Twats.

Careful now Gully, you're dangerously close to Bertie Ahern's line here. ;)

Quote
Ah, but I would suggest people largely get the level or standard of debate they want to receive and the media would accommodate them. It's as easy to fill up newspaper with commentary on and debate regarding political issues as it is with footballing ones; or celebrity ones. The people, particularly through the newspaper market (but also through the TV market) choose the source of news they feel most comfortable with.

If the market suddenly shifted this week and The Irish Times circulation figures soared while The Irish Sun withered and we saw similar shifts in radio and TV, we'd quickly see the market saturated with debate of a different standard

I agree; but why is the Market as it is? Unlike the Libertarians you can't see the Market as some sort of independent body free from Society. (see all my above points)

It's unfortunately beyond my meagre talents to explain why the market is as it is - but this is one area where I think the market is very responsive, very quickly to the shifting demands of the public. While I agree that the various elements of the media have their own agendas which they will push - these agendas don't necessarily coalese and indeed often work against one another.

Quote
And what form should this debate take?

Good Question; and may I say that this should be reached by a Democratic decision.

Ah, but given that currently you feel that society is dominated by 'intellectual laziness', is a Democratic decision (as you define it) even theoretically possible?

Quote
But simply by the act of choosing to involve themselves with pop culture, it becomes connected to their lives. And if they freely choose to connect with this culture in whatever form, then what right does anyone have to object to it?

Well that might depend on how one define "lives". No I don't wish to sound like a snob who wishes the plebs would drop their silly bread and circuses. I'm more curious to why the bread and circuses are so popular in the first place.

That I can't explain. But then I'm not sure anyone adequately can. This might appear a silly question, but why do you want to find out the origins of their popularity?

Quote
Ah, but in 1984 the state determined the news. In the real world, the people/market determines what is news (as I've went through above).

The idea I was mentioning was how the Media dominated discourse often to pursue agendas; in both books it was promoting one way of life which happened to be version of life put out by the state above "subversive" alternative ideas.

Again, I'd undelrine that the media, of course, is no monolith persuing a singular objective/agenda. The agendas of The Irish Times and the Irish Daily Star for example are more often than not counterpoints - throw in the Financial Times, Heat, Village, FHM and I dare anyone to come up with anything they all agree on, never mind push as an agenda. Similarly re: books and other media. Different messages all.

And what's more there is no obligation, or necessarily any implication that the audience of any particular media will agree or go along with the agenda they are presented with.

If we just accept everything as it is, then it is an intellectual failure on our part. And I'm not just talking about tinkering with how the state governs things; which is what most of the debates on this forum are about in reality.

Ah, but for someone like myself, I must say that speaking in terms of the big picture, I'm reasonably content with the broad approach to running to the country taken by Irish governments - a social democratic model (public provision of healthcare; education; transport; welfare safety net; etc), with good human right protections. Of course, when one considers the detail of governmental approach to the many issues of concern, then I find myself very often in disagreement with the way in which things are done. It is in effect tinkering with the way things are done (a lot of tinkering, but nonetheless...) is how I feel about most matters under government control.

(Whatever you post next; I probably won't be able to reply to it for at least another week. But I look forward to it none the less.)

Are you living in Maynooth these days so? - No access to the interwebs, or no doubt any electronics/black magic wizardry. (No doubt, of course, stuck in a dark room, scribe like, working through the great tomes in candlelight - ah, the good old days... ;))


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 23, 2007, 08:54:13 am
New Constituency Commission report released!

Links to the report and maps are available from their website here (http://www.constituency-commission.ie/newreports.htm). (Though at the moment, the report itself is refusing to open up.)

(http://www.constituency-commission.ie/Images/map_a.jpg)

Dublin County:
(http://www.constituency-commission.ie/Images/map_c.jpg)

Dublin City:
(http://www.constituency-commission.ie/Images/map_b.jpg)

Comment when I've had a chance to examine it properly. The standout decision though from the maps is there solution to the Kerry-Limerick problem. General disregard for county boundaries.

Initial inspection seems to be that Louth and Dublin West gain a seat each; Dún Laoghaire and Limerick lose a seat each. IIRC, the contenders for the extra Louth seat are FG and the Greens; in Dublin West - Joe Higgins (Socialist) would be in a strong position to re-enter the Dáil. The loss of a seat in Dún Laoghaire is not good news for FG or the Greens; and the Limerick seat will hugely dent the chances of PD recovery there and threaten a FG or Lab seat.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 23, 2007, 09:20:46 am
Some stats...
No change to seat total (166) or constituency total (43).

Number of 5-seaters: 11 (-1)
Number of 4-seaters: 15 (+2)
Number of 3-seaters: 17 (-1)

3 new breaches of county boundaries:
Kerry North-West Limerick
Louth (now includes chunk of Meath)
Tipperary North (now includes south Offaly)

Average Representation: 25,541 people/TD
Least Represented: Carlow-Kilkenny 26,749 (4.73% above average)
Most Represented: Cavan-Monaghan 24,000 (6.03% below average)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 23, 2007, 09:23:35 am
Oh joy we get Foxrock added to our lot. I suspect that would favour FG as would the other areas added (though this is just educated guessing really.)

Can someone tell me what's going on in Meath West? (And why oh why do the Commuter belt seats remain as 3 seaters - that just benefits FF.)

I'll get back to the comments on education once I'm back at home (next Monday; I'm here in Maynooth now and then going down to Offaly at the weekend where there is no Internets. Yay!) and not trying to hurry at a computer which all the 3rd years wish to use. Though that candlelight idea sounds like fun

Btw, the constitution needs to be changed to make seats fit into electorates not population.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on October 23, 2007, 09:43:30 am
I hope somebody decides to do the same in France soon, it's way overdue with our 1986 constituencies... and the subsequent growth of the 9-3 and etc.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 23, 2007, 09:49:22 am
Oh joy we get Foxrock added to our lot. I suspect that would favour FG as would the other areas added (though this is just educated guessing really.)

Can someone tell me what's going on in Meath West? (And why oh why do the Commuter belt seats remain as 3 seaters - that just benefits FF.)

The maintenance of two three seaters in Meath and the lack of change in the north of Dublin City would seem to hurt Sinn Féin most.

Btw, the constitution needs to be changed to make seats fit into electorates not population.

OK, heres something I'm not prone to saying... but think of the children!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 23, 2007, 02:07:52 pm
Oh joy we get Foxrock added to our lot. I suspect that would favour FG as would the other areas added (though this is just educated guessing really.)

Can someone tell me what's going on in Meath West? (And why oh why do the Commuter belt seats remain as 3 seaters - that just benefits FF.)

The maintenance of two three seaters in Meath and the lack of change in the north of Dublin City would seem to hurt Sinn Féin most.

Btw, the constitution needs to be changed to make seats fit into electorates not population.

OK, heres something I'm not prone to saying... but think of the children!

The issue here is really non-nationals (of course if they give the vote to non-nations then I wouldn't complain.)

You're right though about this really screwing SF in North Dublin and.. The socialist party; whose partizans (yes they are real!) are raging as Clare Daly's major base in Dublin North (Ie. Around the Airport area and South Swords) has been moved into Dublin West - Joe Higgins' hunting ground. So any chance of two seats is pretty much screwed. Funny, I never considered the Airport to be in West Dublin. Funny what you learn, eh?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 24, 2007, 03:33:41 am
Oh joy we get Foxrock added to our lot. I suspect that would favour FG as would the other areas added (though this is just educated guessing really.)

Can someone tell me what's going on in Meath West? (And why oh why do the Commuter belt seats remain as 3 seaters - that just benefits FF.)

The maintenance of two three seaters in Meath and the lack of change in the north of Dublin City would seem to hurt Sinn Féin most.

Btw, the constitution needs to be changed to make seats fit into electorates not population.

OK, heres something I'm not prone to saying... but think of the children!

The issue here is really non-nationals (of course if they give the vote to non-nations then I wouldn't complain.)

I see. As I understand it, non-nationals can vote in the locals, EU citizens in the Europeans and Brits in the General.

You're right though about this really screwing SF in North Dublin and.. The socialist party; whose partizans (yes they are real!) are raging as Clare Daly's major base in Dublin North (Ie. Around the Airport area and South Swords) has been moved into Dublin West - Joe Higgins' hunting ground. So any chance of two seats is pretty much screwed. Funny, I never considered the Airport to be in West Dublin. Funny what you learn, eh?

Yep, Daly is a busted flush - she had her chances in the last 2 elections, but failed both times to live up to expectations (well, my expectations anyway).

And you're not the only one who doesn't consider the Airport to be in west Dublin - until yesterday, nobody else did either.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 24, 2007, 04:57:23 am
Some more comments on the Dáil constituency changes...

Kerry South:
Now an effective 2 seater (Ceann Comhaire O'Donoghe being automatically elected, assuming he completes the full term). In which case living legend Jackie Healy-Rae (Ind-Kerry S) is done for. It's pretty much inconcievable that he could reach the new quota which will rise from 25% to 33%. I presume he'll retire rather than run again. He has natural successors, at least 2 of his sons are county councillors and one of them, Michael (I think) has groomed himself for the role - the challenge though will be too much.

Kerry North-West Limerick:
Niall Collins's (FF-Limerick West) natural territory, Abbeyfeale, becomes part of the expanded Kerry North having been extricated from Limerick. He faces a very tough decision as to where to try and chase a seat, here or Limerick County.

Louth:
Thomas Byrne (FF-Meath East) also faces a tough call. A large part of his natural base (and I think maybe his own home) has been moved into the new Louth constituency. Ther's now an extra Louth seat, but FF aren't best placed to take it, even with the new territory. Mairead McGuinnes MEP (FG-East) is best placed to take that.

Dublin North
Changes hurt Clare Daly (Socialist) and also Trevor Sargent (Green-Dublin N) - though unless there's a very significant anti-government or anti-Green backlash, Sargent should be fine.

Dublin South & Dún Laoighaire:
The N11 (main road from Dublin towards the Southeast) is the new dividing line between these 2 constituencies as land shifts from DL to Dublin South. A seat also disappears from DL. While FF aren't happy at this transfer, the most obvious casualty is likely to be Ciaran Cuffe (Green-DL).

The change also means that wannabe PD leader Senator Fiona O'Malley really doesn't stand a chance of winning a seat here. O'Malley would naturally look at the PD homeland of Limerick next, however it's exceedingly slim pickings there for her as well. It seems the Gods have conspired against her.

Dublin North Central:
Notably Finian McGrath (Ind-Dublin NC) welcomed the relatively minor changes here which involved the  movement of Edenmore estate into the constituency.

Leitrim:
The area over which the Constituency Commission recieved the most submissions was County Leitrim. The Save Leitrim campaign failed to get the county reunited in a single constituency though, much to their consternation.

It should be noted though that these constituency changes might never see an election. Though they will almost certainly pass into law without amendment, as is the norm, the next Census is due out before the next election and due to judgments handed down earlier this year, it's entirely possible that there will have to be a constituency re-draw before another election. Something the politicans will probably deem undesirable. It's been a while since a Dáil hasn't lasted a full term (the last 3 effectively have) and given the size and nature of the current government, there should be the stability there to last a full term, however the prospect of unknown boundary changes close to a general election might be enough to provoke a slightly earlier election than normal.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 24, 2007, 05:19:50 am
Front page story in today's Irish Times:
Irish will need passports to visit Britain from 2009 (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2007/1024/1193158824220.html)

The Common Travel Area which has existed between Britain and Ireland since independence (and I suppose long before it) is coming to an end. The British wish to set up an e-border system to track terror suspects; criminals; and illegal immigrants.

"The British e-border system is designed to operate by electronically collecting and analysing passenger information in advance of travel to or from the country. This procedure will result in an "alert" if the person travelling is on a watch-list."

"Free movement of people between Ireland and Britain has existed for hundreds of years and the Common Travel Area survived Irish independence in 1922 and the declaration of a Republic in 1949. Throughout the period since independence, even during the second World War and the IRA terrorist campaign, travel has been possible without any identity document between the two states."

The system won't apply to the land border with the North.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on October 24, 2007, 01:59:50 pm
Gully, what's the collective noun for members of Sinn Fein? Obviously it's not "Sinners"...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 24, 2007, 02:02:48 pm
Gully, what's the collective noun for members of Sinn Fein? Obviously it's not "Sinners"...

While I prefer "Terrorists" or even "Judean People Frontists" the correct name is actually "Shinners". (As it make it looks Irish, putting a h after the first letter in a word is common in certain gaelic constructions.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on October 24, 2007, 02:04:32 pm
Gully, what's the collective noun for members of Sinn Fein? Obviously it's not "Sinners"...

While I prefer "Terrorists" or even "Judean People Frontists" the correct name is actually "Shinners". (As it make it looks Irish, putting a h after the first letter in a word is common in certain gaelic constructions.)

Thank you.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 25, 2007, 03:08:35 am
Gully, what's the collective noun for members of Sinn Fein? Obviously it's not "Sinners"...

While I prefer "Terrorists" or even "Judean People Frontists" the correct name is actually "Shinners". (As it make it looks Irish, putting a h after the first letter in a word is common in certain gaelic constructions.)

Though commonly used, 'shinners' is pejorative.
There is no official or nuetral term that I'm aware of that applies.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 28, 2007, 05:49:50 am
New poll out today by RedC in the Sunday Business Post.
Below are the headline figures of the new poll plus the previous one a month ago and the General Election figures and the last RedC poll published prior to the election.

In the last month, the most significant news stories of political interest here have included the:
  • Controversial move to change the rules regarding learner drivers
  • The new electoral constituency recommendations
  • The never ending saga over the Aer Lingus/Shannon fiasco - including the government being reduced to a single vote majority in a vote on the issue
  • Potential split between the Greens and the Taoiseach emerged regarding the building of new incinerators to deal with waste
  • Economic reports indicate that we our growth rates are contracting quite quickly
  • A brutal murder in Co. Monaghan is blamed on members of the Provisional IRA by the family of the victim - which if proves to be true could seriously destabilise the Northern exectuive

And with all that, this poll tells us that nothing has really changed at all in the public's opinion of the parties.

23 May24 May23 Sept28 Oct
RedCElectionRedCRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.64039
Fine Gael2627.32727
Labour1110.11110
Green64.777
Sinn Féin96.968
PD32.732
Other76.667


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 28, 2007, 06:02:19 pm
Back to this again:

Quote
I'd argue that it {Consumerism} does have figureheads - lots of them, just like the church has a whole series of 'figureheads' (priests, bishops, etc.), so does Consumerism (Hilton; Beckham; Moss; etc. etc.).

In a way that's right but modern 'idols' tend to be a bit more abstract. For example every town in Ireland once had a local priest and a great deal of mythology grew up around the powers of local priests (often in the most rural areas this was combined with alot of old Gaelic mysticism, just showing that the Celtic religions never quite died they just started worshipping crosses instead.) of course there were figure heads like the Pope, The Archbishop, etc but until the invention of mass communication the Pope was directly irrelevant to the lives of Irish people he was just the guy (who no-one knew what he looked like; now that's a sobering thought.) who was in Rome who told the other guys who were Cardinal who told the Archibishops etc what to do. Nowadays I think nearly everyone (at least in my age group; so excluding Vincent Browne) knows what Paris Hilton looks like but actually know her as a person? How do you "know" a person anyway?

Quote
True, but it's almost a natural human reaction to avoid blame (see John Delaney). Nor as a nation are we alone when it comes to pointing elsewhere when a problem arises. (Not that this is the right thing to do, of course.)

True; but even more than other nations perhaps because of our location and history we tend to blame solely external sources like the OMG TEH BRITS!!111

Quote
Careful now Gully, you're dangerously close to Bertie Ahern's line here. ;)

I'm sorry if I don't get misery porn? Personally I don't think our culture is a great state is so many of the communitariat seem to be to sexually arouse themselves with the idea of a economic recession. Do we really hate ourselves that much? Or is this just the smugly educated upper middle class folks who become leading journalists (usually writing articles in the Sindo about how awful consumerism is why discussing their latest pair of Manolos.)

Quote
If the market suddenly shifted this week and The Irish Times circulation figures soared while The Irish Sun withered and we saw similar shifts in radio and TV, we'd quickly see the market saturated with debate of a different standard

No doubt; but that won't happen, why? The idea of liberal Democracy is routed in the notion of an active and educated (often self-educated) citizenship. Now admittely alot of these ideas belong to the age of the Printing press and the Enlightment (Books of course the best medium to express Political ideas, but how many people in Ireland are aliterate - can read but don't?) but I don't believe we can have a Democracy or anything similiar without out. Otherwise we are just giving more power than an already morally bankrupt political class.

Quote
It's unfortunately beyond my meagre talents to explain why the market is as it is - but this is one area where I think the market is very responsive, very quickly to the shifting demands of the public. While I agree that the various elements of the media have their own agendas which they will push - these agendas don't necessarily coalese and indeed often work against one another.

True; but we are probing deeper than pure economics here (thus "pseudo-science") why is the level of demand like it is.

Quote
Ah, but given that currently you feel that society is dominated by 'intellectual laziness', is a Democratic decision (as you define it) even theoretically possible?

No or not quite and here is the problem; I realize the contradiction here alas as why that is beyond my meagre talents aswell to truly explain.

Quote
That I can't explain. But then I'm not sure anyone adequately can. This might appear a silly question, but why do you want to find out the origins of their popularity?

Because understanding it is an intregal part of understanding the country in which I was born and raised into?

Also I don't believe much is holding Irish society actually together; in this I agree with the most conservative and reactionary Catholics while it's replaced a series of values which are always rooted locally and "in the soil" so the speak most of the new values (of course this is a sweeping statement, like all sociology, In Offaly I met a middle-aged women who criticized the people I was staying with because they did their laundry on a sunday.) are dependant on high levels of disposable income and foreign investment (Both "Visible" and "invisible" like tourism), and even those don't seem to be effective given the level of self-destruction we see in Irish society (Binge Drinking, et al not that binge drinking wasn't a problem "back in the day", That culture was destroyed by it's contradictions.. so will this one.) What will happen once the money goes away? Then what we will have?

Quote
Again, I'd undelrine that the media, of course, is no monolith persuing a singular objective/agenda. The agendas of The Irish Times and the Irish Daily Star for example are more often than not counterpoints - throw in the Financial Times, Heat, Village, FHM and I dare anyone to come up with anything they all agree on, never mind push as an agenda. Similarly re: books and other media. Different messages all.

And what's more there is no obligation, or necessarily any implication that the audience of any particular media will agree or go along with the agenda they are presented with.

True. But all Media has an in-built "message" which goes beyond what is obvious. Advertising to take the easy example hidden message is that all life's problems are simply solved and can be resolved in a matter of minutes; no thought, no nuance, no emotion just the robotism of "buying stuff". The Irish Times is full of information which seems to exist outside of space and time - for example can one really understand anything about the Middle-east crisis without at least a knowledge of it's history, all newspapers give the perception that information is a daily occurance which exists outside of human context (ie. There are these things called days and what happens on one day doesn't effect what happens on another.) Okay again this is a generalization, but my point is the media is effecting how we think; which then creates the enviornment to what we think. Of course in reality there is nothing we can do about that if 1 million people quite like owning and watching their TVs.

Quote
Ah, but for someone like myself, I must say that speaking in terms of the big picture, I'm reasonably content with the broad approach to running to the country taken by Irish governments - a social democratic model (public provision of healthcare; education; transport; welfare safety net; etc), with good human right protections. Of course, when one considers the detail of governmental approach to the many issues of concern, then I find myself very often in disagreement with the way in which things are done. It is in effect tinkering with the way things are done (a lot of tinkering, but nonetheless...) is how I feel about most matters under government control.

It's unnatural for an Irish story to end happily. It never does.

Personally there is alot to be grateful for; but I can't help feel there is both a nasty masochistic and anti-intellectual streaks in Irish society (to begin with).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 29, 2007, 08:13:02 am
Back to this again:

Quote
I'd argue that it {Consumerism} does have figureheads - lots of them, just like the church has a whole series of 'figureheads' (priests, bishops, etc.), so does Consumerism (Hilton; Beckham; Moss; etc. etc.).

In a way that's right but modern 'idols' tend to be a bit more abstract. For example every town in Ireland once had a local priest and a great deal of mythology grew up around the powers of local priests (often in the most rural areas this was combined with alot of old Gaelic mysticism, just showing that the Celtic religions never quite died they just started worshipping crosses instead.) of course there were figure heads like the Pope, The Archbishop, etc but until the invention of mass communication the Pope was directly irrelevant to the lives of Irish people he was just the guy (who no-one knew what he looked like; now that's a sobering thought.) who was in Rome who told the other guys who were Cardinal who told the Archibishops etc what to do. Nowadays I think nearly everyone (at least in my age group; so excluding Vincent Browne) knows what Paris Hilton looks like but actually know her as a person? How do you "know" a person anyway?

Ah, but they don't need (or necessarily want) to 'know' her as a person - they want to know what she's wearing; who's she seeing; etc. The 'real' person is irrelevant - appearance is everything.
 
Quote
True, but it's almost a natural human reaction to avoid blame (see John Delaney). Nor as a nation are we alone when it comes to pointing elsewhere when a problem arises. (Not that this is the right thing to do, of course.)

True; but even more than other nations perhaps because of our location and history we tend to blame solely external sources like the OMG TEH BRITS!!111

I haven't travelled enough to comment on how other nations deal with such things - but I must say while I've met and know people who are remarkably prejudiced against 'the Brits', they're a very distinct minority. I simply don't buy the idea that there is a general and irrational blaming of 'the Brits' regarding relevant Irish problems today.

Quote
Careful now Gully, you're dangerously close to Bertie Ahern's line here. ;)

I'm sorry if I don't get misery porn? Personally I don't think our culture is a great state is so many of the communitariat seem to be to sexually arouse themselves with the idea of a economic recession. Do we really hate ourselves that much? Or is this just the smugly educated upper middle class folks who become leading journalists (usually writing articles in the Sindo about how awful consumerism is why discussing their latest pair of Manolos.)

I don't think that economic commentators are hoping for a recession or are downtalking the economy just for the sake of it...whether looking at exchequer returns or projected growth figures (particularly in construction) it seems clear (and generally expected) that we are facing an economic slowdown. Just how much the economy will slow down is up in the air - it could lead to a period of stable, if relatively low, growth or it could lead to a very serious economic shock.

Quote
If the market suddenly shifted this week and The Irish Times circulation figures soared while The Irish Sun withered and we saw similar shifts in radio and TV, we'd quickly see the market saturated with debate of a different standard

No doubt; but that won't happen, why? The idea of liberal Democracy is routed in the notion of an active and educated (often self-educated) citizenship. Now admittely alot of these ideas belong to the age of the Printing press and the Enlightment (Books of course the best medium to express Political ideas, but how many people in Ireland are aliterate - can read but don't?) but I don't believe we can have a Democracy or anything similiar without out. Otherwise we are just giving more power than an already morally bankrupt political class.

Are books the best medium to express political ideas? What's wrong with the internet; TV; newspapers; and film?

On why the public in disinterested...politics is perceived as dull; irrelevant to their day-to-day lives (at least people are relatively content with the performance of government); and something which they can't do anything about anyway - so why bother. (Not that I agree, of course, but I think this is a reflection of a common belief.)

Quote
It's unfortunately beyond my meagre talents to explain why the market is as it is - but this is one area where I think the market is very responsive, very quickly to the shifting demands of the public. While I agree that the various elements of the media have their own agendas which they will push - these agendas don't necessarily coalese and indeed often work against one another.

True; but we are probing deeper than pure economics here (thus "pseudo-science") why is the level of demand like it is.


Quote
Ah, but given that currently you feel that society is dominated by 'intellectual laziness', is a Democratic decision (as you define it) even theoretically possible?

No or not quite and here is the problem; I realize the contradiction here alas as why that is beyond my meagre talents aswell to truly explain.

Quote
That I can't explain. But then I'm not sure anyone adequately can. This might appear a silly question, but why do you want to find out the origins of their popularity?

Because understanding it is an intregal part of understanding the country in which I was born and raised into?

I'm not sure a country can be understood - or maybe I don't understand what you mean by to understand a country in this context.

It's hard enough to understand another individual nevermind such a large collective of them.

Also I don't believe much is holding Irish society actually together; in this I agree with the most conservative and reactionary Catholics while it's replaced a series of values which are always rooted locally and "in the soil" so the speak most of the new values (of course this is a sweeping statement, like all sociology, In Offaly I met a middle-aged women who criticized the people I was staying with because they did their laundry on a sunday.) are dependant on high levels of disposable income and foreign investment (Both "Visible" and "invisible" like tourism), and even those don't seem to be effective given the level of self-destruction we see in Irish society (Binge Drinking, et al not that binge drinking wasn't a problem "back in the day", That culture was destroyed by it's contradictions.. so will this one.) What will happen once the money goes away? Then what we will have?

Whose pessimistic about the economy now? ;)

To deal with your substantive point though, I don't know what would be left. What have we got now?

While I find many aspects of Irish youth culture to be not to my particular tastes...and binge drinking ranks highly here...I do think that it's part of a fairly normal subversive youth culture which tends to self-destructive activities (despite a belief in their own indestructability). I don't think this is particular to Ireland at all.

If the money was to disappear, we'd adapt - though it may be difficult. It's simply part of the human condition to indulge oneself when possible; just like our ability to adapt to new circumstances.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 29, 2007, 08:13:47 am

Quote
Again, I'd undelrine that the media, of course, is no monolith persuing a singular objective/agenda. The agendas of The Irish Times and the Irish Daily Star for example are more often than not counterpoints - throw in the Financial Times, Heat, Village, FHM and I dare anyone to come up with anything they all agree on, never mind push as an agenda. Similarly re: books and other media. Different messages all.

And what's more there is no obligation, or necessarily any implication that the audience of any particular media will agree or go along with the agenda they are presented with.

True. But all Media has an in-built "message" which goes beyond what is obvious. Advertising to take the easy example hidden message is that all life's problems are simply solved and can be resolved in a matter of minutes; no thought, no nuance, no emotion just the robotism of "buying stuff". The Irish Times is full of information which seems to exist outside of space and time - for example can one really understand anything about the Middle-east crisis without at least a knowledge of it's history, all newspapers give the perception that information is a daily occurance which exists outside of human context (ie. There are these things called days and what happens on one day doesn't effect what happens on another.) Okay again this is a generalization, but my point is the media is effecting how we think; which then creates the enviornment to what we think. Of course in reality there is nothing we can do about that if 1 million people quite like owning and watching their TVs.

I think you're being mighty hard on newspapers here. If people want a backstory they can look it up, if The Irish Times was to provide a background piece on Northern Ireland and Iraq and Israel in every edition, there'd be no room left to print any actual news. They have to assume a certain level of knowledge on the part of the reader. The reader can always consult other sources to find this background detail anyway.

And no-body can convey any significant amount of information on ongoing media stories such as those mentioned above without eventually giving away their own stance, this isn't the same as telling the audience how/what to think. And even if they were simply telling people what to think, people are free to reject the message and the messanger.

And there's nothing inherently wrong with TV. Just like books and newpapers and every other form of media, there's good quality content and bad quality content. Is there anything wrong with learning about the ideas of Mill or the history of the Flight of the Earls or whatever from TV instead of from a book. Surely both are subject to similar potential pitfalls?

Quote
Ah, but for someone like myself, I must say that speaking in terms of the big picture, I'm reasonably content with the broad approach to running to the country taken by Irish governments - a social democratic model (public provision of healthcare; education; transport; welfare safety net; etc), with good human right protections. Of course, when one considers the detail of governmental approach to the many issues of concern, then I find myself very often in disagreement with the way in which things are done. It is in effect tinkering with the way things are done (a lot of tinkering, but nonetheless...) is how I feel about most matters under government control.

It's unnatural for an Irish story to end happily. It never does.

Personally there is alot to be grateful for; but I can't help feel there is both a nasty masochistic and anti-intellectual streaks in Irish society (to begin with).

Seriously, you're very pessimistic on this.
(And it's hardly just Irish society that has a dark side.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on October 29, 2007, 08:26:28 am
FTR, I'm enjoying this fireside chat :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 29, 2007, 08:46:16 am
Quote
Seriously, you're very pessimistic on this.
(And it's hardly just Irish society that has a dark side.)

Perhaps it's only a communitariat thing. But I notice this in Irish society and not just in Irish society but in Western society aswell (but as this thread is dealing solely with Ireland...). Alot of what is defined as modern "liberalism" seems to be dominated by a nasty streak of self-hatred and while alot of what is "Conservatism" is anti-intellectual. (See Fianna Fail, The Republicans, etc.)

Quote
I think you're being mighty hard on newspapers here. If people want a backstory they can look it up, if The Irish Times was to provide a background piece on Northern Ireland and Iraq and Israel in every edition, there'd be no room left to print any actual news. They have to assume a certain level of knowledge on the part of the reader. The reader can always consult other sources to find this background detail anyway.

Oh no doubt about that, I'm showing it's not in the nature of a newspaper to do so. Which is the problem. Are you familiar with "The Medium is the Message" (Which is kind of central to my thesis here)?

(I'm not bothered to write out a whole Thesis here plus I suck at explaining such ideas, I leave this up to wiki whose article is actually fairly good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Medium_is_the_Message (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Medium_is_the_Message). Each Medium has a certain nature, not just Oral or Visual or Typographic but there is certain things one can do with certain mediums that are just not feasible with others (for various reasons) and within certain periods one Medium tends to be more dominate over the other to give an example for where I stole this thesis in the 1850s the Lincoln-Douglas Debates on slavery lasted seven hours consisting of only three speeches (Proposition-Opposition and Prop Rebuttal) by the two politicians, yet it was quite clear from the records that these were widely tended events from across the population. Imagine doing a seven hour debate on Television? Or on the Internet; which is replacing TV as the "dominant" technology? Nah. Attention Span is one thing, meaning that each seperate medium is part of our enviorment and shapes the way we think, etc.)

Quote
And no-body can convey any significant amount of information on ongoing media stories such as those mentioned above without eventually giving away their own stance, this isn't the same as telling the audience how/what to think. And even if they were simply telling people what to think, people are free to reject the message and the messanger.

And there's nothing inherently wrong with TV. Just like books and newpapers and every other form of media, there's good quality content and bad quality content. Is there anything wrong with learning about the ideas of Mill or the history of the Flight of the Earls or whatever from TV instead of from a book. Surely both are subject to similar potential pitfalls?

Well quite alot of things actually an average sized book is likely to contain much more information than a TV show of average length. Plus with Television there is a need to "enforce" imagination by choosing actors, sets, etc while in the book it would all be on the printed page. This may seem irrelevant at first, but given that one is surrounded by mediums all the time and
that there is always a tendenancy to preference even very young; (A Child watches how much ads by the time they turn 18? In the hundreds of Thousands iirc) which can influence on how   
you think
. A book and a TV show have such inbuilt assumptions in them which even if you don't accept what is in front of you as "fact" can clearly warp you perception on a historical event.

Quote
Ah, but they don't need (or necessarily want) to 'know' her as a person - they want to know what she's wearing; who's she seeing; etc. The 'real' person is irrelevant - appearance is everything.

Exactly. But I don't see why is this particularly a good thing. (Not that it is bad either; just a
value of "society".)

Quote
I haven't travelled enough to comment on how other nations deal with such things - but I must say while I've met and know people who are remarkably prejudiced against 'the Brits', they're a very distinct minority. I simply don't buy the idea that there is a general and irrational blaming of 'the Brits' regarding relevant Irish problems today.

Oh, now? Of course very few people blame the Brits now, much more fashionable is the Roman Catholic Church or De Valera or whatever. When I mentioned the Brits I merely referring to about 50 years old pre-Troubles, such as the Euphoria of Nationalism which engulfed in Ireland in 1966 50 years after 1916 with all that rhetoric which would be impossible now. But that doesn't mean we have matured, just shifted to a different side of the same cube.

Quote
I don't think that economic commentators are hoping for a recession or are downtalking the economy just for the sake of it...whether looking at exchequer returns or projected growth figures (particularly in construction) it seems clear (and generally expected) that we are facing an economic slowdown. Just how much the economy will slow down is up in the air - it could lead to a period of stable, if relatively low, growth or it could lead to a very serious economic shock.

Oh no doubt that we may be heading into slightly dangerous waters (though I doubt it will be as bad as the 1980s. At the very worst, the early 70s) I referring to the reaction of certain commentators towards the possibility, both "Conservative" or "Liberal" who seem to can't wait for it to get started and try to portray the possibilities as in a dramatic and over-the-top way as possible. (As our Melodrama-disguised-as-Politics show "Prime Time" shows.)

Quote
Are books the best medium to express political ideas? What's wrong with the internet; TV; newspapers; and film?

See Above.

Quote
On why the public in disinterested...politics is perceived as dull; irrelevant to their day-to-day lives (at least people are relatively content with the performance of government); and something which they can't do anything about anyway - so why bother. (Not that I agree, of course, but I think this is a reflection of a common belief.)

In other words, they feel it is abstract from their lives and bears no relation to the "real world" but is rather a media event. Which of course is why so little change is going to be forthcoming, even reluctant acceptance of "reality" will mean "reality" is accepted and so on.

Interesting to note though that voting has gone down since the Economic boom while there are some obvious reasons for this (The Tribunal relevations being one of them) it's quite curious to note that people seemingly had more faith in politicians in the 1980s when Turnout was above 80% and emigration for many may have felt that high.

Quote
I'm not sure a country can be understood - or maybe I don't understand what you mean by to understand a country in this context.

It's hard enough to understand another individual nevermind such a large collective of them.

A country is an abstract idea which becomes a reality through its laws, its borders, its government, etc. When you grow up one of the first indicators of identity you have in the Modern world is your nationality; I think I learned that I was Irish when I was two, this may seem normal but is only a relatively recent invention dating back to the Enlightment. (And In Ireland's case, the National Revival movement of the 19th Century) So in order to adapt to being "Irish" you sub(?)conciousnessly adopt some notions of Irish which may pick up, of course it's hardly the only personal influence but there are notions of "Irishness" out there and even though we may not be aware of them it effects our identity at some level or another. One can't really be a 'united' nation without some kind of unifying culture, which is why a United Ireland was a true impossibility in the 1920s (or at least a peaceful one) but more likely now, though still a long bit away.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 29, 2007, 08:50:24 am
FTR, I'm enjoying this fireside chat :)

Cool. Nice to see an intruder. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 29, 2007, 09:03:54 am
FTR, I'm enjoying this fireside chat :)

Feel free to join in. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on October 29, 2007, 11:09:42 am
Quote
Perhaps it's only a communitariat thing. But I notice this in Irish society and not just in Irish society but in Western society aswell (but as this thread is dealing solely with Ireland...). Alot of what is defined as modern "liberalism" seems to be dominated by a nasty streak of self-hatred and while alot of what is "Conservatism" is anti-intellectual. (See Fianna Fail, The Republicans, etc.)

I wouldn't say liberals (of the US type, not the classical liberal type) are self-hating. They are self gratifying; seeking to soothe their conscience through idealistic posturing rather than seek a rational solution. The 'intellectual' liberal left are effective at closing down debate and then indulging itself on a self-defeating, post-communist, anti-American and anti-western ideological binge in which they would rather wallow in cultural relativism and false equivalencies than tackle the reality of society around them (not that it ever is 'around' them; they themselves are literally distant from the problems they claim to understand and the people they claim to represent)

Alot of conservatives hate intellectualism (or arguments grounded in it) because they see the intellectuals as liberals! Theres a mutual distrust. However it runs much deeper than that. Conservative opposition to gay adoption for example is based non on a 'just cause' but a 'just 'cos' rationale. There's nothing out there, at least put out there by great men of their field to suggest there is anything positive or negative (or, better 'beneficial' or 'unbeneficial' about it. But those great men are in themselves 'intellectuals' and not to be trusted (even if they are the only people who know what the hell they are talking about) - so conservatives can often retreat into populist territory. Of course many don't and increasingly more chose not to which is only a bonus.


Quote
Of course very few people blame the Brits now, much more fashionable is the Roman Catholic Church or De Valera or whatever. When I mentioned the Brits I merely referring to about 50 years old pre-Troubles, such as the Euphoria of Nationalism which engulfed in Ireland in 1966 50 years after 1916 with all that rhetoric which would be impossible now. But that doesn't mean we have matured, just shifted to a different side of the same cube.

From a small 'n' Scottish nationalist looking in, historically 'anti-British' feeling blinded succesive governments for a good forty years, which is unfortunate as things weren't that bad to begin with. You were not an emerging third world nation with white majority rule, you didn't live under the Raj, you had full representation within the Commons and were treated pretty much the same as any other Home Nation.

My papa, my mothers father was of Irish immigrant stock and he would be the first to never make us forget that. But he also fought in WW2 and he could never quite forgive 'The Emergency'; the indifference (verging on the unsympathetic) response by the Irish government during WW2. You were, technically, still a Dominion but unlike distant countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand who had nothing to gain and everything to loose, rather that 'small nations like Ireland do not and cannot assume a role as defenders of just causes except their own...existence of our own people comes before all other considerations.' What utter sh-t :) Of course I am aware that there were internal divisions and opposing sides (again) in WW2, two opposing foreign batallions Spanish Civil War and the 40,000 Irish who joined British batallions etc. It's certainly not a charge against the people, but against the government. Thankfully times have moved on and the occasional 'whitewash' over that era in history has been rightfully scrubbed off.


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A country is an abstract idea which becomes a reality through its laws, its borders, its government, etc.

And it's language, skin colour, religion etc if we want to discrad poltiical correctness and be completely honest. :/

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One can't really be a 'united' nation without some kind of unifying culture, which is why a United Ireland was a true impossibility in the 1920s (or at least a peaceful one) but more likely now, though still a long bit away.

What is ironic is that, politically the last time Ireland was united was under British Rule/Part of the United Kingdom.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 29, 2007, 01:21:40 pm
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I wouldn't say liberals (of the US type, not the classical liberal type) are self-hating. They are self gratifying; seeking to soothe their conscience through idealistic posturing rather than seek a rational solution. The 'intellectual' liberal left are effective at closing down debate and then indulging itself on a self-defeating, post-communist, anti-American and anti-western ideological binge in which they would rather wallow in cultural relativism and false equivalencies than tackle the reality of society around them (not that it ever is 'around' them; they themselves are literally distant from the problems they claim to understand and the people they claim to
represent)


Alot of conservatives hate intellectualism (or arguments grounded in it) because they see the intellectuals as liberals! Theres a mutual distrust. However it runs much deeper than that. Conservative opposition to gay adoption for example is based non on a 'just cause' but a 'just 'cos' rationale. There's nothing out there, at least put out there by great men of their field to suggest there is anything positive or negative (or, better 'beneficial' or 'unbeneficial' about it. But those great men are in themselves 'intellectuals' and not to be trusted (even if they are the only people who know what the hell they are talking about) - so conservatives can often retreat into populist territory. Of course many don't and increasingly more chose not to which is only a bonus.

Some of what you say is true; though I guess it depends on how you define "liberalism" and "Conservatism" as those words seem to shift meaning every decade or so. (Margaret Thatcher would probably have been in the Liberal party; if she lived in the 19th Century.) I would say no doubt since Reagan though in the United States what has become known as Conservatism has a very, very strong Anti-Intellectual streak, as does most forms of conservatism as it is it's desire to maintain the "Status Quo".

For Example two of the last four American presidents were men who appeared to be of very unsound mind, Bush and Reagan both Conservatives (If you accept that it was all an act; then it was a very popular and effective act. What does that mean?) as they described themselves both played towards certain soundbites like "Family Values" or "With us or against us" and of course draconian civil liberty legislation like the PATRIOT Act all these things show what I mean   
by "Anti-Intellectualism":
1) Bush and Reagan both elected in part because they played to a prejudice against "Elitist Liberals" - usually College educated people who did not speak in the accent of Ordinary folks, they played characters as if out films, actually one of them was an actor, their entire persona was based on Television, which is by defintion a non-Intellectual medium (not that I think Television is bad; I'm just stating what it is) They portrayed themselves as against the "Elite" being liberals who "hated America", by playing this up they were attracted the Anti-intellectual vote and help spread that ideology across America. Hell alot of modern day Republican values are based on such a thing. (Creationism, anyone?)

2) These men then defined the language by soundbites to attack any who disagreed; so If I oppose Bush "I hate America", if I believe in Gay Marriage "I am part of the Homosexual agenda" and so on. In a way conservatives are winning the "Culture war" in that they defining the language of debate in many quarters (though I still find it hard to believe that anyone can say "Homosexual agenda" without laughing) of the country; what's happened though is that "liberals" are winning the war of ideas to the future leaders of the country by their own language, "Human Rights", "Freedom", "Equality", etc.

As for the "Liberals" it again depends on how you use that word; here I define it as how "liberal" is often used in media circles even though I admit I define myself as "Liberal" (Personally I think we need new words). Alot of this self-hate is described was based around enviormentalism which is often a neo-puritianism rather than Race issues; though I admit it may be prelevant there it's not something I pay much attention to. A core of Enviormental movement's core ideology (That is how the Enviormental movement wants to be seen; not the idea of Global warming itself) is:
1) Due to the evil corrupt forces of (always) 'Western' man (this is often disguised as "Capitalism") the earth is being raped and destroyed.
2) Therefore we must forego our traditional culture and we deserve it for our evil ways (again "Capitalism" or "Imperialism")
3) Often then there is a proviso about how other "civilisations" lived in harmony with nature - none of them 'western' o\c, but were destroyed by the evil forces of western man (Often embodied by "The Corporations".)

This is then often then put under a cloud of "intellectualism" which tries to justify this prejudice; but often comes across being smug and self-gratifying, as you say.

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My papa, my mothers father was of Irish immigrant stock and he would be the first to never make us forget that. But he also fought in WW2 and he could never quite forgive 'The Emergency'; the indifference (verging on the unsympathetic) response by the Irish government during WW2.

We gave some very under-the-counter support to the Allies. Despite De Valera signing Hitler's condolences book.

Btw, we were not a dominion in 1939 - we lost dominion status in 1937 - we were still a member of the Commonwealth but in reality a Republic in all but name.

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And it's language, skin colour, religion etc if we want to discrad poltiical correctness and be completely honest. :/

No, only if people 'defining' the nation and the National "quality" decide those are important. But often that's the case. For the past 60 years in Britain there has been a move away from what "Britishness" is partly due to "Multiculturalism". Of course the problem of Multiculturalism is that it can't be seen as a one way process.

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What is ironic is that, politically the last time Ireland was united was under British Rule/Part of the United Kingdom.

Ireland's never been United under "native" rule, unless you count the Rule of high king Brian Boru (1002-1014); but he was really more of a weak Feudal type monarch in an island with no sense of central authority; that idea came from the British.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on October 29, 2007, 04:08:29 pm
FTR, I'm enjoying this fireside chat :)

OMG I'm an intruder.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 29, 2007, 04:27:08 pm
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I think you're being mighty hard on newspapers here. If people want a backstory they can look it up, if The Irish Times was to provide a background piece on Northern Ireland and Iraq and Israel in every edition, there'd be no room left to print any actual news. They have to assume a certain level of knowledge on the part of the reader. The reader can always consult other sources to find this background detail anyway.

Oh no doubt about that, I'm showing it's not in the nature of a newspaper to do so. Which is the problem. Are you familiar with "The Medium is the Message" (Which is kind of central to my thesis here)?

(I'm not bothered to write out a whole Thesis here plus I suck at explaining such ideas, I leave this up to wiki whose article is actually fairly good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Medium_is_the_Message (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Medium_is_the_Message). Each Medium has a certain nature, not just Oral or Visual or Typographic but there is certain things one can do with certain mediums that are just not feasible with others (for various reasons) and within certain periods one Medium tends to be more dominate over the other to give an example for where I stole this thesis in the 1850s the Lincoln-Douglas Debates on slavery lasted seven hours consisting of only three speeches (Proposition-Opposition and Prop Rebuttal) by the two politicians, yet it was quite clear from the records that these were widely tended events from across the population. Imagine doing a seven hour debate on Television? Or on the Internet; which is replacing TV as the "dominant" technology? Nah. Attention Span is one thing, meaning that each seperate medium is part of our enviorment and shapes the way we think, etc.)

While all that may be true, I don't think that this offers any truth to the idea than any particular medium is any better than any other.

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And no-body can convey any significant amount of information on ongoing media stories such as those mentioned above without eventually giving away their own stance, this isn't the same as telling the audience how/what to think. And even if they were simply telling people what to think, people are free to reject the message and the messanger.

And there's nothing inherently wrong with TV. Just like books and newpapers and every other form of media, there's good quality content and bad quality content. Is there anything wrong with learning about the ideas of Mill or the history of the Flight of the Earls or whatever from TV instead of from a book. Surely both are subject to similar potential pitfalls?

Well quite alot of things actually an average sized book is likely to contain much more information than a TV show of average length.

Not necessarily. But even if it this is true, that's no guide to quality; nor to which communicates more effectively. I think that the author/producer is more important than the medium.

Plus with Television there is a need to "enforce" imagination by choosing actors, sets, etc while in the book it would all be on the printed page.

I don't grant the premise that in a book all the information is on the page - nor do I feel that the use of 'enforced imagination' on TV/through visual media is necessarily a bad thing.

This may seem irrelevant at first, but given that one is surrounded by mediums all the time and that there is always a tendenancy to preference even very young; (A Child watches how much ads by the time they turn 18? In the hundreds of Thousands iirc) which can influence on how you think. A book and a TV show have such inbuilt assumptions in them which even if you don't accept what is in front of you as "fact" can clearly warp you perception on a historical event.

Example?

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On why the public in disinterested...politics is perceived as dull; irrelevant to their day-to-day lives (at least people are relatively content with the performance of government); and something which they can't do anything about anyway - so why bother. (Not that I agree, of course, but I think this is a reflection of a common belief.)

In other words, they feel it is abstract from their lives and bears no relation to the "real world" but is rather a media event. Which of course is why so little change is going to be forthcoming, even reluctant acceptance of "reality" will mean "reality" is accepted and so on.

Interesting to note though that voting has gone down since the Economic boom while there are some obvious reasons for this (The Tribunal relevations being one of them) it's quite curious to note that people seemingly had more faith in politicians in the 1980s when Turnout was above 80% and emigration for many may have felt that high.

I disagree with your reasoning on turnout - I think it has more to do with general economic conditions than confidence or otherwise in the political class. At the lowest common denominator of my view here: when times are bad, people turn out for change, when times are good, people don't care.

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I'm not sure a country can be understood - or maybe I don't understand what you mean by to understand a country in this context.

It's hard enough to understand another individual nevermind such a large collective of them.

A country is an abstract idea which becomes a reality through its laws, its borders, its government, etc. When you grow up one of the first indicators of identity you have in the Modern world is your nationality; I think I learned that I was Irish when I was two, this may seem normal but is only a relatively recent invention dating back to the Enlightment. (And In Ireland's case, the National Revival movement of the 19th Century) So in order to adapt to being "Irish" you sub(?)conciousnessly adopt some notions of Irish which may pick up, of course it's hardly the only personal influence but there are notions of "Irishness" out there and even though we may not be aware of them it effects our identity at some level or another. One can't really be a 'united' nation without some kind of unifying culture, which is why a United Ireland was a true impossibility in the 1920s (or at least a peaceful one) but more likely now, though still a long bit away.

I'd never considered before when I first thought of myself as Irish - frankly I've no idea when this idea first became apparant to me. And on thinking about it now, I have no idea what it means to be Irish.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 29, 2007, 04:49:45 pm
Of course very few people blame the Brits now, much more fashionable is the Roman Catholic Church or De Valera or whatever. When I mentioned the Brits I merely referring to about 50 years old pre-Troubles, such as the Euphoria of Nationalism which engulfed in Ireland in 1966 50 years after 1916 with all that rhetoric which would be impossible now. But that doesn't mean we have matured, just shifted to a different side of the same cube.

From a small 'n' Scottish nationalist looking in, historically 'anti-British' feeling blinded succesive governments for a good forty years, which is unfortunate as things weren't that bad to begin with. You were not an emerging third world nation with white majority rule, you didn't live under the Raj, you had full representation within the Commons and were treated pretty much the same as any other Home Nation.

I would question whether or not had a famine of similar proportions occured elsewhere on these islands, that it would have been effectively ignored in Westminster.
In no other country of the Union had the vast proportion of the population been severely restricted in its civil and political rights to the same extent.

My papa, my mothers father was of Irish immigrant stock and he would be the first to never make us forget that. But he also fought in WW2 and he could never quite forgive 'The Emergency'; the indifference (verging on the unsympathetic) response by the Irish government during WW2. You were, technically, still a Dominion but unlike distant countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand who had nothing to gain and everything to loose, rather that 'small nations like Ireland do not and cannot assume a role as defenders of just causes except their own...existence of our own people comes before all other considerations.' What utter sh-t :) Of course I am aware that there were internal divisions and opposing sides (again) in WW2, two opposing foreign batallions Spanish Civil War and the 40,000 Irish who joined British batallions etc. It's certainly not a charge against the people, but against the government. Thankfully times have moved on and the occasional 'whitewash' over that era in history has been rightfully scrubbed off.

Most of the membership of the then Irish government had actually fought the forces of Britain only a few years previously. They had also fought in a civil war because of the conditions imposed by Britain in the Treaty negotiations. Also, Ireland was also just emerging from a very serious and debilitating tariff war with Britain.

Involving our minute armed forces (some 14,000) would have made absolutely no difference to the war effort and the people of Ireland would have suffered terribly from German bombings. As it was the signing up of some 40,000 citizens to the British army and the significant emigration to bulk up the British work force was much more beneficial to both Ireland and Britain than actually signing up to the Allies ever could have been.

Going to war against Germany, on the side of Britain, because of the invasion of Poland really didn't make sense at the time.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 29, 2007, 04:54:18 pm
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While all that may be true, I don't think that this offers any truth to the idea than any particular medium is any better than any other.

Better? No. But some mediums are better at conveying different things than others; you can't make an abstract arguement over Television and if you watching two guys arguing abstractly isn't very "Televisual".

Look at TV news; most of the imagery shown on TV news is when you come down to it, meaningless - only vaguely related to what they are talking about. But it is there because no-one will see two newsreaders just talk to the screen for 25 minutes.

Plus here it should be pointed out the nature of Television tends to need biggish budgets to produce programs, so needs to dominated by financial interests or the Goverment. The same can't be said of book reading; though it's increasingly becoming true of the publishing industry.

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Not necessarily. But even if it this is true, that's no guide to quality; nor to which communicates more effectively. I think that the author/producer is more important than the medium.

Somewhat; the medium shapes the world which the producer\director\author is limited to. Obviously who's in creative charge matters and for that matter, whether the 'content' is profitable is also important. Sadly.

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I don't grant the premise that in a book all the information is on the page - nor do I feel that the use of 'enforced imagination' on TV/through visual media is necessarily a bad thing.

I never said it was. (Though it may be if children are over-exposed; but the psychological evidence is inconclusive iirc. I have to ask; why do Children TV-violence so attractive? why are most video games violent? etc. There are reasons for this; something innate in human nature perhaps (that great cop out arguement) or perhaps it is something "programmed" into it. Since the invention of film pretty much continously the "barrier" has been moved, though Hollywood tried to retard it for a while (due to the influence of Ultra-Catholic groups AAMOF until the 1960s) does suggest the need for sensation to increase profit, or what? God knows; I'm just putting ideas out. Most of them probably wrong.)

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Example?

Put a three years old in front of a TV show for children (like Balamory or something) and there's your example.

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I disagree with your reasoning on turnout - I think it has more to do with general economic conditions than confidence or otherwise in the political class. At the lowest common denominator of my view here: when times are bad, people turn out for change, when times are good, people don't care.

There is some element of that; but it doesn't explain everything - why for example are turnouts for referenda lower than they were nor is this is a particularly historical trend - In most European countries (and America) that I think off the turnout has being going down over the past 20 years almost in a straight line and that's nothing to do with the nation's economic performance.

I suggest the distance between Irish Politicans and the "People" is greater than it was before; though obviously alot greater than in most countries. This is contributing to the lower turnouts, that and the other factors we've mentioned.

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I'd never considered before when I first thought of myself as Irish - frankly I've no idea when this idea first became apparant to me. And on thinking about it now, I have no idea what it means to be Irish.

Beats me what it means. But to put things on a superficial level we both support Irish sports teams for example even though our personal connection with the team is very tenuous (non-existant in anything but the flag in most cases) so we must identify ourselves with "Irishness" on some level.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 29, 2007, 05:07:41 pm
Look at TV news; most of the imagery shown on TV news is when you come down to it, meaningless - only vaguely related to what they are talking about. But it is there because no-one will see two newsreaders just talk to the screen for 25 minutes.

Yes. But so what?

Plus here it should be pointed out the nature of Television tends to need biggish budgets to produce programs, so needs to dominated by financial interests or the Goverment. The same can't be said of book reading; though it's increasingly becoming true of the publishing industry.

Just about all forms of mass media are subject to financial considerations - whether that be with regard to production expenditure or profit expectations - so I don't really grant the premise that TV come off worse than Books for this reason.

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I don't grant the premise that in a book all the information is on the page - nor do I feel that the use of 'enforced imagination' on TV/through visual media is necessarily a bad thing.

I never said it was. (Though it may be if children are over-exposed; but the psychological evidence is inconclusive iirc. I have to ask; why do Children TV-violence so attractive? why are most video games violent? etc. There are reasons for this; something innate in human nature perhaps (that great cop out arguement) or perhaps it is something "programmed" into it.

The TV and video games are simply responding to the aggression that seems to be widely inherent in young males. I don't think they created this aggression, merely they respond and cater to it (not that this is a good thing).

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Example?

Put a three years old in front of a TV show for children (like Balamory or something) and there's your example.

*laughs* well as someome who spent such formative years infront of Thomas the Tank Engine and whatnot, I might not be able to give an objective opinion on this. :)

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I disagree with your reasoning on turnout - I think it has more to do with general economic conditions than confidence or otherwise in the political class. At the lowest common denominator of my view here: when times are bad, people turn out for change, when times are good, people don't care.

There is some element of that; but it doesn't explain everything - why for example are turnouts for referenda lower than they were nor is this is a particularly historical trend - In most European countries (and America) that I think off the turnout has being going down over the past 20 years almost in a straight line and that's nothing to do with the nation's economic performance.

I suggest the distance between Irish Politicans and the "People" is greater than it was before; though obviously alot greater than in most countries. This is contributing to the lower turnouts, that and the other factors we've mentioned.

I think I'll need to look at the turnout figures of the various referenda and elections before commenting further on this point.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 29, 2007, 05:32:28 pm
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Yes. But so what?

Shows my comments that some mediums have "innate" natures which leads towards certain things above others. You are not going to see a 7 hour debate on the TV like the Lincoln-Douglas debates, no?

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Just about all forms of mass media are subject to financial considerations - whether that be with regard to production expenditure or profit expectations - so I don't really grant the premise that TV come off worse than Books for this reason

The important word there is "mass". I wasn't neccesarily thinking of the "mass" really. But no objections there.

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The TV and video games are simply responding to the aggression that seems to be widely inherent in young males. I don't think they created this aggression, merely they respond and cater to it (not that this is a good thing).

Probably.

But then again it is a very human trait to see it's cultural attributes as being the "most human". For example we westerners don't eat insects; even though logically there is no reason we shouldn't (Actually some are nutrious) yet because of it this whenever we someone eat an insect on TV or in a book or etc it is meant to show they are "out of the boundaries" of society or in more recent times, for our own peculiar amusement (Reality TV: Could that concept even have been thought up in 1950? By Aldous Huxley maybe, but normal Television producers (if there any were at the time)?

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*laughs* well as someome who spent such formative years infront of Thomas the Tank Engine and whatnot, I might not be able to give an objective opinion on this.

Ah yes and for me it was Christopher Crocodile. Actually I misread my own post; I was meant to show how Television can impact on how people think and how this can be most effective if put at a early age. And yet going back to what I said earlier about insects; and how these cultural prejudices are more effective when thought of as "human". (The Ancient Greeks thought themselves more human than non-Greeks; yet there are certain aspects of their society which we would not consider human in any way. Especially Spartan society.) So making an Objective judgement is probably impossible; in the way you can't make a judgement on how you learned not to eat insects.

Anyway to give the classical historical example, the spread of Printing and the Reformation, by creating books at a much faster rate then which was previously possible with written manuscripts it allowed a much closer study of the bible by scholars then was previously possible; this created a scenario where ideas could spread very quickly (by the standards of the Middle ages) and so once a "heretic" could get around to questioning the hierarchy the hierarchy could not react to suppress it as it had before to previous reformers like Jan Huss. This spread of ideas meant many people rethink their relationship with the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The form of this idea was the printed book; based generally on logical arguement (or at least books considered valid arguements) and the written word; which led to an interpitation not previously possible with only an elite class of Scribs and the Roman Catholic hierachy and it's papal bulls. The only reason the Reformation 'worked' in Germany, England, Scotland and not in most other countries was due to Political reasons.

In other words the book created new possibilities to criticize the world people were living in and by doing so created a scenario where in order for ideas to be taken seriously one needed to trained in the "book style" of thought) or for that matter, just to read ideas at all (and of course here we go into reading as purely a leisure pursuit) and then after generations we have a new way of thinking, which pretty much continued up until the 19th or 20th Century depending on which media ecologist you talk to.

People were trained to accept books from an early age and how to read them (Which is a much more difficult thing than it seems..) and thus needed to be intregrated into this way of thinking. The same is true now; except the mediums are so much different. Plus most modern (or postmodernist) literature isn't even written in the classical "book Style" with lineal narrative which leads from one thing to another (The phrase "I don't follow" comes to mean "I don't understand".) most of these books don't tell "stories" in the classical sense and this is mainly due to the influence of other media. Or in other words, What a 19th century book version of Family Guy look like?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2007, 11:22:33 am
Sorry didn't reply sooner. Been really busy. Anyway...

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Yes. But so what?

Shows my comments that some mediums have "innate" natures which leads towards certain things above others. You are not going to see a 7 hour debate on the TV like the Lincoln-Douglas debates, no?

True, but in this day and age, who would want to see a straight 7 hour debate either in person, on TV, or via any particular medium? The media respond to demand - if long political debates topped the ratings I've no doubt we'd see more of them.

In other words the book created new possibilities to criticize the world people were living in and by doing so created a scenario where in order for ideas to be taken seriously one needed to trained in the "book style" of thought) or for that matter, just to read ideas at all (and of course here we go into reading as purely a leisure pursuit) and then after generations we have a new way of thinking, which pretty much continued up until the 19th or 20th Century depending on which media ecologist you talk to.

People were trained to accept books from an early age and how to read them (Which is a much more difficult thing than it seems..) and thus needed to be intregrated into this way of thinking. The same is true now; except the mediums are so much different. Plus most modern (or postmodernist) literature isn't even written in the classical "book Style" with lineal narrative which leads from one thing to another (The phrase "I don't follow" comes to mean "I don't understand".) most of these books don't tell "stories" in the classical sense and this is mainly due to the influence of other media. Or in other words, What a 19th century book version of Family Guy look like?

I follow what you're saying about media modes influencing how we perceive the world around us, and I think it has some validity. But what of it? Particularly in this age when we have more choice than ever over the form of media with which we choose to engage with.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 02, 2007, 11:39:42 am
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Sorry didn't reply sooner. Been really busy. Anyway...

Been the Opposite. Hah.

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True, but in this day and age, who would want to see a straight 7 hour debate either in person, on TV, or via any particular medium? The media respond to demand - if long political debates topped the ratings I've no doubt we'd see more of them.

Exactly. The point is that the idea of a 7 hour political debate has grown absurd due to the nature of the media around us - back in the 19th Century the most advanced form of media was 'print' (or might have been telegraphy by that point, Unsure on exactly date. Even if it was, it wasn't advanced enough at this stage to make too big a difference.) and if you look at most 19th Century novels they tend to be alot bigger than today's, with a lineal (or near-lineal) narrative and with a use of language which now often tends to strike us moderns as ponderous (even in the "penny dreadfuls") this was due to the nature of the medium and society at the time where there was often alot of free time, at least for those with a high level of education and with far less distractions than today so of course book reading became the media of choice and in order to fill time long plots were necessary, the use of lineal narrative shows how these people had a sense of order in the universe with one event following the other and the language gives an insight on how well read most of these readers would have been (remember, I'm talking mainly about the Upper classes here.)

So it should no surprise that very long forms of debate took off, the nature of book reading at the time lead to a very different state of mind (sometimes simply known as "Attention Span" but it's more than that) which made the idea of a seven hour long debate not uncommon. The Episodic nature of television (especially in a free market enviornment), the fractured and anonymous nature of the Internet, the Impersonality of most modern Music medium (let's not forget up until the 30s iirc in order to hear music at all you pretty much needed to go to the performers.) leads to a great different form of how the human mind processes information.

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I follow what you're saying about media modes influencing how we perceive the world around us, and I think it has some validity. But what of it? Particularly in this age when we have more choice than ever over the form of media with which we choose to engage with.

Ah, a good question. And an answer I'm too sure of tbh. I think I used this show how to society can be 'controlled' so to speak by conditions which go outside the very nature of politics. This is a tendency among many people especially polly junkies like us to see society's affairs being mainly dominated by decisions politicians do or don't make; this is probably down to the way history is taught in schools as focused mainly political events. In reality I tend to see Politicans as the servants of the wider society; whose shape is partially dominated by media (Would Bertie Ahern have been elected to Anything in the 19th Century; after all most of his appeal seems to come from "ordinary North Dublin man - ness" something could not have been communicated back then at all. The same is actually true of George W Bush or Ronald Reagan in America. Could imagine those three in a serious seven hour debate?)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2007, 11:44:54 am
The Irish Times published their first post-election poll in today's edition. As usual tnsMRBI, the pollster. tnsMRBI were by far the most accurate of the polling companies prior to the election. The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, sample 1000, MoE 3%.

Further issues since those mentioned at the last poll:
  • Massive pay rise put through for senior civil servants and politicians - Bertie Ahern now earns (IIRC) twice what Gordon Brown does
  • House prices fall for the 7th month in a row
  • Legal recognition of same-sex couples makes Dáil agenda
  • Controversy over 2 solicitors who defrauded clients and banks out of obscene sums of money emerged


I've included the last tnsMRBI poll (which was before the election); the Election result; and the last poll (SBP/RedC, last week) so thee can contrast and compare as thee liketh...

21 May24 May28 Sept2 Nov
tnsMRBIElectionRedCtnsMRBI
Fianna Fáil4141.63933
Fine Gael2727.32731
Labour1010.11015
Green64.775
Sinn Féin96.987
PD22.722
Other76.677

Just like 5 years ago, tnsMRBI measure FF taking a big hit post-election. Last time it took just about 4 years for them to recover. FG and Labour register very well. Greens take a slight hit. PDs still showing only vague signs of life.

Noticably, Bertie has taken a big rate to his satisfaction rating. Brian Cowen (Tánaiste, Min. for Finance, FF, Laois-Offaly) rated for the first time rated higher.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 02, 2007, 11:47:54 am
That poll is not surprising. That 9% FF has lost were the people who swung towards them heavily on election day, the previous undecideds. Also unsurprising is that Green support has fallen quite a bit in Dublin but is compensated by a rise in the rest of the country.

Of course doing a poll now is totally pointless, unless on the unlikely event that John Gormley will decide to pull out (which he won't). Also I wonder if those results were ever to repeated whether Fine Gael would end up being the largest party?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2007, 12:00:12 pm
Quote
Sorry didn't reply sooner. Been really busy. Anyway...

Been the Opposite. Hah.

The good people at NUIM are clearly now cracking the whips hard enough!

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I follow what you're saying about media modes influencing how we perceive the world around us, and I think it has some validity. But what of it? Particularly in this age when we have more choice than ever over the form of media with which we choose to engage with.

Ah, a good question. And an answer I'm too sure of tbh. I think I used this show how to society can be 'controlled' so to speak by conditions which go outside the very nature of politics.

Ah, but I don't really agree that the media controls society. I think that society controls the media moreso than vice versa.

This is a tendency among many people especially polly junkies like us to see society's affairs being mainly dominated by decisions politicians do or don't make; this is probably down to the way history is taught in schools as focused mainly political events. In reality I tend to see Politicans as the servants of the wider society; whose shape is partially dominated by media

I tend to think that the decision making process isn't as linear as media influences society influences politican or some other permutation thereof. I think it's more fluid than that with each element influencing every other one.

(Would Bertie Ahern have been elected to Anything in the 19th Century; after all most of his appeal seems to come from "ordinary North Dublin man - ness" something could not have been communicated back then at all.

Well, in the early 19th century, Berite wouldn't have been elected for reasons of limited franchise extension. And in th latter half, all that would matter would have been getting the right nomination - communicating with the ordinary man wouldn't have mattered a great deal.

The same is actually true of George W Bush or Ronald Reagan in America. Could imagine those three in a serious seven hour debate?)

No, but then I can't imagine anyone in a 7 hour debate. Frankly, i'd consider it a rather inneffective form. If it takes 7 hours to clarify the divergent positions then there has been a breakdown somewhere.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2007, 12:06:54 pm
That poll is not surprising. That 9% FF has lost were the people who swung towards them heavily on election day, the previous undecideds. Also unsurprising is that Green support has fallen quite a bit in Dublin but is compensated by a rise in the rest of the country.

Not surprising that they're down, but 9% is an awful lot. And given that not much has changed in the alternative, it's quite a shift.

Of course doing a poll now is totally pointless, unless on the unlikely event that John Gormley will decide to pull out (which he won't). Also I wonder if those results were ever to repeated whether Fine Gael would end up being the largest party?

Yes, probably. With Labour's vote up almost 50% and presuming similar to normal FG-Lab transfering and vice versa, FG should overtake FF, Labour should top even 1992 and the two together should be close to 100 TDs.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 02, 2007, 12:17:10 pm
Quote
The good people at NUIM are clearly now cracking the whips hard enough!

Nah, this is doing f' all reading week.

Quote
Ah, but I don't really agree that the media controls society. I think that society controls the media moreso than vice versa.

It's really both. A sort of reproductive process. The media shapes the people (as children) who will eventually shape the media

Aswell as being reproductive it also tends to be a static one, at least in a television society (which is still the main media in Ireland; certainly of those over a certain age. That and Newspapers) as demand is shaped by people's perceptions, individual culture, etc while perceptions and individual culture are often shaped by this demand (in the media).

Now here of course I'm not saying that Mediums that the only process driving change in society; but in this society Individuals are less likely to have an impact on it by themselves as Television requires a 'mass'. Though with the rest of the Internet this will be changing. (Though probably fracturing; but it's really still too early to really judge.)

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I tend to think that the decision making process isn't as linear as media influences society influences politican or some other permutation thereof. I think it's more fluid than that with each element influencing every other one.

Of course not. See above. Especially now that our politicians are probably the first generation of those you have known the medium of TV pretty much all their lives.

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Well, in the early 19th century, Berite wouldn't have been elected for reasons of limited franchise extension. And in th latter half, all that would matter would have been getting the right nomination - communicating with the ordinary man wouldn't have mattered a great deal.

Now you are just being pedantic.

Quote
No, but then I can't imagine anyone in a 7 hour debate. Frankly, i'd consider it a rather inneffective form. If it takes 7 hours to clarify the divergent positions then there has been a breakdown somewhere.

From the Lincoln-Douglas record it would (surprisingly enough) need the participants to have major skills in rhetoric and arguement but also significant knowledge of the debate and the facts (And the history of the issue would be very important in the Slavery debate) in itself, what we now is an exchange of vapid soundbites not actual knowledge. Which obviously harms democracy.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 02, 2007, 12:30:00 pm
As I was bored I decided to use a uniform swing to see what would happen in Dublin south (which hopefully will have nothing to do with by 2012) by those results using 2007 as a basis and amusing the same candidates:

FF 32.6
FG 31
LAB 15.3
GP 11.4
PD 5.9
SF 3.1
OTH 0.7

A couple of things are note, Liz O'Donnell (PD) has retired from politics and won't be candidate at the next election. With that unless Fiona O'Malley decides to run probably finishes off PD chances here (in a constituency where if they functioned at all they would have at least one seat) - where those votes would go to is hard to tell actually as there is a tendenancy for whenever the PD to do well for FG to do badly so there is a clearly of correlation of sorts. There are also rumours that Seamus Brennan will be retiring in 2012 and that would take a good amount off the FF vote. In order for FF to get two seats in this scenario they would need O'Donell Votes and Green transfers. Which would be interesting to note.

But still early, early days.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2007, 12:31:59 pm
Quote
Ah, but I don't really agree that the media controls society. I think that society controls the media moreso than vice versa.

It's really both. A sort of reproductive process. The media shapes the people (as children) who will eventually shape the media

Aswell as being reproductive it also tends to be a static one, at least in a television society (which is still the main media in Ireland; certainly of those over a certain age. That and Newspapers) as demand is shaped by people's perceptions, individual culture, etc while perceptions and individual culture are often shaped by this demand (in the media).

Now here of course I'm not saying that Mediums that the only process driving change in society; but in this society Individuals are less likely to have an impact on it by themselves as Television requires a 'mass'. Though with the rest of the Internet this will be changing. (Though probably fracturing; but it's really still too early to really judge.)

Surely the ongoing (and indeed past) changes in media is evidence that it is undergoing a constant process of change and experimentation.

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I tend to think that the decision making process isn't as linear as media influences society influences politican or some other permutation thereof. I think it's more fluid than that with each element influencing every other one.

Of course not. See above. Especially now that our politicians are probably the first generation of those you have known the medium of TV pretty much all their lives.

Quote
Well, in the early 19th century, Berite wouldn't have been elected for reasons of limited franchise extension. And in th latter half, all that would matter would have been getting the right nomination - communicating with the ordinary man wouldn't have mattered a great deal.

Now you are just being pedantic.

Welcome to the Atlas Forum ;)

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No, but then I can't imagine anyone in a 7 hour debate. Frankly, i'd consider it a rather inneffective form. If it takes 7 hours to clarify the divergent positions then there has been a breakdown somewhere.

From the Lincoln-Douglas record it would (surprisingly enough) need the participants to have major skills in rhetoric and arguement but also significant knowledge of the debate and the facts (And the history of the issue would be very important in the Slavery debate) in itself, what we now is an exchange of vapid soundbites not actual knowledge. Which obviously harms democracy.

Well, how harmful it is depends on how you define democracy. Obviously under your earlier expressed conception this is very true.

Again though, if the people want high level and informed political debate, I'm sure they'd get it - in that sense I do belive the media can be very democratic.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 02, 2007, 12:35:58 pm
Quote
Surely the ongoing (and indeed past) changes in media is evidence that it is undergoing a constant process of change and experimentation.

Sort of. But you make it out to be some sort of concious decision making rather than something which actually shapes how people think and thus how they make decisions.

Quote
Again though, if the people want high level and informed political debate, I'm sure they'd get it - in that sense I do belive the media can be very democratic.

Oh no doubt. I'm just trying to explain why they don't.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on November 02, 2007, 02:59:26 pm
I'm happy to see FG 2% from FF, and I'm quite happy to see the "Green" Party stagnating at more or less election levels !


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2007, 04:01:33 pm
Quote
Surely the ongoing (and indeed past) changes in media is evidence that it is undergoing a constant process of change and experimentation.

Sort of. But you make it out to be some sort of concious decision making rather than something which actually shapes how people think and thus how they make decisions.

I don't think these are entirely mutually exclusive decisions. Yes, exposure to particular forms of media informs particular modes of thinking - but also, people are free to choose from a very wide range of media which inform opinions in very different ways. I think that people's choice of media is (to a large extent) a conscious decision and that these decisions, en masse, inform the evolving media market.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2007, 04:03:45 pm
As I was bored I decided to use a uniform swing to see what would happen in Dublin south (which hopefully will have nothing to do with by 2012) by those results using 2007 as a basis and amusing the same candidates:

Are we to take it that you've been so enamoured with Maynooth, that a full time move to Kildare North is imminant? ;)

FF 32.6
FG 31
LAB 15.3
GP 11.4
PD 5.9
SF 3.1
OTH 0.7

Well, given a quota of 16.6%, it should be 2 FF; 2 FG and 1 Lab (so Lab gain from Green). But if Lab again run 2 candidates and again only manage about 50% transfer retention here, then the Greens would be reasonably well placed to snatch the final seat.

FF should be fine, even with 3 candidates. Any sort of reasonable transfer retention should put them there or thereabouts, and with even lower than average transfers from those PD votes and maybe even a few Greens, they'd have to be strong odds to take 2.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 03, 2007, 12:46:43 pm
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I don't think these are entirely mutually exclusive decisions. Yes, exposure to particular forms of media informs particular modes of thinking - but also, people are free to choose from a very wide range of media which inform opinions in very different ways. I think that people's choice of media is (to a large extent) a conscious decision and that these decisions, en masse, inform the evolving media market.

True and false. Though more so true than it was in, say, the 19th Century. Generally though I find that there is a tendenancy to rely on the media you grew up on, at least as for average people are concerned.

What I am trying to say is that within media there can be "liberal" strands or "conservative" strands and yes consumer choice plays a part in that. But what is defined as "liberalism" or "conservatism" is often defined by very media that the viewpoint is put across. SKY News and John Waters are after all two very different beasts. But both lean on the right obviously.

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Are we to take it that you've been so enamoured with Maynooth, that a full time move to Kildare North is imminant? ;)

Hey, wash your tongue. ;)

In saying that Maynooth is probably the only town in Kildare North where I would like to live, but given that the alternative options are Naas, Celbridge, Leixlip and Kilcock the competition is hardly shining.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2007, 06:33:23 pm
Quote
I don't think these are entirely mutually exclusive decisions. Yes, exposure to particular forms of media informs particular modes of thinking - but also, people are free to choose from a very wide range of media which inform opinions in very different ways. I think that people's choice of media is (to a large extent) a conscious decision and that these decisions, en masse, inform the evolving media market.

True and false. Though more so true than it was in, say, the 19th Century. Generally though I find that there is a tendenancy to rely on the media you grew up on, at least as for average people are concerned.

What I am trying to say is that within media there can be "liberal" strands or "conservative" strands and yes consumer choice plays a part in that. But what is defined as "liberalism" or "conservatism" is often defined by very media that the viewpoint is put across. SKY News and John Waters are after all two very different beasts. But both lean on the right obviously.

Don't be so sure about Sky News - did you not here Julie Etchingham's theories on Tory party policy earlier this week? ;D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 03, 2007, 06:42:44 pm
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Don't be so sure about Sky News - did you not here Julie Etchingham's theories on Tory party policy earlier this week? :D

No. Please inform.

Of course it's hard to imagine it being more full of sh!te then your average John Waters article.. but then I'm intrigued and disgressing.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2007, 07:03:04 pm
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Don't be so sure about Sky News - did you not here Julie Etchingham's theories on Tory party policy earlier this week? :D

No. Please inform.

Of course it's hard to imagine it being more full of sh!te then your average John Waters article.. but then I'm intrigued and disgressing.

News Article (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23418689-details/Sky%20News%20host%20back%20at%20work%20after%20embarrassing%20on-air%20immigrant%20'extermination'%20gaffe/article.do)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 05, 2007, 04:06:42 pm
If the Calendar is correct...

Happy Birthday, Jas. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 05, 2007, 04:10:27 pm
Breithlá Sona Duit!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 05, 2007, 04:22:46 pm
Happy birthday :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 05, 2007, 04:23:48 pm
If the Calendar is correct...

Happy Birthday, Jas. :)

Thank you :)

Indeed the calendar is right, the Earth has just completed it's 23rd lap of that great fireball in the sky since I made my first appearance.

Breithlá Sona Duit!

Go raibh maith agat, a chara! :)

Happy birthday :)

Thanks! :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 05, 2007, 04:31:05 pm
I'd be pretty depressed If I shared your birthday given some of the events which have happened during (according to wiki):

Quote
1605 - Gunpowder Plot: A plot led by Robert Catesby to blow up the English Houses of Parliament is thwarted when Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, finds Guy Fawkes in a cellar below the Parliament building.
1688 - Glorious Revolution begins: William of Orange lands at Brixham.
1831 - Nat Turner, American slave leader, is tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
1838 - The United States of Central America began to disintegrate when Nicaragua separated from the federation.
1895 - George B. Selden is granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.
1911 - After declaring war on the Ottoman Empire on September 29, 1911, Italy annexes Tripoli and Cyrenaica.
1912 - Woodrow Wilson elected twenty-eighth President of The United States of America.
1937 - World War II: Adolf Hitler holds a secret meeting and states his plans for acquiring "living space" for the German people.
1962 - A mining accident kills 21 miners at the government-owned Kings Bay Coal Company on Svalbard, leading the Norwegian government to close the mine.
1965 - State of Emergency declared in Rhodesia after collapse of negotiations with Great Britain over Rhodesian independence (UDI would follow six days later)
1967 - The Hither Green rail crash in the United Kingdom kills 49 people. The survivors include Bee Gee Robin Gibb.
1968 - Richard M. Nixon elected as the thirty-seventh President of the United States of America.
1979 - Ayatollah Khomeini declares the USA to be "the great Satan".

Though you do Share Roy Rogers (1911) birthday; so I guess that makes up for it.

:P


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 05, 2007, 04:45:53 pm
I'd be pretty depressed If I shared your birthday given some of the events which have happened during (according to wiki):

Well, in the words of one of the most important philosophical influences I've had:
"Well of course everything looks bad if you remember it!"


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 05, 2007, 04:55:37 pm
I'd be pretty depressed If I shared your birthday given some of the events which have happened during (according to wiki):

Well, in the words of one of the most important philosophical influences I've had:
"Well of course everything looks bad if you remember it!"

Truly an intellectual inspiration to us all.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 05, 2007, 05:04:28 pm
As seems to be established at this stage Ireland will be the only EU state that will vote on the new (or not so new, depending on your perspective) EU Reform Treaty (because of our constitutional provisions as interpreted in Crotty v An Taoiseach).

The opinion poll cited in the previous page also questioned attitudes to the Reform Treaty. Sample 1000, MoE 3%. Pollster: tnsMRBI
In favour:25%
Against:12%
Don't Know/No Opinion:62%

FTR, in the last poll re: the European Constitutional Treaty in March 2005, opinions were recorded as follows (Same pollster, sample and MoE as above):
In favour:46%
Against:12%
Don't Know/No Opinion:42%


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on November 05, 2007, 05:26:51 pm
Happy Birthday :)

I'm happy to see Ireland in favor of the EU Reform treaty.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 06, 2007, 02:58:44 pm
Go raibh maith agat, a chara! :)

Blessed be the powers of google.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 06, 2007, 03:02:53 pm
Happy Birthday :)

Thanks! :)

I'm happy to see Ireland in favor of the EU Reform treaty.

Well, more than anything Ireland doesn't know what to make of the treaty. It should pass, but the remarkable rag-tag alliance who come out against every EU Treaty did manage an upset on the Nice Treaty when the establishment parties failed to make their case.

Go raibh maith agat, a chara! :)

Blessed be the powers of google.

;D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 06, 2007, 04:02:43 pm
I'm not looking forward to the EU treaty campaign at all.. as much as I look forward to any referendum really. Much more full of spite and (generally useless) debate than even General elections.

I will be voting no, btw. The country will vote yes. It has been decided.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 06, 2007, 04:14:56 pm
I'm not looking forward to the EU treaty campaign at all.. as much as I look forward to any referendum really. Much more full of spite and (generally useless) debate than even General elections.

More spite than General Elections, less than in the various social issues referenda.
(Referenda after all bring out genuine differences in political beliefs.)

I will be voting no, btw.

Dare I ask why?

I imagine it's unusual where you end up siding up with an opposition whose most vocal players are likely to be Sinn Féin, Dana, Jean Marie Le Pen (!) and *shudders* Justin Barret.

The country will vote yes. It has been decided.

If the government has learned it's lesson from Nice I, then yes. (But then this government hasn't proven itself when it comes to learning from past mistakes.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 06, 2007, 04:20:43 pm
Quote
Dare I ask why?

I imagine it's unusual where you end up siding up with an opposition whose most vocal players are likely to be Sinn Féin, Dana, Jean Marie Le Pen (!) and *shudders* Justin Barret.

Do not profane this post by mentioning the name "Justin Barrett" (pgfm).

As bizarre as it is to find myself on the same side as fascists, terrorists and the editing board of Alive! and The Irish Family Press it is exactly the opposite reason to that shower that I will vote no. That is the Undemocratic, centralizing nature of the European Union - which is not something I oppose per se but rather have not been very fond of in recent years. It's not I oppose taking away powers from the Irish State (actually it's something I wish could be done) but to put them into an even more bureocratic body which is even less democratic is something I think everyone interested in Democracy should opposed. But then again they might take our lattes away.

Quote
If the government has learned it's lesson from Nice I, then yes. (But then this government hasn't proven itself when it comes to learning from past mistakes.)

I think the entire arguement will be "OMG THINK OF TEH POLES!!111" - after all they did win Nice II on that logic.

Btw, I assume you being a typical social democrat of these parts will vote "yes".


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 06, 2007, 04:32:47 pm
Quote
Dare I ask why?

I imagine it's unusual where you end up siding up with an opposition whose most vocal players are likely to be Sinn Féin, Dana, Jean Marie Le Pen (!) and *shudders* Justin Barret.

Do not profane this post by mentioning the name "Justin Barrett" (pgfm).

As bizarre as it is to find myself on the same side as fascists, terrorists and the editing board of Alive!

Alive! is one of the most remarkable periodicals I've ever had the misfortune to come across. Reading it annoys me much more than can be healthy.

and The Irish Family Press it is exactly the opposite reason to that shower that I will vote no. That is the Undemocratic, centralizing nature of the European Union - which is not something I oppose per se but rather have not been very fond of in recent years. It's not I oppose taking away powers from the Irish State (actually it's something I wish could be done) but to put them into an even more bureocratic body which is even less democratic is something I think everyone interested in Democracy should opposed.

Fair points.

But then again they might take our lattes away.

;D

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If the government has learned it's lesson from Nice I, then yes. (But then this government hasn't proven itself when it comes to learning from past mistakes.)

I think the entire arguement will be "OMG THINK OF TEH POLES!!111" - after all they did win Nice II on that logic.

Yeah, I was very surprised with the way they ran that campaign - which if it was a significant  factor with voters, is an argument that Ireland voted against self-interest.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 06, 2007, 04:40:35 pm
Quote
Alive! is one of the most remarkable periodicals I've ever had the misfortune to come across. Reading it annoys me much more than can be healthy.

On other hand I think it's Ireland's best newspaper - no newspaper can make me feel the range of emotions that Alive! does. Not always positive emotions, but hey you can't have everything.

Quote
Fair points.

Another thing you should know by now about me is that I take every opportunity to bash the Irish Political consensus whenever possible. As you probably guess this is to be the debate:

Cliche Eurosceptic douche: Ireland's National sovereignty, neutrality is to be under...
Cliche Main Party TD: (Interrupting): Yes... Think of de Keltic Tigah! Without de EU we would not have de Keltic Tigah!
Cliche Eurosceptic douche: Yes.. yes.. but Ireland and <Insert reference to Abortion, De Valera, The Catholic Church, The heroes of 1916, Hunger Strikers or that vague abstraction known as "de nation" depending on preference>
Cliche Main Party TD: Yes.. Yes.. but De Keltic Tigah!
Cliche Eurosceptic Douche: But.. But
Cliche RTE presenter: Mr TD is right, De Keltic Tigah! De Keltic Tigah! It's changed everything!11


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 06, 2007, 05:06:41 pm
Another thing you should know by now about me is that I take every opportunity to bash the Irish Political consensus whenever possible.

It's fair to say that I'm not shocked by this. ;)

As you probably guess this is to be the debate:

Cliche Eurosceptic douche: Ireland's National sovereignty, neutrality is to be under...
Cliche Main Party TD: (Interrupting): Yes... Think of de Keltic Tigah! Without de EU we would not have de Keltic Tigah!
Cliche Eurosceptic douche: Yes.. yes.. but Ireland and <Insert reference to Abortion, De Valera, The Catholic Church, The heroes of 1916, Hunger Strikers or that vague abstraction known as "de nation" depending on preference>
Cliche Main Party TD: Yes.. Yes.. but De Keltic Tigah!
Cliche Eurosceptic Douche: But.. But
Cliche RTE presenter: Mr TD is right, De Keltic Tigah! De Keltic Tigah! It's changed everything!11

You're obviously watching too much Prime Time. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 07, 2007, 01:22:37 pm
Quote
It's fair to say that I'm not shocked by this. ;)

Drat at my predictability. ;)

Quote
You're obviously watching too much Prime Time. :)

Nah if I had been there would have been random reference to property prices; misery porn for the polly junkies.

Too much RTE is bad for the brain... (which is why I hardly watch TeeVee any more.)

Btw You didn't answer my question:

Quote
Btw, I assume you being a typical social democrat of these parts will vote "yes"?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 07, 2007, 03:09:55 pm
Btw You didn't answer my question:

Sorry, didn't see it.

Quote
Btw, I assume you being a typical social democrat of these parts will vote "yes"?

I'm an undecided. I'll wait till it's signed and finalised and then take a bit of a read through it.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 07, 2007, 03:35:50 pm
Ah Okay at least you shall make an informed (I was originally going to write "uninformed" in a Freudian slip, perhaps?) decision according to the vast sum of prejudices once has gathered though life experience your point of view. So shall I. I think.

The government will of course try and ruin any potential debate as possible or to reduce it to RTE standards (see above).



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 07, 2007, 03:50:22 pm
Ah Okay at least you shall make an informed (I was originally going to write "uninformed" in a Freudian slip, perhaps?) decision according to the vast sum of prejudices once has gathered though life experience your point of view.

:)


The government will of course try and ruin any potential debate as possible to reduce to RTE standards (see above).

Well, the Government is limited by the McKenna Principles on what it can do regarding a referendum. We'll have to wait and see how good a job the Referendum Commission manage on informing the public, unfortunately I think they've never really met my expectations on this measure.

The parties in favour though won't have to do much for a debate to be reduced to an absurd position simply by virtue of who the opposition is. Like I said above, Sinn Féin, the Socialist Party, Dana, Justin Barrett et al, are unlikely to present rational, coherent and sensible arguments.

The standard, tried and tested (if bland and largely devoid of meaning) arguments in favour of EU treaties will no doubt be shipped out again and short still be good enough to carry the day.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 07, 2007, 04:03:22 pm
Quote
Well, the Government is limited by the McKenna Principles on what it can do regarding a referendum. We'll have to wait and see how good a job the Referendum Commission manage on informing the public, unfortunately I think they've never really met my expectations on this measure.

My experience mainly runs towards mysterious leafets coming through the letter box that no-one ever reads.

Anyway to be pedantic the Government itself is of course limited to what it can or can't do in terms of finances. Of course there are no laws on how TDs will debate on television or on the radio; or how their misinformation will be put across.

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The parties in favour though won't have to do much for a debate to be reduced to an absurd position simply by virtue of who the opposition is. Like I said above, Sinn Féin, the Socialist Party, Dana, Justin Barrett et al, are unlikely to present rational, coherent and sensible arguments.

You forgot Anthony Crawley (I think that's his name) - no-one knows what he does exactly but he always seem to randomly appear to attack the EU during referendum campaigns and then suddenly vanish afterwards till the next referendum (save a few letters to the Irish Times) - As for the "absurd position" god help the country once the "opposition" gets its house in order, if that is possible. You would at least think that our TDs would try some intelligent debate to smash up the opposition - instead of screaming, shouting, instilling guilt\fear into the populace and being belligerant.

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The standard, tried and tested (if bland and largely devoid of meaning) arguments in favour of EU treaties will no doubt be shipped out again and short still be good enough to carry the day.

Yes.

Oh if only one person - one person - in this whole Anti debate could look up what the Broken Window fallacy was then the Establishment (I do hate that word, but I am being lazy tonight - as well as avoiding studying for my first college exam tommorow. Students!) would be in serious trouble. Observe.

Cliche representative TD: The EU has been great for Ireland, The Economy of Ireland, End of conflict and war in Europe, Peace, etc, et bloody cetera.
The Voice of Reason: Excuse me, do you know what the Broken window fallacy is? It means you are seeing events in a very straight line without even thinking what might have been. Just because the Economy is very good and we are in the EU doesn't neccesarily mean that those things are linked. It's the nature of life that we can't be certain what happened if we went down paths we may have chosen instead of the ones we did. Perhaps Ireland would really be a knowledge economy and have an even higher GDP (side note: and we all know that's the most important thing EVAR!)  if we didn't join the EU in 1973, that is unless you have evidence to back up your assertion.
Cliche representative TD: Er... Ehhm... TEH POLES!111 De Keltic Tigah!11....


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 07, 2007, 04:32:49 pm
Anyway to be pedantic the Government itself is of course limited to what it can or can't do in terms of finances. Of course there are no laws on how TDs will debate on television or on the radio; or how their misinformation will be put across.

True, pretty much. (It depends on how you interpret McKenna and whether they're representing the government and whether you can tie any exchequer funding to their activity.)

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The parties in favour though won't have to do much for a debate to be reduced to an absurd position simply by virtue of who the opposition is. Like I said above, Sinn Féin, the Socialist Party, Dana, Justin Barrett et al, are unlikely to present rational, coherent and sensible arguments.

You forgot Anthony Crawley (I think that's his name) - no-one knows what he does exactly but he always seem to randomly appear to attack the EU during referendum campaigns and then suddenly vanish afterwards till the next referendum (save a few letters to the Irish Times) - As for the "absurd position" god help the country once the "opposition" gets its house in order, if that is possible. You would at least think that our TDs would try some intelligent debate to smash up the opposition - instead of screaming, shouting, instilling guilt\fear into the populace and being belligerant.

Frankly, a great many of our TDs simply aren't in a position to offer intelligent debate on such things - it's not like that's what they were elected for or something they've had any practice at.

Quote
The standard, tried and tested (if bland and largely devoid of meaning) arguments in favour of EU treaties will no doubt be shipped out again and short still be good enough to carry the day.

Yes.

Oh if only one person - one person - in this whole Anti debate could look up what the Broken Window fallacy was then the Establishment (I do hate that word, but I am being lazy tonight - as well as avoiding studying for my first college exam tommorow. Students!) would be in serious trouble. Observe.

An exam! In the first semester in Arts! Boo no! Ah, the good old days of 1BA in Galway *reminisces*

Cliche representative TD: The EU has been great for Ireland, The Economy of Ireland, End of conflict and war in Europe, Peace, etc, et bloody cetera.
The Voice of Reason: Excuse me, do you know what the Broken window fallacy is? It means you are seeing events in a very straight line without even thinking what might have been. Just because the Economy is very good and we are in the EU doesn't neccesarily mean that those things are linked. It's the nature of life that we can't be certain what happened if we went down paths we may have chosen instead of the ones we did. Perhaps Ireland would really be a knowledge economy and have an even higher GDP (side note: and we all know that's the most important thing EVAR!)  if we didn't join the EU in 1973, that is unless you have evidence to back up your assertion.
Cliche representative TD: Er... Ehhm... TEH POLES!111 De Keltic Tigah!11....

Your little sketches do amuse, I'll give you that.

But, FTR, I don't think you'll find any credible economists who think we'd be in a better position economically had we never joined the EEC. Just about every treatise on the origins of the Celtic Tiger attribute credit to our position within the EEC/EC/EU - whether by reason of the benefits of market access, structural funds or whatever.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 07, 2007, 04:40:26 pm
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But, FTR, I don't think you'll find any credible economists who think we'd be in a better position economically had we never joined the EEC. Just about every treatise on the origins of the Celtic Tiger attribute credit to our position within the EEC/EC/EU - whether by reason of the benefits of market access, structural funds or whatever.

Thus the "Back up assertion" bit. I'm not doubting it's truth so much as why people come about to that said truth. I don't claim any knowledge because I have little knowledge in that field, but then again neither do our TDs really.

This is thing most people have been told this is truth for so long without really doubting it; once the "Back up the assertion" bit comes up it all falls down - as if you have touched some taboo subject.

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Your little sketches do amuse, I'll give you that.

I aim to please. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 07, 2007, 05:02:46 pm
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But, FTR, I don't think you'll find any credible economists who think we'd be in a better position economically had we never joined the EEC. Just about every treatise on the origins of the Celtic Tiger attribute credit to our position within the EEC/EC/EU - whether by reason of the benefits of market access, structural funds or whatever.

Thus the "Back up assertion" bit. I'm not doubting it's truth so much as why people come about to that said truth. I don't claim any knowledge because I have little knowledge in that field, but then again neither do our TDs really.

This is thing most people have been told this is truth for so long without really doubting it; once the "Back up the assertion" bit comes up it all falls down - as if you have touched some taboo subject.

Free trade between the member states is (and always has been) a cornerstone of the European project. In simplest terms, free trade leads to efficiency gains due to increased competition in a market, which gives consumers greater choice and lower prices. Lower prices means an increase in real income for the consumer. The increased competition tends to eliminate those operations which aren't efficient enough to produce their product at a lower price or to distinguish themselves in terms of quality or some other way. The resources that went into such enterprises was thus inefficiently applied and can now be re-applied in some other way.

(I'd underline that I'm speaking in very broad terms and am not looking for an economic debate on this subject in case some economically incorrigible posters happen to read this and decide to dismantle the effort.)

So, to give the gist, free trade encourages greater economic efficiency which benefits consumers in terms of choice and prices (and so income). etc. etc. Enterprises which are good at what they do can more easily expand and increase their incomes. (Or that's the theory anyway...)

Having put in place low corporate tax rates and being able to offer effectively unfettered access to the European market (and having a young, educated English speaking workforce which was no longer woefully strike prone thanks to Social Partnership Agreements) with improving infrastructure (helped by European funding) altogether helped a great deal.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 08, 2007, 05:14:43 am
Yes, you see - now you understand, even if it is vaguely correct (or really, not the whole story) - the question is, how many people who will vote 'yes' know that?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2007, 08:52:58 am
how many people who will vote 'yes' know that?

No idea.

I certainly didn't know anything about economics before college, and that alone was a significant factor in deciding to do the subject to degree level ahead of other areas I have an interest in but felt I wasn't going to gain a whole lot from.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 08, 2007, 09:00:09 am
how many people who will vote 'yes' know that?

No idea.

I certainly didn't know anything about economics before college, and that alone was a significant factor in deciding to do the subject to degree level ahead of other areas I have an interest in but felt I wasn't going to gain a whole lot from.

Strongly agree.

You see I'm not doubting the story that the EU is responsible for Ireland's growth; just that the way it is presented (without question) is just totally wrong.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2007, 09:17:58 am
how many people who will vote 'yes' know that?

No idea.

I certainly didn't know anything about economics before college, and that alone was a significant factor in deciding to do the subject to degree level ahead of other areas I have an interest in but felt I wasn't going to gain a whole lot from.

Strongly agree.

You see I'm not doubting the story that the EU is responsible for Ireland's growth; just that the way it is presented (without question) is just totally wrong.

I wouldn't say 'responsible for' myself, something closer to 'significantly contributed to' (life's great out here on the edge!) but yeah, there's truth in your point on presentation. It might be a combination of reasons: they might believe that the people won't understand it/will be confused by it/will be utterly bored or disininterested by it/whatever.

If it was simply an economic matter though, I don't think it would be a problem. The real difficult issue is explaining to people why so much of our legislative/executive power is seemingly being funnelled along to Brussels. This Treaty will move a significant number issues that were vetoable into the sphere of Qualified Majority Voting. Explaining why this has been agreed to and why it's a good thing is not a simple task. Economic co-operation is one thing, but the dilution of national sovereignty and the movement towards 'ever closer Union' (new EU Foreign Minister; EU Battlegroups; etc.) is quite another.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 08, 2007, 09:22:01 am
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I wouldn't say 'responsible for' myself, something closer to 'significantly contributed to' (life's great out here on the edge!) but yeah, there's truth in your point on presentation. It might be a combination of reasons: they might believe that the people won't understand it/will be confused by it/will be utterly bored or disininterested by it/whatever.

That 'responsible for' comment was just laziness.

But if you present these things in a way which is boring and confusing (which it often is) then it won't be surprising if the public reacts with boredom and confusion. That's the problem with politics in the western world right now - too much meaningless talk, not enough meat.

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If it was simply an economic matter though, I don't think it would be a problem. The real difficult issue is explaining to people why so much of our legislative/executive power is seemingly being funnelled along to Brussels. This Treaty will move a significant number issues that were vetoable into the sphere of Qualified Majority Voting. Explaining why this has been agreed to and why it's a good thing is not a simple task. Economic co-operation is one thing, but the dilution of national sovereignty and the movement towards 'ever closer Union' (new EU Foreign Minister; EU Battlegroups; etc.) is quite another.

Which is partially why the debate is being muzzled.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2007, 09:33:46 am
That's the problem with politics in the western world right now - too much meaningless talk, not enough meat.

That reminds me of a letter I was reading just the other day in The Economist (http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10059603):
"...The freer the speech, the cheaper it becomes. Put differently, the less free it is the more courage and cunning is required to speak out, so there is less blabber.

When speech is restricted, every single word from a poet, writer, or philosopher counts. On occasion it has the force of thunder. Many from behind the iron curtain of communism will thus remember the good old times, when free speech was but a dream. Back then, speaking was an art. And so was listening."


Quote
If it was simply an economic matter though, I don't think it would be a problem. The real difficult issue is explaining to people why so much of our legislative/executive power is seemingly being funnelled along to Brussels. This Treaty will move a significant number issues that were vetoable into the sphere of Qualified Majority Voting. Explaining why this has been agreed to and why it's a good thing is not a simple task. Economic co-operation is one thing, but the dilution of national sovereignty and the movement towards 'ever closer Union' (new EU Foreign Minister; EU Battlegroups; etc.) is quite another.

Which is partially why the debate is being muzzled.

Well I wouldn't say muzzled, but it will certainly be shied away from/constantly re-pivoted to the 'Keltic Tigah' style argument you've set out.

BTW, what's your new username about?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 08, 2007, 11:15:46 am
That letter in the Economist is only somewhat true as it assumes that in democracy like Western Europe it is inevitable that speech will be cheapened by political leaders. Rather in the west political affairs are made abstract from the day to day affairs of living which leads to such abuses of language (well, that's not all of it of course. But I'm not bothered to do a lengthy explanation right now) while in the Warsaw Pact states it was opposite - one was made aware of the state and it's ideological role every single day from one's first breath.

Hey I've finally achieved something.. My "Keltic Tigah" is catching on. Hmm.. Better copyright it first. ;)

As for my username, it means nothing really. I just felt it was amusing and I wanted a change from being Ignatius Reilly.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2007, 04:30:39 pm
After approving a 16% pay increase to himself just last week which keeps him much more highly paid than the British PM; German Chancellor; or American President, today we get the headline 'Taoiseach urges restraint in pay talks (http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/1108/economy.html)' (RTÉ Online). There are no words...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 18, 2007, 01:42:39 pm
Ireland's never been United under "native" rule, unless you count the Rule of high king Brian Boru (1002-1014); but he was really more of a weak Feudal type monarch in an island with no sense of central authority; that idea came from the British.
It is therefore a deeply unirish idea that should have been soundly rejected after independence.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 18, 2007, 01:52:26 pm
Ireland's never been United under "native" rule, unless you count the Rule of high king Brian Boru (1002-1014); but he was really more of a weak Feudal type monarch in an island with no sense of central authority; that idea came from the British.
It is therefore a deeply unirish idea that should have been soundly rejected after independence.

Strongly Agree btw.

EDIT: Not to mention that alot of what is considered "Irish Culture" was pretty much invented on the spot as a response to British rule. Prior to the coming of the Normans or hell even up to the Cromwellian invasion and the Counter-Reformation (out of which out "Irishness" grew) the cultural, linguistic and economic life of say, a man living in Waterford would just be as alien to say someone living Donegal as the "English way of life" was; if not more so.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 24, 2007, 04:02:10 pm
A new poll will be published in tomorrow's Sunday Business Post, conducted by RedC. It seems the SPB is going to continue it's monthly tracking polls for the foreseeable future.

As is now my custom, here's a quick list of some of the major Irish stories since the last poll:
  • Health care debacles Continue: Failures in the cancer screening of almost 100 women emerged; Labour will put forward a motion of no confidence in Minister for Health, Mary Harney (PD-Dublin MW) next Tuesday;
  • The Irish stock market suffers a bad week; Housing market slump continues; Unemployment figures creeping upwards;
  • Pay rise controversy regarding Taoiseach and Cabinet;
  • UDA announces that it's standing down;
  • It emerges that Noel Grealish (PD-Galway W) has already had some discussions about eventually joining FF;
  • Controversial plans for a waste incinerator in the constituency of the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley (Green-Dublin SE) get the go ahead from An Bord Pleanála (The Planning Board);
  • A strike by Dublin Bus caused severe disruption in the north of the city;

Detailed poll results below. In short though, FF take a massive hit (-7), picked up by FG (+4) and Labour (+3). If this is to be believed FF lie but 1 point ahead of FG in public opinion.

23 May24 May23 Sept28 Oct25 Nov
RedCElectionRedCRedCRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.6403932
Fine Gael2627.3272731
Labour1110.1111013
Green64.7779
Sinn Féin96.9687
PD32.7322
Other76.6677


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on November 24, 2007, 04:10:59 pm
Go Fine Gael!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 24, 2007, 04:31:46 pm
Go Fine Gael!

No.

I'm bored so I'll try and figure out what that would be like with the new constituency boundaries (Nearly impossible because you can never tell where the next Jackie Healy-Rae or Boyd Barrett will be; plus of course personal votes and like. But as I said I am bored.)

I'll do my heartland:
DUBLIN SOUTH: The increase in the Green vote is very, very interesting - doubling from the election (almost) I suspect that nationally the Green vote is levelling out enough so that it will probably do better in the sticks than in 2002 but much less well in Dublin; though perhaps DS would not be the worst constituency for them in this regard. At the level of the poll Ryan would easily be elected again; as would both FG members and at least one from FF. Battle between FF and Labour for the final seat. So, 2FF 2FG 1GREEN (Status Quo; but in such a scenario things would depend alot on transfers and it is hard to believe that labour won't win a seat here with 13% nationally given that they probably would have won one this time except for the distaster that was the two candidate strategy.)

DUN LAOGHAIRE: Lost a seat and some of it's most poshest areas to DS in the last re-distrubtion (you can have Foxrock back, thanks) this makes the Green situation nearly impossible but also extremely difficult for FF to hold onto Barry Andrews' seat with those types of scores (it was considered under threat before the election though and then he came only a few hundred votes short at the second count). And what about a potential Labour leader bounce. So, 2FF 1FG 1LAB would still seem the most likely. But perhaps DL will return to it's FG roots in the future..*shrugs*

DUBLIN SOUTH EAST: A nearly impossible task to predict the richest (mostly) seat in the country and one which not by concidence imo (despite what some people think) one of the areas with the lowest FF votes. Anyway with those sorts of scores FF would probably lose here quite, quite horribly badly. Gormley (Green) would top the poll; but where would McDowell's first vote go (maybe to FF; but that is not the historic correlation despite the coalitions.) Anyway I'd go with the Status Quo; though possibly a second FG gain from FF. (So, FF 1 FG 1 LAB 1 GREEN 1)

DUBLIN SOUTH WEST: Again Status quo looks the more likely as the Sinn Fein vote has remained very static since the election. Hard to see an opportunity for a second FG or Labour seat. Yet Leninhan is vulnerable as may be O'Connor. (So, FF 2, FG 1, LAB 1)

DUBLIN MID WEST: This monument to horrible suburban sprawl, complete lack of planning and the (unbelievably) corrupt FF local government in Dublin of the 1980s is another "god knows" constituency. Again a low FF vote; though the PDs still hold here Harney is retiring in 2012 (apparently) and with FG's numbers it's almost impossible to imagine them not taking a seat here which they came close to winning; I could see this being a place where a sitting Green TD will fall flat on his face come 2012 but assuming national swings *shrugs* (There is a possibility btw that Joe Higgins will move down here; personally I could extremists doing well in this seat so it's possible alright. Potential SF target too) So, FF 1 FG 1 LAB 1 GREEN 1

DUBLIN SOUTH CENTRAL: Surely Michael Mulcahy (FF-DSC) can't continue to do f all for five years and still be re-elected? Labour have good numbers and so do Sinn Fein and with those numbers labour would probably gain off FF; though I would not rule out a Gay Mitchell comeback. Which of course dramatically everything (though I suspect C. Byrne the sitting FG TD here is pretty safe.) funny constituency really. FF 1 FG 1 LABOUR 2 SF 1

So that would be: FF 9(-1), FG 7(+1), LAB 6(+1), GREEN 3(-1; but only due to seat change), SF 1.

Which all seems depressingly status quo despite great percentage shifts; though North Dublin is likely to be much more interesting really; especially with Bertie Retiring.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Verily on November 24, 2007, 04:54:24 pm
Go Fine Gael!

Trust me, you don't really support Fine Gael. They're not any different from Fianna Fail in any way that a non-Irishman would appreciate. (And my impression is that neither of our two Irish posters appreciates the "difference", either.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 24, 2007, 05:10:57 pm
Go Fine Gael!

Trust me, you don't really support Fine Gael. They're not any different from Fianna Fail in any way that a non-Irishman would appreciate. (And my impression is that neither of our two Irish posters appreciates the "difference", either.)

Now that depends, how long have you got?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 24, 2007, 05:58:19 pm
They're not any different from Fianna Fail in any way that a non-Irishman would appreciate. (And my impression is that neither of our two Irish posters appreciates the "difference", either.)

I would think Gully is fairly anti-FF and not quite so anti-FG, if that makes sense.

Personally, I feel there are differences (subtle as they may be). These differences are malleable though, hugely influenced by whoever the respective party leaders are. Personally, I have significant issues with the idea of Enda Kenny (FG Leader) as Taoiseach to the point that despite everything (and believing that he should have resigned/been resigned at this stage) I feel that Ahern is probably the more preferable of the two (:o). (That said there are members of both parties I would preference far ahead of both Ahern and Kenny.) I'd also note that I've not yet 1st preferenced either a FF or FG candidate in an election; nor tended to preference either's candidates very highly where any reasonable choices were present.

In a general ideological sense, I would suggest that FG fit slightly easier into the standard Christian Democratic mould; are probably more pro-European (in terms of the European ideal); and are slightly less 'green' in the Nationalist sense (i.e. take a stronger line against SF and Republicans, more sympathetic to the Unionists, British, etc.).

FF (I think) are more interested simply in being a party of government rather than anything else and are willing to shift positions to meet this goal. A certain portion of their membership have a social democratic side (probably due to the strong working class support they get compared to FG). FF are also pro-Europe but in more of a 'what can we get out of it' sense; they are also certainly more strongly nationalist (as evidenced by there decision to try and set up and compete in the North).

It should probably also be stated that FF are usually less comfortable dealing with coalition partners (Ahern is an exception in this sense); and that FF have a much worse record regarding corruption matters, though this is no doubt linked to the fact that they are more often in power. (I should say though that I don't think corruption is a significant issue anymore.)

In short, yes there are differences, but they are subtle and both party's positions are liable to change quite a bit with any given leader. Neither particularly appeal to me in any great way though I could probably pick out a number of individuals from both parties who I wouldn't have a problem with in government positions.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 24, 2007, 06:34:26 pm
Quote
I would think Gully is fairly anti-FF and not quite so anti-FG, if that makes sense.

Actually believe or not that would actually depend on what area of the country I live in; though where I live in I most certainly prefer FG to FF. Even if one of our local FG TDs is hopelessness personified.

Though in saying that if I lived in somewhere like say Cork South West I would not vote for Fianna Fail o\c I would either a) just vote for labour\greens or More likely b) scribble all over the ballot paper and leave a giant penmark leaving the words HIV\AIDS with a giant "1" to the right of it on the paper.

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Personally, I have significant issues with the idea of Enda Kenny (FG Leader)

Now where does one begin with this...

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as Taoiseach to the point that despite everything (and believing that he should have resigned/been resigned at this stage) I feel that Ahern is probably the more preferable of the two (Shocked).

HP.

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(That said there are members of both parties I would preference far ahead of both Ahern and Kenny.)

I was going to 'yes': but then I couldn't think of any member of FF which I ever consider giving a preference to. Certainly none of the cabinet anyway.

Quote
I'd also note that I've not yet 1st preferenced either a FF or FG candidate in an election; nor tended to preference either's candidates very highly where any reasonable choices were prese

That's better. :). Anyway you are registered in Cavan\Monaghan so that's understandable; as the only alternative is SF.

Quote
In a general ideological sense, I would suggest that FG fit slightly easier into the standard Christian Democratic mould; are probably more pro-European (in terms of the European ideal); and are slightly less 'green' in the Nationalist sense (i.e. take a stronger line against SF and Republicans, more sympathetic to the Unionists, British, etc.).

I would go along with something like this; the latter bit was certainly true during the last two FG led governments (Yes such things actually existed once!) under Bruton and Fitzgerald.

In general I would say that Fianna Fail ideology, though that term is itself rather misleading, is "Ireland - ism", to put it more clearly what I mean I will quote some guy I once read in the newspaper and can't recall his name "There is nothing wrong with Ireland that isn't wrong with Fianna Fail. And there is nothing wrong with Fianna fail that isn't wrong with Ireland" ever since Dev its vision has been one of "Progressive 'realist' (ie. Status quo) nationalism, it's objective is to strengthen the nation and the process help out all the special interest groups which form the party (actually wait a minute that should be the other way round.) - in the American sense I would say it is favour more of "bigger government" and more "populist" than FG: not that it really matters with the FG-LAB alliance of neccesity.

Or to keep it short, FF shifts when the nation shifts; In the 1930s it was protectionist nationalism mixed with a moderate form of corporatism, in the 1960s it was a more internationalist approach as the world outside was beginning to be revealed (though not for many FF supporters I believe!) and started to remove all the trade barriers and liberalize the economy - but keep many of the most corporatist aspects. In the 1980s it was denial of reality and in the 2000s it is now neo-liberalism though keeping the more populist aspects to support the special interests.

FG on the other hand is the party of big farmers, horribly posh South Dublinites and local small town aristocrats who had to choose between becoming a TD and running Daddy's business (often being a TD IS Daddy's business - but this is true for both parties) and here Jas is right; FG is much more pro-Europe in the sense that is somewhat ideological as opposed "OMG IT wILL BE GOOD FOR TEH ECONOMEEEEEEE!!!111. FG is a much middle class party than FF - the constituencies it does best in - Cork South West, Dublin SE, Dublin S, Dun Laoghaire, Kildare and Meath (though the latter few are really just historically) are more "middle class" than their worst seats such as Dublin North west; which despite FF governments constantly fucking them over vote for FF or occasionally Labour or SF - if that is they vote at all. (Unsurprisingly in Ireland there is a strong link between voter turnout and class - though all things Ireland and class related that should be put with a warning beside it.)

So yeah I'd say what Jas said was pretty accurate. Though I'd say the previous problems of Fianna Fail and coalitions mainly has to do with FF not needing one and Albert Reynolds' being an arrogant twonk (no surprise there).



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 24, 2007, 07:06:04 pm
I'm bored so I'll try and figure out what that would be like with the new constituency boundaries (Nearly impossible because you can never tell where the next Jackie Healy-Rae or Boyd Barrett will be; plus of course personal votes and like. But as I said I am bored.)

Of course.

I'll do my heartland:
DUBLIN SOUTH: The increase in the Green vote is very, very interesting - doubling from the election (almost) I suspect that nationally the Green vote is levelling out enough so that it will probably do better in the sticks than in 2002 but much less well in Dublin; though perhaps DS would not be the worst constituency for them in this regard. At the level of the poll Ryan would easily be elected again; as would both FG members and at least one from FF. Battle between FF and Labour for the final seat. So, 2FF 2FG 1GREEN (Status Quo; but in such a scenario things would depend alot on transfers and it is hard to believe that labour won't win a seat here with 13% nationally given that they probably would have won one this time except for the distaster that was the two candidate strategy.)

I agree with your take on the Green performance.

If this polls numbers became reality, Dublin South would be very difficult to call. Ryan should be able to retain his seat for the Greens. FF and FG both safely return one each. FF, FG and Labour would be competing for the final two seats. Probably the status quo, but with a single Labour candidate and 3 FF and 3 FG candidates; and the significant bundle of O'Donnell's PD votes up for grabs - there are plausible scenarios for different returns.

Anyhow, I would agree with your call: FF 2; FG 2; Green 1 (No change)

DUN LAOGHAIRE: Lost a seat and some of it's most poshest areas to DS in the last re-distrubtion (you can have Foxrock back, thanks) this makes the Green situation nearly impossible but also extremely difficult for FF to hold onto Barry Andrews' seat with those types of scores (it was considered under threat before the election though and then he came only a few hundred votes short at the second count). And what about a potential Labour leader bounce. So, 2FF 1FG 1LAB would still seem the most likely. But perhaps DL will return to it's FG roots in the future..*shrugs*

With the combination of the serious hit to FF and the higher quota, I'd suggest that FF would quite possibly lose Andrew's seat here. FG and Labour should be about to get one each. I suspect it would be between Cuffe and Andews for the last seat, an so long as Cuffe could hang on until then (it will be very interesting to see if Boyd-Barrett runs again and how he would do) he should get the necessary transfers from elsewhere to eek it out again.

So, I'll differ from your call and say: FF 1; FG 1; Lab 1; Green 1 (FF -1)

DUBLIN SOUTH EAST: A nearly impossible task to predict the richest (mostly) seat in the country and one which not by concidence imo (despite what some people think) one of the areas with the lowest FF votes. Anyway with those sorts of scores FF would probably lose here quite, quite horribly badly. Gormley (Green) would top the poll; but where would McDowell's first vote go (maybe to FF; but that is not the historic correlation despite the coalitions.) Anyway I'd go with the Status Quo; though possibly a second FG gain from FF. (So, FF 1 FG 1 LAB 1 GREEN 1)

I'd agree that the status quo would be most likely, in fact, I think with McDowell gone, and the FF vote going down, it's very likely.

Don't really see any way FG could get a second seat, if fact I doubt they'd run for one and on that basis I'll only really disagree with you to the extent that I'd say that Creighton would top the poll for FG.

Call: FF 1; FG 1; Lab 1; Green 1
(Unchanged)

DUBLIN SOUTH WEST: Again Status quo looks the more likely as the Sinn Fein vote has remained very static since the election. Hard to see an opportunity for a second FG or Labour seat. Yet Leninhan is vulnerable as may be O'Connor. (So, FF 2, FG 1, LAB 1)

On these numbers the odds would be that FF would lose a seat, presumably O'Connors, to SF IMO - though this would depend on the SF candidate and SF efforts on the ground.

Call: FF 1; FG 1; Lab 1; SF 1
(SF gain from FF)

DUBLIN MID WEST: This monument to horrible suburban sprawl, complete lack of planning and the (unbelievably) corrupt FF local government in Dublin of the 1980s is another "god knows" constituency. Again a low FF vote; though the PDs still hold here Harney is retiring in 2012 (apparently) and with FG's numbers it's almost impossible to imagine them not taking a seat here which they came close to winning; I could see this being a place where a sitting Green TD will fall flat on his face come 2012 but assuming national swings *shrugs* (There is a possibility btw that Joe Higgins will move down here; personally I could extremists doing well in this seat so it's possible alright. Potential SF target too) So, FF 1 FG 1 LAB 1 GREEN 1

Just where will Mary Harney's vote go - damned if I know (I'm assuming a reasonably even FF-FG split - in which case FG come close to a full quota in this scenario). I'd agree that Gogarty's Green vote will come under pressure here and that SF should be challenging, however there should be enough transfers from across the board to keep him ahead - just about. (It's quite possible though that his vote will deflate badly though and leave him with an unassailable deficit.)

Call: FF 1; FG 1; Lab 1; Green 1 (FG gain from PD)

DUBLIN SOUTH CENTRAL: Surely Michael Mulcahy (FF-DSC) can't continue to do f all for five years and still be re-elected? Labour have good numbers and so do Sinn Fein and with those numbers labour would probably gain off FF; though I would not rule out a Gay Mitchell comeback. Which of course dramatically everything (though I suspect C. Byrne the sitting FG TD here is pretty safe.) funny constituency really. FF 1 FG 1 LABOUR 2 SF 1

Definitely 1 each for FF; FG; and Labour. FF; Lab; and SF competing for the final two and I suspect the Green vote will be decisive in determining the winner; as well as who between FF and Lab achieve better vote management. Very hard to call - but I'm tempted to agree with you.

Call: FF 1; FG 1; Lab 2; SF 1 (Lab gain from FF)

So that would be: FF 9(-1), FG 7(+1), LAB 6(+1), GREEN 3(-1; but only due to seat change), SF 1.

And for me:
FF 7 (-3); FG 7 (+1); Lab 6 (+1); Green 4 (Unchanged); SF 2 (+1); PD 0 (-1)

Which all seems depressingly status quo despite great percentage shifts; though North Dublin is likely to be much more interesting really; especially with Bertie Retiring.

Looks like I'm painting a much more pessimistic view for FF with the lost seats being spread rather evenly among the opposition. On these projections nationally, by my reckoning, FG and Labour would be able to form a stable government with mid to high 80's in terms of TDs.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 24, 2007, 07:45:34 pm
Quote
Personally, I have significant issues with the idea of Enda Kenny (FG Leader)

Now where does one begin with this...

Quote
as Taoiseach to the point that despite everything (and believing that he should have resigned/been resigned at this stage) I feel that Ahern is probably the more preferable of the two (Shocked).

HP.

;D I really don't like or have any faith in the competence or policy judgment of Mr. Kenny. Though, as I've said, I think that Ahern should have left/been forced out, I do think he's more competent.

Quote
(That said there are members of both parties I would preference far ahead of both Ahern and Kenny.)

I was going to 'yes': but then I couldn't think of any member of FF which I ever consider giving a preference to. Certainly none of the cabinet anyway.

Really?...I find it hard to believe you wouldn't be a big fan of the Minister for Offence Defence:
(http://images.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/1105/willieodea-gun.jpg)

;D

Quote
I'd also note that I've not yet 1st preferenced either a FF or FG candidate in an election; nor tended to preference either's candidates very highly where any reasonable choices were prese

That's better. :). Anyway you are registered in Cavan\Monaghan so that's understandable; as the only alternative is SF.

And a variety of rag-tag Independents who usually get my vote.

Though I'd say the previous problems of Fianna Fail and coalitions mainly has to do with FF not needing one and Albert Reynolds' being an arrogant twonk (no surprise there).

No arguments about Reynolds. But Haughey wasn't enthused by coalitions either. And the heir apparant, Mr. Cowen, has made his doubts well known also.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 25, 2007, 04:12:42 pm
Unfortunely last night while I was continuing my fruitless endavours my guesswork at the what the election would look like with those poll results my connection got wiped out and has only been restored now. And I worked hard on explaining on the seats. :(

To be lazy and do no explaination it would look like this assuming all the independents like McGrath, Gregory, et al still decide to run:
North Dublin:
DUBLIN NORTH (4) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1GP (LAB gain from FF)
DUBLIN WEST (4) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1SOC (SOC gain due to redistrubtion)
DUBLIN NORTH WEST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF; but more likely to be an SF gain but not on those poll numbers.)
DUBLIN NORTH EAST(3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (no change)
DUBLIN CENTRAL (4) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1IND (FG gain from FF)
DUBLIN NORTH CENTRAL (3) - 1FF 1FG 1IND (no change)
KILDARE NORTH (4) - Murphy gains from FF if she runs; if not no change - 2FF 1FG 1LAB (no change)
KILDARE SOUTH (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)
MEATH EAST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (LAB gain from FF - In saying that some of the major Labour voting areas have been moved into Louth around the Drogheda suburbs; Either way FF loses one and either FG or LAB gains)
MEATH WEST (3) - 2FF 1FG (No change though possible SF gain here)
LOUTH (5) - 2FF 2FG 1SF (FG gain due to redistrubtion)
WICKLOW (5) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1GP (GP gain from FF)
WEXFORD (5) - 2FF 2FG 1LAB (no change; I think)
CARLOW-KILKENNY (5) - 2FF 2FG 1GP (FG gain from FF)
LAOIS-OFFALY (5) - With Cowan Taoiseach? 3FF 2FG (no change)
LONGFORD-WESTMEATH (4) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)
CAVAN-MONAGHAN (5) - 2FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF due to the removal of O'Hanlon as CC.)
DONEGAL SOUTH WEST (3) - 2FF 1FG (no change; but possible SF gain from FF)
DONEGAL NORTH EAST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1SF (SF gain from FF)
SLIGO-NORTH LEITRIM (3) - 1FF 2FG (FG gain from FF)
ROSCOMMON-SOUTH LEITRIM (3) - 1FF 2FG (no change)
MAYO (5) - 2FF\FF("IND), 3FG (no change, at least in seats per party anyway.)
GALWAY WEST (5) - 2FF 1FG 1LAB 1GP (GP gain from FF - Counting Grealish as FF.)
GALWAY EAST (4) - 2FF 2FG (no change)
CLARE (4) - 2FF 2FG (no change)
TIPPERARY NORTH (3) - 1FF 1FG 1IND (no change)
TIPPERARY SOUTH (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (LAB gain from FF; depends on whether or not Healy runs again.)
WATERFORD (4) - 2FF 1FG 1LAB (no change)
CORK EAST (4) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)
CORK NORTH CENTRAL (4) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)
CORK SOUTH CENTRAL (5) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1GP (GP gain from FF)
CORK SOUTH WEST (3) - 1FF 2FG (no change)
CORK NORTH WEST (3) - 1FF 2FG (FG gain from FF)
KERRY SOUTH (3) - 2FF 1FG (FG gain from IND due to O'Donaghue being CC)
KERRY NORTH & LIMERICK WEST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1SF (No change from Kerry North; would probably result in a different FF TD though)
LIMERICK (3) - 1FF 2FG (FG gain from FF if using the old Limerick West boundaries)
LIMERICK CITY (4) - 2FF 1FG 1LAB (FG lose seat due to boundary changes; otherwise no change.)

So that leaves: FF\PD 60 (-20) FG 65 (+14) LAB 25 (+5) SF 5 (+1) GP 7 (+1) SOC 1 (+1) IND 3 (-1)



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 25, 2007, 04:13:43 pm
Quote
No arguments about Reynolds. But Haughey wasn't enthused by coalitions either. And the heir apparant, Mr. Cowen, has made his doubts well known also.

Coalitions make things (slightly) more accountable; so I think saying Haughey, Cowen, et al are opposed to them is the stating the obvious just a little bit.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 25, 2007, 04:14:55 pm
Quote
No arguments about Reynolds. But Haughey wasn't enthused by coalitions either. And the heir apparant, Mr. Cowen, has made his doubts well known also.

Coalitions make things (slightly) more accountable; so I think saying Haughey, Cowen, et al are opposed to them is the stating the obvious just a little bit.

Ah, but then explain Ahern's pro-coalition stance!

(Check!)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 25, 2007, 04:20:03 pm
Quote
No arguments about Reynolds. But Haughey wasn't enthused by coalitions either. And the heir apparant, Mr. Cowen, has made his doubts well known also.

Coalitions make things (slightly) more accountable; so I think saying Haughey, Cowen, et al are opposed to them is the stating the obvious just a little bit.

Ah, but then explain Ahern's pro-coalition stance!

(Check!)
:D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 25, 2007, 04:21:01 pm
Quote
No arguments about Reynolds. But Haughey wasn't enthused by coalitions either. And the heir apparant, Mr. Cowen, has made his doubts well known also.

Coalitions make things (slightly) more accountable; so I think saying Haughey, Cowen, et al are opposed to them is the stating the obvious just a little bit.

Ah, but then explain Ahern's pro-coalition stance!

(Check!)

Because we all know at heart Bertie is just a cheeky chappy from Drumcondra; a court jester so to speak. No matter what he does he is just good ol' Bertie, always one of the lads; so even if he killed live puppies with acid in front of crippled orphans he would still always be loved. Cowen on the other hand looks like the aul' fellow at the back of the pub who always watches the TV in order to shout out "Wat 'tis dis sh**te on de Tellleeeeee!" and look permantently annoyed.

Therefore as long as Bertie sounds like "one of the lads" then he can bypass the whole accountability thing. Cowen can't.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 25, 2007, 04:42:23 pm
Quote
No arguments about Reynolds. But Haughey wasn't enthused by coalitions either. And the heir apparant, Mr. Cowen, has made his doubts well known also.

Coalitions make things (slightly) more accountable; so I think saying Haughey, Cowen, et al are opposed to them is the stating the obvious just a little bit.

Ah, but then explain Ahern's pro-coalition stance!

(Check!)

Because we all know at heart Bertie is just a cheeky chappy from Drumcondra; a court jester so to speak. No matter what he does he is just good ol' Bertie, always one of the lads; so even if he killed live puppies with acid in front of crippled orphans he would still always be loved.
What if he killed live orphans with acid in front of crippled puppies?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 25, 2007, 04:52:17 pm
Quote
No arguments about Reynolds. But Haughey wasn't enthused by coalitions either. And the heir apparant, Mr. Cowen, has made his doubts well known also.

Coalitions make things (slightly) more accountable; so I think saying Haughey, Cowen, et al are opposed to them is the stating the obvious just a little bit.

Ah, but then explain Ahern's pro-coalition stance!

(Check!)

Because we all know at heart Bertie is just a cheeky chappy from Drumcondra; a court jester so to speak. No matter what he does he is just good ol' Bertie, always one of the lads; so even if he killed live puppies with acid in front of crippled orphans he would still always be loved.
What if he killed live orphans with acid in front of crippled puppies?


Five point boost in the points - Twenty points in Meath. Those Damn Orphans are probably scobes (scumbags) anyway; what with their poor, cheap clothes and working class accents.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 26, 2007, 09:26:07 am
DUBLIN NORTH (4) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1GP (LAB gain from FF)

Agree

DUBLIN WEST (4) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1SOC (SOC gain due to redistrubtion)

Agree

DUBLIN NORTH WEST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF; but more likely to be an SF gain but not on those poll numbers.)

1 FF; 1 Lab almost certainly. The third would be hard to call between FG and SF and even FF couldn't be fully and completely ruled out. I suspect SF would be favourites, just about.

Call: FF 1; Lab 1; SF 1 (SF gain from FF).

DUBLIN NORTH EAST(3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (no change)

Agree

DUBLIN CENTRAL (4) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1IND (FG gain from FF)

Agree

DUBLIN NORTH CENTRAL (3) - 1FF 1FG 1IND (no change)

Hesitant agree - McGrath's numbers could do anything. Labour or the Greens could sneak it if transfers went well.

KILDARE NORTH (4) - Murphy gains from FF if she runs; if not no change - 2FF 1FG 1LAB (no change)

Agree on the call. Don't see Murphy running again, nor taking the seat under any normal circumstances even if she did.

KILDARE SOUTH (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)

Agree

MEATH EAST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (LAB gain from FF - In saying that some of the major Labour voting areas have been moved into Louth around the Drogheda suburbs; Either way FF loses one and either FG or LAB gains)

Agree

MEATH WEST (3) - 2FF 1FG (No change though possible SF gain here)

Tend to agree. Don't see SF picking this up as a 3-seater though, just too many transfers required. Probably FG actually ending up putting most genuine pressure on the second FF seat though would require good transfers from increased Lab and Green voters.

LOUTH (5) - 2FF 2FG 1SF (FG gain due to redistrubtion)

Agree, though the Greens could cause an upset and snatch either the 2nd FG or SF seat.

WICKLOW (5) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1GP (GP gain from FF)

Agree

WEXFORD (5) - 2FF 2FG 1LAB (no change; I think)

Agree. Possibly the most stable constituency in the country in recent times.

CARLOW-KILKENNY (5) - 2FF 2FG 1GP (FG gain from FF)

Run 1 good Labour candidate and I'd put it down as a Lab gain from FG. If not then, I agree with your call.

LAOIS-OFFALY (5) - With Cowan Taoiseach? 3FF 2FG (no change)

Agree

LONGFORD-WESTMEATH (4) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)

Agree

CAVAN-MONAGHAN (5) - 2FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF due to the removal of O'Hanlon as CC.)

I'll presume that you meant SF instead of Lab, in which case agree.

DONEGAL SOUTH WEST (3) - 2FF 1FG (no change; but possible SF gain from FF)

Disagree. FF couldn't sustain 2 seats on this type of swing - not with SF so close now.
Call: FF 1; FG 1; SF 1 (SF gain from FF)

DONEGAL NORTH EAST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1SF (SF gain from FF)

Disagree. Close, but I think FF would hold their 2 here.
Call: FF 2; FG 1 (Unchanged)

SLIGO-NORTH LEITRIM (3) - 1FF 2FG (FG gain from FF)

Agree

ROSCOMMON-SOUTH LEITRIM (3) - 1FF 2FG (no change)

Agree

MAYO (5) - 2FF\FF("IND), 3FG (no change, at least in seats per party anyway.)

Agree

GALWAY WEST (5) - 2FF 1FG 1LAB 1GP (GP gain from FF - Counting Grealish as FF.)

Agree

GALWAY EAST (4) - 2FF 2FG (no change)

Agree

CLARE (4) - 2FF 2FG (no change)

Tentative agree. Greens could maybe take the 2nd FF seat in this scenario.

TIPPERARY NORTH (3) - 1FF 1FG 1IND (no change)

Agree. Though Lab taking the FG seat wouldn't be impossible here.

TIPPERARY SOUTH (3) - 1FF 1FG 1LAB (LAB gain from FF; depends on whether or not Healy runs again.)

Agree

WATERFORD (4) - 2FF 1FG 1LAB (no change)

Agree

CORK EAST (4) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)

Certainly FF 1; Fg 1; Lab 1. Green voters become the kingmakers as to the final seat between FF and FG. Porbably FG so. Agree.

CORK NORTH CENTRAL (4) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB (FG gain from FF)

Agree (unless FF pull off particularly good vote management).

CORK SOUTH CENTRAL (5) - 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1GP (GP gain from FF)

Disagree. Should be FF 2; FG 2 and a tossup between Labour and the Greens for the last, which will depend on transfers.
Call: FF 2; FG 2; Lab 1 (Unchanged)

CORK SOUTH WEST (3) - 1FF 2FG (no change)

Agree

CORK NORTH WEST (3) - 1FF 2FG (FG gain from FF)

Agree

KERRY SOUTH (3) - 2FF 1FG (FG gain from IND due to O'Donaghue being CC)

Agree with call. (But that's technically a FF gain from Ind)

KERRY NORTH & LIMERICK WEST (3) - 1FF 1FG 1SF (No change from Kerry North; would probably result in a different FF TD though)

Agree

LIMERICK (3) - 1FF 2FG (FG gain from FF if using the old Limerick West boundaries)

Agree

LIMERICK CITY (4) - 2FF 1FG 1LAB (FG lose seat due to boundary changes; otherwise no change.)

Disagree. Should be 1 FF and 2 FG with the final seat between FF and Lab. Green (and ex-PD) voters very important in deciding outcome. Hard to say, put I think FF would shade it.
Call: 2 FF; 2 FG (Lab lose to boundary change)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 26, 2007, 09:39:23 am
So that leaves: FF\PD 60 (-20) FG 65 (+14) LAB 25 (+5) SF 5 (+1) GP 7 (+1) SOC 1 (+1) IND 3 (-1)

My total: FF 61; FG 63; Lab 23; Green 8; SF 7; Soc 1; Ind 3
Likely govt: FG/Lab coalition (majority of 5 or 7 depending on who is elected CC).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 26, 2007, 10:21:48 am
Yeah that Cavan\Monaghan and Kerry South predictions were brain farts (or perhaps wishing thinking, who knows?).

Quote
Agree. Possibly the most stable constituency in the country in recent times.

The whole South East is bad at it.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 27, 2007, 06:37:02 am
Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin have all sought to put down motions of no confidence in the Minister for Health Mary Harney (PD-Dublin MW). They will almost certainly be trumped by the Government putting down it's own motion of confidence in her.

Despite equivication in the comments of Independents Finian McGrath (Ind-Dublin NC) and Jackie Healy Rae (Ind-Kerry S); the government should hold firm with its safe majority.

However, rogue FF TD Ned O'Keefe (FF-Cork E) yesterday called on Harney to resign over the recent cancer screening controversy. Today, it's been made clear (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2007/1127/1195682399599.html) that the government (or at least FF) expects all its members to back Harney on pain of losing the whip. O'Keefe has already this term failed to back the government on important votes notably absenting himself to his constituency.

So, we have something of a showdown and could have our first change in the make-up of the 30th Dáil. Stay tuned...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 28, 2007, 04:58:15 pm
As expected the Government amended the proposed motion of no confidence and carried their own vote, 83-73.

Unexpectedly however rebel TD, Ned O'Keefe (Cork E), resigned from the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party before the votes were called this evening. O'Keefe said he couldn't vote against the Labour motion (he abstained) but could approve the Government motion because it didn't explicitly endorse the work of the Minister for Health Mary Harney.

Anyway...tonight the composition of the Dáil has changed, so that it is now:
Fianna Fáil76(-1)
Fine Gael51
Labour20
Greens6
Sinn Féin4
Progressive Democrats2
Independents6(+1)
Ceann Comhairle1

Government (FF; Grn; PD; Inds)88
Opposition (FG; Lab; SF; Inds)77
Majority11(-2)

O'Keefe has a been a FF TD for Cork East since 1982 and has retained a solid, reliable vote there ever since. While it's hard to call many Independent seats as 'safe', O'Keefe would have to be seen as in a strong position to hold onto the seat should he wish to in upcoming elections.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 02, 2007, 07:26:13 pm
Best. Blog. Post. EVER

http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677 (http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677)

P.S: Support Digout Day! (see sig)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 03, 2007, 09:45:31 am
Best. Blog. Post. EVER

http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677 (http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677)

P.S: Support Digout Day! (see sig)

Mmm...

Seems to me the voters are happy enough to laugh along...the vast majority of the matters in the list were well known prior to the election and yet FF were returned with roughly the same proportion of votes as last time.

To me, the more interesting side to all this is not that FF have been involved in all this, but that the voters have implicitly accepted the behaviour and/or FF's response to it.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 03, 2007, 09:57:12 am
Best. Blog. Post. EVER

http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677 (http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677)

P.S: Support Digout Day! (see sig)

Mmm...

Seems to me the voters are happy enough to laugh along...the vast majority of the matters in the list were well known prior to the election and yet FF were returned with roughly the same proportion of votes as last time.

To me, the more interesting side to all this is not that FF have been involved in all this, but that the voters have implicitly accepted the behaviour and/or FF's response to it.

I never said they didn't. As a matter of fact that is what I have always maintained. Haven't I quoted it before "There is nothing wrong with Fianna Fail that isn't wrong with Ireland, and there isn't anything wrong with Ireland that isn't wrong with Fianna Fail"?

I just found the link Amusing.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on December 03, 2007, 10:46:01 am
I'll wear black that day for sure :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 03, 2007, 12:21:34 pm
Best. Blog. Post. EVER

http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677 (http://thatsireland.com/2007/11/05/fianna-fails-fifty-ways-to-laugh-at-voters/#more-677)

P.S: Support Digout Day! (see sig)

Mmm...

Seems to me the voters are happy enough to laugh along...the vast majority of the matters in the list were well known prior to the election and yet FF were returned with roughly the same proportion of votes as last time.

To me, the more interesting side to all this is not that FF have been involved in all this, but that the voters have implicitly accepted the behaviour and/or FF's response to it.

I never said they didn't. As a matter of fact that is what I have always maintained. Haven't I quoted it before "There is nothing wrong with Fianna Fail that isn't wrong with Ireland, and there isn't anything wrong with Ireland that isn't wrong with Fianna Fail"?

I just found the link Amusing.

I wasn't saying that you said/implied/felt differently - I was just giving my own thoughts.

I'm just saying I think that this blogger's anger is at least somewhat misdirected.
The people have spoken...they don't care.

(I actually think it's quite remarkable that politics has cleaned up as much as it has in the past 20 or so years given just how often the public are willing to re-elect some of these people.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 03, 2007, 12:34:46 pm
Quote
I wasn't saying that you said/implied/felt differently - I was just giving my own thoughts.

I'm just saying I think that this blogger's anger is at least somewhat misdirected.
The people have spoken...they don't care.

(I actually think it's quite remarkable that politics has cleaned up as much as it has in the past 20 or so years given just how often the public are willing to re-elect some of these people.)

I actually tend to agree with that second bit. Actually I reckon the tone of blog is at times so very shrill it reminds people of what is so common about a certain crowd of Irish political commentators who seem to exist to remind people of their own self-importance (not that this blogger nor more Importantly, I - am ever that shrill. :P). Just a needed reminder.

Btw, what gives your assertion that politics is much more clean than 20 years ago? (Not hard it has to be said.) Apart from the fact that we all KNOW that corruptions is going on\has gone on and o\c the laborious tribunals. 


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 03, 2007, 03:21:31 pm
Actually I reckon the tone of blog is at times so very shrill it reminds people of what is so common about a certain crowd of Irish political commentators who seem to exist to remind people of their own self-importance

Agree

Btw, what gives your assertion that politics is much more clean than 20 years ago? (Not hard it has to be said.) Apart from the fact that we all KNOW that corruptions is going on\has gone on and o\c the laborious tribunals. 

Good question and my answer is that I'm not sure.
The biggest single factors are the ongoing work of the Tribunals and the continuous revelatory work of the Revenue Commissioners in detecting tax defaulters.

The jailing of the likes of Burke; Lawlor; and Fahy; and the emergence in public of the shenanigans of Haughey; Ahern; Lowry; Flynn, etc. help form the opinion also.

These things together with what I would perceive as at least a more aware (if not properly investigative) media; something (though nowhere near where it should be) of a change in public attitudes; the increased focus on the actions of local councils when it comes to issues such as rezoning; the changed working behaviours of banks; and general instinct.

In general there's more light now shining on politicians at local and national level.

There has been very serious, high level investigations into corrupt politicians ongoing for some time now, but little of it concerns say the last 10 years, and almost none of it the last 5.

Somewhere from these things, doth my opinions emerge. Whether or not it amounts to a hill of beans...well that depends on your point of view.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 05, 2007, 04:08:28 pm
@Jas: Did you read the Tribune on Sunday? In particular the article on the relationship between Albert Reynolds, John Ellis (Ex-FF TD for Leitrim) and Pakistan?

There was a whole section of articles dedicated to attacking to FF. And while it was typically sensationalistic, I have to say if half the stuff there is true...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 05, 2007, 05:03:01 pm
@Jas: Did read the Tribune on Sunday. In particular the article on the relationship between Albert Reynolds, John Ellis (Ex-FF TD for Leitrim) and Pakistan?

There was a whole section of articles dedicated to attacking to FF. And while it was typically sensationalistic, I have to say if half the stuff there is true...

Long time since I went to the bother of getting a Sunday paper (it's not hard to be disenchanted at the choice on offer)...so, no 'fraid I know nothing of the Turbine's reportage of late...but do feel free to enlighten.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 06, 2007, 05:29:44 am
@Jas: Did read the Tribune on Sunday. In particular the article on the relationship between Albert Reynolds, John Ellis (Ex-FF TD for Leitrim) and Pakistan?

There was a whole section of articles dedicated to attacking to FF. And while it was typically sensationalistic, I have to say if half the stuff there is true...

Long time since I went to the bother of getting a Sunday paper (it's not hard to be disenchanted at the choice on offer)...so, no 'fraid I know nothing of the Turbine's reportage of late...but do feel free to enlighten.

I tend to agree with you on Sunday papers; even The Sunday Times isn't much; except the Culture section and Brian Appleyard. I read this just yesterday when I was in the NUIM library skiving off studying preparing for some work.

Found it here (http://www.tribune.ie/article.tvt?_scope=TribuneFTF&id=107865&SUBCAT=&SUBCATNAME=&DT=02/12/2007%2000:00:00&keywords=Pakistan&FC=):

Quote
THE name of Fianna Fail does not trip lightly off everyday conversation in downtown Karachi.

They have enough political intrigue of their own in Pakistan to occupy the chattering salons, what with the Supreme Court being emasculated and the media decimated under emergency rule.

But, in the week when president Pervez Musharraf finally climbed out of his general's uniform, Fianna Fail's links with the south Asian nuclear power grew ever more fascinating.

"I haven't been in Pakistan for a lifetime nearly, " replied the Taoiseach's Seanad nominee John Ellis, when asked about his directorship of a nowdefunct bank in Karachi. In response to an enquiry if Albert Reynolds had ever told him about Reynolds' history-making relationship with Musharraf, Ellis asked: "No. Why would he?"

"Because you're friends."

"It's still being said that we're very close friends. That's newspapers for you . . . tomorrow's fish 'n' chips. We would be political friends. That'd be the height of it, " said the Leitrim senator.

"We're neighbours as well. Our counties are beside each other and I've a lot of his relations living near me."

In recent radio interviews on RTE and Today FM, former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds recounted his kingmaking role in extolling Musharraf 's credentials to an initially hostile White House after a bloodless military coup in Pakistan in 1999.

"A business associate of mine invited me to travel there, to go and see him [Musharraf ] and to talk about becoming his consultant, his advisor, " said Reynolds, who was still a TD for Longford-Westmeath at the time of these events. According to the former Fianna Fail leader, he rang US president Bill Clinton on his private phone and arranged to meet him in Washington. At that meeting, Reynolds assured Clinton that, despite a US policy of not supporting leaders of coups d'etat, Musharraf could be trusted.

He said that on the night of 9/11, Musharraf rang Reynolds at his home in Dublin and asked him to inform the US that he would be "their number-one supporter". On another occasion, the Pakistani dictator invited the former Taoiseach to broker peace in Kashmir and, though that exercise was not realised, Clinton's successor, George W Bush, refers to Musharraf as "my buddy" to this day.

Reynolds said he has travelled to Pakistan three times. He was the Irish government's delegate to an international donors' conference in the capital, Islamabad, in November 2005, after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in the north of the country the previous month.

Five-star Sheraton Hotel He returned six months later, in May 2006, to deliver a speech entitled 'Competitiveness Strategies: Lessons Learned from Ireland' at a conference organised by the Pakistani government and financed by the US Agency for International Development. He was made honorary chairman of the Ireland-Pakistan Business Council when it was launched in Dublin in November 2005. In an address to the council in November last year, Reynolds described Musharraf as "a courageous person" who deserved to be at the helm of Pakistan.

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country on earth, with the world's second-largest Muslim population. Not the sort of place one expects to bump into a distant neighbour from back home. But at the time of Reynolds' first trip to the country . . . the one when he was introduced to Musharraf . . . another Fianna Fail backbencher was already a frequent visitor to Karachi.

Farmer and failed meat-factory owner John Ellis was a founding director of Indus Bank, a private bank established in the Peshawar province in 1992.

(continued...)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 06, 2007, 05:30:39 am
Here is the rest...

Quote
His wife, Patricia, an accountant, was also on the bank's board. Whenever John Ellis flew to Karachi for a bank meeting he was accommodated in the five-star Sheraton Hotel and accorded the normal courtesies extended to a member of a foreign parliament. In 1999, the last year it traded, Indus Bank was listed 17th in the Banker's Almanac and had total assets of about $59m before Musharraf 's military coup.

Ellis and his two brothers had seen the collapse of their meat factory in Donegal a decade earlier, leaving creditor farmers unpaid in the northwest of Ireland. In December 1989, Charlie Haughey, then Taoiseach of a Fianna Fail/PD coalition with a majority of one Dail seat, gave Ellis £12,400 from the party leader's account to cancel out bankruptcy proceedings initiated against him by Manorhamilton Mart.

Around the same time, National Irish Bank wrote off a £260,000 debt, sparking a flurry of allegations in the Dail about possible Fianna Fail influence in the bank's decision. John Ellis issued a public statement saying he did not have the wherewithal to discharge the debt and that he was acutely conscious of the fragility of the government's majority; knowing that, if declared bankrupt, he would lose his Dail seat.

He said he informed the then minister for finance, Albert Reynolds, of his predicament and added: "I understand that at the same time, Albert Reynolds was informing the bank of my dire circumstances and, in effect, pleaded for leniency for me." Reynolds denied having interceded on his behalf and the bank's boss, Jim Lacey, confirmed that the finance minister had not made representations to him on behalf of Ellis.

Less than two years after that controversy, John Ellis was invited to sit on the inaugural board of Indus Bank in November 1991 by its chairman, Khurshid Sohail. Ellis has said he first met Sohail in 1980 when the Karachi-businessman came to Ireland scouting for an investment in the textile industry.

According to Shahid Izbal, a financial journalist with Pakistan's biggest-selling Englishlanguage newspaper, Dawn, the application for the banking licence was made by Sohail's brother, Tariq Sohail, then a leading member of Benazir Bhutto's People's Party.

It was reported one of Ellis's fellow directors in the Indus Bank was Haroon Rashid Kahlon, a recipient of one of the 11 passports-for-sale infamously processed by former justice minister Ray Burke and personally handed over to Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz by Charlie Haughey in his house, Abbeville, on a Saturday in December 1990.

The Saudi-born sheikh, one of the world's richest men, with banks in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and oil interests in the US and the Middle East and a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden, undertook to invest £20m in various Irish businesses in return for naturalisation. Kerry Airport and Butler Engineering, owned by a supporter of Fianna Fail, were among the beneficiaries.

Political instability Sheikh bin Mahfouz is accused by name in a trillion-dollar lawsuit filed by families of 9/11 victims, alleging he financed alQaida. In the early 1990s he and Kahlon, the Indus Bank director, were investigated in the US for an attempt to defraud the Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI) customers of $10bn. The charges against them were dropped in a pleabargaining arrangement that required them to pay $225m in compensation. The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the men's Irish passports have never been revoked.

Meanwhile, back in Karachi, Indus Bank was floundering by the late 1990s. Pakistan has only had independence for 60 years and decades of political instability had taken their toll on the economy. Despite a current upturn in the economy, a recent report by the Asian Development Bank described Pakistan as a country with "poor governance, endemic corruption and social indicators that are among the worst in Asia".

Conditions were exacerbated by the imposition of US and NATO economic sanctions in 1998 after the country carried out nuclear tests. Amid this turmoil, Indus Bank became the first Pakistani bank to have its licence withdrawn, following an investigation by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). On foot of a formal complaint by the SBP, the chairman, Khurshid Sohail, was arrested on 30 October 2000 and accused of siphoning off bank deposits of more than 1.6m. He was also charged with illegally obtaining loans from Indus Bank in the names of various companies for his personal use. Sohail's son was among three of his co-accused.

John and Patricia Ellis, as directors, were named as corespondents in the early proceedings, though there was never a suspicion of wrongdoing by them. Legal documentation claimed their appointments were "of no legal effect" and that they had been brought in by Sohail despite their apparent lack of banking experience. The case was prosecuted under the National Accountability Bill (NAB), an autonomous wing of the army created by Musharraf, and Sohail was released on 20 December 2002 on two bail bonds of five million rupees ( 56,000) each.

While the denouement of the Indus Bank was in train, a row broke out back in Dail Eireann concerning "a murky tale" of a new honorary consul's appointment in Pakistan. The previous consul, Nadeem Bag, had sued the Irish government for his dismissal in 1998 and his case was settled out of court. He claimed he was sacked after preparing a report for the Department of Foreign Affairs on the Indus Bank affair. In a High Court affidavit, Beg described the bank's chairman, Khurshid Sohail as "a controversial character who does not enjoy a good reputation".

After Beg's dismissal, the Irish ambassador in Tehran (which also covers Pakistan) interviewed 12 candidates seeking the honorary position but the man who finally got the job, Hasib Ahsan, was not one of them. It emerged in a Dail debate on 26 October 2000 that he had been appointed on the recommendation of Fianna Fail backbencher John Ellis. Calling for an examination of the appointment by the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Fine Gael's Jim O'Keeffe claimed Ahsan was "a friend and associate of Mr Sohail". (The joint committee never did investigate the appointment. ) Since then, John Ellis lost his Dail seat in the May general election and was appointed to the Seanad last summer by the Taoiseach as one of his 11 nominees.

Just over seven years since the collapse of the Indus Bank, he told the Sunday Tribune he had not been in Pakistan in 20 years and described as "more bull" the allegation that he recommended Ahsan for the honorary consul's job.

"I never had any direct dealings there, " he said.

"But you were a director of the Indus Bank?"

"I had resigned years before anything happened, " said Ellis.

"The owners and directors were all exonerated."

And Khurshid Sohail?

"He was fully vindicated."

Back in Pakistan, journalist Shahid Izbal begs to differ. "I don't think that is correct. Mr Sohail got out of jail five years ago and left Pakistan. His whereabouts are unknown."

A little Dubious no doubt (why would Musharraf call Reynolds, of all people, after 9\11?) but still...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2007, 07:17:36 am
Well, that's...weird. Not sure what to make of it. (Particularly the idea that Reynolds could make one iota of difference to US policy on Pakistan.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2007, 09:57:56 am
On the subject, Transparancy International have just released the results of their 'Corruption Preceptions Index (http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/about)' for 2007. Though we're not a leading light (Score: 7.5/10; 17th place), we do outrank places like France; Belgium; and the US.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 09, 2007, 04:26:10 pm
The Progressive Democrats continue on what seems to be the path to extinguishment. Senator Fiona O'Malley (ex-TD, Dún Laoighaire), the only PD of any standing who was evidently considering taking the leadership has finally made up her mind against the idea.

It seems remarkable for a political party, especially one in government, to lack any candidate or member (regardless of quality) interested in being party leader.

The bell is surely now tolling for the PDs.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 09, 2007, 04:46:30 pm
The PDs will merge will Fianna Fail before the next election, so it is written. (Except that maybe one or two of them will go over to Fine Gael... but who out of the decimated Parliamentary party would do that now like Parlon and O'Donnell (thankfully!) are gone.)

Meanwhile having looked over some the Sunday papers down here in Kildare in the Local Dunnes, did you know OMG SOME WOMAN DIED!1111?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 09, 2007, 04:54:23 pm
The PDs will merge will Fianna Fail before the next election, so it is written. (Except that maybe one or two of them will go over to Fine Gael... but who out of the decimated Parliamentary party would do that now like Parlon and O'Donnell (thankfully!) are gone.)

At this stage Harney and Grealish are de facto FF TDs. Grealish has made it perfectly clear that he is more than willing to sign up - the absence of any PD leadership makes that all the easier. The question for him is simply when it becomes official.

It's clear now that barring something unforseen, Harney will be Minister for Health as long as Bertie remains at the top. Will be interesting to see if Cowen would be willing to move her should he become Taoiseach before the end of this term. Looks increasingly unlikely that she'll run for election again.

Meanwhile having looked over some the Sunday papers down here in Kildare in the Local Dunnes, did you know OMG SOME WOMAN DIED!1111?

Haven't seen the Sundays today, but the coverage generally has been remarkable. I was only vaguely aware of this woman up until she died. I really don't understand the interest. It eludes me how people seem to be so fascinated.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 09, 2007, 04:58:47 pm
Unfortunely the Computers at NUIM shut down at 10.. which gives me 3 minutes to post a reply.

Quote
At this stage Harney and Grealish are de facto FF TDs. Grealish has made it perfectly clear that he is more than willing to sign up - the absence of any PD leadership makes that all the easier. The question for him is simply when it becomes official.

It's clear now that barring something unforseen, Harney will be Minister for Health as long as Bertie remains at the top. Will be interesting to see if Cowen would be willing to move her should he become Taoiseach before the end of this term. Looks increasingly unlikely that she'll run for election again.

Can't disagree with that.

Quote
Haven't seen the Sundays today, but the coverage generally has been remarkable. I was only vaguely aware of this woman up until she died. I really don't understand the interest. It eludes me how people seem to be so fascinated.

Actually I'm very aware (I think) of what lies behind all this.. but in order to explain what see me consuming more time than I already have.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 10, 2007, 02:45:26 pm
It will be announced tomorrow that Cllr. Mary Mitchell O’Connor (PD; Dún Laoighaire Rathdown County Council) will defect to Fine Gael. Hardly earth shattering, but nonetheless adds to the death is at hand theories re: the Progressive Democrats.

The defection will bring the total number of PD County Councillors down to 19 (only 4 in Dublin).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 10, 2007, 02:54:58 pm
It will be announced tomorrow that Cllr. Mary Mitchell O’Connor (PD; Dún Laoighaire Rathdown County Council) will defect to Fine Gael. Hardly earth shattering, but nonetheless adds to the death is at hand theories re: the Progressive Democrats.

The defection will bring the total number of PD County Councillors down to 19 (only 4 in Dublin).

Yay! Drlcoco related stuff. Actually hard to believe that she is\was the last PD on the council; really the signs were there from the local elections onwards.

Now makes Fianna Fail's life in opposition more difficult. Not that I have a particular fondness for our local council.



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 10, 2007, 03:11:30 pm
It will be announced tomorrow that Cllr. Mary Mitchell O’Connor (PD; Dún Laoighaire Rathdown County Council) will defect to Fine Gael. Hardly earth shattering, but nonetheless adds to the death is at hand theories re: the Progressive Democrats.

The defection will bring the total number of PD County Councillors down to 19 (only 4 in Dublin).

Yay! Drlcoco related stuff. Actually hard to believe that she is\was the last PD on the council; really the signs were there from the local elections onwards.

Now makes Fianna Fail's life in opposition more difficult. Not that I have a particular fondness for our local council.

New Dún Laoighaire - Rathdown Council Composition:
FG 10; FF 7; Lab 6; Green 4; Ind 1

I presume that's been a solid FG/Lab coalition since the election.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 10, 2007, 03:17:52 pm
It will be announced tomorrow that Cllr. Mary Mitchell O’Connor (PD; Dún Laoighaire Rathdown County Council) will defect to Fine Gael. Hardly earth shattering, but nonetheless adds to the death is at hand theories re: the Progressive Democrats.

The defection will bring the total number of PD County Councillors down to 19 (only 4 in Dublin).

Yay! Drlcoco related stuff. Actually hard to believe that she is\was the last PD on the council; really the signs were there from the local elections onwards.

Now makes Fianna Fail's life in opposition more difficult. Not that I have a particular fondness for our local council.

New Dún Laoighaire - Rathdown Council Composition:
FG 10; FF 7; Lab 6; Green 4; Ind 1

I presume that's been a solid FG/Lab coalition since the election.

Aye. Aye. Though that really should be FG-led council with labour dragging up the rear.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 10, 2007, 03:33:32 pm
As part of the series of reasons as to why I feel Enda Kenny would be a travesty as Taoiseach is his obsession with the idea of random drug testing.

In Leader's Questions last week, he suggested random drug testing for students; today FG put out a press release (http://www.finegael.ie//News/index.cfm/type/details/pkey/653/nkey/32970) calling for random drug testing for nightclub patrons:
"Gardaí should mount random searches of customers outside known nightclubs and pubs in order to root out cocaine use."

There's times when I think he's not much better than the political equivalent of Steve Staunton.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 10, 2007, 03:44:17 pm
As part of the series of reasons as to why I feel Enda Kenny would be a travesty as Taoiseach is his obsession with the idea of random drug testing.

In Leader's Questions last week, he suggested random drug testing for students; today FG put out a press release (http://www.finegael.ie//News/index.cfm/type/details/pkey/653/nkey/32970) calling for random drug testing for nightclub patrons:
"Gardaí should mount random searches of customers outside known nightclubs and pubs in order to root out cocaine use."

There's times when I think he's not much better than the political equivalent of Steve Staunton.

Indeed. Though really he is a small town lawyer living in a bubble that he believes to be The West wing but with added Michael Ring.



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 10, 2007, 03:50:26 pm
As part of the series of reasons as to why I feel Enda Kenny would be a travesty as Taoiseach is his obsession with the idea of random drug testing.

In Leader's Questions last week, he suggested random drug testing for students; today FG put out a press release (http://www.finegael.ie//News/index.cfm/type/details/pkey/653/nkey/32970) calling for random drug testing for nightclub patrons:
"Gardaí should mount random searches of customers outside known nightclubs and pubs in order to root out cocaine use."

There's times when I think he's not much better than the political equivalent of Steve Staunton.

Indeed. Though really he is a small town lawyer living in a bubble that he believes to be The West wing but with added Michael Ring.

;D lol

Now, now...though there's many the bad apple and gombeen men among we lawyers, I'll not have you sully us with the inclusion of Mr. Kenny!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 11, 2007, 10:04:32 am
The funny thing I have to say about Enda (or Indah if you prefer) is that he strikes as quite possibly the least ambitious man ever to have lived; he knows the opposition leader role well having seen it done so perfectly (ie. with utter failure) having been a member of the FG frontbench for so long and having his father also in that position yet unlike those other hallowed failures than he succeeded due to not being Gay Mitchell, he brings absolutely nothing to the whole "Dail" thing at all.

He almost makes you wish for the second coming of Michael Noonan.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 11, 2007, 12:50:02 pm
Taoiseach has announced that the recently announced pay rises for the cabinet will be 'deferred' by a year.

I fail to see any logic to this decision. Either they view the top-up as justified and accept it; or unjustified and refuse it. Accepting it a year later seems to be a fairly stupid way of saying that the pay rise is justified but hey seeing as you all raised such a fuss over it, we better be seen to be doing something about it.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 11, 2007, 01:03:21 pm
In the interests of balance, having criticised the Government, I shall also give a shout out to Fine Gael who issues a press release yesterday, 'Fishermen alienated by Govt could help in fight against drugs (http://www.finegael.ie/news/index.cfm/type/details/nkey/32976/pkey/653)'. So now they've suggested random testing in schools, and outside social venues, and having fishermen on the hunt of drug barons; all within the past 3 weeks.

FG seem to think drugs strategy is like a McDonald's Happy Meal, a new collectable one each week - and about as well conceived in design and use.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 13, 2007, 12:52:50 pm
The Standards in Public Office Commission have released the spending figures from the General Election.

Party
Expenditure
Seats
€/seat
Fianna Fáil
€3,650,240.55
78
€46,797.96
Fine Gael
€2,809,474.25
51
€55,087.73
Labour
€1,477,321.48
20
€73,866.07
Progressive Democrats
€1,012,707.52
2
€506,353.76
Sinn Féin
€685,095.66
4
€171,273.92
Green Party
€553,858.70
6
€92,309.78
Socialist Party
€56,125.49
0
n/a
Workers' Party
€30,200.14
0
n/a
Christian Solidarity Party
€11,427.06
0
n/a

Those PD seats turned out to be quite expensive!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 14, 2007, 10:00:55 am
The Standards in Public Office Commission have released the spending figures from the General Election.

Party
Expenditure
Seats
€/seat
Fianna Fáil
€3,650,240.55
78
€46,797.96
Fine Gael
€2,809,474.25
51
€55,087.73
Labour
€1,477,321.48
20
€73,866.07
Progressive Democrats
€1,012,707.52
2
€506,353.76
Sinn Féin
€685,095.66
4
€171,273.92
Green Party
€553,858.70
6
€92,309.78
Socialist Party
€56,125.49
0
n/a
Workers' Party
€30,200.14
0
n/a
Christian Solidarity Party
€11,427.06
0
n/a

Those PD seats turned out to be quite expensive!

According to the IT Frank McNamara, the PD candidate for Dublin South Central (which was never going to elect a PD; even if the PDs had a good year. I know alot of that area - it ain't PD terriority.) was the individual candidate with the tenth highest level of personal spending in the campaign. All that, and less than 1,000 1st Prefs. Hahaha.

And of that "top ten" only two iirc got elected - Parlon was first, Cowley(!!!) was second.. and they got nowhere. Cowley seemingly managed only to pick up the "Shell for Sea" vote and collapsed everywhere else.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 14, 2007, 12:10:17 pm
I've almost started to check Fine Gael's press releases regularly simply for my own personal amusement. Their latest offering (http://www.finegael.ie//News/index.cfm/type/details/pkey/653/nkey/33030) inclides the wonderful line "the army could also help with posture development of schoolchildren" (oh... the mental picture!). FG suggest bringing the army in to help the battle against child obesity - but apparently "Willie O'Dea has unfortunately dismissed my proposals out of hand and seems intent instead on 'playing politics' with this issue".

I don't like it when FG's arguments lead to my agreement with this man:
(http://www.irishblogs.ie/images/347263.jpg)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 14, 2007, 02:38:03 pm
I've almost started to check Fine Gael's press releases regularly simply for my own personal amusement. Their latest offering (http://www.finegael.ie//News/index.cfm/type/details/pkey/653/nkey/33030) inclides the wonderful line "the army could also help with posture development of schoolchildren" (oh... the mental picture!). FG suggest bringing the army in to help the battle against child obesity - but apparently "Willie O'Dea has unfortunately dismissed my proposals out of hand and seems intent instead on 'playing politics' with this issue".

I don't like it when FG's arguments lead to my agreement with this man:
(http://www.irishblogs.ie/images/347263.jpg)

What is with your obsession with posting that pic?

EDIT: The FG website is awful.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 14, 2007, 04:46:43 pm
I've almost started to check Fine Gael's press releases regularly simply for my own personal amusement. Their latest offering (http://www.finegael.ie//News/index.cfm/type/details/pkey/653/nkey/33030) inclides the wonderful line "the army could also help with posture development of schoolchildren" (oh... the mental picture!). FG suggest bringing the army in to help the battle against child obesity - but apparently "Willie O'Dea has unfortunately dismissed my proposals out of hand and seems intent instead on 'playing politics' with this issue".

I don't like it when FG's arguments lead to my agreement with this man:
(http://www.irishblogs.ie/images/347263.jpg)

What is with your obsession with posting that pic?

Hard to say...combination of things I suppose. It encapsulates a lot about my perceptions of certain Irish politicans.

I suppose it's become my own version of Private Eye's:
(http://www.gammarama.co.uk/Brillo1.jpg)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 17, 2007, 12:31:18 pm
The Irish Mail on Sunday reported that the PD General Council meeting in January the white flag will go up and the party will begin to wind up following there  failure to find a leader. The piece says that PD Councillors have been advised to consider "their future with other political groupings". In a seperate story, the Sunday Times reported that many PD Councillors have already been approached by either FF or FG with a view to what must be defections in the short term given that local elections are due in the early 2009.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 30, 2007, 02:35:01 pm
Today's Sunday Business Post have apparently reported that the Government plan on holding the EU Reform Treaty Referendum on 9 May.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 30, 2007, 02:48:27 pm
Today's Sunday Business Post have apparently reported that the Government plan on holding the EU Reform Treaty Referendum on 9 May.

Any idea on whether they will hold the referendum on 'Children's Rights' on the same day? (They were also talking about a potential referendum on Gay Marriage.. Until Leninhan said it would be 'divisive' ::) )



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 31, 2007, 09:22:47 am
Today's Sunday Business Post have apparently reported that the Government plan on holding the EU Reform Treaty Referendum on 9 May.

Any idea on whether they will hold the referendum on 'Children's Rights' on the same day? (They were also talking about a potential referendum on Gay Marriage.. Until Leninhan said it would be 'divisive' ::) )

I didn't see the article myself. I'd suggest though that it's almost certain that they'll be held on the same day for reasons both economical and political.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 25, 2008, 01:58:37 pm
First poll of the new year published in today's Irish Times (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/0125/1201073558953.html).

First off my now usual summary...

Major political issues in the year so far:
  • Neverending saga of the Taoiseach's financial scandal
  • Health: Difficult negotiations with hospital consultants over contracts; Poor relative treatment of Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland highlighted
  • Green party leadership failed narrowly to get the 2/3 backing of party membership necessary for it to campaign in favour of the Lisbon Treaty
  • Debate over PD's political future continues - clear split emerges within the party
  • Benchmarking process calls for no rise in most civil service salaries - not long after generous rises for heads of semi-states, senior civil servants and politicians

The headline figures are provided below along with, for comparison, the last poll; the last tns poll; the Election result; and the last tns poll pre-election.

May 07May 07Nov 07Nov 07Jan 08
tnsMRBI;Election;tnsMRBI;RedC;tnsMRBI
Fianna Fáil4141.6333234
Fine Gael2727.3313131
Labour1010.1151312
Green64.7596
Sinn Féin96.9778
PD22.7223
Other76.6776

Very little movement on the last Irish Times poll. Most noticeably FF are marginally up (+2); Labour down (-3).


Satisfaction Ratings
SurnamePositionSatisfied;Dissatisfied;No Opinion;Net Satisfaction;Change to Satisfied
AhernTaoiseach, FF Leader40546-14-3
CowenTánaiste, FF Dep. Leader522919+23+3
KennyFine Gael Leader413722+4-1
GilmoreLabour Leader362341+13+6
GormleyGreen Leader423028+12+2
AdamsSF Leader482626+22+7
HarneyPD Acting Leader355312-18Unchanged

Ahern and Harney both above 50% on the dissatisfieds and only getting worse.
Cowen rated surprisingly highly as questions and murmurs continue as to when/if he will make a pro-active move to take the leadership while he continues to be the obvious successor.
Gilmore clearly has a very high non-recognition issue to get over, but he's still new-ish to leadership.

Questions on the Taoiseach
Q: The leaders of Fine Gael and the Labour Party claim that Mr. Ahern did not give the full picture about his finances or his tax liabilities and have called on him to resign. Should the Taoiseach resign, or not?
Yes 44%
No 46%
Don't Know/No opinion 10%

(FF voters: No = 77%)

Q: Mr. Ahern has indicated that he may step down as Taoiseach before the next election. Do you think he should step down or stay on and lead his party into the next election?
Should step down 55%
Should stay on 36%
DK/No op 9%

Q: Do you believe [Ahern] has given the full picture about his personal finances and tax liabilities or does he have further questions to answer?
May 07;Oct 07;Jan 08
Has given the full picture29%17%14%
Has further questions to answer58%72%78%
DK/No op13%11%8%


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on January 25, 2008, 03:41:13 pm
On a completely unrelated topic and for help elsewhere (specifically an RP)- what is the general Irish view of redheads?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 28, 2008, 06:19:16 am
On a completely unrelated topic and for help elsewhere (specifically an RP)- what is the general Irish view of redheads?

As the question befuddles me greatly, I'll have to pass on this one unfortunately.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 28, 2008, 06:29:36 am
From the same poll refered to above, and on the EU Reform Treaty...

In favour 26 (+1 change on October)
Against 10 (-3)
Don't Know 64 (+2)

By party...
FF (32 yes), FG (28-10), Lab (33 yes), Green (30-11) and PD (34 yes) supporters all register more in favour than against.
Sinn Féin is the only party with more against than in favour (15-21).

By class...
ABC1 (32-9)
C2DE (20-10)
F (27-8)

Knowledge of the treaty...
"When asked if they were satisfied with their level of knowledge about what is contained in the Lisbon Treaty, a massive 68 per cent of people said they were dissatisfied with just 12 per cent expressing satisfaction and 21 per cent saying they didn't know whether or not they were satisfied.

One interesting finding is that 68 per cent of those who said they were voting Yes expressed satisfaction with their level of knowledge while that figure fell to just 22 per cent among those who are voting No. Not surprisingly, 88 per cent of those in the Don't Know category are dissatisfied with their level of knowledge about the treaty."

- Irish Times Article (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/0126/1201301248063.html)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on January 28, 2008, 08:11:37 am
On a completely unrelated topic and for help elsewhere (specifically an RP)- what is the general Irish view of redheads?

As the question befuddles me greatly, I'll have to pass on this one unfortunately.

My boyfriend likes red-heads..ask him :) He's not Irish, but he's an O'Brien..close enough.

For the record, 10% of Irish have red hair and 13% of Scots have red hair. The recessive gene is carried by about 40-45% of the Irish and Scottish populations.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 29, 2008, 06:36:44 am
The Sunday Business Post/Red C poll published on Sunday is below.

May 07May 07Nov 07Jan 08Jan 08
RedCElectionRedCtnsMRBIRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.6323436
Fine Gael2627.3313132
Labour1110.1131210
Green64.7967
Sinn Féin96.9789
PD32.7232
Other76.6764

32% is the highest Fine Gael have ever reached in a RedC poll.

Ahern
54% (+12) don't believe his evidence to the Mahon Tribunal
46% don't trust him to run the country
66% believe he should resign if found to have lied to the Tribunal

EU Reform Treaty
In favour 45
Against 25
Don't Know 30


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on January 29, 2008, 08:16:33 am
Polls are at this point are just so irrelevant.. except going to show on how nearly impossible it is for FG to surpass FF in sheer numbers, ever. (32% in a GE would FGs best performance since 1982 btw)

Dissapointed (but not surprised) at the Lisbon Treaty numbers.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 29, 2008, 09:12:22 am
Polls are at this point are just so irrelevant..

Nonsence, they give me the excuse to bump this thread!

except going to show on how nearly impossible it is for FG to surpass FF in sheer numbers, ever.

Well, given where the numbers are and that Ahern is far from in the clear; that the economy is slowing very quickly (esp. construction) and we're looking at another year with a significant fall in house prices - I'll not say it's impossible for FG (even with gormless Enda at the helm) to take a poll lead sometime this year or next.

(32% in a GE would FGs best performance since 1982 btw)

Nov 1982 General - heady days for FG:
Fianna Fáil 45.2% (75 seats)
Fine Gael 39.2% (70 seats)
Labour 9.4% (16 seats)
Workers Party 3.3% (2 seats)
Others 2.9% (3 seats)

How times have changed...

Dissapointed (but not surprised) at the Lisbon Treaty numbers.

What's interesting is the massive divergence between the tnsMRBI and RedC figures.
64% v 30% don't knows?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on January 31, 2008, 05:48:43 am
Listening to RTE Radio 1 reminded me of how much and why I've been trying to avoid the mainstream coverage of Irish politics since the election...

Quote
Well, given where the numbers are and that Ahern is far from in the clear

He'll be gone by the next election. So it doesn't matter.

Quote
that the economy is slowing very quickly (esp. construction) and we're looking at another year with a significant fall in house prices

True. But the next election isn't until 2012.

Quote
I'll not say it's impossible for FG (even with gormless Enda at the helm) to take a poll lead sometime this year or next.

Perhaps. But the next election is yadda, yadda, yadda..

Quote
Nov 1982 General - heady days for FG:
Fianna Fáil 45.2% (75 seats)
Fine Gael 39.2% (70 seats)
Labour 9.4% (16 seats)
Workers Party 3.3% (2 seats)
Others 2.9% (3 seats)

FF got less votes (%) in 2007 than in Nov1982.. and got more seats. Which goes to show how 1) powerful FF is and was especially before the rise of "cynicism" and 2) that PR-STV isn't really that proportional; nowadays the minor parties skew the results while back then there was only the North Korea Fan Club (WP) and Jim Kemmy.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 31, 2008, 06:19:46 am
Listening to RTE Radio 1 reminded me of how much and why I've been trying to avoid the mainstream coverage of Irish politics since the election...

Quote
Well, given where the numbers are and that Ahern is far from in the clear

He'll be gone by the next election. So it doesn't matter.

He'll be gone by the general - but you can bet your bottom dollar that should he still be at the helm, it will have an effect on Local and European elections as well as the referenda on the Reform treaty and "children's rights".

Quote
that the economy is slowing very quickly (esp. construction) and we're looking at another year with a significant fall in house prices

True. But the next election isn't until 2012.

Quote
I'll not say it's impossible for FG (even with gormless Enda at the helm) to take a poll lead sometime this year or next.

Perhaps. But the next election is yadda, yadda, yadda..

:) See above.

Quote
Nov 1982 General - heady days for FG:
Fianna Fáil 45.2% (75 seats)
Fine Gael 39.2% (70 seats)
Labour 9.4% (16 seats)
Workers Party 3.3% (2 seats)
Others 2.9% (3 seats)

FF got less votes (%) in 2007 than in Nov1982.. and got more seats. Which goes to show how 1) powerful FF is and was especially before the rise of "cynicism" and 2) that PR-STV isn't really that proportional; nowadays the minor parties skew the results while back then there was only the North Korea Fan Club (WP) and Jim Kemmy.

Well, I'm quite the fan of STV - so I'll step in to say that the '82 result was actually very proportional. But, more importantly, the use of transfers and the failure of some parties to run campaigns in many constituencies will obviously impact proportionality - and rightly so, IMO. I think these two factors explain the most significant variances from strict proportionality in 07, being:
SF (6.3% of the 1st preferences; 2.4% of the seats) who can't attract transfers;
FF (41.6%; 46.4%) run multiple candidates and campaigns in every constituency thus benefitting from lack of party competition in many areas.

Of course, should TBTB allow for more 5 seaters and indeed even bigger constituencies, the second factor would significantly lessen in importance - but I suppose I can't have everything.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on January 31, 2008, 06:22:26 am
Quote
He'll be gone by the general - but you can bet your bottom dollar that should he still be at the helm, it will have an effect on Local and European elections as well as the referenda on the Reform treaty and "children's rights".

Ah yes I forgot about *that*.

But still about this whole Ahern mess, I think you said it best: "The people have spoken, they don't care". (And 36% is roughly what FF was at before the election campaign last year...)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 31, 2008, 07:29:12 am
Quote
He'll be gone by the general - but you can bet your bottom dollar that should he still be at the helm, it will have an effect on Local and European elections as well as the referenda on the Reform Treaty and "children's rights".

Ah yes I forgot about *that*.

But still about this whole Ahern mess, I think you said it best: "The people have spoken, they don't care". (And 36% is roughly what FF was at before the election campaign last year...)

True.
But the nature of their not caring is changing, I think (if that makes sense). Through he election, the public were willing to accept that maybe Bertie did wrong, but that his circumstances were difficult, his family was breaking up, he cried to Dobbo, and he'd done all right in government so they cut him some slack.
 
Today, while I think the people aren't particularly angry about the ongoing mess, I do think they're now completely fed up with this being constantly in the spotlight; Ahern's excuses no longer offer a great deal of cover - his credibility can't withstand the continuing barage of stories that have come out. Alone it may not be enough, but compound it with woes about the health service; rising crime rates; and an economic downturn - and the public's willingness to listen wanes quite a bit.

I think they're now ready and willing to punish the government and I think they may very well take the opportunity of the referendum on the EU Reform Treaty to do that.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on January 31, 2008, 07:35:30 am
Quote
True.
But the nature of their not caring is changing, I think (if that makes sense). Through he election, the public were willing to accept that maybe Bertie did wrong, but that his circumstances were difficult, his family was breaking up, he cried to Dobbo, and he'd done all right in government so they cut him some slack.

Me Agrees.

Remember what I said about ignoring media coverage? And this is me, polly junkie here.

Quote
Today, while I think the people aren't particularly angry about the ongoing mess, I do think they're now completely fed up with this being constantly in the spotlight; Ahern's excuses no longer offer a great deal of cover - his credibility can't withstand the continuing barage of stories that have come out. Alone it may not be enough, but compound it with woes about the health service; rising crime rates; and an economic downturn - and the public's willingness to listen wanes quite a bit.

Yes; it is getting rather boring isn't it? But then again so is the whole Meeja "Politics as the Circus" act.

Quote
I think they're now ready and willing to punish the government and I think they may very well take the opportunity of the referendum on the EU Reform Treaty to do that.

I hope so. As the government is not going to make the same mistake as in Nice I (the "Ah, it be grand" mistake) something is needed to get a strong NO vote out. And no the likes of Youth Defense, Sinn Fein and Anthony Coughlan (who is this guy?) are not going to get the No vote out.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 31, 2008, 07:54:12 am
Quote
I think they're now ready and willing to punish the government and I think they may very well take the opportunity of the referendum on the EU Reform Treaty to do that.

I hope so. As the government is not going to make the same mistake as in Nice I (the "Ah, it be grand" mistake)

Actually, I wouldn't be too sure of that if I was you. Unless something changes, the Government position on this is going to be woefully abstract (isn't the EU marvellous; yes vote=good for democracy, human rights, etc.) and bare on detail.

In order to win this thing, they need to maximise turnout; put the kooks leading the various no campaigns front and centre to shoot them down; force FG and Labour to stand shoulder to shoulder and loudly make their case; and comprehensively and genuinely explain the significant changes the treaty makes and the consequences of a no vote.

So far, they've already decided not to hold the vote on the same day as the "children's rights" referendum (something that would generate turnout) - so this will probably be the only thing on the ballot.
They have sought to marginalise the kooks instead of putting them up on a platform where people can hear the same tired arguments against that should be relatievly easy to dismiss out of hand.
They continue to bicker with the opposition who themselves will be hesitant to commit unless they see victory as very likely.
And their statements to date have been too wishy washy, without dealing with detail.

My gut feeling today, is that unless at least some of the above changes (and bearing in mind the already discussed unpopular Taoiseach and issues re: health, crime and the economy), the people will reject the Treaty (or at least have it a fairly close run thing).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on January 31, 2008, 09:55:13 am
Quote
Actually, I wouldn't be too sure of that if I was you. Unless something changes, the Government position on this is going to be woefully abstract (isn't the EU marvellous; yes vote=good for democracy, human rights, etc.) and bare on detail.

Ehh.. That's what they did in Nice II and won (except add in "OMG THINK OF TEH POLES!!1111 etc). During Nice I they tried all that because one always got the impression they couldn't be arsed. I remember seeing alot more "No" signs than "yes" signs and I live in one of the few constituencies which voted "yes" the first time around...  (and will do so again for the Lisbon Treaty; if it doesn't then you can be sure that the treaty failed and by quite a margin too.)

Quote
In order to win this thing, they need to maximise turnout; put the kooks leading the various no campaigns front and centre to shoot them down; force FG and Labour to stand shoulder to shoulder and loudly make their case; and comprehensively and genuinely explain the significant changes the treaty makes and the consequences of a no vote.

Not hard - in referendums the Irish people seem to like grand fuzzy abstractions and most of those kooks quite like their time in the spotlight.

For the No campaign they should try and gain some strategy (unusual for these types) though with groups like libertas, etc(?) we might finally get some real functioning opposition on this. Anti-EU sentiment seems to vary alot around the country so their best strategy is concentrate on such areas or areas with anti-establishment tendencies such as Donegal, The Midlands and West Dublin.

Quote
So far, they've already decided not to hold the vote on the same day as the "children's rights" referendum (something that would generate turnout) - so this will probably be the only thing on the ballot.

That Children's rights referendum sounds like one of those 25% turnout dealies to me (like the Bail referendum)...

Quote
They have sought to marginalise the kooks instead of putting them up on a platform where people can hear the same tired arguments against that should be relatievly easy to dismiss out of hand.

1973 Anti-EU proproganda leaflet: "Joining the EU will only lower the prices of luxury goods, such as Washing Machines, Fridges and Cars"....

Nothing has changed.

Quote
They continue to bicker with the opposition who themselves will be hesitant to commit unless they see victory as very likely.
And their statements to date have been too wishy washy, without dealing with detail.

Yes. But I doubt this effect the campaign much.

Quote
My gut feeling today, is that unless at least some of the above changes (and bearing in mind the already discussed unpopular Taoiseach and issues re: health, crime and the economy), the people will reject the Treaty (or at least have it a fairly close run thing).

Disagree. But it will be closer than Nice II was and "no" will win some constituencies (the Two Donegal ones and Dublin South west in particular) If that means anything..


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 31, 2008, 01:47:10 pm
Ehh.. That's what they did in Nice II and won (except add in "OMG THINK OF TEH POLES!!1111 etc).

There's only so many times you can ask people to go to the polls on the argument that after all these years we owe Europe and that eastern Europe needs our help. The argument loses potency very quickly.

Not hard - in referendums the Irish people seem to like grand fuzzy abstractions and most of those kooks quite like their time in the spotlight.

I disagree - to an extent. In most referenda, the matter is relatively straitforward - abortion; divorce; whatever.

European treaties though are complex tomes which can't come with a handy one page summary. Abstractions is all they've got (simplifies bureaucracy; improves voting system; more accountability; etc). The detail is tough and TBTB have no confidence in the public to be able to take in the detail. There explanation of the treaty will not be what gets people to the polls, unfortunately both sides will resort to the politics of fear with broad sweeping and inaccurate generalisations.

Quote
So far, they've already decided not to hold the vote on the same day as the "children's rights" referendum (something that would generate turnout) - so this will probably be the only thing on the ballot.

That Children's rights referendum sounds like one of those 25% turnout dealies to me (like the Bail referendum)...

Maybe so... but every little helps. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on January 31, 2008, 01:55:13 pm
Quote
There's only so many times you can ask people to go to the polls on the argument that after all these years we owe Europe and that eastern Europe needs our help. The argument loses potency very quickly.

True. I was merely objecting to your claim that the governments position will be "woefully" abstract - it hasn't stopped them winning before.

Quote
I disagree - to an extent. In most referenda, the matter is relatively straitforward - abortion; divorce; whatever.

Did you pay attention at all to the last Abortion referendum? By the end of it I don't think anyone was sure what it was about (That we can thank Dana for really...)

As for not attracting kooks.. Hah! Remember that woman in the Count centre after the "yes" in the Divorce referendum shouting out "you are all a bunch of wife swapping sodomites". ;D

And if the Catholic press (ever read Alive!?) is anything to by, they hate the EU almost as much as they hate sex.

Though it must be said so far the main opposition to the EU treaty I've noticed (but remember I am in a university now..) is from SWP rallies and such. (You have to admit, they do a good job stapling their posters all around town...)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 31, 2008, 02:28:44 pm
Quote
There's only so many times you can ask people to go to the polls on the argument that after all these years we owe Europe and that eastern Europe needs our help. The argument loses potency very quickly.

True. I was merely objecting to your claim that the governments position will be "woefully" abstract - it hasn't stopped them winning before.

Not on its own. But it could contribute.


Quote
I disagree - to an extent. In most referenda, the matter is relatively straitforward - abortion; divorce; whatever.

Did you pay attention at all to the last Abortion referendum? By the end of it I don't think anyone was sure what it was about (That we can thank Dana for really...)

:) Still infinitely more understandable than the near 200 pages of amendments to the European treaties that we'll be voting on - but indeed, you have a point.

As for not attracting kooks.. Hah! Remember that woman in the Count centre after the "yes" in the Divorce referendum shouting out "you are all a bunch of wife swapping sodomites". ;D

And if the Catholic press (ever read Alive!?) is anything to by, they hate the EU almost as much as they hate sex.

Of course, there are always kooks, but usually there is a 'sensible' opposition group as well with reasonably normal, presentable people making relatively coherent arguments.

And indeed, I used to have the misfortune of having Alive delivered through the letterbox - it somehow had the ability to continually shock me about hardline Catholic attitudes - less said about this the better.

Though it must be said so far the main opposition to the EU treaty I've noticed (but remember I am in a university now..) is from SWP rallies and such. (You have to admit, they do a good job stapling their posters all around town...)

Can't say I've noticed too many SWP posters around myself around (or indeed any posters one way or the other). No sign of them in the city centre or Dundrum/Churchtown way anyway.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on January 31, 2008, 03:06:08 pm
Quote
Of course, there are always kooks, but usually there is a 'sensible' opposition group as well with reasonably normal, presentable people making relatively coherent arguments.

Whoever they are, I don't think I have ever seen them involved in campaigns against EU treaties.

Quote
Can't say I've noticed too many SWP posters around myself around (or indeed any posters one way or the other). No sign of them in the city centre or Dundrum/Churchtown way anyway.

*Is curious to find out what Jas is doing in Dundrum*

Perhaps these posters are just around, appropriately enough, Connoly station?

(Oh the Trains, don't get me started on the trains... There has been at least two instances which have made me want to declare Jihad on Iarnród Éireann and CIE - but this is diverting from the topic somewhat.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 01, 2008, 04:40:33 am
Quote
Of course, there are always kooks, but usually there is a 'sensible' opposition group as well with reasonably normal, presentable people making relatively coherent arguments.

Whoever they are, I don't think I have ever seen them involved in campaigns against EU treaties.

Granted, again the European referenda are again a special case - though I'd submit that the Greens probably came closest to filling that role in times past.

Quote
Can't say I've noticed too many SWP posters around myself around (or indeed any posters one way or the other). No sign of them in the city centre or Dundrum/Churchtown way anyway.

*Is curious to find out what Jas is doing in Dundrum*

Perhaps these posters are just around, appropriately enough, Connoly station?

(Oh the Trains, don't get me started on the trains... There has been at least two instances which have made me want to declare Jihad on Iarnród Éireann and CIE - but this is diverting from the topic somewhat.)

No longer do I need worry about the travails of Connolly or Pearse station on a daily basis!

I moved to the Dundrum/Churchtown area a few weeks ago - my commute is now much more acceptable on user friendly luas :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on February 01, 2008, 06:40:23 am
Quote
No longer do I need worry about the travails of Connolly or Pearse station on a daily basis!

You are very lucky..

Quote
I moved to the Dundrum/Churchtown area a few weeks ago - my commute is now much more acceptable on user friendly luas

As someone who (now occasionally) lives on the LUAS line I must say it is one of the few things Dublin has done right in the past 10-15 years (even if it took longer than that to finally get it finished.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 01, 2008, 07:00:24 pm
New poll in tomorrow's Sunday Business Post; as usual RedC is the pollster.

Some Irish political stories in recent weeks:
  • Ahern & the Tribunal – the saga continues. Ahern went to the High Court to try and prevent questioning on certain matters claiming privilege. At the tribunal, Bertie faced anothe r2 days questioning wherein embarrasing revelations came out about more money making it's way to Bertie as well as unusual loans made from Bertie's local FF organisation.
  • In the face of Ahern's continuing difficulties, the opposition have went after Ahern's obvious successor, Tánaiste & Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen (FF-Laois/Offaly). Cowen is still expressing support, though it seems to be less than absolute.
  • Senator Dan Boyle (Green) indicated might be wise for Ahern to name a date of departure. Boyle is a key Green party figure and the move is seen as a sign of some unease by the Green party over Ahern's continuing leadership.
  • The Government announced that it has decided the wording for the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty – thoguh it has yet to be published. It is also understood that the referendum will be held in June.
  • Ned O’Keefe TD was welcomed back to Fianna Fáil. O'Keefe resigned (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg1349627#msg1349627) from FF in November rather than back a vote of confidence in the Minister for Health, Mary Harney (PD-Dublin MW)
  • Irish troops finally left for Chad, after a number of delays. IIRC, they make up the second largest national grouping there. Though Ireland has a long record of peace-keeping; this represents one of the more dangerous missions Irish defence force personnel have undertaken.
  • Prominent FF backbencher, Mary O’Rourke (FF-Westmeath) openly criticised government policy regarding the provision of ABA therapy to children with autism.
  • Half the PD parliamentary party have decided to contest the leadership. Senators Ciaran Cannon and Fiona O'Malley will be contesting the race. Neither seem to have any significant chance at being elected to the Dáil in a General Election.
  • A series of statistical returns and economic projections have been released pointing to the fact that the Irish economy is slowing down. House prices continue to slide. The appreciating euro is claimed to be adversely effecting export potential.

So, the poll...

May 07May 07Jan 08Feb 08
RedCElectionRedCRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.63637
Fine Gael2627.33231
Labour1110.11010
Green64.777
Sinn Féin96.998
PD32.722
Other76.645

Negligible changes, no more than a single percentage point on January. Despite sustained pressure on Ahern, FF gain 1. Who could blame him for staying on? The opposition have seemed stronger and have been delivering more sustained criticism of the Government than at any point in recent times - yet they have gotten no returns.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on March 01, 2008, 08:18:10 pm
This is Ireland, what did you expect? I don't even think most (or even a significant amount of) people care, to be honest.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on March 02, 2008, 07:08:41 am
What's the feeling on the turkey vulture?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 03, 2008, 05:59:56 am
What's the feeling on the turkey vulture?

:)
I think the public's choice of Dustin reflects both the general attitude to the quality of songs we've been sending recently and the belief that the eastern European countries seem to be supporting their neighbours regardless of song quality. So we've decided to send over a joke song with a joke performer. Though there are some who clearly disagree with the decision (Dustin was booed at the qualification event by a small proportion the audience) the general reaction seems to be quite positive.

Dustin would probably have one of the highest name recognitions of any 'personality' in Ireland. He's been on kids TV since the early 90s; has had a few hit singles; and has run a few joke campaigns for President - indeed, he probably gets more write-in votes than anyone else on a regular basis.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 05, 2008, 10:42:54 am
Some more from that SBP/RedC poll...

Attitudes towards Bertie Ahern and the Mahon Tribunal

I don’t believe the account Bertie Ahern has given the Mahon Tribunal about his finances:
Agree: 53% (down 1%)
Disagree: 28% (down 1%)
Neither: 19% (up 2%)

I don’t trust Bertie Ahern to run the country after hearing his version of events at the tribunal:
Agree: 50% (up 4%)
Disagree: 39% (down 4%)
Neither: 11% (no change)

Bertie Ahern should resign as Taoiseach if he is to found to have lied to the tribunal:
Agree: 69% (up 3%)
Disagree: 24% (down 3%)
Neither: 7% (no change)

The tribunal shouldn’t be investigating Bertie Ahern’s private finances and should leave him alone:
Agree: 38% (down 1%)
Disagree: 56% (up 1%)
Neither: 6% (no change)

Lisbon Treaty

In 2008, Ireland will hold a referendum to ratify the European Union Reform Treaty. If there were a referendum tomorrow, would you vote for Ireland to sign up to the Reform Treaty or not?
Yes: 46% (up 1%)
No: 23% (down 2%)
Don’t know: 31% (up 1%)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on March 05, 2008, 10:54:15 am
Quote
Lisbon Treaty

In 2008, Ireland will hold a referendum to ratify the European Union Reform Treaty. If there were a referendum tomorrow, would you vote for Ireland to sign up to the Reform Treaty or not?
Yes: 46% (up 1%)
No: 23% (down 2%)
Don’t know: 31% (up 1%)

*preparing to go into "I told you so" mode.*


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 07, 2008, 07:57:48 pm
The proposed amendment to the Constitution that would allow ratification of the Lisbon Treaty has been published and I've reproduced it below. I am considerably less than pleased with the  drafting style. (The style of legalese is completely out of place in the context of the remainder of the Constitution.)

They've went out of their way to make quite clear that the Treaty doesn't represent a threat to Irish neutrality, which should help the Aye campaign take the high ground against the most traditional of anti-European arguments here.

The below is proposed to be tacked on to Article 29 of the Constitution:

10° The State may ratify the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon on the 13th day of December 2007, and may be a member of the European Union established by virtue of that Treaty.

11° No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union referred to in subsection 10° of this section, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the said European Union or by institutions thereof, or by bodies competent under the treaties referred to in this section, from having the force of law in the State.

12° The State may exercise the options or discretions provided by or under Articles 1.22, 2.64, 2.65, 2.66, 2.67, 2.68 and 2.278 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 10° of this section and Articles 1.18 and 1.20 of Protocol No. 1 annexed to that Treaty, but any such exercise shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

13° The State may exercise the option to secure that the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice annexed to the treaty on the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly known as the Treaty establishing the European Community) shall, in whole or in part, cease to apply to the State, but any such exercise shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

14° The State may agree to the decisions, regulations or other acts under—
i Article 1.34(b)(iv),
ii Article 1.56 (in so far as it relates to Article 48.7 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 4° of this section),
iii Article 2.66 (in so far as it relates to the second subparagraph
of Article 65.3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of
the European Union),
iv Article 2.67 (in so far as it relates to subparagraph (d) of
Article 69A.2, the third subparagraph of Article 69B.1 and
paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article 69E of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union),
v Article 2.144(a),
vi Article 2.261 (in so far as it relates to the second subparagraph of Article 270a.2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), and
vii Article 2.278 (in so far as it relates to Article 280H of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union),  of the Treaty referred to in subsection 10° of this section, and may also agree to the decision under the second sentence of the second subparagraph of Article 137.2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (as amended by Article 2.116(a) of the Treaty referred to in the said subsection 10°), but the agreement to any such decision, regulation or act shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

15° The State shall not adopt a decision taken by the European Council to establish a common defence pursuant to—
i Article 1.2 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 7° of this section, or
ii Article 1.49 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 10° of this section, where that common defence would include the State.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on March 08, 2008, 01:16:22 pm
About Neutrality I don't have much to add... except to point out that I belong to the type who aren't arsed enough to read legalese. All I will say is if this again becomes the central arguement of the anti-treaty left then the campaign is over before it has begun.

Bloated Self-righteous rhetoric and appeals to morality rarely wins votes in these types of referendums.. especially if the central issue is seen to be the economy.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 12, 2008, 04:00:10 pm
The citizenship report (http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/citizenship-report-full.pdf) of Lord Goldsmith has received no coverage over here and I note that in the UK the big focus has been on the suggested introduction of an oath of allegiance for school leavers (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7287984.stm) (not sure how that would work in the North, but anyway).

More interesting to me however was the proposal the removal of the right to vote in Westminster elections from Irish citizens. (A right which is reciprocated under Irish law to British citizens here.) Specifically I'm quite unsure as to the ultimate reasoning behind the decision - it's also a notable decision in that Irish citizens are (IIRC) the largest group of non-British citizens within the UK; and, from a purely political perspective, are surely more likely to vote for Labour than their rivals.

Anyway, I just think it's interesting is all...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 17, 2008, 05:20:09 am
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Irish_clover.jpg)

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on March 17, 2008, 05:22:23 am
Kill them snakes!!1


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on March 17, 2008, 05:47:50 am
Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 17, 2008, 07:06:31 am
Kill them snakes!!1

In many ways, St. Patrick was the Sam L. Jackson of his day. ;D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 27, 2008, 01:42:04 pm
The cracks are now showing in the government over Ahern's problems with the Mahon Tribunal. Evidence the other week by his former secretary, Gráinne Caruth, has proven to be devastatingly bad for Ahern.

The leader of the Green Party, John Gormley (Min. Environment), and the acting leader of the Progressive Democrats, Mary Harney (Min. Health) have both called on the Taoiseach to make a clarifying statement. Such a statement is quite unlikely to be forthcoming.

The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party still seem to be holding firm behind Ahern (most importantly in this regard, the Tánaiste and Min. for Finance, Brian Cowen - who would rather have Bertie in place for the Lisbon Treaty referendum).

I have my doubts that either the Greens or the PDs are actually willing to walk - but it is a possibility. If wither one of them were to jump, the other would very likely follow and the Government majority would be gone.

Irish Times Breaking News article:
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0327/breaking45.htm


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on March 30, 2008, 03:37:19 pm
Watching the fall of Bertie Ahern is just so utterly painful and pointless, just go man so we here no more this.

However No-one really cares as very few people in this country really give too much of a damn about our political class, and that includes at elections and the media, who just pretend to but usually end up rolling over and providing senators.

[/cynic]


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on March 30, 2008, 05:46:51 pm
Watching the fall of Bertie Ahern is just so utterly painful and pointless, just go man so we here no more this.

However No-one really cares as very few people in this country really give too much of a damn about our political class, and that includes at elections and the media, who just pretend to but usually end up rolling over and providing senators.

[/cynic]

What are the polls showing?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 31, 2008, 06:05:46 am
What are the polls showing?

Latest poll was published yesterday in the Sunday Business Post, RedC the pollster.

May 07May 07Feb 08Mar 08
RedCElectionRedCRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.63735
Fine Gael2627.33130
Labour1110.11011
Green64.778
Sinn Féin96.989
PD32.721
Other76.657

All moves within the margin. FF down 2, to about as low as they've ever been.
A good deal of reaction has been to the PDs being down to but 1%.

According to today's Irish Times, Ahern will make a statement to the Dáil on his finances (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/0331/1206752248996.html), which have been by far and away the dominating story of the past month.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 02, 2008, 05:03:16 am
Breaking News: Ahern to resign on 6 May

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0402/ahernb.html


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 02, 2008, 05:51:58 am
Full text of resignation speech (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0402/breaking36.htm)

Extracts...

"The decision I am announcing today — like all other decisions that I have taken in a lifetime in politics - is solely motivated by what is best for the people.

I have been reflecting on pursuing this course of action for some time. This is solely a personal decision. I have no doubt that a simplistic analysis will suggest that my decision has been influenced by most recent events at the Tribunal. What I announce today is completely inspired by the desire to refocus the political dynamic in Ireland. Recent developments have not motivated my decision.

For the record I state today that nothing could be further from the truth. I look forward to comprehensively dealing with these matters at the Tribunal and robustly refuting any imputation against me.
"

...

"Therefore I will not allow issues relating to my own person to dominate the body politic as this would be contrary to the long term interests of the Irish people. I want everyone to understand one truth above all else. Never, in all the time I have served in public life, have I put my personal interest ahead of the public good. I have served this country and the people I have the honour to represent in Dáil Éireann honestly. I have provided more details about my personal finances than any person in public life who has ever held office.

While I will be the first to admit that I have made mistakes in my life and in my career, one mistake I have never made is to enrich myself by misusing the trust of the people. I have never received a corrupt payment and I have never done anything to dishonour any office I have held. I know that some people will feel that some aspects of my finances are unusual. I truly regret if this has caused any confusion or worry in people’s minds. All of these issues arose in a period when my family, personal and professional situations were rapidly changing and I made the best decisions I could in the circumstances in which I found myself. I know in my heart of hearts that I have done no wrong and wronged no-one. I look forward to the completion of the Tribunal’s work and I am confident that when it reports, the Tribunal will find that I have not acted improperly in anyway.

Equally I will not allow issues concerning myself or my finances to divert attention from the important job of government at hand. I believe it is in the best interests of the Government, my Party and most importantly the people of Ireland that I set out the time-frame for my departure from office.

It had always been my intention to review my position as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil in the aftermath of next summer’s Local and European Elections. But having reflected on the need to ensure that the work of my ministerial colleagues is not distracted from by incessant publicity about the Tribunal, I have decided of my own volition to bring forward the date.

I will complete my duties over the course of the next month and following on from my return from the United States and the State Visit to Ireland by the Prime Minister of Japan; it is my intention to tender my resignation to President McAleese on Tuesday 6th May. On that date, I will also tender my resignation as Úachtarán Fhianna Fáil.

In meantime, I will continue to discharge my duties as Taoiseach to the best of my ability, and to work as hard as I have always done, to secure the continued peace and prosperity of the island of Ireland.
"


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on April 02, 2008, 06:03:01 am
Who are the likely replacements for Ahern?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 02, 2008, 06:18:50 am
Who are the likely replacements for Ahern?

The overwhelming favourite is the current Tánaiste (Deputy PM) and Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Cowen) (Laois-Offaly).

If one was to look further then: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern; Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin; Minister for Transport and the Marine, Noel Dempsey; Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan; and Minister for Education, Mary Hanifan probably in order of likeliness - though as I say, Cowen is the prohibitive favourite.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on April 02, 2008, 07:18:25 am
"The decision I am announcing today — like all other decisions that I have taken in a lifetime in politics - is solely motivated by what is best for the people.
Ah, but which people, one wonders. ;D
Quote
While I will be the first to admit that I have made mistakes in my life and in my career, one mistake I have never made is to enrich myself by misusing the trust of the people.
No, he used that trust to good effect.
Quote
Úachtarán Fhianna Fáil.
Now that's a pretty word.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Jens on April 02, 2008, 07:29:41 am
Good news.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 02, 2008, 07:30:44 am
"The decision I am announcing today — like all other decisions that I have taken in a lifetime in politics - is solely motivated by what is best for the people.
Ah, but which people, one wonders. ;D

;D

Úachtarán Fhianna Fáil.
Now that's a pretty word.

Úachtarán = President
Pronounced: oo-ct-ar-awn ('oo' as in too)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Robespierre's Jaw on April 02, 2008, 03:34:56 pm
Interesting news. Did Ahern resign because he felt his time was up or did it have to do with the Mahon Tribunal?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 02, 2008, 04:01:21 pm
Completely Underwhelming annoucement...

More to come tomorrow.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 02, 2008, 04:44:28 pm
Interesting news. Did Ahern resign because he felt his time was up or did it have to do with the Mahon Tribunal?

The two are strongly related.

It should be said though that the resignation caught everyone off guard. Though a statement was expected, there wasn't any speculation (that I'm aware of) that he was going to resign.

He was always going to resign at some point during this government's lifetime (which could run until 2012) but the continuous problems with the Mahon Tribunal made it so that he was more than likely going to have to go within the next year. The evidence of his former secretary, Gráinne Carruth, the other week was extremely damaging.

In the end though it looks like Bertie jumped before he was going to pushed.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 03, 2008, 04:42:32 am
(http://www.ireland.com/cartoons/turner/2008/0403/03.jpg)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 03, 2008, 04:58:30 am
Who are the likely replacements for Ahern?

The overwhelming favourite is the current Tánaiste (Deputy PM) and Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Cowen) (Laois-Offaly).

If one was to look further then: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern; Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin; Minister for Transport and the Marine, Noel Dempsey; Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan; and Minister for Education, Mary Hanifan probably in order of likeliness - though as I say, Cowen is the prohibitive favourite.

FTR, both Martin and Lenihan have already ruled out running.
Nobody has yet officially declared, but Cowen is being touted as having it in the bag.

Speculation is on who he will pick as Tánaiste and as the new Minister for Finance - in both cases the same names listed above are to be considered. The Pheonix (Irish version of Private Eye) has been reporting for some months now that Lenihan has made a deal with Cowen to back him for the leadership, so long as he is set up to be next in line.

The leadership issue should be dealt with fairly quickly. The FF leadership will meet today to decide on the rules; it's likely (contest or no contest) that a new leader will be decided upon within days. (Ahern was elected party leader only 2 days after Albert Reynolds resigned back in 1994.) Whatever rules are decided, the leadership will be voted upon only by the 77 Fianna Fáil's TDs.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 03, 2008, 05:28:26 am
The Government has published the white paper on the EU Reform Treaty (http://www.reformtreaty.ie/eutreaty/pDF08-White-paper_6.pdf).
It emerged yesterday that 12 June is the likely date for the referendum.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tender Branson on April 03, 2008, 05:38:44 am
The Government has published the white paper on the EU Reform Treaty (http://www.reformtreaty.ie/eutreaty/pDF08-White-paper_6.pdf).
It emerged yesterday that 12 June is the likely date for the referendum.

Are the Irish polls still indicating a 2:1 vote in favor of the treaty ?

Our parliament will ratify it next Tuesday.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 03, 2008, 08:49:39 am
The Government has published the white paper on the EU Reform Treaty (http://www.reformtreaty.ie/eutreaty/pDF08-White-paper_6.pdf).
It emerged yesterday that 12 June is the likely date for the referendum.

Are the Irish polls still indicating a 2:1 vote in favor of the treaty ?

AFAIK, there hasn't been a poll on it since in over 4 weeks, when it was, as you describe, about 2-1 in favour - but with high numbers of undecideds (30-35%, IIRC).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Robespierre's Jaw on April 04, 2008, 04:46:16 am
Cowen Set to be Nominated Wednesday (http://uk.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKL0380833820080404)

By Andras Gergely

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Deputies of Ireland's governing Fianna Fail party are expected to select Finance Minister Brian Cowen next Wednesday to succeed Prime Minister Bertie Ahern when he steps down in May.

Cowen has long been seen as the most likely next leader of the party that has governed Ireland for 11 years, and on Thursday received the backing of his fellow Fianna Fail cabinet members, including those seen as potential candidates.

Cowen, 48, is regarded a safe pair of hands to guide the economy through a period of sharply slowing growth after a decade of spectacular development, and ministers said they trust him to represent Ireland on the international stage.

Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said he would not run for the job and would support Cowen, a former foreign minister himself, though he thought it unfair that Bertie Ahern had named Cowen as his preferred successor.

"I don't often criticise the Taoiseach (prime minister) but I do believe it shouldn't be for an outgoing Taoiseach to in effect put his hand on somebody," Dermot Ahern said.

If elected by fellow deputies, Cowen's most pressing task will be to secure a "yes" vote in a referendum expected on June 12, when Irish voters will determine the fate of the European Union's reform treaty.

EU Affairs Minister Dick Roche also pointed to Cowen's experience in running EU summits and his role in the Northern Ireland peace process, seen as Ahern's most lasting legacy.

Continued


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 04, 2008, 06:36:19 am
All of the potential contenders I outlined earlier declared that they wouldn't run at various points throughout the day yesterday. Officially, nominations close on Saturday afternoon - and only Cowen is expected to be nominated.

If though something very surprising were to happen, there would now be one more vote up for grabs. Last night, Beverley Flynn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverley_Flynn) (Mayo) was re-admitted to the Fianna Fáil party (and will be officially re-admitted to the parliamentary party on Tuesday next) on the motion of the Taoiseach. As she had been supporting the government anyway, it doesn't change any dynamics in the Dáil, which is now comprised as follows:

Fianna Fáil: 78 (+1)
Fine Gael: 51
Labour: 20
Greens: 6
Sinn Féin: 4
Progressive Democrats: 2
Independents: 4 (-1)
Ceann Comhairle: 1

Govt majority: 13 (unchanged)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tender Branson on April 05, 2008, 01:35:34 am
The Government has published the white paper on the EU Reform Treaty (http://www.reformtreaty.ie/eutreaty/pDF08-White-paper_6.pdf).
It emerged yesterday that 12 June is the likely date for the referendum.

Are the Irish polls still indicating a 2:1 vote in favor of the treaty ?

AFAIK, there hasn't been a poll on it since in over 4 weeks, when it was, as you describe, about 2-1 in favour - but with high numbers of undecideds (30-35%, IIRC).

Interesting: 2 new polls by Gallup and OGM show that 2/3 of Austrians want a referendum on the Treaty. If a referendum was held, 60% would vote against the Treaty.

Nonetheless, the EU is seen very polarized these days: 44% say the Union "is a good thing", 47% disagree.

But just 29% are in favor of a EU-withdrawal, 61% want to stay in.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on April 05, 2008, 01:27:41 pm
Cowen confirmed:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7331731.stm

What's he like?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 06, 2008, 05:45:08 am
Another poll published in today's Sunday Business Post by RedC.
Carried out Thursday; MoE 4%.

May 07May 07Mar 08Apr 08
RedCElectionRedCRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.63540
Fine Gael2627.33028
Labour1110.11111
Green64.789
Sinn Féin96.996
PD32.711
Other76.676

Preference for Taoiseach:
Cowen 63%
Kenny 24%

Quite the bounce for FF. Ahern's resignation has received a lot of positive coverage with praise for his decision to leave rather than hang on.

Also notable that apparantly 28% support Fine Gael, but only 24% expressed preference for Enda Kenny (FG leader) as Taoiseach.



Cowen confirmed:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7331731.stm

What's he like?

Fianna Fáil through and through, very popular within the party and the grassroots; but a relatively low profile with the general public. Certainly not possessing the same 'man of the people image' Ahern had.

Fairly cautious about coalition partners, famously declaring years ago about the PDs "if in doubt, leave them out". Has extensive ministerial experience including Health (which he dubbed "Angola"); Foreign Affairs; and Finance. Little or no radicalism in any of those offices, hard to know what exactly his personal political views are. From Offally, in the midlands; likely to resonate much better with rural Ireland than with Dublin.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on April 06, 2008, 05:48:42 am
So basically a mildly conservative dud?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 06, 2008, 06:06:30 am
So basically a mildly conservative dud?

Basically a typical Small town right-of-centre conservative yet pork friendly politico. Former Lawyer. First leader of Fianna Fail however since Haughey not to owe his career to him.

To my knowledge most of his votes come from one area of his constituency, Tullamore-Clara and North Offaly. But of those he gets some insane percentage and is so one of the safest seats in the country in one of the areas traditionally strong for FF. Certainly when I was living in his constituency last year you would forget he ever existed and was a local TD.

Seriously it still amazes anyone out there is shocked that Ahern was corrupt. Don't people out there anything about Fianna Fail operates in North Dublin? The idea that Tammany Hall St Luke's, Ahern's own political headquarters was a centre of political probity and high ethics is so laughable..


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 06, 2008, 02:50:00 pm
So basically a mildly conservative dud?

Mildly conservative, yes probably. Populist leaning, pragmatic rather than ideological. All of which I think resonates well with FF grassroots.

I'll wait and see on the 'dud' angle. :)

Seriously it still amazes anyone out there is shocked that Ahern was corrupt.

Well, until the first revelations emegred in winter '06, I don't think there was really any real suggestion out there that that was the case.

I'd also say that unless and until evidence emerges that any official decision he made or influenced may have been linked to one of the payments, then the majority of the country would be very slow to actually label Ahern 'corrupt'. I'd probably include myself in that bracket (even though I think his actions were categorically wrong and that resignation was appropriate for quite some time now).

Don't people out there anything about Fianna Fail operates in North Dublin?

I think not. Most people have been very surprised by the goings-on at St. Luke's. Certainly FF have never had any visage of being whiter-than-white, but the evidence presented has changed perceptions immensely.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 12, 2008, 11:54:15 am
Former President Dr. Patrick Hillery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Hillery) has died.

Irish Times Breaking News Article:
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0412/breaking23.htm

Hillery served 2 terms as Irish President (1976-90) as well as as European Commissioner and numerous offices in the cabinet including External Affairs (now Foreign Affairs). It was during his time as Minister for External Affairs that his more memorable actions occured such as the speech to the UN in New York calling for UN peacekeepers in Northern ireland following Bloody Sunday in 1972; the speech to the 1971 Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis (Conference) shouting down the supporters of Kevin Boland following the Arms Trial; the negotiation of Ireland's membership of the EEC.

As President, he served two full terms, both unopposed. The most significant event of his Presidency was his decision to grant a dissolution of the Dáil in January 1982 to then Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald, following the loss of the vote on the Budget. It wasn't the decision itself which was controversial, but that senior Fianna Fáil figures (including Haughey and Lenihan) privately asked Hillery to refuse the dissolution but later denied that this happened in the run up to the 1990 Presidential election. The denial which was shown to be evidently false ended the policital career of the 1990 FF Presidential candidate Brian Lenihan and almost caused the fall of the Haughey government.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 12, 2008, 03:09:25 pm
RIP.

Deserves an historical allocade for that Boland speech.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on April 13, 2008, 08:05:50 pm
What are the odds of a new Dial election being held in 2008 now that there will be a new Taoiseach?  In 2009?  When will the likely public desire not to have an election so soon after the last one give in to a desire to have their Taoiseach go before them and seek his own mandate?  (Not that its much of a mandate when neither your party nor the combined existing coalition parties win a majority of seats, but you get my point.)  Jas says that Cowen has (until the announcement of Ahern's impending resignation, at least) had "a relatively low profile with the general public," so perhaps the situation is different from in Great Britain where voters in 2005 likely had a good idea they were going to get Gordon Brown at least for the end of his party's mandate if the voted for Labour and unofficially for Tony Blair (and that fact may have helped Labour at that time).  But Jas and the horseowning Protestant (are you really a Protestant, and if so are you ancestrally Protestant along some line or did you convert to Protestantism - you must still be a small percentage of the "southern" Irish population, and you don't live in Ulster like Jas, although those counties may not be any more Protestant than the rest of the Republic on average) could better speculate on when a new election is likely. 


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on April 13, 2008, 08:10:50 pm
RIP.

Deserves an historical allocade for that Boland speech.

Do you have any links which describe the speech and the historical context?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 14, 2008, 04:45:32 am
What are the odds of a new Dial election being held in 2008 now that there will be a new Taoiseach?

Slim. There's little or no expectation of an election; only Fine Gael are officially calling for one - and I'm not sure they really want one anyway.

In 2009?

Unless events precipiate one, I don't expect their to be an election until nearer the end of a full Dáil term, i.e. 2011/12.

When will the likely public desire not to have an election so soon after the last one give in to a desire to have their Taoiseach go before them and seek his own mandate?  (Not that its much of a mandate when neither your party nor the combined existing coalition parties win a majority of seats, but you get my point.)

If the people want an election, it would be because of actual issues rather than the feeling that Cowen hasn't got a proper mandate. Nor do I think that argument can really be taken seriously by politicians - the Rainbow Coalition (FG-Lab-DL) took over in December 94 from an FF-Lab coalition without an election; Reynolds succeeded Haughey as Taoiseach in 1992 without an election; Haughey took over from Lynch as Taoiseach in 1979 without an election, etc. etc.

But Jas and the horseowning Protestant (are you really a Protestant, and if so are you ancestrally Protestant along some line or did you convert to Protestantism - you must still be a small percentage of the "southern" Irish population, and you don't live in Ulster like Jas, although those counties may not be any more Protestant than the rest of the Republic on average) could better speculate on when a new election is likely. 

Gully (The Protestant with a Horse - though I don't know whether he actually has a horse!) is from south Dublin and IIRC his family can trace their roots back quite a bit.

For the 3 Ulster counties, the Protestant population is at about 8-9% - split about 60-40 between Church of Ireland and Presbyterians . (IIRC, Monaghan actually has the lowest number of Methodists in Ireland - and, off the point, the lowest number of Jews, but the highest proportion of Presbyterians.)

For most of the rest of the country it's more like 2-3%, Dublin slightly higher at around 4%. The great majority of Protestants in the rest of the country are CoI.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 14, 2008, 04:55:41 am
RIP.

Deserves an historical allocade for that Boland speech.

Do you have any links which describe the speech and the historical context?

The speech was made at the 1971 Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis (party conference) in the immediate aftermath of the Arms Crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_Crisis).

A short clip of the speech forms part of the reviews of his political contribution in a couple of the audio & visual links are at the bottom of this page (http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0412/hilleryp.html).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on April 14, 2008, 06:22:31 am
RIP.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 14, 2008, 10:23:07 am
Green Party leader and Minister for the Enivronment, John Gormley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gormley) has lifted his national profile considerably with his speech to the Green Party Conference on Saturday night, making just about all of the front pages.

He included in his speech criticism of China's treatment of Tibet saying:
"Respect for human rights must extend to all cultures and countries. One country which has been ex- ploited and suppressed and suffered for far too long is Tibet..."

The Chinese Ambassador was at the Conference, at the invite of the Greens, and was aware that criticism was going to be made. He, and two aides, walked out of the Conference when the offending remarks were made and proceeded to make a veiled threat to Irish economic links with China.

Irish Times Article:
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/0414/1208115797466.html


Title: New PD Leader
Post by: Јas on April 17, 2008, 08:32:37 am
The new leader of the sinking ship that is the Progressive Democrats has been announced. Ciarán Cannon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciaran_Cannon) won a very close the leadership vote 51-49 against former TD (and daughter of the party's founder) Fiona O'Malley.

The PDs operate an electoral college systmen in deciding leadership, 40% to the parliamentary party; 30% to local councillors and the national Executive; 30% to the general membership. It seems that the parliamentary party split evenly, Noel Grealish backing Cannon and Mary Harney backing O'Malley. The local councillors are believed to have strongly favoured Cannon - not very surprising given the abnormal numbers of PD councillors in Cannon's home county of Galway. Given this, then the party membership itself must have strongly favoured O'Malley.

Cannon has almost precisely no chance of becoming a TD after the next election, at least not in his current constituency of Galway East. Cannon has already eyed the Local Elections next year as key in determining hte future of the party.

Irish Times Piece (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0417/breaking3.htm)
RTÉ Report (http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0417/pds.html?rss)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on April 17, 2008, 08:37:48 am
They should just have waited until only one member was left, then they needn't have bothered with holding a contest.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 17, 2008, 09:03:50 am
They should just have waited until only one member was left, then they needn't have bothered with holding a contest.

They pretty much had that problem already. They had to change the rules when it became clear that neither of the 2 TDs wanted the job. Cannon is (*I think*) the first Senator to be the leader of a political party here.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 18, 2008, 04:16:52 pm
Quote
Gully (The Protestant with a Horse - though I don't know whether he actually has a horse!) is from south Dublin and IIRC his family can trace their roots back quite a bit.

For the 3 Ulster counties, the Protestant population is at about 8-9% - split about 60-40 between Church of Ireland and Presbyterians . (IIRC, Monaghan actually has the lowest number of Methodists in Ireland - and, off the point, the lowest number of Jews, but the highest proportion of Presbyterians.)

For most of the rest of the country it's more like 2-3%, Dublin slightly higher at around 4%. The great majority of Protestants in the rest of the country are CoI.

I don't own a horse. Sadly, it is one of things in life if I find time, resources and a way to peel myself off the forum I would try and learn to at least ride one.

My family can be traced back quite a bit. Though I am technically the product of a 'mixed' marriage. Even as late as 1985 (when my parents wed) they had trouble finding a priest to do the service as many would refuse unless they both signed the Ne Temere Decree.. which they didn't, for which I'm grateful. My Grandfather (on my father's side o/c) was a rare thing, an Irish working class Presbyterian, whose family can be traced back a bit to Co.Down and then migrated south (which was unusual). My Grandmother was born in Belfast and is CoI. Usually we put CoI or No Religion down on our census forms. It is believed in our family that we are possibly the descendants of Cromwellian Planters.

Despite this I don't feel any affinity to the "protestant" label.. actually my only real involvement in got me and my family into a bit of trouble with the CoI authorities. Of which I will not tarry.

However I like my username because it is references Anglo-Irish culture (it is a quote from Brendan Behan) and that is something I do feel at least a detached interest. However I am not an aristocrat, rather Upper Middle Class.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 19, 2008, 05:33:31 am
Around 10,000 Irish farmers took to Dublin city centre this week during the visit of EU Commission President Barosso. They're protesting the approach Peter Mandelson (EU Trade Commissioner) is taking in the current WTO round, which they say if carried through would elad to the collapse of the Irish farming industry.

The leader of the Irish Farmer's Association, Padraig Walshe, speaking to the energised crowd, made clear that the IFA would come out strongly against the EU Reform Treaty if Mandelson gets his way at WTO talks in Geneva on 20 May.

RTÉ Story (http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0417/farm.html)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on April 19, 2008, 05:46:59 am
Farmers always say that.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 19, 2008, 06:19:11 am
Farmers always say that.

As in "it's the end of the world as we know it...etc."?
True...but whether they're right or wrong, Irish farmers have been having an increasingly tough time of it in Celtic Tiger Ireland and as is natural they're on the lookout for someone or something to blame. They still carry a reasonable electoral stick with which to put a bit of fear into the pro-Reform Treaty campaign.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on April 19, 2008, 12:27:26 pm
Farmers always say that.

And Irish farmers especially.

Basically its a plea for more subisidies. Its just a pity that trade unions in Ireland have nowhere near as far sighted or as 'group interested' a leadership than the IFA does.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 26, 2008, 06:21:24 pm
Apparantly a poll will be published in tomorrow's Sunday Business Post by RedC.

May 07May 076 Apr 0828 Apr 08
RedCElectionRedCRedC
Fianna Fáil3841.64038
Fine Gael2627.32829
Labour1110.11110
Green64.798
Sinn Féin96.967
PD32.712
Other76.666

FF coming down slightly from the 'Cowen bounce', btu outside that all movement of plus or minus 1.

The bigger story is that they've also polled on the Lisbon Treaty voting intentions.
Yes: 35
No: 31
DK: 34

A massive jump for the no campaign. Obviously if these numbers are genuinely reflective of opinions, it's anyone's game.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 30, 2008, 10:11:06 am
FTR, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is currently addressing the Joint Houses of Congress, viewable on RTÉ Online here (http://www.rte.ie/live/).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 06, 2008, 10:25:31 am
Later today, Ahern will submit his resignation as Taoiseach to the President at Áras an Uachtaráin, following his last official engagement today (the opening of a new Battle of the Boyne centre together with Ian Paisley (http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0506/breaking2.htm)) ending his 11 year premiership.

Tomorrow, Brian Cowen will be elected Taoiseach by the Dáil and will announce his new cabinet. Lots of speculation about who will go where, but it seems nobody has any idea how big or small the changes will be.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 07, 2008, 09:51:51 am
Cowen has been elected Taoiseach by the Dáil (88-76) and is on his way to Áras an Uachtaráin to collect the seal of office from the President.

Cabinet changes should be announced shortly.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 07, 2008, 01:19:06 pm
New Cabinet:

Taoiseach: Brian Cowen (FF)
Tánaiste: Mary Coughlan (FF)

Agriculture, Fisheries & Food: Brendan Smith (FF) [was Minister of State for Children]
Arts, Sport & Tourism: Martin Cullen (FF) [was Minister for Social & Family Affairs]
Communications, Energy & Natural Resources: Eamon Ryan (Green)
Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs:  Éamon Ó Cuív (FF)
Defence: Willie O'Dea (FF)
Education & Science: Batt O'Keefe (FF) [was Minister of State for Housing & Urban Renewal]
Enterprise, Trade & Employment: Mary Coughlan (FF) [was Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food]
Environment, Heritage & Local Government: John Gormley (Green)
Finance: Brian Lenihan (FF) [was Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform]
Foreign Affairs: Micheál Martin (FF) [was Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment]
Health & Children: Mary Harney (PD)
Justice, Equality and Law Reform: Dermot Ahern (FF) [was Minister for Foreign Affairs] 
Social & Family Affairs: Mary Hanafin (FF) [was Minister for Education & Science]
Transport & the Marine: Noel Dempsey (FF)


So, apart from Bertie Ahern, the only other person who won't be at the cabinet table will be Séamus Brennan [was Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism] who last night effectively retired from the cabinet, officially for "health reasons". It had been widely speculated that he would be gone anyway.

An interesting reshuffle. Mary Coughlan becomes Tánaiste (Deputy PM) and mvoes to a higher tier ministry (from Agriculture to Enterprise). Brian Lenihan moves from Justice to Finance, after only 1 year in the cabinet.

Micheál Martin bumps Dermot Ahern from Foreign Affairs in the middle of the Lisbon Treaty referendum campaign. Dermot Ahern goes to Justice - obviously a downward move but certainly not an insignificant department.  Mary Hanafin gets what I would've thought would be a demotion from Education to Social Affairs - her star would seem to be waning.

No changing the Greens or Mary Harney - no big surprises there.

The two new faces to the above list are:
Brendan Smith (FF-Cavan/Monaghan), the new Agriculture Minister. Was Minister of State (i.e. a junior minister) for Children - the so-called "super-junior" ministry , as it gets a seat at cabinet.
Batt O'Keefe (FF-Cork NW) was a junior minister in Environment.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 08, 2008, 04:27:21 am
The more important junior ministries were decided last night:

Chief Whip: Pat Carey (FF) [was MoS for Drugs Strategy and Community Affairs]
Minister of State for Children and Youth Affairs: Barry Andrews (FF)
Minister of State for European Affairs: Dick Roche (FF)
Minister of State for Food & Horticulture: Trevor Sargent (Green)

Tom Kitt gone as Chief Whip. Surprising fall there.
Barry Andrews gets the other MoS position with a seat (if not a vote) at Cabinet. A rather sizable jump there considering he didn't hold any ministerial position before.
Dick Roche and Trevor Sargent remain in the same jobs as before.

Not sure when the remainder of the MoS positions will be announced.


Geographic considerations have long been seen as important in cabinets and Fine Gael have been trying to make points out of Dublin losing 2 seats at the cabinet table. There seems to be plenty of other Dublin representative saround the table however.


Cowen will have be in Belfast today for the much anticipated US Investment Conference, the last major event of Paisley's term. It will also be his first meeting as Taoiseach with Gordon Brown.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 12, 2008, 05:29:55 am
New Lisbon Treaty poll from yesterday's Sunday Business Post:
Conducted 3-7 May
Sample: 1000

Yes: 38 (+3)
No: 28 (-3)
Don't Know: 34 (Unchanged)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Robespierre's Jaw on May 12, 2008, 05:30:54 am
I was going to ask how the Irishmen on the Forum would you rate Cowen as Prime Minister thus far. But then again he has only been in office for a couple of days now, so what's the point? But none-the-less, what do you think of Cowen?

May I ask what exactly is the Lisbon Treaty?





Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 12, 2008, 05:44:04 am
I was going to ask how the Irishmen on the Forum would you rate Cowen as Prime Minister thus far. But then again he has only been in office for a couple of days now, so what's the point? But none-the-less, what do you think of Cowen?

:) Much too early to say, for me anyway. Much has been made by political analysts in recent days of small segments of his first speech as Taoiseach, which the consensus seems to be that Cowen made remarks disparaging Ireland's increasingly individualistic society. I think too much is being made of his remarks and that his premiership will quite probably be more responding to events than setting the direction (not sure if I'm being clear here).

Anyway, as I say, much too early to give a proper judgement. But no doubt I shall offer meandering thoughts as time passes.

May I ask what exactly is the Lisbon Treaty?

And here I risk all sorts of potentially biased remarks...anyway...

It's the latest Treaty which codifies the functioning of the European Union and which all EU member states must ratify (Ithink by 1 January 2009) for it to take effect. Ireland is the only country that will be holding a referendum on it (by virtue of our own Constitutional rules) and so the only member state where there is a significant chance of the Treaty not being ratified. This Treaty is quite controversial among many in Europe because it is very similar to the proposed European Constitution which failed when put to referenda in France and the Netherlands. (Though I don't think that's a particularly pressing concern in the campaign here.)

Lisbon Treaty wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lisbon).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on May 12, 2008, 06:55:20 am
May I ask what exactly is the Lisbon Treaty?

Sarkozy's alternative to the defeated EU Constitution. The treaty is the constitution all but in name, mostly. And, except for Ireland, only European parliaments need to ratify it, so it will easily pass in most countries.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on May 12, 2008, 02:07:15 pm
Quote
Much too early to say, for me anyway. Much has been made by political analysts in recent days of small segments of his first speech as Taoiseach, which the consensus seems to be that Cowen made remarks disparaging Ireland's increasingly individualistic society. I think too much is being made of his remarks and that his premiership will quite probably be more responding to events than setting the direction (not sure if I'm being clear here).

Here I agree. Cowen is a manager, more of a bureaucrat than Bertie and without the media personality but essentially the same man. I think one of the reasons Bertie resigned when he did was to make sure that the Lisbon Treaty referendum would not become a referendum on him.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 17, 2008, 09:05:12 am
New opinion poll by TNSmrbi published in The Irish Times last week.

The headline figures are provided below along with, for comparison, the last poll; the last TNSmrbi poll; the Election result; and the last TNSmrbi poll pre-election.

May 07May 07Jan 08Apr 08May 08
TNSmrbiElectionTNSmrbiRedCTNSmrbi
Fianna Fáil4141.6343842
Fine Gael2727.3312926
Labour1010.1121015
Green64.7684
Sinn Féin96.9876
PD22.7321
Other76.6666

Significant changes for pretty much everyone. Sizable jump for FF in the immediate aftermath of the changeover, back to the levels at the election and Fine Gael fall back below those levels. At 15, Labour are pushing the envelope (apparantly really doing well in Dublin). The Greens and PDS, the coalition patrners, both take a hit.

Some other points from the poll...

Nobody knows the PD leader.

Government satisfaction jumped 13 points to 48%.

And finally...Was Ahern right to resign?
Yes 70
No 24
DK 6


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on May 19, 2008, 08:48:03 am
Greens low :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 30, 2008, 08:39:56 am
Figures released today show that Ireland went through it's first quarter of negative economic growth (-1.5% in Q1 2008; following 6% real GDP growth in 2007) since quarterly records began here (*I think* that was in 1997, not certain though). The nosedive has been precipitated by a huge falloff in the  construction industry.

The Celtic Tiger has gone the way of the Norwegian Blue...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on July 01, 2008, 07:37:09 am
To follow-up on the grim economic news, the ISEQ (Irish Stock Exchange) index fell below 5,000 today for the first time since 2003. (The index peaked at 10,041 in February last year.) The collapse has been led by the falling off in the stocks of Irish banks (despite no real exposure to sub-prime) and construction related stocks - which combined dominate the exchange.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on July 03, 2008, 10:47:26 am
Jas, do you have any knowledge on levels of migration so far this year? Just curious, I'm a bit behind the times here in Aberdeen.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on July 03, 2008, 12:06:05 pm
Jas, do you have any knowledge on levels of migration so far this year?

'Fraid not...but then I don't think anyone else has hard numbers either. The CSO don't have any stats on this year. (They usually release those sorts of numbers in December.)

The CSO did though, just a few days ago, release a rather interesting report (http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/population/non-irish/nonirishnationalscomplete.pdf) on non-nationals in Ireland based on Census 2006 figures (which revealed, inter alia, that Co. Monaghan has the highest proportion of Lithuanians [3%] and Latvians [1%] of any county) which breaks down details (location; housing; age; economic status...) of the top 10 immigrant groups into Ireland (British; Polish; Lithuanian; Nigerian; Latvian; American; Chinese; German; Filipino; French).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on July 25, 2008, 07:17:23 am
The Common Travel Area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Travel_Area) which was agreed by the Irish and British Governments in the 1920s is set to take a dent. Proof of identity will now be required when travelling to Britain (which leads to a wonderfully ironic situation where people will be producing passports to prove they don't need to produce their passports), primarily for reasons of illegal immigration.

It is because of the CTA that Ireland hasn't joined Schengen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement) and today's news isn't enough to tip the balance, yet. But it's certainly heading in that direction.

- The Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0725/1216917539739.html)
- The Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article4392963.ece)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 17, 2008, 07:02:58 pm
Joe Behan T.D. has resigned from Fianna Fáil (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1017/breaking76.html?via=rel). The Wicklow TD is leaving the party over the most controversial measure announced in the specially brought forward budget last week - that of ending the universal right of over 70s to free health care, in favour of the introduction of means-testing.

The budget was widely seen as the toughest budget in Ireland in 20 years, introducing an income levy of 1% on all income up to €100,000 and 2% above that; increasing VAT by half a percentage point to 211/2%; increasing capital gains tax by 2 points to 22%; increasing tax on interest from bank deposits 3 points to 26%; introducing a €200 annual charge on second homes; increasing health service fees and reducing certain parts of child benefits; significant cutbacks in capital expenditure; etc....
And still coming in at an expected deficit of around 61/2%, far beyond the 3% Growth and Stability Pact requirements.

Nonetheless it is the medical card (which conveys the right to free healthcare) issue with over 70s that has taken the spotlight. Despite efforts to soften and roll back slightly on it, nothing short of a u-turn seems likely to mollify the objectors.

Mr Behan was elected quite comfortably (http://electionsireland.org/counts.cfm?election=2007&cons=235) last year in Wicklow and there's little reason to believe his seat would be in serious trouble. Behan is a first time TD hand has shown no signs of disloyalty up to now.

FF backbenchers, the Greens and the Independents supporting the government are all on edge with this issue and Behan's resignation doesn't help.

Anyway, new state of play in Dáil Éireann:

Fianna Fáil76(-1)
Fine Gael51
Labour20
Green6
Sinn Féin4
Progressive Democrats2
Independents5(+1)
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)1
Vacancy1

Government = Fianna Fáil (76) + Greens (6) + PDs (2) + Indies (3) = 87 (-1)
Majority = 10 (-1)

- Irish Times article (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1017/breaking55.htm) on Behan resignation


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 18, 2008, 08:13:57 am
Last night, the Taoiseach indicated (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1018/breaking16.htm) a willingness to restructure the scheme, but continued to commit the Government to ending the absolute right of over 70s to free health care.

Noel O'Flynn (FF-Cork North Central) has seemingly committed himself to not voting for anything which would remove the universal health care for over 70s.

The Greens look set to tough it out, but the government supporting Independents are in a bind as are quite a few backbench FF TDs who are clearly very uneasy about it.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 19, 2008, 05:55:13 am
The whole issue is ridiculous. Clearly if we could only afford free medical cards over  70s at the peak of the Celtic Tiger then it was clearly a non-runner as a idea. But look at the votes it won! Irish politics at its worst....

(Before anyone adds, I don't oppose free medical cards for over 70s, actually I oppose cutting them at all at this stage and would prefer inroads into civil service pay and the scraping of vote-winning financial black holes, most present investment in tourism comes to mind.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on October 19, 2008, 06:08:59 am
Mr Behan was elected quite comfortably (http://electionsireland.org/counts.cfm?election=2007&cons=235) last year in Wicklow and there's little reason to believe his seat would be in serious trouble.
D'you mean, for FF? Or, for Behan?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 19, 2008, 06:11:54 am
Mr Behan was elected quite comfortably (http://electionsireland.org/counts.cfm?election=2007&cons=235) last year in Wicklow and there's little reason to believe his seat would be in serious trouble.
D'you mean, for FF? Or, for Behan?

I assume Behan. All Irish politics being based around local personalities (and families) and etc.

In saying that as Jas should recall Wicklow is usually quite a difficult constituency to predict. Though I can't imagine this would effect Behan's popularity.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 19, 2008, 06:19:06 am
Finian McGrath (Ind-Dublin North Central) has said (http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1019/budgethealth.html) he'll stop supporting the Government should the measure be passed.

The whole issue is ridiculous. Clearly if we could only afford free medical cards over the 1970s at the peak of the Celtic Tiger then it was clearly a non-runner as a idea. But look at the votes it won! Irish politics at its worst....

I don't think the idea was necessarily a non-runner, but that the current set-up is ridiculous. It's not inconceivable that the current negotiations with the IMO might not yield a solution which allows the medical card to be retained as of right.

(Before anyone adds, I don't oppose free medical cards for over 70s, actually I oppose cutting them at all at this stage and would prefer inroads into civil service pay and the scraping of vote-winning financial black holes, most present investment in tourism comes to mind.)

Well, every Department is taking a 3% cut in their payroll funding this year with further cuts set to be brought in next year. Effectively a recruitment freeze is now in operation.

Not sure I agree with cutting the tourism promotion budget; I'd have to look into the costs and benefits of both Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 19, 2008, 06:38:34 am
Mr Behan was elected quite comfortably (http://electionsireland.org/counts.cfm?election=2007&cons=235) last year in Wicklow and there's little reason to believe his seat would be in serious trouble.
D'you mean, for FF? Or, for Behan?

I meant that his seat as a FF deputy was probably fairly safe. Behan had a strong base in Bray (the largest town in Wicklow) and has been FF's top dog there for about a decade now.

Right now the seat would be up in the air. Wicklow has no problem returning FF-leaning Independents, but FF will usually be favoured to take 2 seats in Wicklow.

I assume Behan. All Irish politics being based around local personalities (and families) and etc.

In saying that as Jas should recall Wicklow is usually quite a difficult constituency to predict. Though I can't imagine this would effect Behan's popularity.

Quite right, Wicklow is very difficult to predict, at least for me. IIRC it was my worst call for the General last year.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 20, 2008, 05:19:32 pm
Finian McGrath (Ind-Dublin North Central) has announced (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1020/breaking67.htm) that he is ending his support of the Government because of the moves to end universal free medical care for the over 70s.

The move reduces the Government majority from 10 to 8.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 21, 2008, 04:21:27 am
(http://redlighttickets.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/pic-u-turngif1.jpg)

The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, this morning announced (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1021/breaking20.htm) that those currently over-70 will keep their right to free medical care and that menas testing will be brought in for new septuagenarians but at higher threasholds. The details of these new threashold levels are yet to be made clear.

The plan for a 1% levy on all income will now also be reviewed to exempt low-earners from the tax.

While embarrassing for the Government, it should stop the bleeding.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2008, 08:48:02 pm
Progressive Democrats go the way of the Norwegian Blue

In a widely anticipated decision, the Progressive Democrats have decided to call it a day. At a special meeting of the party membership, the motion to wind-up the party passed, 201-160. The parliamentary party (all 4 of them - 2 members in both the Dáil and the Seanad) agreed unanimously to back this motion earlier in the autumn when it became clear that the 'leadership' provided by Sen. Ciaran Cannon has been completely ineffectual in trying to help resurrect the party from its collapse in the 2007 General Election. The demise of the party became inevitable when Deputy Noel Grealish (PD-Galway West) made it more than clear of his intention to join Fianna Fáil before the next election. He is now a nominal Independent, but his application to join FF can't be far away.

The past few months have seen a number of PD local representatives jump ship to either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. The remaining 20 or so councillors can be expected to do likewise or go independent ahead of next year's local elections.

Mary Harney (PD-Dublin Mid-West) - the former leader (and in many respects still the de facto leader since the General) has indicated that she will not be joining any party. Harney isn't expected to run for re-election. Her position as Minister for Health is certainly more tenuous now than it was previously, but I don't expect her to be removed straight away. I'm not sure but she may well now be the first Independent member of an Irish cabinet. Her tenure in the Department of health has been very rocky. However, in a recently reduced Government, Taoiseach Brian Cowen can't be hasty in removing Harney, as he would have no leverage to maintain her vote; indeed keeping her in place, for some time at least, may be necessary to maintain Grealish's support.

Since their formation in 1985, the PDs have had a rollercoaster ride wielding considerable influence despite their small numbers. They have formed parts of coalition governments from 1989-1992 and from 1997-present. Their pro-enterprise, low-corporation tax message became an accepted position in Irish politics that has effectively been adopted by every other party in national politics. While set up as a party with a liberal outlook on social issues, it's probably fair to say that they were generally quiet on social matters - economics being their driving force. Despite their national vote falling with each election, their seat totals fluctuated considerably - living at the margins of picking up final seats in various constituencies.

Though the death of the party is official today, the man at fault departed last year. Michael McDowell ran party support into the ground and suffered the consequences. He represented a shift from the friendly faced, respected leaderships of O'Malley and Harney to stern law & order conservative. The party found itself constantly within the margin of error of having any support at all and never recovered.

Personally, I think it's unfortunate that the party is going. They added colour and choice and actual ideology to Irish politics which is a dispairingly rare commodity.

- Irish Times on today's special meeting (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1108/breaking1.htm)


Progressive Democrat Electoral History
Election -% Vote -Seats
198711.8%14
19895.5%6
19924.7%10
19974.7%4
20024.0%8
20072.7%2

----

New Composition of Dáil Éireann:
Fianna Fáil76
Fine Gael51
Labour20
Green6
Sinn Féin4
Progressive Democrats0(-2)
Independents7(+2)
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)1
Vacancy1(Dublin South)

Government = Fianna Fáil (76) + Greens (6) + Indies (4) = 86
Majority of 8 (unchanged)

----

And as an irrelevant bonus, the new composition of Seanad Éireann:
Fianna Fáil28
Fine Gael14
Labour6
Green2
Progressive Democrats0(-2)
Sinn Féin1
Independents9(+2)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 12, 2008, 05:38:45 pm
Dr Jim McDaid (Donegal North East) lost the Fianna Fáil whip tonight following his absention on   a vote relating to the Government decision to reverse its decision to pull out of the plan to introduce a cervical cancer vaccination scheme for young girls due to budgetary constraints.  As a result of refusing to support to Government, he automatically loses the FF whip.

McDaid has a colourful history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_McDaid), and has no reason or need to toe the party line - as he has no significant prospect of a return to a ministerial position, nor is he necessarily likely to run again anyway - but even if he did, he has already proven an ability to get elected without any substantive help from FF and he has a substantial personal power base in Donegal.

However, it seems clear that his disgruntlement relates solely to this issue. While I presume he'll eventually find his way to regaining the whip at some point, it does change the complexion of the Dáil once again and underline just how badly the Budget has went down here, most particularly regarding cuts affecting pensioners, health and education - many of which have had to be dropped or amended significantly in recent weeks.

New Composition of Dáil Éireann:
Fianna Fáil75(-1)
Fine Gael51
Labour20
Green6
Sinn Féin4
Independents8(+1)
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)1
Vacancy1(Dublin South)

Government = Fianna Fáil (75) + Greens (6) + Indies (4) = 85 (-1)
Majority of 6 (-2)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 13, 2008, 01:01:47 pm
A few seats (and a bye-election, FFS when are they going to call it) away from a no-confidence vote.

Not that I think the government will fall soon or anything.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 13, 2008, 01:48:14 pm
A few seats (and a bye-election, FFS when are they going to call it) away from a no-confidence vote.

Not that I think the government will fall soon or anything.

I don't see them calling the by-election anytime soon, there's little incentive to turn a 6 seat majority into a 5 seat one. They also seem for want of a FF candidate. Seamus Brennan's son, Shay seems to be preferred but there's been no movement.

I also don't think the Government will fall soon, but it could well get bumpier. The ongoing assault trial of Mattie McGrath (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1113/1226408580190.html) (FF-Tipperary South) could make things interesting if a conviction arises.

Local and European elections next year won't be a picnic for FF or the Greens, and there's every indication that next year's budget will have to be much tougher than this year's - which has so far resulted in the government majority being cut in half.

Though I would forsee both Behan and McDaid supporting the government if necessary to prop it up - a General Election within the next 24 months is, I think now, a distinct possibility.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 14, 2008, 08:18:03 am
New polling out today from our most accurate pollster, TNS mrbi, published in today’s Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1114/1226408634015.html). The data and the data from a Red C poll published in the Sunday Busines Post a few weeks ago, is reproduced below.

Election -Red C -TNS mrbi
May '0726 Oct14 Nov
Fianna Fáil41.62627
Fine Gael27.33334
Labour10.11514
Green4.764
Sinn Féin6.9108
Progressive Democrats2.72-*
Independents/Others6.6813*

*People declaring PD in the TNS mrbi poll were included under Ind/Other.

These numbers represent the lowest polling figures in Fianna Fáil history. The numbers are at the level of FF’s worst ever general election result – it’s first – in June 1927 when it came second with 26.1% of the vote. Since then FF’s plurality has been absolute in terms of both popular vote and polling data. In a general election, this would be an unmitigated disaster for Fianna Fáil losing something in the order of 20-30 seats to Fine Gael and Labour. FF are down 15 points on where they were in June’s TNS mrbi poll, the biggest single shift they have recorded in their 25 years. According to the pollsters, FF suffered particularly badly in Dublin/Leinster, among the AB group and with farmers.

TNS mrbi: Satisfaction Ratings
SatisfiedDissatsified
Government (FF + G + Inds)18%76%
Brian Cowen  (FF)26%61%
Enda Kenny  (FG)33%46%
Eamon Gilmore  (L)38%31%
John Gormley  (G)28%48%
Gerry Adams  (SF)33%37%

Only Labour leader, Eamon Gilmore increased his satisfaction rating since June (+3) all others were down either marginally (Kenny -3) or substantially (Gilmore -12, Adams -12, Cowen -21). Satisfaction with the Government is down 28%. Clearly the public have not identified their Barack Obama. Enda Kenny doesn't inspire any more confidence today than he did before (thank goodness). They're simply abandoning FF and not liking the look of then alternatives. Just where this leads...???

The reason for the sudden changes these polls reflect can only be related to the state of the economy and the Budget. Not only has the Government's standing within the Dáil been greatly reduced, but similarly it seems within the public at large as well. According to the polling, Cowen is the least popular Taoiseach we've ever had. Quite an achievement given his very recent ascension.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on November 14, 2008, 08:22:36 am
:)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 17, 2008, 11:06:00 am
Data released from the same TNS mrbi poll (per today's Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/1117/1226700659487.html)) as referenced above on support for the Lisbon Treaty:
In favour43%
Against 39%
Don't Know18%

The Government has committed itself to coming up with it's plans regarding the Treaty at the December European Council. I'd expect the psoition to be something akin to a proposal for a second referendum in the latter half of 2009 with some sort of prior EU commitment reaffirming Ireland's sovereignty on taxation matters, neutrality, abortion law and possibly a decision such that each EU state will continue to have a permanent Commissioner.



Also, it looks like MI5 seem to think our leaders are worth listening to for some reason - Irish Independent article (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/reynolds-and-ahern-calls-bugged-by-british-agents-1541986.html).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on November 17, 2008, 02:55:14 pm
Data released from the same TNS mrbi poll (per today's Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/1117/1226700659487.html)) as referenced above on support for the Lisbon Treaty:
In favour43%
Against 39%
Don't Know18%

The Government has committed itself to coming up with it's plans regarding the Treaty at the December European Council. I'd expect the psoition to be something akin to a proposal for a second referendum in the latter half of 2009 with some sort of prior EU commitment reaffirming Ireland's sovereignty on taxation matters, neutrality, abortion law and possibly a decision such that each EU state will continue to have a permanent Commissioner.



Also, it looks like MI5 seem to think our leaders are worth listening to for some reason - Irish Independent article (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/reynolds-and-ahern-calls-bugged-by-british-agents-1541986.html).

Or on other words, keep voting until they get the answer they want :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 17, 2008, 03:00:01 pm
They're simply abandoning FF and not liking the look of then alternatives. Just where this leads...???

Regrettably, the answer is probably "largely returning to FF as soon as an election is called with a substantial minority staying home". Though Irish politics is so weird that, maybe, that won't happen.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 17, 2008, 03:16:40 pm
They're simply abandoning FF and not liking the look of then alternatives. Just where this leads...???

Regrettably, the answer is probably "largely returning to FF as soon as an election is called with a substantial minority staying home". Though Irish politics is so weird that, maybe, that won't happen.

Congratulations you get A+ in your understanding of Irish Politics.

Of course there probably won't be an election until 2012, so its all immaterial. Also for some weird reason all our major broadloid newspapers all seem to hate Cowen for some reason, while most were (and still are in one particular case) part of the Bertie Ahern cheerleading club.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 17, 2008, 04:08:08 pm
Data released from the same TNS mrbi poll (per today's Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/1117/1226700659487.html)) as referenced above on support for the Lisbon Treaty:
In favour43%
Against 39%
Don't Know18%

The Government has committed itself to coming up with it's plans regarding the Treaty at the December European Council. I'd expect the psoition to be something akin to a proposal for a second referendum in the latter half of 2009 with some sort of prior EU commitment reaffirming Ireland's sovereignty on taxation matters, neutrality, abortion law and possibly a decision such that each EU state will continue to have a permanent Commissioner.



Also, it looks like MI5 seem to think our leaders are worth listening to for some reason - Irish Independent article (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/reynolds-and-ahern-calls-bugged-by-british-agents-1541986.html).

Or on other words, keep voting until they get the answer they want :)

Well...yes and no. There's only so many times you can ask the question. If the Government faced a second no vote (which despite this poll is still, I think, the most likely result at this point) then it's hard to see how they could reasonably put the question a third time.

A second no would probably see Mr Sarkozy calling for our heads and we'd find out who our friends in Europe really are as we're prodded towards the door.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on November 17, 2008, 04:18:02 pm
A second no would probably see Mr Sarkozy calling for our heads and we'd find out who our friends in Europe really are as we're prodded towards the door.

Well we vote for each other in Eurovision. Does that count?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 17, 2008, 05:01:38 pm
A second no would probably see Mr Sarkozy calling for our heads and we'd find out who our friends in Europe really are as we're prodded towards the door.

Well we vote for each other in Eurovision. Does that count?

:)
I guess we'll see. One would hope that the British would be a natural ally in this regard. Maybe the Scandinavians too.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 17, 2008, 05:02:27 pm
They're simply abandoning FF and not liking the look of then alternatives. Just where this leads...???

Regrettably, the answer is probably "largely returning to FF as soon as an election is called with a substantial minority staying home". Though Irish politics is so weird that, maybe, that won't happen.

It's probably fair to say that it's the most likely answer...but then, you never know.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 03, 2008, 09:46:40 am
Partly inspired by my wish to encourage cheese farming (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=89238.msg1839971#msg1839971) ;D...

Irish Economy in Meltdown!!!


Of course, that the global financial crisis is having huge effects everywhere isn't news, and that Ireland has been having a tough time of it of late, isn't surprising either. But the rate at which bad news comes in seems to be accelerating. In the last 24 hours alone:

- News of more (http://www.rte.ie/business/2008/1202/elementsix.html) and more (http://www.examiner.ie/irishexaminer/pages/story.aspx-qqqg=business-qqqm=business-qqqa=business-qqqid=79054-qqqx=1.asp) job losses today. Unemployment (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1203/breaking33.htm) has risen to 7.8% (12 year high) accelerating at the fastest rate ever recorded here.

- The Budget for 2009 which the Government brought forward to last month is already a work of fantasy fiction (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/financial-crisis/spending-cuts-alert-as--83642bn-more-lost-in-taxes-1561062.html). Estimates for tax receipts for November alone were out by €3.5 billion. The tax shortfall for the year is now at around €7.5 billion.

- The services sector (hugely important to the Irish economy) is contracting rapidly (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1203/breaking32.htm).

- Near border shopping centres in the North (particularly Newry and Derry are experiencing a massive boom in cross-border visitors (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2008/1202/1228169324929.html) due to significant price variations - affecting retailers just south of the border particularly badly. The recent ries in VAT here and lowering in VAT in the UK has exacerbated the price differentials.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 04, 2008, 05:28:40 pm
The Government lost a vote today in the Seanad on a Fine Gael amendment to the Charities Bill (ensuring amateur sporting organisations are not prohibited from applying for charitable status).

The full roll call isn't out yet, but the 2 Green Senators failed to show for the vote that was lost by 1. The Government has a majority of 5 in the Seanad.

It's the first time the Government has lost a vote in the Oireachtas this term. Though ultimately it's of no political significance, other than indicating a potentially lax whipping operation in the Seanad.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on December 04, 2008, 05:31:09 pm
The Government lost a vote today in the Seanad on a Fine Gael amendment to the Charities Bill (ensuring amateur sporting organisations are not prohibited from applying for charitable status).
Oh, sexy.
Quote


The full roll call isn't out yet, but the 2 Green Senators failed to show for the vote that was lost by 1. The Government has a majority of 5 in the Seanad.

It's the first time the Government has lost a vote in the Oireachtas this term. Though ultimately it's of no political significance, other than indicating a potentially lax whipping operation in the Seanad.
NOOO! Tell us what we want to hear! Tell us this means the government has fallen and there'll be new elections on Christmas Eve!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Matt Damon™ on December 04, 2008, 05:35:42 pm
Can someone tell me the practical and ideological differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on December 04, 2008, 05:44:04 pm
Can someone tell me the practical and ideological differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail?
Part one is easy: There aren't any. I'll defer to Jas on the second question - he seems to like (shudders) tasks like that one.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 05, 2008, 01:15:28 pm
Can someone tell me the practical and ideological differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail?
Part one is easy: There aren't any. I'll defer to Jas on the second question - he seems to like (shudders) tasks like that one.

;D

Can someone tell me the practical and ideological differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail?

As briefly as I can:
The most unifying ideological feature of Fianna Fáil is their nationalism - the fervent hope for a united Ireland (brought about by peaceful and consensual means). In terms of social policy, FF is a broad church but generally centrist. Probably more traditionalist, than conservative per se. In economic policy, I would say they're left-of-centre. Pro-Europe for ereasons of pragmatism more than principle. Strongly guidable by their smaller coalition partners (if the small partner knows what they're doing).

Fine Gael are in general Christian Democrats, Tories without much edge. On the national question, FG also favour a united Ireland but are more sympathetic to unionism and Britain. On social policy, they tend to be fairly soft right-of-centre, but have fairly standard law and order type concerns. Economically centrist to right-of-centre. Hamstrung by the fact that they have always been absolutely dependent on Labour (and probably others as well) in order to be able to form a government, which obviously could skew perceptions about the party.

Both of these descriptions are less than canonical. Both parties are liable to shift considerably due to the particular whims of their leader. Both parties have members who don't fit many of the above characterisations. Family nad history still play a major role in party identification, quite probably more than ideology. Anyway...for more thoughts on it I'd refer you to the posts linked here (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg1346728#msg1346728) and here (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=46004.msg1116105#msg1116105) (and the posts of Gully which immediately follow both).



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on December 05, 2008, 03:10:20 pm
Any chance the government falls?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 05, 2008, 03:35:51 pm
Any chance the government falls?

No. Not really.
The Government has been weathered and weakened by the recent budget, but they have very definitely survived. Their long-term survival has taken a serious hit and an election at some point in 2009 can't be ruled out, but short of <insert unforeseen event here/>, the Government doesn't appear to be in any immediate danger.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 05, 2008, 06:28:12 pm
Any chance the government falls?

No. Not really.
The Government has been weathered and weakened by the recent budget, but they have very definitely survived. Their long-term survival has taken a serious hit and an election at some point in 2009 can't be ruled out, but short of <insert unforeseen event here/>, the Government doesn't appear to be in any immediate danger.

Unless someone talks sanity to John Gormley..

So that's a no then.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on December 05, 2008, 09:48:48 pm
Could the Greens do what Labour did and switch coalitions?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 06, 2008, 05:39:57 am
Could the Greens do what Labour did and switch coalitions?

No for a coalition to form FG-LAB would not just need the Greens, but also SF and some of the independents. Which is unlikely (and a couple of the independents are essentially in government anyway).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2008, 06:46:16 am
Could the Greens do what Labour did and switch coalitions?

No for a coalition to form FG-LAB would not just need the Greens, but also SF and some of the independents. Which is unlikely (and a couple of the independents are essentially in government anyway).

Yeah.
The numbers aren't there. FG + Lab + Green = 77.
50% of the Dáil is 83. I could see them cobbling together some independents, but short of a series of by-election defeats (but given how long FF are putting off the Dublin South by-election, it looks like they'd be all too comfortable carrying vacancies) the only way this coalition would take over is via a general election.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 06, 2008, 04:57:55 pm
I went down with a not-too-bad but still annoying case of food poisoning over the past week: due (probably) to some dodgy sausages (I'm okay now, but I've hardly eaten in the past three days and any case, it was probably self-induced poisoning because I'm an idiot) so it is no surprise to me what has been found:

Quote
Recall notice for Irish pork products
watch Saturday, 6 December 2008 21:47

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has ordered the withdrawal and recall of all Irish pork products dating back to 1 September.

It follows the discovery of a contaminant in pig feed by a dioxin known as PCB at levels between 80 and 200 times the safe limits.

PCBs are highly dangerous man-made chemicals that were banned in 1979. They effect the immune and reproductive systems and can, in certain cases, cause cancers.
Advertisement

They can still be found in certain products made before the ban came into force.

The contamination first came to light last Monday, but the positive tests in the pork was only confirmed this afternoon.

The public have been advised to destroy all pork products
purchased since September.

Contaminated feed was used at a total of 47 farms.

Nine of these were pork producing farms. The remaining 38 were beef farms, with one of those also producing pork products.

But the FSAI has advised that it is not necessary at this time to have a similar withdrawal of beef products.

The Taoiseach and Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith, have attended crisis talks at the Department of Agriculture following the discovery of the toxic substance in slaughtered pigs.

The discovery has provoked concern in the farming community.

The pork industry is the fourth biggest in the agriculture sector and is worth around €400 million per year.

The movement of animals at some 30 farms has been restricted.

A major investigation has been launched by the Department of Agriculture and the Food Safety Authority.

Restrictions on pig production units

Minister of State for Food Policy Trevor Sargent said the Government had acted swiftly to deal with the situation.

Mr Sargent said the affected animal feed had been banned and the pig production units using it had been restricted.

He said he would be working with An Bord Bia to ensure that quality pigmeat products - including those organically certified - can be brought back into the market as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Labour's spokesperson on agriculture and food Sean Sherlock, has called for a full account of the extent of the risk to human health.

Fine Gael's spokesperson on agriculture, Michael Creed described the discovery as potentially the biggest threat to the agri-food sector since the outbreak Foot & Mouth disease.

Chief Medical Officer says move is precautionary

The state's Chief Medical Officer said there was no need for the public to worry and that the government had taken a precautionary approach to minimise the risk to public health.

Dr Tony Holohan said the public should simply destroy what pork products they have in their fridge and freezer.

He said the dioxin is only dangerous if a person is exposed to it over a long period of time. In such circumstances, he said, it can have a range of effects on organs such as the liver and nervous system.

But he stressed that the period in question here is much shorter, and such effects should not arise as the exposure has been identified at an early stage.

Dr Holohan said because there is no risk from the low exposure, people do not need to seek medical help.



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2008, 06:47:36 pm
Disaster. Complete and utter disaster.
Goodness knows what the long-term implications for the pig industry is.

I'll have to find out more about the possible health consequences before seeing whether it was negligent/immoral not to have released this information sooner.

>:(


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 06, 2008, 07:05:44 pm
Disaster. Complete and utter disaster.
Goodness knows what the long-term implications for the pig industry is.

I'll have to find out more about the possible health consequences before seeing whether it was negligent/immoral not to have released this information sooner.

>:(

Yet you have to admit it wasn't particularly surprised. Even if I hadn't poisoned myself the week this came out, I wouldn't have been shocked. I usually eat pork twice a week (If not more).

Furthermore stuff like this always happens when you least want it too, like now. At least this will distract people from the recession story.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2008, 07:47:15 pm
Yet you have to admit it wasn't particularly surprised. Even if I hadn't poisoned myself the week this came out, I wouldn't have been shocked. I usually eat pork twice a week (If not more).

Truth be known, I was really shocked.
I thought the agri-industry was passed this. Contaminated feed! It's the same mistakes all over again. There are still countries where Irish beef isn't allowed in because of BSE. This is a half-billion euro a year industry issuing a massive recall because of a significant health concern  - a complete disaster for pig farmers, another kick to rural Ireland. >:(


Furthermore stuff like this always happens when you least want it too, like now. At least this will distract people from the recession story.

I doubt it will distract. It just adds into a feeling of inept government.

The recession stories are overbearing and show no sign of stopping - 40,000 protesting education budget cuts today (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/1206/breaking6.html?via=mr), the banks deciding not to pass on the interest rate cut (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/banks-defying-lenihanon-new-rate-cut-1565678.html) despite the Government which recently saved their asses urging them to do so, more job losses no doubt, pensions crisis continues (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2008/1206/1228515634603.html), more worrying statistics and trends (http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1205/economy.html), etc. ad nauseum.

All this not too mention the Government will announce this week it's intent to run Lisbon II so that hopefully Europe will stop being pissed at us (http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/fionnan-sheahan/cowen-just-better-not-deliver-another-turkey-1565711.html) and so letting the kooks out of whatever shadowy place they reside between these referenda to once again harp on about the EU coming to abort your babies and conscript those who somehow survive into fighting distant hellish wars, while the Government tries to turn an unreadable tome on the procedures of Europe into a document on which no doubt we'll be told our entire economic future depends.

All the while increasing the chances of Enda Kenny getting the top job...

We are not amused.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 06, 2008, 07:51:06 pm
Aahh.. I mangled my words there. I meant to say it would distract the meeja from the OMG OMG OMG RECESSION OMG story.

Anyway the major reason I'm surprised is because it is Irish farmers we are talking about. Perhaps I'm being harsh, but they don't have good PR men.

Apparently all the farms where this contaminated feed was used were in the South-East.

What an incredible story of ineptitude. And where the hell are the Greens in all this.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2008, 08:17:22 pm
Anyway the major reason I'm surprised is because it is Irish farmers we are talking about. Perhaps I'm being harsh, but they don't have good PR men.

Mmmm...Certainly I don't think the IFA have done a fantastic job in recent times. I'm not willing to jump up and down on Irish farmers yet. They never really saw the Celtic Tiger and have been being squeezed year on year. I'm more and more surprised that so many are still able to carry on given the economic pressures they're under.

I'll have to wait and see for more details on the feed angle on this though.

What an incredible story of ineptitude. And where the hell are the Greens in all this.

From RTÉ (http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/1206/pork.html):
Minister of State for Food Policy Trevor Sargent said the Government had acted swiftly to deal with the situation. Mr Sargent said the affected animal feed had been banned and the pig production units using it had been restricted. He said he would be working with An Bord Bia to ensure that quality pigmeat products - including those organically certified - can be brought back into the market as quickly as possible.

Nothing surprising there. The Greens haven't had any substantial impact on Agriculture yet, despite having Sargent working there. They've been either unwilling or unable to impose their ideology on the government as the PDs had so successfully done for 10 years. Very disappointing.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 11, 2008, 09:11:48 am
Lisbon II: Next October -- PA Report (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hDJjvqIjuc3wHYHOMUnOKLKBzXCQ)

As expected, the Government will be seeking that all member states retain a commissioner as well as assurances regarding abortion, neutrality, taxation and workers' rights.
Given soundings in recent days, this should all be achieveable.

I still think at this point that a second no vote is the most likely outcome, but TPTB have 10 months to get people onside. Watch this space...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on December 12, 2008, 12:43:32 pm
They must be desperate if the only option they can think of is "WE NEEDZ ANOTHER REFERENDUMB!!1111". I'm already preparing for its epochal fail come next Autumn. Especially if the economy stays the way it is (or rather the media going OMG OMG OMG RECESSION OMG) and Cowen maintains his current stellar popularity.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on December 12, 2008, 12:58:30 pm
They must be desperate if the only option they can think of is "WE NEEDZ ANOTHER REFERENDUMB!!1111". I'm already preparing for its epochal fail come next Autumn. Especially if the economy stays the way it is (or rather the media going OMG OMG OMG RECESSION OMG) and Cowen maintains his current stellar popularity.

'Right guys, it's failed a second time. We really need to think of what to do next'

'A third referendum?

'My god you're brilliant'


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 12, 2008, 01:30:51 pm
Strong language from within the Greens on the resignation of the head of the Equality Authority due to enforced budget cuts -- PA Report (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5i8BWrIjOsRsfS8-YvS-evjSZPsxw)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 02, 2009, 11:20:43 am
Independent TD, Tony Gregory (i-Dublin Central) has died today from cancer. Gregory has been a long standing, very effective independent TD for one of the most socially deprived areas in the country. The Gregory Deal of 1982 secured massive investment for the constituency in return for his propping up the Haughey Government.

- Irish Times report (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0102/breaking28.htm)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on January 02, 2009, 12:11:59 pm
Rest In Peace.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 22, 2009, 07:24:00 am
The Green Party has lost two Councillors in consecutive days.

Chris O'Leary and Bronwen Maher, councillors in Cork and Dublin respectively (both Dáil candidates in 2007), have resigned the party and will be contesting the upcoming local elections as Independents. Both opposed the Greens entering the coalition and have voiced criticism of various decisions of the party and government since that time. Cllr. O'Leary in particular criticised the Greens' leadership for their "stay-in-Government-at-all-costs" agenda.

In the last local elections in 2004, O'Leary and Maher were 2 of the 18 successful County Council candidates (up from 8 in 1999). The next local elections will be this June.

- The Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0122/1232474673232.html)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 09, 2009, 10:13:58 am
The Oireachtas Library have added a nice feature to the Oireachtas website - constituency profiles (http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/Library/Map_of_Ireland.htm).

Based on the 2006 Census figures, the profiles compare (in tabular and graphical form) the constituencies with national averages in a range of areas including age, disability, ethnicity, religion, education, employment, etc.

For anyone interested, the profiles for the constituencies with by-elections this June are here: Dublin Central (http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/library/constituencies_profiles/Dublin_Central.pdf) and Dublin South (http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/library/constituencies_profiles/Dublin_South.pdf) - which offer up two very different electorates.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on February 09, 2009, 01:04:48 pm
The Green Party has lost two Councillors in consecutive days.

Chris O'Leary and Bronwen Maher, councillors in Cork and Dublin respectively (both Dáil candidates in 2007)
Also rans, or nearish misses?

The Oireachtas Library have added a nice feature to the Oireachtas website - constituency profiles (http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/Library/Map_of_Ireland.htm).

Doesn't seem to be working, or at least the big constituency in the northeast doesn`t.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 09, 2009, 05:29:48 pm
The Green Party has lost two Councillors in consecutive days.

Chris O'Leary and Bronwen Maher, councillors in Cork and Dublin respectively (both Dáil candidates in 2007)
Also rans, or nearish misses?

Also rans - though Maher fell far short of potential.
O'Leary was the Greens' only elected representative in Munster.

The Oireachtas Library have added a nice feature to the Oireachtas website - constituency profiles (http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/Library/Map_of_Ireland.htm).

Doesn't seem to be working, or at least the big constituency in the northeast doesn`t.

:P


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on February 13, 2009, 02:21:25 pm
I know it's because the economy has been destroyed but I'm still going to gloat THIRD PLACE!

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0213/1233867935600.html (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0213/1233867935600.html)

Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll:
FF: 22% (down 5%)
FG: 32% (down 2%)
Lab: 24% (up 10%)
SF 9% (up 1%)
Greens: 4% (-)
Inds 9% (down 4%)

Proof that perception is reality.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 16, 2009, 07:32:12 pm

(http://grottynosh.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/shamrock.jpg)

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on April 22, 2009, 01:59:53 pm
Big shake-up in the junior ministerial ranks today. The number of Junior Government Ministers has been a source of some criticism for a while now, some of the roles being seen as having little real function but granting significant perks to the office holders.

The number of posts was cut from 20 to 15 - with 7 demotions and 2 promotions from the backbenches. The changes all relate to Fianna Fáil members, the Greens' lone Junior Minister (Trevor Sargent [Dublin N] retains Horticulture and Food. There's a definite sense that loyalty and sticking to the party line (something Mr Cowen has been very clear in demanding) was a key factor. John McGuinness (Carlow-Kilkenny) wandered from the party line to outline his rather strongly held opinions on public sector pay and productivity; Jimmy Devins (Sligo-N Leitrim) may have been deemed too even-handed over the decisions relating to cancer care in Sligo;...

In the midst of continuing dire economic doom and gloom, Mr Cowen this evening has clearly isolated a rump of newfound backbenchers. We'll see if that has repercussions later...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on August 05, 2009, 11:05:39 am
Dr. Jimmy Devins and Eamonn Scanlan (both Sligo-Leitrim N) have resigned the Fianna Fáil whip over their opposition to cuts to breast cancer services at Sligo General Hospital.
- Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0805/breaking59.htm)

I presume they will continue to vote with the Government, but nonetheless it underlines the increasing difficulty of holding together a majority at a time of very sizable cuts to public expenditure, with still much more to come.

New Dáil Composition:
Fianna Fáil72(-2)
Fine Gael52
Labour20
Greens6
Sinn Féin4
Progressive Democrats2
Independents8(+2)
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)1
Vacant1(Donegal SW)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on August 05, 2009, 01:18:22 pm
While most of the independents will vote with the government that is pretty much the end of the majority.

I expect an election within the year tbh.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 02, 2009, 08:12:18 pm
Another poll... another schadenfreude meter exploding.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0903/1224253745882.html (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0903/1224253745882.html)

(Figures in brackets include undecideds)

FF: 17% (16) -3
FG: 34% (26) -2
LAB: 24% (18) +1
SF: 10% (9) +1
GP: 3% (2) nc
IND: 12% (9) +2
UND: - (20) +1

In Dublin:
Quote
Labour has now pushed Fianna Fáil into third place in terms of core vote for the first time, with Fine Gael maintaining the position it achieved in recent polls and in local and European elections in June as the biggest party in the country. In Dublin, Labour is in first place with 25 per cent, one point ahead of Fine Gael on 24 per cent with Fianna Fáil trailing back in fourth place in the capital on 11 per cent, a point behind Sinn Féin.

Gazooks. I say.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 02, 2009, 09:08:07 pm
So, what are the chances that the Government holds together for the Dáil's full term?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 02, 2009, 09:17:27 pm
So, what are the chances that the Government holds together for the Dáil's full term?

Difficult to say really. The vote on NAMA (ie. the government bailout to frauds, gangsters and gamblers 'rescue package' for the economy) will be over the Autumn as will the Lisbon Treaty referendum and a cut-heavy budget. Also a by-election (in Donegal South West) is due and many in the rank and file of the Green Party are not precisely pleased right now. Yet it is hard to see the government falling due to any of this. Turkeys won't vote for Christmas, will they?



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 03, 2009, 05:03:43 am
17%! :o


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on September 03, 2009, 06:53:00 am
17%! :o

?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 03, 2009, 08:41:44 am

It's not that long ago that FF falling into the 20s was :o
I'm actually surprised FF are still falling. I've no idea where 'rock bottom' is.

Given the STV system and our usage of 3, 4 and 5-seater constituencies, there are certian key threshold levels of support around which the expected returns can vary quite dramatically - especially for FF who have long maintained fairly homogenous levels of support accross thwe country. Falling to 17% is noteworthy in that it would jeopardise FF's chances of holding a single seat in most of the 17 3-seater constituencies; and they couldn't hope for more than one seat in any of the 11 5-seaters (except I presume in the Taoiseach's own constituency).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Silent Hunter on September 03, 2009, 09:15:31 am
So, this government can be called Epic Fáil, then? ;)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 03, 2009, 06:06:09 pm
So, this government can be called Epic Fáil, then? ;)

Has been for over a year.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 03, 2009, 06:08:05 pm

Putting this in perspective the lowest FF has ever got at an election since 1932 was 39% in 1992. They have been the largest party at every election since 1932 and only once was this even close (in 1982 II). Now they are third - and fourth in Dublin.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 03, 2009, 07:07:33 pm
A FG-Lab coalition would now be a grand coalition.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 04, 2009, 02:57:52 pm
A FG-Lab coalition would now be a grand coalition.

Not necessarily. Even with those percentages in first preferences it would still be quite possible that FF would finish second. For two reasons: 1) The lack of Labour organization west of the River Shannon and in other select parts of the country (like West Cork or most of the Midlands) means that that 24% is mostly an urban vote and 2) Election Strategy. Or the problem of how many candidates to run. In 1992 when Labour got their previous best ever result: 19% they actually ended up with less TDs then they should due to their election strategy. In Dublin South (my constituency) they ended up winning enough votes to elect two TDs but only ran one candidate. This problem may will turn up again (or alternatively Labour could run lots of candidates but then run the problem of vote splitting - though this will probably be an even bigger problem for FF on those polls).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 05, 2009, 05:09:42 am
A FG-Lab coalition would now be a grand coalition.

Not necessarily. Even with those percentages in first preferences it would still be quite possible that FF would finish second. For two reasons: 1) The lack of Labour organization west of the River Shannon and in other select parts of the country (like West Cork or most of the Midlands) means that that 24% is mostly an urban vote and 2) Election Strategy. Or the problem of how many candidates to run. In 1992 when Labour got their previous best ever result: 19% they actually ended up with less TDs then they should due to their election strategy. In Dublin South (my constituency) they ended up winning enough votes to elect two TDs but only ran one candidate. This problem may will turn up again (or alternatively Labour could run lots of candidates but then run the problem of vote splitting - though this will probably be an even bigger problem for FF on those polls).

I think you're too pessimistic about Labour's chances in this scenario. You're quite right obviously that Labour's problem west of the Shannon is very significant - but in 1992 they still got TDs from Sligo-Leitrim and Clare, and weren't far off in Cavan-Monaghan. At 24% and with FF polling worse than swine flu, I think one could reasonably expect an even better return.

I also think that that Labour will have learned the lesson of 1992. I think that it's the quality of the candidates which will be the significant issue not the actual numbers.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 05, 2009, 03:58:56 pm
A FG-Lab coalition would now be a grand coalition.

Not necessarily. Even with those percentages in first preferences it would still be quite possible that FF would finish second. For two reasons: 1) The lack of Labour organization west of the River Shannon and in other select parts of the country (like West Cork or most of the Midlands) means that that 24% is mostly an urban vote and 2) Election Strategy. Or the problem of how many candidates to run. In 1992 when Labour got their previous best ever result: 19% they actually ended up with less TDs then they should due to their election strategy. In Dublin South (my constituency) they ended up winning enough votes to elect two TDs but only ran one candidate. This problem may will turn up again (or alternatively Labour could run lots of candidates but then run the problem of vote splitting - though this will probably be an even bigger problem for FF on those polls).

I think you're too pessimistic about Labour's chances in this scenario. You're quite right obviously that Labour's problem west of the Shannon is very significant - but in 1992 they still got TDs from Sligo-Leitrim and Clare, and weren't far off in Cavan-Monaghan. At 24% and with FF polling worse than swine flu, I think one could reasonably expect an even better return.

I also think that that Labour will have learned the lesson of 1992. I think that it's the quality of the candidates which will be the significant issue not the actual numbers.

I'm not being pessimistic. I'm only saying what might happen - not what I think would happen. Actually if that poll was a result in a General Election then FF might lose alot more (yes, even more) than they should because most of their incumbents would be running against each other for a significantly smaller vote, leading to mass vote splitting (this can have an effect - in 2002 iirc in Dun Laoghaire FG got a quota but ran three candidates and none got elected).

As I'm bored I think I will do a prediction based on that poll.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 05, 2009, 04:16:47 pm
A FG-Lab coalition would now be a grand coalition.

Not necessarily. Even with those percentages in first preferences it would still be quite possible that FF would finish second. For two reasons: 1) The lack of Labour organization west of the River Shannon and in other select parts of the country (like West Cork or most of the Midlands) means that that 24% is mostly an urban vote and 2) Election Strategy. Or the problem of how many candidates to run. In 1992 when Labour got their previous best ever result: 19% they actually ended up with less TDs then they should due to their election strategy. In Dublin South (my constituency) they ended up winning enough votes to elect two TDs but only ran one candidate. This problem may will turn up again (or alternatively Labour could run lots of candidates but then run the problem of vote splitting - though this will probably be an even bigger problem for FF on those polls).

I think you're too pessimistic about Labour's chances in this scenario. You're quite right obviously that Labour's problem west of the Shannon is very significant - but in 1992 they still got TDs from Sligo-Leitrim and Clare, and weren't far off in Cavan-Monaghan. At 24% and with FF polling worse than swine flu, I think one could reasonably expect an even better return.

I also think that that Labour will have learned the lesson of 1992. I think that it's the quality of the candidates which will be the significant issue not the actual numbers.

I'm not being pessimistic. I'm only saying what might happen - not what I think would happen. Actually if that poll was a result in a General Election then FF might lose alot more (yes, even more) than they should because most of their incumbents would be running against each other for a significantly smaller vote, leading to mass vote splitting (this can have an effect - in 2002 iirc in Dun Laoghaire FG got a quota but ran three candidates and none got elected).

Agreed. Both the presence of too many candidates and their increased transfer toxicity would almost certainly cost them seats.

Did you see the Tubridy-Cowen interview, btw?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 05, 2009, 05:02:41 pm
A FG-Lab coalition would now be a grand coalition.

Not necessarily. Even with those percentages in first preferences it would still be quite possible that FF would finish second. For two reasons: 1) The lack of Labour organization west of the River Shannon and in other select parts of the country (like West Cork or most of the Midlands) means that that 24% is mostly an urban vote and 2) Election Strategy. Or the problem of how many candidates to run. In 1992 when Labour got their previous best ever result: 19% they actually ended up with less TDs then they should due to their election strategy. In Dublin South (my constituency) they ended up winning enough votes to elect two TDs but only ran one candidate. This problem may will turn up again (or alternatively Labour could run lots of candidates but then run the problem of vote splitting - though this will probably be an even bigger problem for FF on those polls).

I think you're too pessimistic about Labour's chances in this scenario. You're quite right obviously that Labour's problem west of the Shannon is very significant - but in 1992 they still got TDs from Sligo-Leitrim and Clare, and weren't far off in Cavan-Monaghan. At 24% and with FF polling worse than swine flu, I think one could reasonably expect an even better return.

I also think that that Labour will have learned the lesson of 1992. I think that it's the quality of the candidates which will be the significant issue not the actual numbers.

I'm not being pessimistic. I'm only saying what might happen - not what I think would happen. Actually if that poll was a result in a General Election then FF might lose alot more (yes, even more) than they should because most of their incumbents would be running against each other for a significantly smaller vote, leading to mass vote splitting (this can have an effect - in 2002 iirc in Dun Laoghaire FG got a quota but ran three candidates and none got elected).

Agreed. Both the presence of too many candidates and their increased transfer toxicity would almost certainly cost them seats.

Did you see the Tubridy-Cowen interview, btw?

No I didn't. (Me too lazy sophisicated to watch TV see. :P). Anything interesting?

Anyway Dublin - According to poll: Labour 25% FG 24% SF 12% FF 11%. Now anyone who knows anything recognizes that even in Sodom-on-the-Liffey local issues/gombeemism still have some influence and I reckon that there is some form of "Shy Tory" syndrome going on with FF voters denying that they will vote for FF. In saying that, 11% is actually worse than Fine Gael's performance in the Capital in 2002, where they won only three seats, the worst ever. So then:

Dublin South: Currently: 3FG 1FF 1GP. Kitt (FF) is retiring.
                      Prediction: 3FG 1LAB 1FF (Or plausibly, 3FG 2LAB or 2FG 2LAB 1FF)
Vote splitting between two candidates cost Labour a seat here last time but just about over a quota. With their vote doubling - and Dublin South is the sort of constituency imo where the anti-government feeling is likeliest to magnified come election day - Labour could gain two, but vote management may let them down. Fianna Fail don't precisely have a great bench here with no incumbents; but it seems impausible that they would have no seats in a 5 seater (or is it?). Ryan is Gone. Lee & Mitchell (Both FG) are safe. Shatter (FG) may be in danger but he's been around a long time. The drawing of Foxrock and Cabinteely into the constituency - which only makes it even more affulent and upper middle class than before is likely to strongly benefit FG. Perhaps even Labour.

Dun Laoghaire: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB 1GP. It is losing a seat due to the boundary changes.
                         Prediction: 1FG 2LAB 1People Before Profit (aka Socialist Workers Party - a Trot group)
Dun Laoghaire tends to magnify swings and has always had a low FF vote. Even now. The local election has shown that Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP) despite being a slightly drippy student trot has developed a base among the smoked salmon socialists of Monkstown, Dun Laoghaire and down the Coast. Eamonn Gilmore (LAB) is now Labour leader and on 24% a second seat seems to be quite likely, especially given that a) he is only Dublin based TD leading a major party and b) he is clearly the most popular leader right now. FG have one seat though their incumbent Barrett (FG) is retiring. Andrews (FF) and Cuffe (GP) are gone. Hannafin (FF) is probably gone too (*cue uproarious celebrations*) - Fianna Fail had a genuinely awful local elections here, worse than many other places even.

Dublin South East: Currently: 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1GP
                              Prediction: 2FG 2LAB

The home of the Civil Service, the Business and Media elite, the fashionable shopping districts, what remains of the old Protestant ascendancy - and alot of urban blight in the forgotten inner suburbs has always been a bad place for Fianna Fail relative to the rest of the country. And with their vote collapsing they will probably finish way back in the field. The Green Party are doing terribly right now and their leader Gormley (GP) is probably on his way too. A major question would be what happens to those conservative McDowell voters (an ex-PD minister of Justice and known right-winger)? Probably back to their natural vote in Fine Gael; even rumours are spreading that McDowell himself will run under that banner at the next election. Creighton (FG) is safe. Quinn (Lab) is safe. For an actual prediction of any accuracy one would have to know the candidates (personal vote matters alot here - more so even than other countries imo). But 2FG and 2Lab is the best bet for now - though Sinn Fein might have a chance. Need to run a good candidate and campaign strongly in the Ringsend-Irishtown area (the scene of alot of the aforementioned urban blight).

Dublin South West: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB
                               Prediction: 2FG 1LAB 1SF

Placeholder

Dublin Mid West: Currently: 1FF 1LAB 1PD 1GP
                            Prediction: 2FG 1LAB 1SF

Placeholder

Dublin South Central: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB 1SF
                                  Prediction: 1FG 2LAB 1SF 1PBP (Bit of a risky one this)

Placeholder

Dublin West: Currently: 1FF 1FG 1LAB. Gaining a seat due to boundary changes.
                      Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1SOC.

Placeholder.

Dublin North West: Currently: 2FF 1LAB
                              Prediction: 1FG 1LAB 1SF

Placeholder.

Dublin North Central: Currently: 1FF 1FG 1IND
                                  Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB

Placeholder.

Dublin Central: Currently: 2FF 1LAB 1IND
                        Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1IND

Placeholder.

Dublin North East: Currently: 1FF 1FG 1LAB
                            Prediction: 1FG 1LAB 1SF

Dublin North: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1GP
                      Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1SOC (This one is particularly difficult, if the Greens hold on to any, it will be this one).

Placeholder.

Yes, I know I only wrote analysis for the three Dublin South East constituencies, so sue me ;P (I'll get around to it later).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 05, 2009, 06:00:01 pm
Lenister:

Kildare North: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB
                      Prediction: 2FG 1LAB 1IND (Catherine Murphy again)

Kildare South: Currently: 2FF 1LAB
                       Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB

Meath West: Currently: 2FF 1FG
                      Prediction: 1FF 2FG

Meath East: Currently: 2FF 1FG
                     Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB

Louth: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1SF (Gaining a seat at the next election)
           Prediction: 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1SF

Longford-Westmeath: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB
                                   Prediction: 1FF 2FG 1LAB

Laois-Offaly: Currently: 3FF 2FG
                    Prediction: 2FF 3FG (This is very hard, it surely can't stay status quo but the other options don't see particularly likely. Though if we went on the locals results than status quo is possible albeit with 2 Offaly based FFers as opposed to 2 Laois based FFers. Labour? Surely Not. SF? More likely.)

Carlow-Kilkenny: Currently: 3FF 1FG 1GP
                           Prediction: 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1IND-FF (McGuinness)

Wicklow: Currently: 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1IND-FF
               Prediction: 2FG 2LAB 1IND-FF

Wexford: Currently: 2FF 2FG 1LAB
               Prediction: 1FF 3FG 1LAB

The problem is in alot of these constituencies is that it is very hard to see who will step into the FF vacuum.

Munster:
Waterford: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB
                  Prediction: 2FG 1LAB 1SF (If my contacts are to be believed, a hard left protest candidate is also plausible.)

Cork East: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB
                  Prediction: 2FG 2LAB (at a stab)

Cork North West: Currently: 2FF 1FG
                           Prediction: 1FF 2FG

Cork South West: Currently: 1FF 2FG
                             Prediction: 1FF 2FG
If the tide really goes out here that replace that FF with Labour.

Cork South Central: Currently: 2FF 2FG 1LAB
                                Prediction: 1FF 3FG 1LAB
A hard left protest candidate again is possible. SF perhaps - Or even PBP?

Cork North Central: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB
                                Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB 1SF

Kerry South: Currently: 1FF 1FG 1IND(FF). O'Donoghue (FF) is safe as Ceann Comhairle (speaker) and is so-re-elected.
                     Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB

Kerry North-Limerick West: Currently (as Kerry North): 1FF 1FG 1SF
                                           Prediction: 1FG 1LAB 1SF

Limerick: Currently (as Limerick West): 2FF 1FG
               Prediction: 1FF 2FG

City of Limerick: Currently (as Limerick East): 2FF 2FG 1LAB. Is losing a seat in the boundary changes.
                         Prediction: 1FF 2FG 1LAB.

Clare: Currently: 2FF 2FG
           Prediction: 1FF 3FG. This is yet another "God, I hope Labour run a decent candidate prospect". There is a slight left-wing vote here.

Tipperary North: Currently: 1FF 1FG 1IND(FG)
                           Prediction: 1FG 1LAB 1IND(FG)

Tipperary South: Currently: 2FF 1FG
                           Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1LAB (or Seamus Healy as an independant again; prospect of a left-wing protest again.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 05, 2009, 06:07:23 pm
Connacht-Ulster:

Cavan-Monaghan: Currently: 3FF 1FG 1SF
                              Prediction: 2FF 2FG 1SF (Jas, do you think 1FF 2FG 2SF is possible?)

Donegal South West: Currently: 2FF 1FG
                                   Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1SF

Donegal North East: Currently: 2FF 1FG
                                 Prediction: 1FF 1FG 1SF

Sligo-N. Leitrim: Currently: 2FF 1FG
                          Prediction: 2FG 1IND "Hospital Candidate" (This always happens. Actually I suspect alot of FF gene pool will get elected as Independents as "Hospitals/anti-cuts candidates" than I have predicted. Sligo seems especially obvious. SF is a prospect.)

Roscommon-S. Leitrim: Currently: 1FF 2FG
                                     Prediction: 1FF 2FG. Though Independent John Kelly (who got 9.85% last time but has a solid local base in Castlerea) could do something. Possibly another "hospital candidate".

Mayo: Currently: 2FF 3FG
          Prediction: 2FF 3FG. Again hard to see an alternative to the Status Quo despite the awful poll numbers; unless SF make really huge gains.

Galway East: Currently: 2FF 2FG
                      Prediction: 1FF 3FG

Galway West: Currently: 2FF 1FG 1LAB 1PD
                       Prediction: 1FF 2FG 1LAB 1IND(PD)

Local ex-PDs doing really well. Must be fears over lower property prices.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 05, 2009, 06:30:31 pm
My guestimate based on the poll...

FFFGLabSFGrnOther
Carlow-Kilkenny1211
Cavan-Monaghan122
Clare121 (Ind - Breen)
Cork E121
Cork NC121
Cork NW12
Cork SC131
Cork SW21
Donegal NE111
Donegal SW111
Dublin C1111 (Ind - O'Sullivan)
Dublin MW22
Dublin N1111 (Soc)
Dublin NC111 (Ind - McGrath)
Dublin NE111
Dublin NW111
Dublin S131
Dublin SC1211 (PBP)
Dublin SE121
Dublin SW1111
Dublin W1111 (Soc)
Dún Laoighaire211 (PBP)
Galway E121
Galway W1121 (Ind - Grealish)
Kerry N111
Kerry S1*11
Kildare N1111 (Ind - Murphy)
Kildare S111
Laois-Offaly221 (Ind)
Limerick City121
Limerick County12
Longford-Westmeath121
Louth1211
Mayo14
Meath E111
Meath W111
Roscommon-Leitrim S12
Sligo-Leitrim N21
Tipperary N111 (Ind - Leary)
Tipperary S111 (Ind - Healy)
Waterford121
Wexford122
Wicklow122
Total33693812212 (2 Soc; 2 PBP; 8 Ind)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 05, 2009, 06:35:45 pm
You only have three in Dun Laoghaire and have left out the counties beginning with "W" but other than that looks alright.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 05, 2009, 07:01:17 pm
You only have three in Dun Laoghaire

Special Jas redistricting ;)

and have left out the counties beginning with "W" but other than that looks alright.

I've also decided the country would be better off without these counties.

No, I just decided to post the unfinished table as I had reason to fear that the post was in jeopardy.

Anyway, I found it actually very difficult to make the prediction generally given the unprecedented FF and Lab numbers. Looking at it now, it still looks too generous to FF and not generous enough to Lab.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 05, 2009, 07:07:11 pm
You only have three in Dun Laoghaire

Special Jas redistricting ;)

and have left out the counties beginning with "W" but other than that looks alright.

I've also decided the country would be better off without these counties.

No, I just decided to post the unfinished table as I had reason to fear that the post was in jeopardy.

Anyway, I found it actually very difficult to make the prediction generally given the unprecedented FF and Lab numbers. Looking at it now, it still looks too generous to FF and not generous enough to Lab.

Yeah I know. Especially given transfers. The problem is in places like Sligo-N.Leitrim or Cork North West FG have 2 seats but no other parties exist except the civil war ones and FG surely can't win all 3?

Actually thinking about I expect alot of FF gene pool to seep away and run as independents. If FF do genuinely that badly we will be left in a 2002 style situation with lots of independents whose entire function is make sure that the cuts - wherever they are - are in other places and not in the village which gave them the quota to protect their hospital/school/secret stash of gold/whatever. If somehow FG-LAB don't make a majority and they just over 50% and perhaps transfers won't be so friendly as in 2007 when they ran as the Alternative government (cf. compare 1969 and 1973 - FG/LAB got more votes in the former than the latter but lost in 1969 and won in 1973 due to transfers) then the country will finally slip towards ungovernable banana republic status [/cynical Dubliner].

Quote
I've also decided the country would be better off without these counties.

Yet you kept Longford* I question your judgement.

* - Of course Longford does not exist, anyone who says otherwise is part of THEM.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 05, 2009, 07:58:28 pm
Yeah I know. Especially given transfers. The problem is in places like Sligo-N.Leitrim or Cork North West FG have 2 seats but no other parties exist except the civil war ones and FG surely can't win all 3?

For Sligo-N Leitrim, I think these numbers mean 2 FG shouldn't be a problem with the final seat a FF/SF marginal. MacManus (SF) is a long-term candidate who has continually grown his vote. The 1992 Labour win also comes to mind as indicative of leftish potential. The lack of progress in the Locals stands against them though. FF shouldn't be far away, but both incumbents will presumably split the FF vote and I doubt their stunt at resigning the whip will go down well viz a viz the hospital campaign.

Cork NW is more difficult. There's some evidence of a Labour presence, but it's impossible to really say how they'd do. Of course, who's to say some random independent wouldn't appear? It's a difficult constituency alright.

Actually thinking about I expect alot of FF gene pool to seep away and run as independents. If FF do genuinely that badly we will be left in a 2002 style situation with lots of independents whose entire function is make sure that the cuts - wherever they are - are in other places and not in the village which gave them the quota to protect their hospital/school/secret stash of gold/whatever. If somehow FG-LAB don't make a majority and they just over 50% and perhaps transfers won't be so friendly as in 2007 when they ran as the Alternative government (cf. compare 1969 and 1973 - FG/LAB got more votes in the former than the latter but lost in 1969 and won in 1973 due to transfers) then the country will finally slip towards ungovernable banana republic status [/cynical Dubliner].

Yeah, with the mass move away from FF, a good election for all sorts of Indies should be in the offing.

I don't think there will be any question over the numbers being there for FG/Lab - but it's not inconceivable that there could be difficulties in coming to agreement. If Lab do really well, would they push for a rotating Taoiseach type deal? Are there policies on dealing with the banks at all compatible? Can they agree on where to make massive budget cuts?
Not sure what happens if they can't do a deal...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: k-onmmunist on September 06, 2009, 09:21:14 am
I have a question: Is there much of a libertarian movement in Ireland?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 06, 2009, 11:29:30 am
I have a question: Is there much of a libertarian movement in Ireland?

There isn't much of a "libertarian movement" anywhere, certainly not in Europe. The liberal Progressive Democrats were the closest thing to it, but they disbanded last year.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 06, 2009, 01:11:28 pm
I have a question: Is there much of a libertarian movement in Ireland?

No. Don't be silly. The PDs can't be seen as libertarian either - they introduced the minimum wage for a start. They are really more of a right-wing liberal party. Libertarianism would do even worse than Trotskyism here; I can't think of any one natural constituency for it (Except Rich Nerds under the age of 30, perhaps?).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Democratic Hawk on September 06, 2009, 04:26:01 pm
Is Labour a natural coalition parter with Fine Gael nowadays?

An old almanac I have (2000) defines Labour as moderate left-of-centre; Fine Gael as moderate centre-left and Fianna Fail as moderate centre-right. Is that still the case?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 06, 2009, 04:39:11 pm
Is Labour a natural coalition parter with Fine Gael nowadays?

An old almanac I have (2000) defines Labour as moderate left-of-centre; Fine Gael as moderate centre-left and Fianna Fail as moderate centre-right. Is that still the case?

No. Really Left-Right don't work very well for Ireland as Irish politics works on a culture of clientalism rather than political programs or ideals as in most European countries, which helps to explain why the economy seems to collapse every 20-25 years or so. Labour are certainly to the left of FF-FG but that is not saying much and are generally more conservative than they were in the 60s and 70s - alot of progressive legislation especially on "social issues" has been due in part to Labour governments (though obviously cultural change is more important in a general sense) these issues though are irrelevant electorally. But may explain in part the  paradox that they have on average in national elections the second the richest support base of all the parties, behind the Greens (as of 2002). FG are a more 'natural' conservative party to FF due to their traditional support base (small town bourgeoise + large landowners) but need Labour for government. FF is just a catch-all party whose ideology is Gombeenism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gombeen_man). But this is true of all political parties in part.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Democratic Hawk on September 06, 2009, 05:21:54 pm
Is Labour a natural coalition parter with Fine Gael nowadays?

An old almanac I have (2000) defines Labour as moderate left-of-centre; Fine Gael as moderate centre-left and Fianna Fail as moderate centre-right. Is that still the case?

No. Really Left-Right don't work very well for Ireland as Irish politics works on a culture of clientalism rather than political programs or ideals as in most European countries, which helps to explain why the economy seems to collapse every 20-25 years or so. Labour are certainly to the left of FF-FG but that is not saying much and are generally more conservative than they were in the 60s and 70s - alot of progressive legislation especially on "social issues" has been due in part to Labour governments (though obviously cultural change is more important in a general sense) these issues though are irrelevant electorally. But may explain in part the  paradox that they have on average in national elections the second the richest support base of all the parties, behind the Greens (as of 2002). FG are a more 'natural' conservative party to FF due to their traditional support base (small town bourgeoise + large landowners) but need Labour for government. FF is just a catch-all party whose ideology is Gombeenism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gombeen_man). But this is true of all political parties in part.

Thanks :). Was it you who once defined the difference between FF and FG as basically between sh**t and sh**te?

Most contemporary "left" parties are basically Third Way centrist :); indeed, the mainstream center-right in western Europe are probably less into neoliberalism than the British Labour Party, which is, constitutionally, and only constitutionally,  a "democratic socialist" party - and in so far as 'social democracy' ever existed in the western world it was only ever as a model of capitalism


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 06, 2009, 06:17:07 pm
Quote
Was it you who once defined the difference between FF and FG as basically between sh**t and sh**te?

No. That was some drunk guy at a pub who I think Lewis quoted.

Quote
Most contemporary "left" parties are basically Third Way centrist Smiley; indeed, the mainstream center-right in western Europe are probably less into neoliberalism than the British Labour Party, which is, constitutionally, and only constitutionally,  a "democratic socialist" party - and in so far as 'social democracy' ever existed in the western world it was only ever as a model of capitalism

Won't disagree with that. Just that Labour's position in Irish society is rather strange. Worth noting that Labour's support base is in main places connected to public sector employment (as opposed to manufacturing - what little there is of it - and industry). Despite this I belief most unions, especially the main ones, have been quite content with FF even with the PDs. This though is changing. Labour's voting base at a local level is much more working class in the conventional-British sense though (or rather it wins those votes locally than it doesn't win nationally - this though is a recent phenomena). More than half of Labour TDs are based in Dublin. Outside of Galway City, the party doesn't exist west of the Shannon and other parts of outer bogland (West Cork, The Midlands with the curious exception of Westmeath).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 06, 2009, 07:04:39 pm
I have a question: Is there much of a libertarian movement in Ireland?

No. Don't be silly. The PDs can't be seen as libertarian either - they introduced the minimum wage for a start. They are really more of a right-wing liberal party. Libertarianism would do even worse than Trotskyism here; I can't think of any one natural constituency for it (Except Rich Nerds under the age of 30, perhaps?).

Trotskyism does pretty well in Dublin, doesn't it? Or is that just the electoral system at work?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 06, 2009, 07:25:50 pm
I have a question: Is there much of a libertarian movement in Ireland?

No. Don't be silly. The PDs can't be seen as libertarian either - they introduced the minimum wage for a start. They are really more of a right-wing liberal party. Libertarianism would do even worse than Trotskyism here; I can't think of any one natural constituency for it (Except Rich Nerds under the age of 30, perhaps?).

Trotskyism does pretty well in Dublin, doesn't it? Or is that just the electoral system at work?

It's doing better. The Socialist Party used to have a seat in the Dail but lost it in the FF vs FG-LAB contest of 2007. But their TD, Joe Higgins, recently got elected (with the help of the vote of yours truly) to the European Parliament. The SP are doing better at a local level especially in Fingal (North County Dublin) where the Left (incl. Labour) have over 50% of the council seats. Very unusual in Ireland. However the SP won't share power with a "capitalist" party like Labour so it's moot. At the next election the SP will certainly get Joe Higgins' seat back at Dublin West (causing him resign as an MEP) due to redistricting. Another seat is possible in Dublin North; but people have said that for the past two elections. Unlikely to see SP gains anywhere else.

The other Trotskyite group - or rather the parliamentary wing of the anti-everything brigade - The People Before Profit Alliance (PBP, otherwise known as the Socialist Workers Party) did really well at the last local elections, and looks almost certain to pick up a Dail seat in Dun Laoghaire at the next election. This is slightly strange because the consistency of Dun Laoghaire has very few 'workers' in it - but smoked salmon socialists abound, though Richard Body Barrett, the person in question, does seem to be a very good community worker. Even if his solutions to problems seem to be taken out of the drunk irasible leftie student handbook. More surprisingly PBP are also doing well in Dublin South Central, where there are certainly lots of workers - albeit from my experience more interested in the horses than in Marx or right on-ery - local elections were very good for them. Another gain is possible.

So that's 4 possible gains for Trots at the next election in Dublin (and possibly one other in Waterford, if my contacts are right). Not that impressive out of a potential 47. But in saying that that is 4 more than Communist Parties in Ireland are used to. Even in Stalinism's heyday the Communist Party of Ireland didn't bother to run candidates in Irish elections. Communism has never a force of any revelance in Irish history - though the IRA have flirted with it in the past (but that was really an anti-British Thing. Want to read something LOLworthy type in "Sean Russell" into wikipedia).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 07, 2009, 05:21:20 pm
In the news. Tax. Tax. And more Tax.
Quote
Proposals to tax property, child benefit
watch listen Monday, 7 September 2009 22:32

The Commission on Taxation has proposed an annual tax on all residential property, water charges and the taxing of child benefit.

Read the full report from the Commission

The report is part of the Government's strategy to shore-up the public finances, with the deficit likely to exceed €20bn this year.
Advertisement

With Ireland facing arguably its worst financial crisis ever, the Government is under huge pressure to restore the public finances.

Step one was the McCarthy report, which recommended extensive spending cuts across the public sector, and step two is the Commission on Taxation recommendations.

The Commission stresses that its priority is to broaden the tax base rather than merely increasing tax rates.

Commission on Taxation Chairman Frank Daly said the recommendations would not damage economic growth.

He stressed that all recommendations were designed to spread the burden of taxation more evenly and to give the Government more certainty about its tax revenue.

The report urges the Government to focus on raising revenue through property taxes, spending taxes and income taxes - in that order.

The commission identified 245 tax relieving measures in the tax system.

Outline of proposals

- An annual property tax on all residential property excluding social and local authority housing

- Child benefit should be a taxable income with a tax credit to offset the increase in tax for low income earners

- A new three-rate income tax system should be introduced to replace the current high and low income tax rates

- The health levy should be abolished and integrated into income tax system when fiscal conditions improve

- Rules on residency and tax exemption should be strengthened

- Stamp duty on ATM, credit and debit cards should be phased out in the interest of promoting cash free society

- Removal of tax relief for nursing home expenses once the Fair Deal scheme ends

- The current 'Cinderella clause' needs to be supplemented with additional tests and criteria

- Additional capital gains tax should apply on windfall gains from property rezoning Too Late now; this should have been in place ages ago.

- Domestic water charges should be phased in, with incentives to install meters, with a waiver for low income households

- Carbon tax based in tonnes of carbon should be introduced and collected at earliest point of supply

- VRT should be replaced over ten years by a system based on car usage

- Tax relief for pension payments should be replaced with a scheme 'along the lines of the former SSIA scheme'

- The first €200,000 of pension lump sums should be tax-free with remainder taxed at standard rate

- Ireland's low corporate tax rate should remain in place to support economic activity long term

- End to the artists' tax exemption

- Expenses of Oireachtas members should be treated as the same way as expenses paid to all other employees, with a limit placed on the dual abode allowance and an end to the flat rate of relief for accommodation.

- End stock relief for farming business but continue relief on farm land leasing

- Income tax relief for trade union subscriptions should be ended

Apart from wondering how "low-income" will be defined - most of these aren't actually bad measures. Or wouldn't be if the rates themselves weren't going to be so high.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 13, 2009, 11:55:50 am
Guess who's back!

Yes side guarantees 'meaningless' - Ganley (http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0913/eulisbon.html)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on September 13, 2009, 11:57:57 am
Guess who's back!

Yes side guarantees 'meaningless' - Ganley (http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0913/eulisbon.html)

Is he done crying after his epic fail in June?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 13, 2009, 12:13:16 pm
Guess who's back!

Yes side guarantees 'meaningless' - Ganley (http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0913/eulisbon.html)

Is he done crying after his epic fail in June?

Apparently. Now all we need is Lech Wałęsa.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 07, 2009, 12:16:15 pm
The Ceann Comhairle is effectively being forced to resign following our very own expenses scandal that has been developing since late summer. John O'Donohgue's expenses as Ceann Comhairle and formerly as Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism - particularly with regard to foreign travel - caused a quite a stir with the public. The recent release of expenses during the last year as CC amidst economic crisis were the final straw as Sinn Féin, Labour and Fine Gael in turn declared that he had lost their confidence.

The only issue outstanding is exactly when O'Donoghue will resign. He has indicated he will resign next week, but SF and FG have both demanded his immediate resignation because they see a not unreasonable prospect of the Government's collapse this weekend - and as things stand the sitting CC at time of dissolution is automatically deemed re-elected at General Elections.

That prospect of Government collapse arises from a Green Party convention which will vote on a new Programme for Government currently being negotiated between the Greens and FF. Green Party leader, John Gormley has said that the Programme must garner the 2/3 support of delegates for the Greens to remain in Government. Watch this space...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on October 09, 2009, 06:27:54 pm
The only issue outstanding is exactly when O'Donoghue will resign. He has indicated he will resign next week, but SF and FG have both demanded his immediate resignation because they see a not unreasonable prospect of the Government's collapse this weekend - and as things stand the sitting CC at time of dissolution is automatically deemed re-elected at General Elections.

Unless the sitting CC doesn't stand for reelection to the Dáil.

Is there any indication that O'Donoghue will retire at the next election (even if the Dáil dissolved soon and while he was still CC and he could have another term (which would seem to be for as long as Fine Gael and Labour can get along) by snapping his fingers)?  Or that he will resign from the Dáil at the same time as he resigns as Ceann Comhairle if that happens before the Dáil dissolves?  Or is this expenses scandal of John O'Donoghue, Ceann Comhairle and formerly John O'Donoughue, Minister of Arts, Sport and Tourism one that would be a comparitively minor blemish on John O'Donoughue, rank and file TD, or of a degree such that he might struggle to get reelected if he were not the outgoing CC but, if he is the Ceann Comhairle at the time of dissolution or until the next election if it isn't imminent, he could remain as a TD without being a Rod Blagojevich (not so much in being impeached and convicted/expelled from the Dáil but in his not resigning creating a scandal in itself)?  Would O'Donoghue want to remain in the Dáil with whatever his future prospects there are?

If O'Donohue resigns (at least as Ceann Comhairle) before the Dáil dissolves, how soon would a new CC be elected?  Any ideas as to whom that might be?  How much would electoral math be a factor in who is elected?

That's a lot of questions I know (I got on a roll), but I'd appreeciate whatever answers or educated guesses you (Jas) or anyone else (like Gully Foyle) could give me.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on October 09, 2009, 10:50:20 pm
A Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/09/brian-cowen-irish-government-coalition) on the new "Programme for Government" states, "It is understood the Greens have gained concessions on... the reform of the Republic's parliament."  One of the Greens' goals for parliamentary reform was a reduction in the size of the Dáil (the other reform goal mentioned in the article was reforming expenses for parliamentarians).  I'd be interested to hear if a Dáil reduction got into the revised program, the proposed size or range of sizes, how politically feasable such a change really is (I remember someone on this forum saying that due to maximum population per TD requirements in Ireland's constitution (there being minumum pop/TD requirements also), the size of the Dáil would eventually have to increase after each review of constituencies unless Ireland's constitution was amended), when it might go into effect and any complementary changes (like changing the range of Dáil members per constituency, presently 3-5 I know).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on October 10, 2009, 04:58:02 am
A Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/09/brian-cowen-irish-government-coalition) on the new "Programme for Government" states, "It is understood the Greens have gained concessions on... the reform of the Republic's parliament."  One of the Greens' goals for parliamentary reform was a reduction in the size of the Dáil (the other reform goal mentioned in the article was reforming expenses for parliamentarians).  I'd be interested to hear if a Dáil reduction got into the revised program, the proposed size or range of sizes, how politically feasable such a change really is (I remember someone on this forum saying that due to maximum population per TD requirements in Ireland's constitution (there being minumum pop/TD requirements also), the size of the Dáil would eventually have to increase after each review of constituencies unless Ireland's constitution was amended), when it might go into effect and any complementary changes (like changing the range of Dáil members per constituency, presently 3-5 I know).

Well FF and FG voting for parliamentary reform would be like Turkeys voting for Christmas, to be oh so cliche, but given the circumstances the Greens could pull it off... and if they did I will automatically apologize for everything bad I have said of them in the past two years (well, almost everything). It would though require a referendum - which in the current climate might just be passed (depends alot on the nature of the reform)

Other questions:

1. the amount of seats in the Dail has hardly changed since (iirc) 1981 so I don't know what you are referring to there. Though the amount of seats is far, far too many for a country our size (166).

2. As this reform is mostly focused on reducing the number of TDs the constituencies would so much change as be abolished and go bigger - which would effectively end the use of counties for constituency drawing purposes, especially in low-density regions like the Midlands and West. This I can see being the biggest point of public opposition. Personally though I think it can't come faster.

EDIT: Just looked at the Rte website; I've been out of the loop recently - but though a program has been agreed there is no mention of TD seat reduction though so far they are being awfully coy about it. However Corporation donations to political parties to be banned is a plus.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 10, 2009, 08:06:25 am
The only issue outstanding is exactly when O'Donoghue will resign. He has indicated he will resign next week, but SF and FG have both demanded his immediate resignation because they see a not unreasonable prospect of the Government's collapse this weekend - and as things stand the sitting CC at time of dissolution is automatically deemed re-elected at General Elections.

Unless the sitting CC doesn't stand for reelection to the Dáil.

Is there any indication that O'Donoghue will retire at the next election (even if the Dáil dissolved soon and while he was still CC and he could have another term (which would seem to be for as long as Fine Gael and Labour can get along) by snapping his fingers)?  Or that he will resign from the Dáil at the same time as he resigns as Ceann Comhairle if that happens before the Dáil dissolves?  Or is this expenses scandal of John O'Donoghue, Ceann Comhairle and formerly John O'Donoughue, Minister of Arts, Sport and Tourism one that would be a comparitively minor blemish on John O'Donoughue, rank and file TD, or of a degree such that he might struggle to get reelected if he were not the outgoing CC but, if he is the Ceann Comhairle at the time of dissolution or until the next election if it isn't imminent, he could remain as a TD without being a Rod Blagojevich (not so much in being impeached and convicted/expelled from the Dáil but in his not resigning creating a scandal in itself)?  Would O'Donoghue want to remain in the Dáil with whatever his future prospects there are?

It's widely assumed that O'Donoghue does wish to remain a TD - he's only 53. Whether he would decide to run again even were he to be removed as CC is not clear cut though. My suspicion would be that he would run.

I suspect O'Donoghue's biggest problem on re-election wouldn't be the expenses scandal (indeed I'm not sure how much of a problem it would necessarily be at all), but simply Fianna Fáil's abysmal ratings. In an open 3 seat election in Kerry S, Labour have a real chance of a gain at FF's expense anyway. O'Dongohue used his position as Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism not only to help himself to live the high-life but also to deliver some largesse to his constituency as well. He's not an unpopular figure there. Though the scandal has not gone down well with the general public, I don't have much a read on what the good people of Kerry make of it (well, my housemate happens to be from those parts - but his thoughts are no more representative of Kerry S, as mine are of Cavan-Monaghan :)).

Should O'Donoghue be returned, he couldn't reasonably hope to regain the CC position or any Ministerial office in future - but he wouldn't be politically untouchable either. He wouldn't even be the worst offender for financial scandals in the House (Michael Lowry isn't going anywhere after all...).


If O'Donohue resigns (at least as Ceann Comhairle) before the Dáil dissolves, how soon would a new CC be elected?  Any ideas as to whom that might be?  How much would electoral math be a factor in who is elected?


As I understand it, under the standing orders of the Dáil, on a CC vacancy arising, the Leas-Ceann Comhairle (Deputy CC, currently Brendan Howlin [Lab-Wexford]) shall preside until a date is set for the election of a new CC. So there's little definitive there as to timing.

Howlin is though the obvious candidate. He wants the job - and the Government will actually be happy to now give the position to the opposition as it amends the Dáil math in their favour, effectively increasing the Government majority by 2 (adding O'Donoghue to the Govt votes, and removing Howlin from the opposition votes).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 10, 2009, 08:24:33 am
A Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/09/brian-cowen-irish-government-coalition) on the new "Programme for Government" states, "It is understood the Greens have gained concessions on... the reform of the Republic's parliament."  One of the Greens' goals for parliamentary reform was a reduction in the size of the Dáil (the other reform goal mentioned in the article was reforming expenses for parliamentarians).  I'd be interested to hear if a Dáil reduction got into the revised program, the proposed size or range of sizes, how politically feasable such a change really is (I remember someone on this forum saying that due to maximum population per TD requirements in Ireland's constitution (there being minumum pop/TD requirements also), the size of the Dáil would eventually have to increase after each review of constituencies unless Ireland's constitution was amended), when it might go into effect and any complementary changes (like changing the range of Dáil members per constituency, presently 3-5 I know).

Well, first things first the proposed Renewed Programme for Government (http://www.greenparty.ie/en/government/renewed_programme_for_government) can be viewed from the Green's website. (Political reform issues are dealt with from page 32.)

The main points in regard to political reform are proposals to ban corporate donations and for full vouching and publication of expenses. The Programme also proposes the establishment of a new Electoral Commission to examine and make recommendations on possible changes to the electoral system for the Dáil and Seanad, possible 'mid-term' elections, extending the franchise for Presidential elections to Irish abroad, lowering the voting age for local elections.


1. the amount of seats in the Dail has hardly changed since (iirc) 1981 so I don't know what you are referring to there. Though the amount of seats is far, far too many for a country our size (166).

Since 1980, there have been 166 TDs. Though obviously the TD:constituent ratio has changed quite a bit - as indeed has there been a move to increasing the number of 3-seaters over 5-seaters. >:(

I don't necessarily agree that 166 is too many TDs though - but we've had that discussion before. :)


2. As this reform is mostly focused on reducing the number of TDs the constituencies would so much change as be abolished and go bigger - which would effectively end the use of counties for constituency drawing purposes, especially in low-density regions like the Midlands and West. This I can see being the biggest point of public opposition. Personally though I think it can't come faster.

The Green's apparent preferred system is a move towards the German system. Retaining X number of STV seats, but also some number of seats to reflect overall party support (either via a seperate list vote or something else). Such a thing would almost certainly require a Constitutional amendment - which I doubt would pass.

We'll have to wait and see on electoral reform though, the proposals agreed look like something that could quite easily go nowhere or produce easily ignored recommendations. :(


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on October 10, 2009, 12:12:19 pm
As I understand it, under the standing orders of the Dáil, on a CC vacancy arising, the Leas-Ceann Comhairle (Deputy CC, currently Brendan Howlin [Lab-Wexford]) shall preside until a date is set for the election of a new CC. So there's little definitive there as to timing.

Would Howlin be automatically returned if the Dáil were dissolved between O'Donoghue's resignation as CC and the election of a new CC?  That would only likely have come up if O'Donohue had resigned at CC before today's Green Party convention and that convention either failed to accept (by the required 2/3 vote) the motion to remain in Government on the basis of the new program or passed (by the same 2/3 vote) the motion opposing a bailout of some sorts that I'm too lazy to look up now.  If neither happens (or happened) at today's convention, I imagine the Government will survive long enough for a new Ceann Comhairle (possibly the same as the "interim CC" as you say) to be elected.  Although you never know.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on October 10, 2009, 12:17:50 pm
So, then, what are the cahnces of an election being called in the next week?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on October 10, 2009, 12:50:44 pm
A Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/09/brian-cowen-irish-government-coalition) on the new "Programme for Government" states, "It is understood the Greens have gained concessions on... the reform of the Republic's parliament."  One of the Greens' goals for parliamentary reform was a reduction in the size of the Dáil (the other reform goal mentioned in the article was reforming expenses for parliamentarians).  I'd be interested to hear if a Dáil reduction got into the revised program, the proposed size or range of sizes, how politically feasable such a change really is (I remember someone on this forum saying that due to maximum population per TD requirements in Ireland's constitution (there being minumum pop/TD requirements also), the size of the Dáil would eventually have to increase after each review of constituencies unless Ireland's constitution was amended), when it might go into effect and any complementary changes (like changing the range of Dáil members per constituency, presently 3-5 I know).
...
Other questions:

1. the amount of seats in the Dail has hardly changed since (iirc) 1981 so I don't know what you are referring to there. Though the amount of seats is far, far too many for a country our size (166).

An interesting dilemna for future commissions will be the constitutional restrictions of TD's representing between 20,000 and 30,000 persons.  When the Dail was set at the current size of 166 TD's in 1980 it was right at the lower limit.   Now, it is at 25,541 per TD; and the constitutional limit is 141 to 211 TD's (the statutory limit was 164 to 168).  But going forward 15 to 20 years the constitutional limit could be reached, and future commissions could find themselves having to add a dozen TD's at a time, and making major changes even if population growth were uniform.

Does that answer your question?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on October 10, 2009, 01:34:55 pm
So, then, what are the cahnces of an election being called in the next week?

No more likely now than any other week (which I wouldn't say is nil with the Government's slim majority and its unpopularity, but it definitely dodged the main bullet this past week and today).

From RTÉ News (http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1010/greens.html) (with [bracketed information] and italics added by me):

Quote
Greens vote to support Programme for Govt
Saturday, 10 October 2009 19:23 [7:23 p.m. Western European Summer Time; 2:23 p.m. (U.S.) Eastern Daylight Time]
The special Green Party convention in Dublin has voted to support the new Programme for Government by a margin of more than four to one.
...
Delegates also voted down a separate motion to reject the Government's legislation on the National Assets Management Agency, by two to one.

The two votes remove any doubt about the party staying in Government.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 10, 2009, 04:08:18 pm
Would Howlin be automatically returned if the Dáil were dissolved between O'Donoghue's resignation as CC and the election of a new CC?

Not unless he was formally voted in as CC proper.

That would only likely have come up if O'Donohue had resigned at CC before today's Green Party convention and that convention either failed to accept (by the required 2/3 vote) the motion to remain in Government on the basis of the new program or passed (by the same 2/3 vote) the motion opposing a bailout of some sorts that I'm too lazy to look up now.  If neither happens (or happened) at today's convention, I imagine the Government will survive long enough for a new Ceann Comhairle (possibly the same as the "interim CC" as you say) to be elected.  Although you never know.

Yeah, I had thought about this earlier - but I'm without a definitive answer. Had the Greens voted against, it would have depended on how Cowen reacted. He could have went straight to the President before the Dáil resumed and sought a dissolution, which she may or may not have granted. Or he could have tried to wait until a formal vote of no confidence is moved by the Dáil, in which case the opposition would probably get a shot at removing O'Donoghue first.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 10, 2009, 04:08:55 pm
So, then, what are the cahnces of an election being called in the next week?

Negligible.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 30, 2009, 08:09:12 am
Dr. Jim McDaid (FF-Donegal NE) has written to the Chief Whip withdrawing his support for the Government. He resigned the whip late last year due to the decision to scrap the cervical cancer vaccine. He also expressed his wish to see a General Election earlier in the autumn. Following his resignation of thw hip last year he has abstained and absented himself from certain votes, but now he has expressed his willingness to vote against the Government as well.

The current Dáil maths is rather messy and open to interpretation, but IMO is probably now 4.

Current Dáil Composition
Fianna Fáil72
Fine Gael52
Labour20
Greens6
Sinn Féin4
Independents10
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)1
Vacant1(Donegal SW)

Government84(FF + Green + Harney, Grealish, Healy Rae, Lowry, Devins, Scanlon)
Opposition80(FG + Lab + SF + O'Sullivan, McGrath, Behan, McDaid)
Majority4

Just to clarify a little on the Independents...
Pro-Government:
Harney and Grealish are the ex-PDs - the party having completed it's long disbandment process in September. Harney remains Minister for Health. No prospect of these two voting against the Government so long as Harney retains that job.
Healy Rae and Lowry are independents who did a deal with Bertie after the 2007 election. Healy Rae is concerned about possible measures that could reduce the allowable alcohol-blood ratio further, but apart from that neither seem likely to bolt.
Devins and Scanlon resigned the FF whip earlier this year in protest of the downgrading of service provisions at Sligo Hospital. Both continue however to vote with the Government.

Anti-Government:
O'Sullivan replaced Tony Gregory in the Dublin Central by-election earlier this year. Votes solidly against the Government. Like Gregory, no deal has been proffered to her.
Behan resigned from FF over the first 2009 budget. Solidly votes against the Government.
McGrath did a deal with Bertie after the election for his support, but backed out over the same budget. Possibly the most buy-able Independent, but still unlikely to change sides again.

Which leaves only McDaid, who is likely to have a much more ambiguous voting record than anyone else. His preference for a new election though means that I'm presuming he'll vote accordingly should it matter.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on December 05, 2009, 11:08:00 pm
So, then, what are the cahances of an election being called in the next week before the end of the year?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2009, 07:58:12 am
So, then, what are the cahances of an election being called in the next week before the end of the year?

Well, it's just become a bit more uncertain.

Despite my assertion just the other day (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg2246338#msg2246338), that forecast Noel Grealish as a safe vote with the Government, the Irish Independent reports (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/td-quits-coalition-as-pay-talks-collapse-1965205.html) yesterday that he has written to the Chief Whip and informed him that he wants to strike a deal (á la Healy-Rae and Lowry) in order for the Government to retain his vote. He then proceeded to absent himself from the remaining votes in the Dáil for the week.

On top of this, Wednesday in Budget Day and like last year will see more very significant spending cuts. The public sector will likely see another wage cut, last year it was an average 7.5% cut, this year will probably be another 6.5%. This has been the subject of some controversy, particularly because it appeared that the Government had reached a deal with unions on forced unpaid leave rather than simple pay cuts - but then backed out when, somewhat surprisingly, FF backbenchers strongly urged the Government not to do a deal.

There's also likely to be cuts to unemployment benefit and child benefit as well as further expenditure cuts across all departments.

Given the apparent resolve of the FF backbenchers, and indeed the Greens, the focus will be on the votes of Grealish and Jim McDaid in particular this week.

Personally, I don't see the Government falling over the Budget, and so surviving into next year - but elements of the media also feel that the votes of Devins and Scanlon bear watching. In a scenario where all 4 vote against the Government, then the majority is lost (81-83) and an election would no doubt have to happen in the near future.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on December 06, 2009, 08:22:19 am
Healy Rae is concerned about possible measures that could reduce the allowable alcohol-blood ratio further.

A personal concern, as it were?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 06, 2009, 09:47:35 am
Healy Rae is concerned about possible measures that could reduce the allowable alcohol-blood ratio further.
A personal concern, as it were?

:)
Only in so far as there is a family pub. Anyway, the publican lobby is very influential with FF anyway - so he wasn't alone with his concern, but was alone in so far as he explicitly announced that it could be enough to sway his vote. It seems to be just the Minister for Transport who was keen on this initiative - the Taoiseach stymied him so it's on the backburner for now.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 10, 2009, 11:56:21 am
So, then, what are the cahances of an election being called in the next week before the end of the year?

Well, it's just become a bit more uncertain.

Despite my assertion just the other day (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg2246338#msg2246338), that forecast Noel Grealish as a safe vote with the Government, the Irish Independent reports (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/td-quits-coalition-as-pay-talks-collapse-1965205.html) yesterday that he has written to the Chief Whip and informed him that he wants to strike a deal (á la Healy-Rae and Lowry) in order for the Government to retain his vote. He then proceeded to absent himself from the remaining votes in the Dáil for the week.

On top of this, Wednesday in Budget Day and like last year will see more very significant spending cuts. The public sector will likely see another wage cut, last year it was an average 7.5% cut, this year will probably be another 6.5%. This has been the subject of some controversy, particularly because it appeared that the Government had reached a deal with unions on forced unpaid leave rather than simple pay cuts - but then backed out when, somewhat surprisingly, FF backbenchers strongly urged the Government not to do a deal.

There's also likely to be cuts to unemployment benefit and child benefit as well as further expenditure cuts across all departments.

Given the apparent resolve of the FF backbenchers, and indeed the Greens, the focus will be on the votes of Grealish and Jim McDaid in particular this week.

Personally, I don't see the Government falling over the Budget, and so surviving into next year - but elements of the media also feel that the votes of Devins and Scanlon bear watching. In a scenario where all 4 vote against the Government, then the majority is lost (81-83) and an election would no doubt have to happen in the near future.


Following up on this...
Budget Day yesterday. 4.1% cut to social welfare payments (excluding pensions) and a second round of sizable pay cuts for the public sector (averaging between 5-8%). An industrial action response from the public sector unions is very likely. It's form is up for grabs - though it's effectiveness, IMO, is not. That game has been lost.

Otherwise, yesterday saw the introduction of a carbon tax (read: more tax on fuels); a lame effort at inhibiting the recent surge in cross-border shopping traffic by a measly half-point reduction in VAT and a cut in excise on alcohol; and a car scrappage scheme.

On the politics of it all...
Noel Grealish would appear to have come to some sort of arrangement with the Government.
In the votes on the various opening budget related votes, he, McDaid, Devins and Scanlon have all stuck with the Government, so it looks very likely that the Government will stumble on to 2010.

I expect the opposition will start pushing for the Donegal SW by-election come January - that it probably the next event likely to shift the Dáil numbers.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 12, 2009, 07:36:51 am
And it's clear the pressure of the budget has clearly been getting to some (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-gmBs26LL4)...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on December 14, 2009, 03:43:00 pm
What is it Stagg said?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on December 15, 2009, 04:32:45 am
What is it Stagg said?

Gogarty was speaking (http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2009-12-11.454.0#g631.0) on the Social Welfare Bill (which will implement the first cuts to social welfare payments since 1924). He was subjected to a numebr of heckles from 3 Labour Deputies, most immediately before his outburst by Stagg.

...

Quote from: Dáil Record
Stagg:  Bleating and blather.

Gogarty: I respected the Deputy’s sincerity and I ask him to respect mine.

Stagg: The Deputy does not seem very sincere from what he has been saying.

Gogarty: With all due respect, in the most unparliamentary language, fuck you Deputy Stagg. Fuck you.


Title: Irish MP's explicit rant...
Post by: useful idiot on December 22, 2009, 12:06:09 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f-TMSbQ8mk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f-TMSbQ8mk)


Title: Re: Irish MP's explicit rant...
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on December 22, 2009, 08:33:03 am
Merge!

Also, see my username. :)


Title: Re: Irish MP's explicit rant...
Post by: Јas on December 23, 2009, 01:52:45 pm
Also, see my username. :)

;D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 23, 2010, 07:11:01 am
First poll of 2010 out yesterday - an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll (MRBI having just recently joined the Ipsos group).

22 Jan26 Sept22 Nov2007
Ipsos MRBITNS mrbiRedCElection
Fine Gael32313627
Labour24251710
Fianna Fáil22202342
Sinn Féin89107
Green3455
Ind/Other111199

Numbers for FF, FG and Labour are identical to where they were for the first MRBI poll of last year.

7th MRBI poll in a row with FG ahead of FF; 4th in a row with Labour ahead of FF.

Satisfaction Ratings
Gilmore45(+1)
Kenny31(-1)
Adams31(+3)
Cowen26(+3)
Gormley24(+2)
Government19(+5)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on January 30, 2010, 09:43:23 pm
Numbers for FF, FG and Labour are identical to where they were for the first MRBI poll of last year.

Well, that's kind of good news for FF, I guess, considering they were doing worse (significantly worse in one poll I remember seeing) than 22% at times last year.

Jas and Gully Foyle,

What does your gut tell you about (26 county) Irish politics in 2010?  Will it be quieter than 2009, with Fianna Fáil not having to worry much about the government falling and gaining some ground in the polls (perhaps still losing the Donegal SW by-election but getting closer to where they could gain it (or at least have Fine Gael lose it to Sinn Féin) in the next general election)?  Or will 2010 be much like 2009, with credible speculation on the government falling at least once and Fianna Fáil's numbers staing where they are or dipping even lower, but with the goverment hanging on into 2011?  Or will the Fianna Fáil-Green-Mary Harney government (which I know has had the support of other independents including the other ex-PD TD) finally fall, and if it does will there be an election or will the government be replaced without an election by a Fine Gael-Labour government including of supported by the Greens and also supported by most Independent TDs?  (I know Fine Gael and Labour would at present much prefer a new election but someone pointed out that that would not be palatable to the Greens and most Independents in the Dáil.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on January 31, 2010, 07:16:33 am
What does your gut tell you about (26 county) Irish politics in 2010?  Will it be quieter than 2009, with Fianna Fáil not having to worry much about the government falling and gaining some ground in the polls (perhaps still losing the Donegal SW by-election but getting closer to where they could gain it (or at least have Fine Gael lose it to Sinn Féin) in the next general election)?  Or will 2010 be much like 2009, with credible speculation on the government falling at least once and Fianna Fáil's numbers staing where they are or dipping even lower, but with the goverment hanging on into 2011?  Or will the Fianna Fáil-Green-Mary Harney government (which I know has had the support of other independents including the other ex-PD TD) finally fall, and if it does will there be an election or will the government be replaced without an election by a Fine Gael-Labour government including of supported by the Greens and also supported by most Independent TDs?  (I know Fine Gael and Labour would at present much prefer a new election but someone pointed out that that would not be palatable to the Greens and most Independents in the Dáil.)

At this point, I'd suggest that it's hard to see could bring down the Government this year.

They will (surely will?) lose the Donegal SW by-election, whenever it's held. The media seem insistent that SF are favourites for the seat (though I figure FG are more likely to take it). The electoral math of the result shouldn't matter a great deal though - the majority seems big enough and stable enough to trundle along.

2010 will see more industrial action, particularly by public sector unions (following significant pay cuts in consecutive budgets), but the unions have lost that game already. The one thing the public seem to wholeheartedly back the Government on is the reduction in public sector pay - and the unions can't seem to afford any prolonged strike action.

Should though, for whatever reason, the Government lose it's majority, there would inevitably be an election. There is simply no way, no way at all, that FG and Labour wouldn't immediately seek an election as it should lead substantial gains for both parties, along with massive losses for FF and possibly the elimination of the Greens.

Apart from the Donegal by-election, we should also have the first directly elected Dublin Mayor by the end of the year. We'll have to wait and see what powers the position has but there's the potential for an interesting campaign for that one. There's also the potential for a couple of referenda (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0126/1224263119345.html) later this year, though they're unlikely to be too party political.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on January 31, 2010, 06:01:12 pm
Looking over some posts early in this thread (which I didn't start looking at until 2008 at the earliest)...

Some more comments on the Dáil constituency changes...
...
It should be noted though that these constituency changes might never see an election. Though they will almost certainly pass into law without amendment, as is the norm, the next Census is due out before the next election and due to judgments handed down earlier this year, it's entirely possible that there will have to be a constituency re-draw before another election. Something the politicans will probably deem undesirable. It's been a while since a Dáil hasn't lasted a full term (the last 3 effectively have) and given the size and nature of the current government, there should be the stability there to last a full term, however the prospect of unknown boundary changes close to a general election might be enough to provoke a slightly earlier election than normal.

When is the next census in the Republic of Ireland?  Does it still look like there might never be an election held under the boundaries drawn up in 2007 (were they passed into law without amendment, by the way?) if the current Dáil runs full-term?  Or have things changed legally since then or been revealed over time not to be what you then thought they might be (like how soon after a census new boundaries have to be drawn)?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 01, 2010, 04:41:34 am
When is the next census in the Republic of Ireland? 

10 April 2011


Does it still look like there might never be an election held under the boundaries drawn up in 2007 (were they passed into law without amendment, by the way?) if the current Dáil runs full-term?  Or have things changed legally since then or been revealed over time not to be what you then thought they might be (like how soon after a census new boundaries have to be drawn)?

The last Constituency Commission review was passed without amendment, as is now the norm.

The law has indeed changed since then on this issue with the passing of section 9 of the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009 (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2009/en/act/pub/0004/sec0009.html#sec9). The Constituency Commission will now be established after the publication of the preliminary census figures (usually produced around 3 months after census date). The Commission is then mandated to have its report ready no more than 3 months after the publication of the final results of the Census (usually produced around 11/12 months after the census date).

Without legislative change, the latest the next Dáil election could be is 14 July 2012 - though, in normal circumstances, the tendancy has been for May/June elections.

While it's theoretically possible to get new constituency boundaries in place, I doubt it would happen. It would presumably require the Government to pass the changes as one of its last acts before dissolution, and I doubt there would be the political will (on any side of the House) for the changes to be implemented.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 08, 2010, 11:06:39 am
Hands up, I didn't foresee the Government majority increasing this year, but...

Last June's by-election (http://electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=2007B&cons=102%20&ref=124) winner in Dublin South for Fine Gael, George Lee, has resigned from the party and from the Dáil after just 8 months in office. The respected former RTÉ (state broadcaster) economics editor has left because he was given no role in helping formulate the party's economic policy. He will now return to RTÉ in an as yet unknown capacity.

- Irish Times story (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0208/breaking40.htm)

The move will/should come as a massive blow to FG leader, Enda Kenny, who has only recently apologised to his parliamentary party for a number of poor media performances in recent weeks, and who has faced constant issues with his satisfaction ratings lagging persistently behind his party, despite facing the most unpopular Irish Government since polling began.

I'd like to hope that this will provide sufficient momentum to dispatch Kenny altogether, but I'm probably being too optimistic.

Anyway, the new Dáil math is below...

Current Dáil Composition
Fianna Fáil72
Fianna Fáil (without whip)3
Fine Gael51(-1)
Labour20
Greens6
Sinn Féin4
Independents7
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)1
Vacant2(+1) (Donegal SW, Dublin S)

Government85(FF + unwhipped FF + Green + Harney, Grealish, Healy Rae, Lowry)
Opposition78(FG + Lab + SF + O'Sullivan, McGrath, Behan)
Majority  7


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on February 08, 2010, 11:45:37 am
Good news for Alex White. Otherwise, HA.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on February 08, 2010, 11:58:44 am
Good news for Alex White.
I had to look that up. Now I agree. ;D



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on February 08, 2010, 06:34:08 pm
Any rough idea when the by-election to replace Lee will be held?  I know the party that last held the seat is generally given descretion over when the by-election is called, although I know someone in the opposition unsuccessfully moved the writ in Dublin South to replace Seamus Brennan after Fianna Fáil had taken forever to move it themselves.  Will Fine Gael want the by-election called quickly to bring the government's majority back down by 1?  Or will they want to wait to move the writ until they're in a better position to be competitive in the by-election vis-a-vis Labour, and how long would they be willing to wait if that doesn't happen?

Also, any news on the pending by-election in Donegal SW?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 09, 2010, 03:59:29 am
Any rough idea when the by-election to replace Lee will be held?  I know the party that last held the seat is generally given descretion over when the by-election is called, although I know someone in the opposition unsuccessfully moved the writ in Dublin South to replace Seamus Brennan after Fianna Fáil had taken forever to move it themselves.  Will Fine Gael want the by-election called quickly to bring the government's majority back down by 1?  Or will they want to wait to move the writ until they're in a better position to be competitive in the by-election vis-a-vis Labour, and how long would they be willing to wait if that doesn't happen?

Also, any news on the pending by-election in Donegal SW?

No idea when the by-election will be held - as you note, it is effectively a decision for FG. Though I'd suggest that it's more likely than not that the two by-elections will eventually be held on the same day.

Fianna Fáil still aren't ready for Donegal SW (though Sen. Brian Ó Donaill will almost certainly be their candidate), and FG won't rush to hold Dublin S any time soon - the loss of Lee is a huge embarrassment.; there is no obvious FG candidate; and, anyway, re-asserting/ending Kenny's leadership is the more pressing issue.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 09, 2010, 11:32:18 am
Kenny lives.

- Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0209/breaking3.htm)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on February 09, 2010, 12:31:38 pm
Damn, and I had my lame "they killed Kenny - the bastards!" joke ready.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: patrick1 on February 09, 2010, 03:47:31 pm
Damn, and I had my lame "they killed Kenny - the bastards!" joke ready.

Ha, That is much better than that's the End 'a Kenny angle.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 10, 2010, 04:04:27 am
punderful!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 12, 2010, 05:12:42 am
Almost certainly of no interest to any one else, but that never stopped me before...

The Government is down one member of the Seanad this morning as Sen. Deirdre de Búrca has done a George Lee, resigning (http://www.deirdredeburca.ie/2010/02/letter-of-resignation-from-senator-de-burca-to-party-leader-john-gormley/) both from her party (the Greens) and the Oireachtas.

Official reason:
Quote from: Deirdre de Búrca
I regret to say that I can no longer support the Green Party in government, as I believe that we have gradually abandoned our political values and our integrity and in many respects have become no more than an extension of the Fianna Fail party.

Unofficial reason:
No prospect of any future with the Greens. Failed to get one of the jobs for the boys in Brussels.

Anyway, the resignation will have minimal effect on the Government majority in the Seanad - which will temporarily fall to 5 votes. de Búrca's seat had been one as a Taoiseach's nominee, so one imagines it will be back up to 6 vote majority shortly on the new nomination being made.

New Seanad math:
Fianna Fáil28
Fine Gael15
Labour  6
Green2(-1)
Sinn Féin1
Independents7
Vacant1(+1)

Government32(FF, Green, O'Malley, Harris)
Opposition27(FG, Lab, SF, Mullen, O'Toole, Norris, Quinn, Ross)
Majority  5


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 15, 2010, 04:25:42 am
Any rough idea when the by-election to replace Lee will be held?  I know the party that last held the seat is generally given descretion over when the by-election is called, although I know someone in the opposition unsuccessfully moved the writ in Dublin South to replace Seamus Brennan after Fianna Fáil had taken forever to move it themselves.  Will Fine Gael want the by-election called quickly to bring the government's majority back down by 1?  Or will they want to wait to move the writ until they're in a better position to be competitive in the by-election vis-a-vis Labour, and how long would they be willing to wait if that doesn't happen?

Also, any news on the pending by-election in Donegal SW?

No idea when the by-election will be held - as you note, it is effectively a decision for FG. Though I'd suggest that it's more likely than not that the two by-elections will eventually be held on the same day.

Fianna Fáil still aren't ready for Donegal SW (though Sen. Brian Ó Donaill will almost certainly be their candidate), and FG won't rush to hold Dublin S any time soon - the loss of Lee is a huge embarrassment.; there is no obvious FG candidate; and, anyway, re-asserting/ending Kenny's leadership is the more pressing issue.


Looks like the Government don't know when the by-elections will be held either...

Quote from: The Irish Times
Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin said the Dublin South and Donegal byelections will not be held until “the back end of the year”.

Ms Hanafin also said the election of a Dublin lord mayor, originally proposed for June, would also be held at a later date. She said “the legislation for the mayor of Dublin won’t be ready until then [June] and certainly no agreement on a constitutional referendum would be until then either.”

“We would anticipate with the election for the lord mayor of Dublin, the two byelections, in Donegal and Dublin South and possibly also at least one constitutional referendum.”

She added that “We have also promised in the programme for Government that there would be a constitutional referendum on a court of civil appeal. So all of those should probably take place, if they are to take place, around the same time and that certainly won’t be until the back end of the year.”

- Irish Times (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0215/breaking5.htm)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 19, 2010, 06:01:49 am
Willie O'Dea resigned (http://www.irishtimes.com/focus/2010/odea_resignation/index.pdf)/was resigned as Minister for Defence last night, a day after the Dáil passed a motion of confidence (http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2010-02-17.667.0) in him.

(http://evertb.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/willie.jpg)

The scandal that brought him is long and rambling, primarily involving a defamation case and accusations of perjury (summary here (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0219/1224264801155.html?via=rel)) - coming to a head yesterday when Enda Kenny forced a confidence motion (himself jumping the gun somewhat, in what seems like an effort simply to prevent the other opposition parties getting in first).

The Greens, tentatively and with obvious discomfort, voted with the Government - but it seems the public reaction, the reaction of the Green membership and indeed the strong feelings of some Green parliamentarians forced a u-turn yesterday - though the apparant arrogance of O'Dea in the Dáil and in the media during the last few days, didn't help his cause either. Depending on one's view, the Greens somewhere found a backbone and finally stood up to FF, or are a party now completely off kilter and lacking control carrying out a remarkable flip-flop within a few hours, or both.

So yesterday evening it seems the Greens forced the matter and so O'Dea - the largest vote getter in the country (http://electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=2007&cons=159) - is gone from the cabinet, giving myriad opportunities for headline writers (http://twitter.com/search?q=%23willieheadlines). The Taoiseach is temporarily handling DoD matters - as we await either a simple promotion or a possible re-shuffle in the coming days.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: patrick1 on February 19, 2010, 06:24:12 am
This seems rather tame.   I guess the perjury portion makes it worse, however, it is still pretty innocuous. 

The twitter headlines are great.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on February 19, 2010, 06:43:02 am
This is a resigning matter? Wtf?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on February 19, 2010, 01:47:28 pm
Can the Dáil force out cabinet members, or was the vote of confidence simply advisory?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 22, 2010, 07:05:02 am
Can the Dáil force out cabinet members, or was the vote of confidence simply advisory?

Good question - I'm not sure.

I'm not aware of a motion of confidence against an individual Minister having ever been won by the opposition. Though politically, the position of any such Minister would presumably be untenable, constitutionally, Ministers serve at the pleasure of the Taoiseach.

It may be complicated depending on whether one considers the confidence motion to indicate that the Taoiseach has lost majority support in the Dáil...
Quote from: Bunracht na hÉireann, Article 28.10
The Taoiseach shall resign from office upon his ceasing to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann unless on his advice the President dissolves Dáil Éireann and on the reassembly of Dáil Éireann after the dissolution the Taoiseach secures the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 23, 2010, 12:25:10 pm
And the heads keep on coming...

Trevor Sargent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Sargent) (Green-Dublin N) has this evening resigned (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0223/breaking39.html) his post as Minister of State for Food and Horticulture. In a story broken only a few hours ago by the Evening Herald, Sargent wrote letters (back around June 2008) asking a prosecuting Garda to drop a criminal prosecution against one of his constituents. (The case proceeded and the man was subsequently convicted on a charge of threatening and abusive behaviour.)

Sargent is the former Green Party leader and TD since 1992 (http://electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=3622) (when he was the sole Green TD). He was the safest Green seat going into the last election - but no such thing exists now.


I'm not sure which is more surprising, the Sargent letter, or that the Evening Herald appear to actually have journalists on staff.

---

In other news, Mark Dearey (http://electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=7456) (one of only 3 Greens to get elected at the local elections in 2007) has been appointed to the Seanad to replace Deirdre de Búrca, following her recent resignation (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg2357345#msg2357345) - thus restoring the Government majority in that chamber to 6.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on February 24, 2010, 02:20:07 am
Can the Dáil force out cabinet members, or was the vote of confidence simply advisory?

Good question - I'm not sure.

I'm not aware of a motion of confidence against an individual Minister having ever been won by the opposition. Though politically, the position of any such Minister would presumably be untenable, constitutionally, Ministers serve at the pleasure of the Taoiseach.

It may be complicated depending on whether one considers the confidence motion to indicate that the Taoiseach has lost majority support in the Dáil...
Quote from: Bunracht na hÉireann, Article 28.10
The Taoiseach shall resign from office upon his ceasing to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann unless on his advice the President dissolves Dáil Éireann and on the reassembly of Dáil Éireann after the dissolution the Taoiseach secures the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.

Ah, I see. Votes of confidence on ministers are something that I've only heard of in Weimar.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on February 24, 2010, 04:43:34 pm
(http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/tenniel/alice/7.2.jpg)

Change Places!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on February 24, 2010, 07:25:50 pm
(http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/tenniel/alice/7.2.jpg)

Change Places!

;D
Any suggestions for which cabinet member is the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, the March Hare, and Alice?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on February 25, 2010, 02:22:49 pm
(http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/tenniel/alice/7.2.jpg)

Change Places!

;D
Any suggestions for which cabinet member is the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, the March Hare, and Alice?

Elementary, my dear Jas... The Mad Hatter is Cowen, The Dormouse is Coughlan, The March Hare is the rest of the cabinet several times over and Alice is the whole country embodied in one girl (and the white rabbit would of course be a property developer)...

Don't even ask who Tweedledum and Tweedledee are...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 08, 2010, 05:19:29 pm
Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, Martin Cullen (FF-Waterford) has resigned (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0308/breaking50.html) from Cabinet and the Dáil due to a back ailment that has been troubling him in recent months. That he was going to be leaving the cabinet was no surprise - the story has been foreshadowed for some time. (Indeed, it was quite possible he could have been removed involuntarily in the upcoming reshuffle anyway.) But the resignation of his Dáil seat is a surprise and quite significant - narrowing the Government majority and bringing on another unwinable by-election.

The new Dáil math...

Current Dáil Composition
Fianna Fáil71(-1)
Fianna Fáil (without whip)  3
Fine Gael51
Labour20
Greens  6
Sinn Féin  4
Independents  7
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)  1
Vacant  3(+1) (Donegal SW, Dublin S, Waterford)

Government84(FF + unwhipped FF + Green + Harney, Grealish, Healy Rae, Lowry)
Opposition78(FG + Lab + SF + O'Sullivan, McGrath, Behan)
Majority  6


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on March 10, 2010, 10:06:58 pm
[Cullen's] resignation of his Dáil seat is a surprise and quite significant - narrowing the Government majority and bringing on another unwinable by-election.

I imagine that by-election will also not be held until "the back end of the year" (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0215/breaking5.html) at the earliest, but would you care to try and handicap that by-election this far out.  Also, how about those in Donegal SW and Dublin S?  You said on January 31 that you figured Fine Gael would be most likely to take that seat (or more likely than Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil which are the only other two parties of note that seem to exist in that area, although there are always Independent candidates), but that was before George Lee's embarrassing (for Fine Gael at least) resignation from both Fine Gael and the Dáil.  Labour would seem like the favorites (heavy favorites") in Dublin South, while Donegal SW would be an FG-SF battle which might hinge on whether Fine Gael has pulled itself back together by then.  The situation in Waterford would seem to be similar to that in Donegal SW except (hold on before you freek out) replace SF with Labour.  But I'd be interested in hearing your analysis.  Thanks.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 11, 2010, 04:26:20 pm
[Cullen's] resignation of his Dáil seat is a surprise and quite significant - narrowing the Government majority and bringing on another unwinable by-election.

I imagine that by-election will also not be held until "the back end of the year" (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0215/breaking5.html) at the earliest, but would you care to try and handicap that by-election this far out.  Also, how about those in Donegal SW and Dublin S?  You said on January 31 that you figured Fine Gael would be most likely to take that seat (or more likely than Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil which are the only other two parties of note that seem to exist in that area, although there are always Independent candidates), but that was before George Lee's embarrassing (for Fine Gael at least) resignation from both Fine Gael and the Dáil.  Labour would seem like the favorites (heavy favorites") in Dublin South, while Donegal SW would be an FG-SF battle which might hinge on whether Fine Gael has pulled itself back together by then.  The situation in Waterford would seem to be similar to that in Donegal SW except (hold on before you freek out) replace SF with Labour.  But I'd be interested in hearing your analysis.  Thanks.

Waterford should be a FG gain. Labour, as you rightly say, should be the main competition - but it should be a fairly fragmented vote on the left between them, Sinn Féin and the Workers' Party. If the local elections last year are anything to go by however, the Fianna Fáil vote could well hold up well enough to be decisive. Candidate selections will be important.

I don't accept, by the by, that Labour are necessarily favourites (never mind strong favourites) in Dublin South - indeed, I should think that FG could well retain the seat. Alex White of Labour should actually have a shot this time, but presuming FG can come up with a reasonably good candidate (and the local FG party properly back that candidate) then they have a strong enough opportunity, notwithstanding the embarrassment of Lee's resignation to hold the seat.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on March 17, 2010, 10:20:34 am
Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona dhíobh!

(http://grottynosh.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/shamrock.jpg)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on May 01, 2010, 12:39:57 am
Bump.  Any official (or otherwise credible) word on when the by-elections in Donegal South West, Dublin South and Waterford will be?  Or has Brian Cowan decided to hold a snap election so he can lead the Fianna Fáil majority government that would surely result?  ;D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 01, 2010, 04:05:25 am
Bump.  Any official (or otherwise credible) word on when the by-elections in Donegal South West, Dublin South and Waterford will be?  Or has Brian Cowan decided to hold a snap election so he can lead the Fianna Fáil majority government that would surely result?  ;D

No sign of the by-elections yet at all. Unlikely to arise before the autumn - when an election will be held for the new directly elected mayor of Dublin, and probably one or two referenda as well.

Of course, FG could probably force the by-election in Dublin South (and no doubt would bring huge pressure to bear on FF to call the other 2 by-elections) but still embarrassed by the George Lee fiasco, they seem perfectly happy to try and hide that particular by-election amongst all those other elections in the autumn.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on May 19, 2010, 02:05:44 pm
Enda Kenny keeps managing to surprise me with just how ridiculous he is. Earlier today, he pushed a motion in the Dáil trying to force the by-election in Waterford (which was obviously lost 77-72).

Quote from: Enda Kenny, Dáil Record
The people of Waterford are entitled to full representation in this Dáil. They elected representatives on the last occasion and their verdict stands for itself. There is now a vacancy in that constituency and it should be filled. It is disgraceful that time and again the Government is afraid to go before the people in this constituency.

...

This Government is guilty of political cowardice in refusing to contest the by-election in Waterford.

His argument was ever so slightly undercut by his own refusal to move a writ for the by-election in Dublin South, a seat FG held (and so have the prerogative of moving), and a seat which has been vacant a month longer.

How Kenny finds the gumption to raise an issue on which he is at least as hypocritical as the Government (and yet thinks he can win political point scoring on) eludes me and only deepens my concern that he may eventually wind up Taoiseach by default. Whatever one can say about Mr Cowen (and one can say plenty), at least he's not actually stupid.

- Dáil debate on motion to move the Waterford by-election writ (http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=DAL20100519.xml&Node=H6#H6)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on May 19, 2010, 02:07:17 pm
You have some crazy rules on by-elections.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 10, 2010, 04:37:00 pm
New Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll out.

The poll was also conducted prior to the release yesterday of two significant official reports in Ireland's financial, economic and banking crises - which place considerable blame upon the Government. Nonetheless...

11 June22 Jan30 May2007
Ipsos MRBIIpsos MRBIRedCElection
Labour32242210
Fine Gael28323027
Fianna Fáil17222442
Sinn Féin98107
Green3355
Ind/Other111199

Labour tops a poll for the first time, as both FF and FG suffer significant drops in support.
To continue the trend of polling here recently, I have no idea how such numbers would translate - but it would appear to put the prospect of a first ever Labour Taoiseach now very much within the range of possibilities.


Satisfaction Ratings
Gilmore46(-)
Adams31(-)
Kenny24(-7)
Gormley21(-3)
Cowen18(-8)
Government12(-7)

On TV this evening, FG Finance spokesman, Richard Bruton, thrice dodged the question on whether he had confidence in his party leader. (;D) Bruton is a party heavyweight and the obvious potential successor and thankfully seems to be edging, along with the public, to the conclusion that Enda Kenny is an insufferable moron.

Following the release of those banking/economic reports, FG have motioned for a confidence vote in the Government which will be put to the Dáil next week. Doesn't seem to be any real prospect of the Government losing that though.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on June 10, 2010, 04:44:52 pm
Would Fine Gael be willing to be a junior coalition partner to Labour if such a situation were to arise?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 10, 2010, 04:58:36 pm
Would Fine Gael be willing to be a junior coalition partner to Labour if such a situation were to arise?

Hard to say - depends on the leadership and on the actual ratio of Lab-FG TDs (FG could, and maybe would, still come out with more members than Lab on these numbers). I'd expect FG to at least pitch for a rotating Taoiseach deal though. The negotiating strength would be influenced by whether Labour could credibly put together an alternative Government (Lab-FF[-?]).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 14, 2010, 02:08:13 pm
On TV this evening, FG Finance spokesman, Richard Bruton, thrice dodged the question on whether he had confidence in his party leader. (;D) Bruton is a party heavyweight and the obvious potential successor and thankfully seems to be edging, along with the public, to the conclusion that Enda Kenny is an insufferable moron.

And indeed it is so (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=118468.msg2529631#msg2529631). :)
Kenny today fired his most competent and popular spokesman...

Quote from: Enda Kenny TD
Over the weekend, I had a meeting and other conversations with Deputy Richard Bruton during which he informed me that he is no longer prepared to support my leadership. I asked him to reconsider his position and to work with me to ensure that Fine Gael wins the next general election.

As the Dail will debate a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach and Fine Gael’s motion on the banking inquiry this week, Richard’s decision leaves me with no option but to relieve him of his responsibilities as Deputy Leader and Finance Spokesperson with immediate effect.

- Fine Gael website (http://www.finegael.org/news/)

The party frontbench meets tomorrow morning, Kenny will seek a motion of confidence in himself there - and will probably win, but the margin will be important. A full parliamentary party meeting is scheduled for Thursday.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on June 14, 2010, 02:19:06 pm
John Bruton's brother. Always funny to see how clannish Irish politics is.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 14, 2010, 02:36:59 pm
Always funny to see how clannish Irish politics is.

Indeed :(

There's at least 2 sets of brothers in the Dáil at the minute (one of which also have an aunt also there). One husband and wife. One brother and sister-in-law combo.

Not to mention a ridiculous amount of nepotism - in terms of the number of TDs who replaced their parents in the Dáil (including the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister for Finance, the Leader of the Opposition...).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on June 14, 2010, 02:41:40 pm
While in Germany, having a political parent is something politicians don't like to see mentioned much as it's counting as a vague minus to the voters. Although there are a number of examples anyways (it probably helps in party-internal stuff, simply because you've known the right people from an early age).

Ursula von der Leyen and Roland Koch are both politician children.
Bernhard and Hans-Jochen Vogel were brothers, though in different political camps. :D
The brother of Walter Wallmann (mayor of Frankfurt 77-86, state pm 87-91) was mayor of Wiesbaden... and his (the brother's) daughter is now an MdL.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Benwah [why on Earth do I post something] Courseyay on June 14, 2010, 03:53:53 pm
Politics in family is pretty common in France, and it doesn't disturb a lot of people, but it's not as if France's democracy was a model of 'openness' to the people.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on June 16, 2010, 08:38:35 pm
Any idea if Richard Bruton will immediately move the writ of the Dublin South by-election if he becomes Fine Gael leader?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 17, 2010, 03:31:35 am
Any idea if Richard Bruton will immediately move the writ of the Dublin South by-election if he becomes Fine Gael leader?

The matter hasn't been raised at all - so I don't really know. I suspect not though.

The FG parliamentary party (that's TDs, Senators and MEPs) meet later today to vote (by secret ballot) on a motion of confidence in Kenny. (Kenny prevented a motion of confidence at the frontbencher's meeting on Tuesday, which it looks like it was too close to call.)

Kenny's side think they'll win 41-29 today, Bruton's people think it will be a marginal win for them. Should Kenny fail to carry the party, a leadership contest will proceed with candidates having 7 days to declare.


As an aside, the Government won their confidence motion in the Dáil on Tuesday (82-77). Nothing particularly surprising in the voting.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 17, 2010, 12:00:14 pm
Kenny has won (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0617/breaking5.html) the confidence motion.

Under recent FG tradition (noting their belief in principles of democracy, openness and transparancy) the result will not be made public. The two persons who know the result, Party Chair, Deputy Padraic McCormack (Kenny supporter) and Senator Paschal Donohoe, have been (I kid not) sworn to secrecy.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on June 30, 2010, 06:51:14 am
The Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010 (http://www.environ.ie/en/Heritage/NationalParksandWildlife/RHLegislation/FileDownLoad,22746,en.pdf) caused much hubbub in the Dáil yesterday evening. The bill, a Green Party initiative, seeks to prohibit the hunting of deer with dogs - and caused serious rancour for various FF Deputies as well as others.

Harry McGee's blog (http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/politics/2010/06/30/a-dogs-life-welcome-to-dail-eireann/) covers the events/fall-out well enough.

The result today is another FF TD expelled from the parliamentary party (with another's fate to be decided later today); a Labour TD with his whip removed; normally pro-Govt Independents Lowry and Healy-Rae voting against the Govt; but also rare support for the Govt from other Independents (normally voting against them) O'Sullivan and McGrath.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on June 30, 2010, 12:43:47 pm
I had a post all prepared about the hunting bill hilarity, but BRTD convinced me that Ireland was fascist police state, so I reckon I'd probably be taken out and shot by the Swiss Guard if I expressed an opinion.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on July 02, 2010, 09:04:00 am
In other news, the Dáil passed the Civil Partnership Bill (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0701/breaking41.html), legally recognising same-sex relationships. All of the parties supported it, although AFAIK a few individuals have criticised it.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on July 02, 2010, 09:31:52 am
In other news, the Dáil passed the Civil Partnership Bill (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0701/breaking41.html), legally recognising same-sex relationships. All of the parties supported it, although AFAIK a few individuals have criticised it.
This could not possibly be. Ireland is a Catholic Conservative Fascist dictatorship.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on July 02, 2010, 10:39:48 am
In other news, the Dáil passed the Civil Partnership Bill (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0701/breaking41.html), legally recognising same-sex relationships. All of the parties supported it, although AFAIK a few individuals have criticised it.
This could not possibly be. Ireland is a Catholic Conservative Fascist dictatorship.

All the TDs who expressed support of the bill were summarily executed by the Papal secret police shortly after.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on July 02, 2010, 11:31:45 am
In other news, the Dáil passed the Civil Partnership Bill (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0701/breaking41.html), legally recognising same-sex relationships. All of the parties supported it, although AFAIK a few individuals have criticised it.
This could not possibly be. Ireland is a Catholic Conservative Fascist dictatorship.

All the TDs who expressed support of the bill were summarily executed by the Papal secret police shortly after.
Good.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on July 02, 2010, 12:19:37 pm
In other news, the Dáil passed the Civil Partnership Bill (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0701/breaking41.html), legally recognising same-sex relationships. All of the parties supported it, although AFAIK a few individuals have criticised it.

Reading the Dáil report, I've not seen any comments opposing the bill. I heard news reports indicating Mattie McGrath had spoken against it, but haven't seen any direct quotes or noticed it in any transcript yet.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on July 02, 2010, 12:40:29 pm
This happened without controversy in Ireland of all places? Interesting.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on July 02, 2010, 01:21:13 pm
This happened without controversy in Ireland of all places? Interesting.

People would think this would be controversial in Ireland of 2010 really know nothing about Ireland (Which isn't to say I think most people approve, the vast majority of people really just don't care.... and never did).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on July 02, 2010, 02:17:29 pm
This happened without controversy in Ireland of all places? Interesting.

It might be the third most controversial bill before the Dáil this week. Maybe.

Anyway, I found Mattie McGrath's (FF-Tipperary S) contributions1 (http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2010-07-01.611.0#g703.0) 2 (http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2010-07-01.874.0#g882.0). He is the only Deputy who appears to have objected to the progression of the bill as a whole (rather than having issues with particular aspects/amendments). His objections though don't appear to relate to the creation of same-sex civil partnership, but rather to the provisions dealing with the accrual of rights to cohabiting couples (of, *I think* any orientation) owing to the simple longevity of cohabitation, rather than through any formal legal process as he would ostensibly prefer.

At any rate, the bill passed without the need for a full vote of the Dáil. It should be in the Seanad next week.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on July 02, 2010, 02:43:18 pm
This happened without controversy in Ireland of all places? Interesting.

Ireland's really not as "conservative", in the American sense, as people like BRTD would have you believe.

I mean, if this bill was about abortion, there'd be huge controversy, but no-one cares if people want to get married.

Of course, there was a gaggle of people from shrieking right-wing nutjob organisation Cóir protesting, but no-one takes them very seriously.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on July 03, 2010, 04:45:05 am
Besides, it's 2010. Mostwhere else in Western Europe has such legislation already. (googles) Anywhere but Italy. In a sense, the bill's timing confirms stereotypes about Ireland's catholicism more than it contradicts them. :P


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on July 03, 2010, 10:18:12 am
Besides, it's 2010. Mostwhere else in Western Europe has such legislation already. (googles) Anywhere but Italy. In a sense, the bill's timing confirms stereotypes about Ireland's catholicism more than it contradicts them. :P

I disagree. The bill's delay has more to do with government laziness/apathy towards the issue than Catholicism imo.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on July 04, 2010, 03:43:29 am
Besides, it's 2010. Mostwhere else in Western Europe has such legislation already. (googles) Anywhere but Italy. In a sense, the bill's timing confirms stereotypes about Ireland's catholicism more than it contradicts them. :P

I disagree. The bill's delay has more to do with government laziness/apathy towards the issue than Catholicism imo.
That's exactly what Euro Christian Conservatism has come down to. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on August 01, 2010, 09:23:11 pm
What would our forum Irish experts peg as the likelihood that the High Court forces the Government to call an election in Donegal South-West in the case being heard in October (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0729/politics.html)?  If the Government loses that case, what would the likely impact be on the scheduling of by-elections to fill the other two current vacancies?

Also, what was the aftermath after the dust settled from the vote on the stag hunting bill that you described in June (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.450)? ElectionsIreland.org (http://electionsireland.org/results/general/30thdail/changes.cfm) and Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Members_of_the_30th_D%C3%A1il#Changes) differ on who lost their party whip as a result of that vote.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on August 03, 2010, 02:30:51 am
What would our forum Irish experts peg as the likelihood that the High Court forces the Government to call an election in Donegal South-West in the case being heard in October (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0729/politics.html)?

Remote. The Court will almost certainly rule it is entirely a matter for the Dáil to set the date for such an election. It’s also becoming increasingly apparent that the Government intend to chance their arm at not calling them until early next year. The legislation for a directly elected Dublin mayor won’t be ready early enough in the autumn to run it this year – and it seems likely that the Government will try to hold the by-elections at the same time as that.


If the Government loses that case, what would the likely impact be on the scheduling of by-elections to fill the other two current vacancies?

They'd effectively have to call those by-elections at the same time.


Also, what was the aftermath after the dust settled from the vote on the stag hunting bill that you described in June (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.450)? ElectionsIreland.org (http://electionsireland.org/results/general/30thdail/changes.cfm) and Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Members_of_the_30th_D%C3%A1il#Changes) differ on who lost their party whip as a result of that vote.

We're now in the summer recess, so things have quietened down quite a bit. The session certainly had a rather chaotic end though in terms of persons losing their whips. From what I can see, neither electionsireland nor wikipedia are entirely accurate. My count is below, the Government majority is unchanged, though it’s a much shakier majority than it was, going into another difficult budget in December.

Current Dáil Composition
Fianna Fáil70
Fianna Fáil (without whip)  4(Devins, McDaid, Scanlon, McGrath)
Fine Gael51
Labour19
Labour (without whip)  1(Brougham)
Greens  6
Sinn Féin  4
Independents  7
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)  1
Vacant  3(Donegal SW, Dublin S, Waterford)

Government84(FF + unwhipped FF + Green + Harney, Grealish, Healy Rae, Lowry)
Opposition78(FG + Lab + unwhipped Lab +SF + O'Sullivan, McGrath, Behan)
Majority  6



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on September 12, 2010, 06:24:55 pm
Top (just before I'm off):

Found this interesting blog post on the 'labour surge' in the polls and shows really how the difficult it is for the party to do as well as the polls predict.

http://politicalreform.ie/2010/06/18/where-bloweth-the-gilmore-gale-precedents-from-1992-and-1969/#more-566 (http://politicalreform.ie/2010/06/18/where-bloweth-the-gilmore-gale-precedents-from-1992-and-1969/#more-566)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 17, 2010, 02:30:36 am
Top (just before I'm off):

Found this interesting blog post on the 'labour surge' in the polls and shows really how the difficult it is for the party to do as well as the polls predict.

http://politicalreform.ie/2010/06/18/where-bloweth-the-gilmore-gale-precedents-from-1992-and-1969/#more-566 (http://politicalreform.ie/2010/06/18/where-bloweth-the-gilmore-gale-precedents-from-1992-and-1969/#more-566)

Following on from this...
Labour to field 65 candidates at next election in hope of being biggest party (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0917/1224279096271.html) (Irish Times)

Will try and take a look at some point as to the Jas recommendation for candidate numbers.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on September 17, 2010, 11:40:04 pm
So Jas, how bad for Cowan and Fianna Fáil is Cowan's recent interview gaffe (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0915/fiannafail.html)?  (I'm not very clear on what happened, as I don't have the media player needed to play the interview in the Morning Ireland link, and I was too lazy to go through the steps in adding it.)  And is talk in Fine Gael circles (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0916/labour.html) (somewhat echoed by Labour) of a general election being called before Christmas wishful thinking or is there a more credible chance of the government falling this fall/early winter than you thought there was earlier in the year?

Assuming a general election isn't called before then, are there any new hints on the part of the government as when the by-elections to fill the three current Dail vacancies will be held?  And might Fine Gael want to go ahead and move the writ for Dublin South so trim the government majority by one?  (Did George Lee resign from Fine Gael before resigning as a TD, and if so would that give the government an excuse to go against custom and oppose a Fine Gael motion for a writ in Dublin South?)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 18, 2010, 09:07:44 am
So Jas, how bad for Cowan and Fianna Fáil is Cowan's recent interview gaffe (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0915/fiannafail.html)?  (I'm not very clear on what happened, as I don't have the media player needed to play the interview in the Morning Ireland link, and I was too lazy to go through the steps in adding it.)

It was very, very bad for Cowen. Heck, it was being linked with a market spike against Irish bonds. And got plenty of play in the international press – ‘Irish leader drunk’ obviously plays pretty well.

Cowen's position as leader seemed potentially in jeopardy for at least a few hours that day - but though it led to a series of media pieces questioning the leadership, there's no sign of any internal FF heave, yet.

Brian Lenihan is the presumptive next FF leader - but uncertainty about his health (he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last Christmas) complicates matters. Plus, he is, of course, increasingly tied to our economic performace. The recent extra bailouts to Anglo-Irish will have taken some more of the shine away from his standing.


And is talk in Fine Gael circles (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0916/labour.html) (somewhat echoed by Labour) of a general election being called before Christmas wishful thinking or is there a more credible chance of the government falling this fall/early winter than you thought there was earlier in the year?

The only way, IMO, there’s a general election before Christmas is if the Government can’t get the budget (due Nov/Dec) passed. A €3 billion adjustment is expected - not easy.

If FG actually wanted to try and force an election, they’d push for the Dublin South by-election to be called. They haven’t. (It troubles me that despite FF bankrupting the country for the second time in my lifetime, I still regard FG as a bigger joke than FF.)

I suspect both FG and Labour would prefer the Government present another adjustment budget before any election anyway, as they’re none too keen on making those decisions themselves.

The various politico voices in the media think an election will be upon us by next summer – after the 3 by-elections presumed to be for the spring. We’ll see.


Assuming a general election isn't called before then, are there any new hints on the part of the government as when the by-elections to fill the three current Dail vacancies will be held?  And might Fine Gael want to go ahead and move the writ for Dublin South so trim the government majority by one?  (Did George Lee resign from Fine Gael before resigning as a TD, and if so would that give the government an excuse to go against custom and oppose a Fine Gael motion for a writ in Dublin South?)

Next spring is presumed likely - unless the High Court actually grants Sinn Féin’s application to force the Donegal by-election (which will probably cost the Government more money to argue than it would to actually hold the elections *sigh*).

I think George offered a simultaneous resignation, though it shouldn’t matter to the point you raise. Though at this point it wouldn’t surprise me if the Government tried to prevent such a FG motion on whatever spurious grounds as might pop into their heads (it’s not like they’ve presented any coherent argument why they haven’t held the others so far.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 18, 2010, 09:14:13 am
I should say, I didn't actually think the interview was really that bad. I mean he didn't sound great (I would've though tired/a bit ill rather than hungover/drunk) - but he was coherent (more than many of our politicians can manage anyway).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on September 18, 2010, 09:15:32 am
It was played on Channel Four news here. Maybe on other news programmes as well.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 20, 2010, 07:26:56 am
(I'm not very clear on what happened, as I don't have the media player needed to play the interview in the Morning Ireland link, and I was too lazy to go through the steps in adding it.) 

Cowen Interview - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW586aNXqU4)

No sign of the media letting go of this story yet, despite nothing substantively new to report.
Today's angle - Brian Lenihan forced to officially deny (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0920/breaking9.html) that he's going to challenge for the leadership.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Verily on September 20, 2010, 01:08:38 pm
Odds on Sinn Fein polling ahead of Fianna Fail some time before the election? (Just kidding... sort of.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 21, 2010, 03:56:52 am
Odds on Sinn Fein polling ahead of Fianna Fail some time before the election? (Just kidding... sort of.)

Negligible, <1%.

Sinn Féin are probably the most consistent party in Irish polling over the past few years.
Since 2006, their min-max polling wise has been 6-11% - no other party has such a narrow range. For 2010 alone, the range is 6-10%, with the 6 an apparant outlier appearing once only, compared to 8 results in the 8-10% range. (It might be noted that, IMO, polling generally overstates SF's support by a couple of points.)

Despite economic catastrophe, SF's numbers haven't budged. So it seems reasonable to assume that if SF are to outpoll FF, FF will have to do all the work.

FF's min-max for 2010 is 17-27% - the 17 also looks like an outlier, the next lowest polling number for them this year was 22%. Another tough budget on the way can't help, but it's hard to countenance that FF haven't already hit the bedrock. Falling to single digits (which is presumably roughyl what is needed for SF to overtake) is still some way off.

That said, I'd expect new polling out soon and if sufficiently terrible, Brian Cowen's position would be rather tenuous. Were he to go, who knows what happens next.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 21, 2010, 07:51:09 am
There's a Red C poll due out on Sunday, AFAIK, and I wouldn't be surprised if FF hit a new low - although I agree that they're probably close to their floor as is.

 The more interesting question is how Labour and Fine Gael are doing - I wouldn't expect a repeat of the Irish Times poll showing Labour in first place, but I wouldn't rule it out, either.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 21, 2010, 09:47:59 am
There's a Red C poll due out on Sunday, AFAIK, and I wouldn't be surprised if FF hit a new low - although I agree that they're probably close to their floor as is.

FF's lowest polling to date has been 17, which they've gotten twice. Both times an MRBI poll (Sept '09 and the last one, June '10).

Their lowest ever RedC rating is 21 (May '09). That figure could well be in danger.

For a possible record low, the next MRBI poll (which must be soon-ish?) is the better bet - in 2009/10 (so far) on average MRBI have rated FF about 4.5 points lower than RedC.


The more interesting question is how Labour and Fine Gael are doing - I wouldn't expect a repeat of the Irish Times poll showing Labour in first place, but I wouldn't rule it out, either.

I'll also bet against that being the case in any immediate RedC polling - but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see MRBI reporting that that remains the case.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 23, 2010, 04:58:15 pm
Just for the sake of it, TV3 did a poll yesterday. I'm not sure if they're especially reliable, but hey, it'll give us something to compare the Red C (and, apparently Irish Times) polls to.

Here's the results on sometimes-horrible-sometimes-half-decent site politics.ie -

http://www.politics.ie/current-affairs/138851-tv3-news-fianna-fail-22-fine-gael-30-labour-35-sf-4-grn-2-ind-8-a.html

Labour - 35,
Fine Gael - 30,
Fianna Fáil - 22,
Independent - 8,
Sinn Féin - 4,
Green - 2


Summary - Labour doing very well, still. Most noticeably, Gilmore holds a pretty impressive lead on the "preferred Taoiseach" question. The "garglegate" fiasco hasn't much changed people's opinion of Cowen. All somewhat predictable.

EDIT: More specifically, the interview controversy only bothered people who didn't like Cowen anyway. Mind you, that's most of the population so...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 24, 2010, 06:29:09 am
Just for the sake of it, TV3 did a poll yesterday. I'm not sure if they're especially reliable, but hey, it'll give us something to compare the Red C (and, apparently Irish Times) polls to.

The polling company was Millward Browne Lansdowne - who usually poll for the Independent.
(Prior to their merger, Lansdowne polled for the Examiner and did the RTÉ election exit polls.)

They are, IMO, much-of-a-muchness with RedC.


Here's the results on sometimes-horrible-sometimes-half-decent site politics.ie -

http://www.politics.ie/current-affairs/138851-tv3-news-fianna-fail-22-fine-gael-30-labour-35-sf-4-grn-2-ind-8-a.html

Labour - 35,
Fine Gael - 30,
Fianna Fáil - 22,
Independent - 8,
Sinn Féin - 4,
Green - 2

Yeah, those are the figures – despite adding up to 101, which seems to be the result of the rounding error from removing the Don’t Knows (17% - unchanged from previous MBL poll). The poll has huge shifts on the last MBL poll (http://www.imsl.ie/downloads/CHARTS%20FOR%20PUBLICATION%2022.02.10.pptx) in February (34-27-19-10-8-2). Labour +16 ?!

A new record Labour polling result – were this level of polling to prove consistent, then 65 candidates would probably be too few.

The worst Sinn Féin result, and joint worst Green result, in at least 5 years – all Greens gone on these numbers, almost all SF seats in danger.


Summary - Labour doing very well, still. Most noticeably, Gilmore holds a pretty impressive lead on the "preferred Taoiseach" question.
 

I approve of the sample preferring NOTA to Enda Kenny (20-19) on that question. ;D
Only 53% of FG supporters want Kenny as Taoiseach. lol

Satisfaction Ratings
Gilmore (L)58-19
Adams (SF)30-37
Kenny (FG)24-50
Gormley (G)19-58
Cowen (FF)18-67
Government11-79

Should a general election be called immediately or not? 49-47

Cowen remains more popular than his Government. I’m not certain but *I think* that’s a new low for Government approval. (Looking at the sub-groups [which is probably unwise] the largest shift against the Government is within 18-24 age bracket, which moved from 15-65 in February to 10-87 here.)

Gilmore remains the only leader with positive net approval rating.


The "garglegate" fiasco hasn't much changed people's opinion of Cowen. All somewhat predictable.

EDIT: More specifically, the interview controversy only bothered people who didn't like Cowen anyway. Mind you, that's most of the population so...

Yep…

Does the controversy concerning Brian Cowen matter to you or not? 43-56

Has the current controversy following the Taoiseach’s interview on Morning Ireland changed your voting intentions or not? 10-88

In your view, should Brian Cowen continue as leader of Fianna Fáil? 40-52

Do you agree or disagree that Brian Cowen lost credibility as leader of this country as a result of that interview? 71-22

Do you think the Government’s emphasis in the next budget should be on raising taxes or reducing public spending?
Reduce Spending 57
Raise Taxes17
Both18



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 24, 2010, 09:55:04 am
Adrian Kavanagh makes some predictions (http://politicalreform.ie/2010/09/23/millward-browne-lansdowne-tv3-poll-what-it-might-mean-in-constituency-terms/) based on the poll - pegging Labour for largest party on 59 seats.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 24, 2010, 10:28:23 am
Noel Grealish (i-Galway W) has withdrawn his support (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0924/breaking25.html) for the Government, over health cuts in Galway.

The loss of his support reduces the Government majority to 4 (per my numbers below). In theory, the vote can be bought back by protecting Galway from the cuts - but this isn't likely (http://www.examiner.ie/breakingnews/ireland/cowen-warns-grealish-hse-cuts-have-to-be-made-474945.html).

Up until now I would have wavered on the question of whether the Government could run to 2012, this defection tips the balance in my mind - the Government would do very well to still be in place a year from now.


Current Dáil Composition
Fianna Fáil70
Fianna Fáil (without whip)  4(Devins, McDaid, Scanlon, McGrath)
Fine Gael51
Labour19
Labour (without whip)  1(Brougham)
Greens  6
Sinn Féin  4
Independents  7
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)  1
Vacant  3(Donegal SW, Dublin S, Waterford)

Government83(FF + unwhipped FF + Green + Harney, Healy-Rae, Lowry)
Opposition79(FG + Lab + unwhipped Lab +SF + O'Sullivan, McGrath, Behan, Grealish)
Majority  4


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 26, 2010, 07:22:02 am
The Red C poll's out, with some depressing  results that are quite different from what other pollsters have been showing -


Fine Gael 31, (-2)
Fianna Fáil 24, (no change)
Labour 23, (-4)
Sinn Féin 10, (+2)
Green 3, (+1)
Others 9, (+3)

I'm fairly sceptical of this, to be honest - and that's not just because I'm a disheartened Labour supporter. :P

It's the first poll in a while showing FF out of third place, and, more to the point, contradicts fairly drastically with the TV3 poll released earlier this week.

Hopefully there'll be an Irish Times/MRBI poll soon which should clear up the confusion somewhat. AFAIK, they've got the best track record.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 26, 2010, 07:29:21 am
Oh, and South Tipperary's Mattie McGrath - who lost the FF whip over the stag-hunting bill - has  withdrawn (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0926/mcgrathm.html) his support over health cuts.

The government's now got a hilariously thin majority of 2.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 26, 2010, 11:21:36 am
It doesn't look like the government can last until Christmas.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Beet on September 26, 2010, 01:06:53 pm
If the government falls, how long before new elections are held and the new government is sworn in?

I could see a nightmare scenario where the bond markets panic during the transition and there's no effective leadership due to politics. This is really troubling.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on September 26, 2010, 01:32:45 pm
Would you be happier with a military coup?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on September 26, 2010, 02:08:25 pm
If the government falls, how long before new elections are held and the new government is sworn in?

I could see a nightmare scenario where the bond markets panic during the transition and there's no effective leadership due to politics. This is really troubling.
Ireland is not relevant to the world economy / "too large to fail". You needn't worry, only the Irish might.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Beet on September 26, 2010, 05:11:59 pm
If the government falls, how long before new elections are held and the new government is sworn in?

I could see a nightmare scenario where the bond markets panic during the transition and there's no effective leadership due to politics. This is really troubling.
Ireland is not relevant to the world economy / "too large to fail". You needn't worry, only the Irish might.

 The problem is not one country per se, it's more of a question of where do you draw the line in the sand? If one country goes, it drags down other countries and...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on September 27, 2010, 02:10:25 am
Would you be happier with a military coup?

In most countries, this is precisely what would happen now.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 27, 2010, 02:39:24 am
Oh, and South Tipperary's Mattie McGrath - who lost the FF whip over the stag-hunting bill - has  withdrawn (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0926/mcgrathm.html) his support over health cuts.

The government's now got a hilariously thin majority of 2.

Given that Deputy McGrath has a history of being all talk and no action (with the exception of the vote that lost him the whip), I'll await some actual parliamentary votes before making judgment on this. Indo (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/mcgrath-tightlipped-on-issues-that-will-make-him-vote-against-coalition-2354106.html) are reporting that he'll vote on a case-by-case basis. We'll see.

The decision by Fine Gael to force stricter pairing rules (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0927/1224279762779.html) though may well force his hand one way or the other fairly soon.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 27, 2010, 03:07:03 am
If the government falls, how long before new elections are held

Where a Taoiseach ceases to retain the support of a majority in the Dáil he must either (i) resign or (ii) ask the President to dissolve the Dáil forcing a general election. (The President may decline a dissolution where a Taoiseach has lost his majority - but no President has yet done so, and it would be exceedingly unlikely to happen in current circumstances.)

A general election must be held no more than 30 days after the dissolution of the Dáil.


and the new government is sworn in?

The outgoing Government remains in place until a new Taoiseach is elected by the new Dáil.

There is discretion as to when the new Dáil convenes after the election, but it's usually about 2-3 weeks after the election. (The date is effectively set by the outgoing Government in the order dissolving the Dáil.)

Electing a Taoiseach is one of the first orders of business for a new Dáil. He will usually appoint his cabinet within about 24 hours of his election.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 27, 2010, 07:13:54 am
I could see a nightmare scenario where the bond markets panic during the transition and there's no effective leadership due to politics. This is really troubling.

Far be it from me to guess what the bond markets will do at any given moment, but would not the fact that Ireland doesn't need to go to the bond markets for funds until *I think* next June count for something?

The bond auctions being carried out (including tomorrow's) aren't strictly necessary in the short-term, so far as I'm aware. As much as anything it's the Government trying to prove that they don't fear the markets (even if they do/should).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 29, 2010, 03:06:22 am
Looks possible that both Sinn Féin and Fine Gael may put motions down today to move the writs for the 3 outstanding by-elections.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 29, 2010, 09:17:58 am
Looks possible that both Sinn Féin and Fine Gael may put motions down today to move the writs for the 3 outstanding by-elections.

And indeed it is so. FG and SF have laid down joint motions for writs for the 3 vacancies in today's order of business (http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/op/Sep10/Business/op290910.pdf). It seems quite clear that there is little or no prospect of the motions being carried.  



In what's probably more interesting news (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0929/breaking19.html), someone crashed a cement truck into the gates of Leinster House (parliament buildings) this morning. The cement mixer bears the words "Anglo Toxic Bank" is huge red letters.

(http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/images/2010/0929/261814_1.jpg?ts=1285770145)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on September 29, 2010, 09:20:08 am
All three, ie including the FG one(s?) ?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 29, 2010, 09:30:26 am
All three, ie including the FG one(s?) ?

Yeah, Dublin S (the FG one) is the first one up for discussion in about 75 mins time.
I understand at least one Government Minister has indicated that they won't pass.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Hash on September 29, 2010, 09:58:04 am
What's FF's bullcrap 'official' excuse for not calling the by-elections?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 30, 2010, 12:58:19 am
What's FF's bullcrap 'official' excuse for not calling the by-elections?

According to the Chief Whip, the only Government Deputy present for the debate last night:

Quote from: John Curran, TD
As practising politicians we all know the enormous and all-consuming effort that electioneering demands. We believe that to take our eye off the ball in terms of economic recovery to canvass and contest the elections would not be welcomed by the people. Holding the by-elections may only serve to jeopardise our economic recovery.

Mmm.
Anyway, he informed the Dáil of the Government's intent to call the by-elections in the first quarter of next year.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 30, 2010, 02:51:01 am
The Jas hypothesis (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg2660124#msg2660124) on Government numbers apparently stood the test last night - the Government maintained a majority of 4.

Mattie "hot air" McGrath (iFF-Tipperary S) voted with the Government in maintaining the Dáil vacancies (it's coming up on 500 days in Donegal SW).

Noel Grealish (i-Galway W) voted with the opposition.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 30, 2010, 07:30:03 am
The Irish Times today published (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0930/1224279990550.html) the last in our splurge of start of session polls – their MRBI polls are traditionally the most accurate.

Excellent result for Labour (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0930/1224279989184.html) (record breaking for them in MRBI polling which has run since 1982); dismal result for Fine Gael (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0930/1224279989161.html) – the rumours regarding Kenny’s position begin to swirl again.

Below is a composite table of the three polls in the last week, with the last General election result for comparison.

30 Sep26 Sep23 Sep2007
I-MRBIRedCMBLElection
Labour33233510
Fine Gael24313027
Fianna Fáil24242242
Sinn Féin81047
Green2325
Ind/Other9989

Some very significant variances – 12 point spread for Labour, 7 for FG, 6 for SF.
FF, Greens and Others, on the other hand, are fairly consistent.
The satisfaction ratings are very similar to the MBL ratings from last week.

Satisfaction Ratings
Gilmore49(+3)
Adams29(-2)
Kenny25(+1)
Cowen19(+1)
Gormley18(-3)
Government13(+1)

Want election this year?   54-35

Some breakdown on the sub-groups…
Quote from: Irish Times
Labour has continued to make inroads in Dublin and its core vote in the capital now stands at 37%, way ahead of all its rivals. Labour is now the biggest party in Munster on 28% and it is also the biggest in the rest of Leinster where it is getting 25%. In Connacht-Ulster the party is in third place but still getting a very respectable 17%.

In class terms, Labour is equally strong among the best off AB voters, middle-class C1 voters and skilled C2 working-class voters, where its support level is around 30%. It is a little weaker in the poorest DE social category where it is on 24%, while it gets 19% among farmers.

In age terms, the strongest support for Labour comes from the 50-64-year-olds where it is on 34%. Among 18-24 year olds it gets 24%.

By contrast Fine Gael has slipped back across most regions, social categories and age groups. The only region where its vote has held up is Connacht-Ulster where it has increased to 29%; but it has declined in Munster and the rest of Leinster to the 19-20% range.

In Dublin the decline has slowed since the last poll with a drop to 15%, far behind Labour. The worrying trend for the party is that on the eve of the local elections in 2009 Fine Gael was getting almost double the support of Labour in the capital.

In social terms, Fine Gael is strongest among farmers. In urban areas its vote is relatively evenly spread across all social classes and the party is attracting the same percentage of better off AB voters as it is among the poorest DE category.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 30, 2010, 09:15:04 am
If this was any other political party, I'd be certain that Kenny was doomed. But it's Fine Gael, and I've assumed Kenny was a goner after the George Lee resignation, and after the previous MRBI poll, and the powerful gombeen wing of Fine Gael seem intent on sticking with Kenny.

But still, this result really is disastrous for FG, so it might be what finally topples Enda. :)

More importantly, since MRBI have a sterling reputation this seems to confirm the results of the TV3/Lansdowne poll, and indicates that Red C results seem to have been something of a blip. Or a "rogue" poll, if you prefer.

Another thing about removing Kenny - who'd replace him? I don't know if Bruton would try again, and it's not like Fine Gael are going to go with Varadkar or someone else who's actually interesting...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 30, 2010, 09:29:46 am
BTW, if anyone wants a chuckle, check out Paul Gogarty's (he of "f*** you, Deputy Stagg" fame) Twitter, where he's currently having some kind of meltdown. I don't blame him, though, since presumably he knows he's going to lose his seat at the next election.

http://twitter.com/paulgogartytd


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on September 30, 2010, 09:50:50 am
If this was any other political party, I'd be certain that Kenny was doomed. But it's Fine Gael, and I've assumed Kenny was a goner after the George Lee resignation, and after the previous MRBI poll, and the powerful gombeen wing of Fine Gael seem intent on sticking with Kenny.

But still, this result really is disastrous for FG, so it might be what finally topples Enda. :)

If wishing made it so.

I suspect Enda is saved by the fact that the poll is getting only a fraction of the attention it would normally get because of (i) the release of 2 other polls just days ago, but most importantly (ii) the much bigger story of the assessment of bank liabilities today - that's where the focus is.

Another thing about removing Kenny - who'd replace him? I don't know if Bruton would try again, and it's not like Fine Gael are going to go with Varadkar or someone else who's actually interesting...

Bruton or bust (i.e. keep Enda) methinks.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 30, 2010, 09:59:27 am
If this was any other political party, I'd be certain that Kenny was doomed. But it's Fine Gael, and I've assumed Kenny was a goner after the George Lee resignation, and after the previous MRBI poll, and the powerful gombeen wing of Fine Gael seem intent on sticking with Kenny.

But still, this result really is disastrous for FG, so it might be what finally topples Enda. :)

If wishing made it so.

I suspect Enda is saved by the fact that the poll is getting only a fraction of the attention it would normally get because of (i) the release of 2 other polls just days ago, but most importantly (ii) the much bigger story of the assessment of bank liabilities today - that's where the focus is.

You're probably right - Kenny's most likely safe for now, but if polls in the next few months are anything like this I'd imagine he'll be coaxed into 'stepping aside', as they say.

Quote
Another thing about removing Kenny - who'd replace him? I don't know if Bruton would try again, and it's not like Fine Gael are going to go with Varadkar or someone else who's actually interesting...

Bruton or bust (i.e. keep Enda) methinks.

Brian Hayes occured to me, but... meh.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on September 30, 2010, 12:00:24 pm
If this was any other political party, I'd be certain that Kenny was doomed. But it's Fine Gael, and I've assumed Kenny was a goner after the George Lee resignation, and after the previous MRBI poll, and the powerful gombeen wing of Fine Gael seem intent on sticking with Kenny.

Thanks, I learned a new word today!


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on September 30, 2010, 05:20:43 pm
If this was any other political party, I'd be certain that Kenny was doomed. But it's Fine Gael, and I've assumed Kenny was a goner after the George Lee resignation, and after the previous MRBI poll, and the powerful gombeen wing of Fine Gael seem intent on sticking with Kenny.

Thanks, I learned a new word today!

Gombeen is a wonderful word.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on October 01, 2010, 08:20:28 pm
Stupid question probably, but could George Lee withdraw his resignation from the Dáil and be seated if he wanted to?  Or force the government to either seat him or approve a writ for a prompt by-election?

If the answer to both questions is no, which I expect it is, how does he likely feel about his decision to resign his seat (both his former constituents not having full representation and the government's now even narrower majority than when he left being one member larger than it would otherwise be)?  What is he up to now anyway?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on October 03, 2010, 04:40:58 am
could George Lee withdraw his resignation from the Dáil and be seated if he wanted to?

Nope

Or force the government to either seat him or approve a writ for a prompt by-election?

Shouldn't think so. It would require a strange turn-around from Lee and plenty of judicial creativity. I'd imagine public opinion wouldn't be on George's side either.

If the answer to both questions is no, which I expect it is, how does he likely feel about his decision to resign his seat (both his former constituents not having full representation and the government's now even narrower majority than when he left being one member larger than it would otherwise be)?  What is he up to now anyway?

He's back at RTÉ (http://www.rte.ie/ten/2010/0831/leeg.html) - on radio for the time being. And, of course, as an RTÉ journalist, he no longer has any political opinions...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on November 01, 2010, 08:04:05 pm
It's been a while since anyone posted on this thread.  Could someone "paint a picture (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1101/harneym.html)" of what's going on?

While I am curious about the incident covered in the article linked to above, and what is the highest public office held by a member of the Éirígí (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eirigi.org%2F&ei=kGHPTPjUE4KBlAeehNDkCA&usg=AFQjCNFv_kHL78LalKpREAXkUVFxPxDQ9w) party and if candidates run with that designation below their name (or are party names even listed on the ballot? even for local concils?), I'm also curious about what's going on in (26 county) Irish politics in general.  The whole talk of "talks" about the economy that started with a Green Party initiative seemingly taken without consulting Cowan is interesting, but I think Jas could summarize what has happened so far better than I could.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Verily on November 01, 2010, 10:42:18 pm
They only have two local councillors, both of whom defected from Sinn Fein and have never been elected under the Eirigi banner. Safe to say that they are the fringiest of the fringe.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2010, 09:11:29 am
It's been a while since anyone posted on this thread.  Could someone "paint a picture (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1101/harneym.html)" of what's going on?

While I am curious about the incident covered in the article linked to above, and what is the highest public office held by a member of the Éirígí (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eirigi.org%2F&ei=kGHPTPjUE4KBlAeehNDkCA&usg=AFQjCNFv_kHL78LalKpREAXkUVFxPxDQ9w) party and if candidates run with that designation below their name (or are party names even listed on the ballot? even for local concils?),

éirígí are essentially disaffected Sinn Féiners. They have two councillors, one in the North, one in the Republic - both by defection from SF. To date, I'm not aware of them having actually contested an election anywhere. Nor is it clear whether they actually intend to do so (though they have registered as a political party for local election purposes).

They are more avowedly socialist and republican than Sinn Féin, though still seem to be figuring out how best to agitate for change. They have no known links to paramilitarism.

And yes, the party of the various candidates are listes on ballots at all levels in Ireland.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2010, 09:37:44 am
I'm also curious about what's going on in (26 county) Irish politics in general.  The whole talk of "talks" about the economy that started with a Green Party initiative seemingly taken without consulting Cowan is interesting, but I think Jas could summarize what has happened so far better than I could.

The talks about finding a cross-party consensus on the upcoming budget and economic policy generally were a facade. Though the Greens probably did genuinely want to reach such an agreement, none of the other parties were seriously interested.

The Government has decided upon pursuing a four-year plan to get the budget deficit back to the EU acceptable 3% of GDP (necessitating a €15 billion correction), with the upcoming budget to see a significant effort in achieving at that deficit correction - with somewhere between €3.5 and €7 billion to be found. It's anticipated that most of this will be by way of cuts in public expenditure.

(To give some contextual numbers, GDP this year will likely be close to €160 billion; Government revenue is likely to be around €33-34 billion; ordinary expenditure around €52 billion. The bond markets are back to dealing out punishment again, they have been seeking 6-7% on Irish bonds for a few weeks now - the Government though hasn't been selling bonds recently, they're liquid through to about May next year. It's likely the next attempt to sell bonds will be January or February next.)

As to the paint incident, even before economic apocolypse hit, Harney was not a popular Minister for Health (though answers on a postcard just who was the last Minister for Health here who was approved of). Health cuts already made and those forthcoming are alone the reason why so many TDs have justified distancing themselves from the Government.

Which helps lead us to...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 02, 2010, 09:56:51 am
Surprise resignation!

Dr. Jim McDaid (unwhipped FF-Donegal NE) has resigned (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1102/breaking20.html) from the Dáil.

McDaid lost the FF whip in 2008 (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg1812604#msg1812604) abstaining on a vote opposing the Government’s abandonment of the cervical cancer vaccine programme, decrying the move as a false economy. He’s been on record as favouring a General Election for some time. His letter (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1102/mcdaid.pdf) last week to the Taoiseach, outlines his concerns. He believes the Government has not done enough to control the deficit – by, inter alia, insufficiently cutting public sector pay. He also favours cuts in minimum wage.

Despite his wish for significant deficit reduction, he has concurrently chastened the Government for failing to protect Letterkenny General Hospital from cutbacks.

Anyway, new Dáil numbers...

Current Dáil Composition
Fianna Fáil70
Fianna Fáil (without whip)  3(-1) (Devins, Scanlon, McGrath)
Fine Gael51
Labour19
Labour (without whip)  1(Brougham)
Greens  6
Sinn Féin  4
Independents  7
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)  1
Vacant  4(+1) (Donegal SW, Dublin S, Waterford, Donegal NE)

Government82(FF + unwhipped FF + Green + Harney, Healy-Rae, Lowry)
Opposition79(FG + Lab + unwhipped Lab +SF + O'Sullivan, McGrath, Behan, Grealish)
Majority  3

The shaky majority gets even shakier.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2010, 06:32:22 am
What with the events of yesterday, I'm now doubtful that the by-elections will actually be called at all. While it's conceivable, to me (possibly alone), that FF could actually hold one of those Donegal seats, it's unlikely. And with no prospect of being able to run a minority administration, methinks a general election is now more likely than not next spring.

Of course, there's still the matter of trying to pass a budget before then (7 December). Failing that hurdle, a real possibility, could mean a Christmas election. Wouldn't they all love that...


By the by Kevinstat, related to your query on the piant incident, Harry McGee's blog (http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/politics/2010/11/03/irelands-response-indolence-or-insurrection/) gives a quick consideration to the Irish public's usually insipid approach to protest.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2010, 08:07:33 am
Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns who has ruled today that the ongoing failure of the Government to call the Donegal SW is constitutionally unsound.

Quote from: Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns
I am satisfied that the delay in this case is so inordinate as to amount to a breach of the applicant’s constitutional rights to such a degree as to warrant the court granting some form of relief.

Far from the court tearing asunder the provisions of the Constitution by adjudicating on this application, it is the ongoing failure to move the writ for this by-election since June 2009 which offends the terms and spirit of the Constitution and its framework for democracy.

Quote from: RTÉ
He [Mr Justice Kearns] said the relevant legislation did not set out the time period in which a bye-election should be called but he was satisfied it should be interpreted as requiring the writ to be moved within a reasonable time as in other countries.

The judge said he was not going to order the Government to move the writ or not to oppose a motion for the issue of a writ. But he said he hoped any clarification provided by this judgment would have that effect.

Mr Justice Kearns said the court might feel constrained to take a more serious view if any Government, not just the present one, was seen to be acting in clear disregard of an applicant's constitutional rights by continually refusing over an unreasonable period of time to move the writ for a bye-election.

He said the Court can intervene in a more draconian way in extreme cases to protect constitutional obligations. He said this was not yet such a case but in his opinion it was not far short of it.

So, a by-election isn't necessarily imminant - but the judge has basically told the Government that holding out much longer isn't an option.

The Government response is that they are studying the decision.
Sinn Féin will again lodge a by-election writ for Donegal SW tomorrow.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on November 03, 2010, 10:34:50 am
The Government response is that they are studying the decision.

For those of you who haven't noticed, this is the government's response to everything. ;)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2010, 11:29:10 am
Quote from: RTÉ
The Green Party said the writ for the bye-election should be moved as soon as possible, even if the Government decides to appeal the ruling.

The Greens want the bye-elections for vacancies in Dublin South, Waterford and Donegal North-East to be held early next year.

- RTÉ report (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1103/byeelection.html)

One notes that a by-election must be held within 4 weeks of the writ being moved by the Dáil - so if tomorrow's motion is approved, the Donegal SW by-election would have to be held by 1 December.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on November 03, 2010, 12:06:52 pm
Wow, things have heated up in (ROI) Irish politics all of a sudden!

McDaid lost the FF whip in 2008 (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg1812604#msg1812604) abstaining on a vote opposing the Government’s abandonment of the cervical cancer vaccine programme, decrying the move as a false economy. He’s been on record as favouring a General Election for some time.

How did he vote on the Fine Gael motions for writs for the then-three vacant seats a couple/few months ago?  Also Michael Lowry, who has (iirc) made similar statements regarding a General Election?  If they both voted no on all those writs and the earlier SF motion for a writ in Donegal SW, how does one reconcile that with their desire for a prompt General Election that would be more likely if difficult/impossible for the government to win by-elections were held or were going to be held because of a sucessfully moved writ?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2010, 12:07:28 pm
The judgment in Doherty v Govt of Ireland et al (http://courts.ie/Judgments.nsf/09859e7a3f34669680256ef3004a27de/baf3228928ac3b4b802577d0003fedb8?OpenDocument), wherein more than once Mr Justice Kearns accuses the government effectively of excessive hyperbole (;D). He came close to daring the Government to oppose a motion calling for the by-election.

J'approve.

Reportedly the Attorney General is briefing the cabinet this evening on the decision. I expect the Government to announce within 24 hours that they will be moving a writ themselves for the by-election.

In the longer term, I expect that the judgment will almost certainly lead to legislative change compelling a set maximum period for the filling of Dáil vacancies.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on November 03, 2010, 12:10:14 pm
I know you weren't expecting the ruling to go this way when I asked you earlier in the year.  Was there any time before the ruling came out today that you sensed it going the way it did, or was it a complete surprise?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2010, 12:46:22 pm
I know you weren't expecting the ruling to go this way when I asked you earlier in the year.  Was there any time before the ruling came out today that you sensed it going the way it did, or was it a complete surprise?

Complete surprise to me. Strictly speaking of course, the court hasn't compelled the by-election - but the tone of the judgment is so strident, so damning of the Government, that it will have that effect.

The defiant reassertion of the judiciary's right to consider such matters and indeed to potentially direct how the Government act in the Dáil goes against the tide of judicial determinations on seperation of powers matters going back some time. I'm very pleasantly surprised. :)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 03, 2010, 12:58:56 pm
McDaid lost the FF whip in 2008 (http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg1812604#msg1812604) abstaining on a vote opposing the Government’s abandonment of the cervical cancer vaccine programme, decrying the move as a false economy. He’s been on record as favouring a General Election for some time.

How did he vote on the Fine Gael motions for writs for the then-three vacant seats a couple/few months ago?  Also Michael Lowry, who has (iirc) made similar statements regarding a General Election?  If they both voted no on all those writs and the earlier SF motion for a writ in Donegal SW, how does one reconcile that with their desire for a prompt General Election that would be more likely if difficult/impossible for the government to win by-elections were held or were going to be held because of a sucessfully moved writ?

I'd need to look up for certain, but I'm fairly sure both voted with the Government.

Off the top of my head, not sure about Lowry's previous comments on a general election - as to Lowry's position, this article (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1102/breaking46.html) sets it out as is - I think it's the first time he's staked out a position wherein he may oppose the budget.

As to the reconciliation you speak of - with regard to McDaid at least, he's conflicted between FF tribalist tendancies and that wish for a general election. His preference would have been for the party to want the election, rather than bring it on himself. Hence his decision to resign rather than simply leave FF and vote as an opposition TD - something that would have been more condusive to bringing about a general election sooner.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 03, 2010, 01:20:23 pm
So, early next year we might see a government lose power, not through a general election, not through a coalition partner walking out, not through defections, but through some by-elections. Hilarious.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 04, 2010, 12:56:07 am
So, early next year we might see a government lose power, not through a general election, not through a coalition partner walking out, not through defections, but through some by-elections. Hilarious.

Indeed. I'm of the notion that in an homage to some of our long-gone satirists, the last few years has been a massive farcical black comedy.



Quote from: Miriam Lord
What a strange day in Leinster House, with Sinn Féin standing resolutely by the Constitution, Fianna Fáil averting their eyes from the aforementioned Constitution, and the Greens finding the judgment too rich for their delicate constitution

i <3 Miriam Lord (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1104/1224282634420.html)


Anyhoo...
The Government last night did decide they would move the writ today and to appeal the High Court decision to the Supreme Court to clarify the constitutional matters raised.

Quote from: The Irish Times
Government Chief Whip John Curran announced the decision after a Cabinet meeting last night. He said the writ will be moved in the Dáil today and the byelection will take place between November 22nd and 29th.

He said that the writs for the other three outstanding byelections in Dublin South, Waterford and Donegal North East would be moved early in the new year.

Mr Curran said that despite the decision to move the writ today, the Cabinet had decided to appeal yesterday’s High Court decision. He said Attorney General Paul Gallagher had raised “significant points from a constitutional position to do with the separation of powers” and that was why a decision to appeal the court decision had been taken.

So but no more than 3 weeks to the by-election, here's the candidate selection for Donegal SW (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1104/1224282634948.html) so far.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 04, 2010, 05:55:32 am
As Ireland continues its record-breaking on the bond markets (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1104/breaking13.html), best to distract oneself with a little psephology I think.

Below some previous election results in Donegal SW...

General Elections (1997-2007)

For almost all of it's existence, since it was reconstituted in 1981, DSW has returned 2 FF, 1 FG (the only exception was in 1997, when it was 1 FF, 1 FG, 1 Ind - the one independent, Tom Gildea, being a signle-issue candidate, whose issue [I kid not] was TV masts).

1997    2002    2007
Fianna Fáil384251
Fine Gael232523
Sinn Féin-1121
Labour433
Green4-1
Ind/Other31191


Local Elections 2009

The Dáil constituency of Donegal SW comprises 3 local electoral areas (Glenties, Stranorlar and Donegal). Making one of those terribly unwise calculations, the combined results would be…
Fianna Fáil29
Fine Gael25
Sinn Féin13
Labour8
Indies 24

The Independents include people formerly of FF, FG and SF. Notable inclusion here is Seamus Ó Domhnaill, who topped the poll in Glenties as an Independent - having failed to get a FF nomination. His brother, Brian, is a FF Senator (appointed by the Taoiseach), and the favourite to be the FF candidate. The fall-out from that local election is what has prevented FF from settling on a candidate yet for this by-election. Adjusting the local election numbers for cases such as Ó Domhnaill gives numbers much more favourable to FF: 36-29-17-8-10.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 04, 2010, 07:29:12 am
And the date is set (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1104/breaking3.html)... DSW will vote on Thursday, 25 November, exactly 3 weeks today.



For those interested in DSW's demography the Oireachtas Library have constituency profiles (http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/library/constituencies_profiles/Donegal_South_West.pdf) based on the last census (2006 - i.e. pre-economic apocolypse).

DSW is older than most parts as the young working-age population drifted elsewhere. For the same reason, DSW has lower educational attainment stats. Employment in 2006 was quite a bit below national average - I'll look at more up to date figures later. Fisheries more important here than most other places - Killybegs port is in DSW.

Obviously DSW is more Protestant than average and has more British citizens than many other places.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on November 04, 2010, 07:16:50 pm
Why did Fine Gael lose ground (albiet only 2%) in DSW from 2002 to 2007?  Much of the Fianna Fáil gain could have been independent voters continuing to "come home" from 1997.  Was the count tight down the stretch between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin for the final seat there in 2007?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 05, 2010, 05:29:03 am
Final count    

Mary Coughlan         Fianna Fail             
 10,530        9,964        9,964    
Pat Gallagher       Fianna Fail            
 9,606        9,976        9,976    
Dinny McGinley       Fine Gael            +82       +1,032    
 9,167        9,249        10,281    
Pearse Doherty       Sinn Fein            +89       +712    
 8,462        8,551        9,263    

where 9964 is the quota, the second count was the redistribution of Coughlan's surplus, and the third count was the elimination of all three others (one Labour, one Green, one indy).
The + figures are the votes McGinley and Doherty gained on the second and third counts; Gallagher's mini-surplus was never redistributed.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2010, 04:45:06 am
Why did Fine Gael lose ground (albiet only 2%) in DSW from 2002 to 2007?

FG went from 2 candidates in 2002 (McGinley and White) to just 1 (McGinley) in 2007. (Running extra candidates tends to increase the first preference percentage - but as a trade-off tends to see votes transfer away to other parties rather than transfer to the running mate.)

Also, IIRC, McGinley had to be pleaded with by Enda Kenny to run again - hard to say how much his heart was in it.

Might have also helped FF that both their candidates were by 2007 high profile.



Much of the Fianna Fáil gain could have been independent voters continuing to "come home" from 1997.  Was the count tight down the stretch between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin for the final seat there in 2007?

As Lewis shows there, the gap expanded slightly from around 700 votes to over a 1,000. McGinley did better than Doherty on the only transfer of significance, but not as much better as such transfers would tend to go in most other parts of the country.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2010, 07:09:38 am
The runners and riders to date...

Sen. Brian Ó Domhnaill (Fianna Fáil)
33. Pretty much a career politician already - viewed as in Mary Coughlan's (the Tánaiste) camp [as opposed to the opposing Gallagher camp] in DSW. Comfortably elected to Donegal County Council from Glenties in 2004, topping the poll. Ran for the Seanad in 2007 but fared poorly, nowehere close to election - but was subsequently appointed by the Taoiseach to the chamber anyway.

As mentioned previously, his brother, Seamus, running as an Independent, himself topped the poll in Glenties in the last local elections. Seamus rejoined FF a few days ago.

Ó Domhnaill was selected unopposed last nigth when the other candidates withdrew. (There had been some speculation that Irish goalkeeping legend, Packie Bonner would be approached but nothing seemed to come of that - which is all the excuse I need to link to, watch and well up again to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YnLtcWcGcE).)


Cllr. Barry O'Neill (Fine Gael)
36. A sports producer with RTÉ.
O’Neill has been a Councillor for the Donegal local electoral area since 2004 when he scraped the last seat. Topping the poll in 2009 made him the frontrunner to be the FG nominee at the next General Election when the incumbent FG TD is expected to stand down.

A win for O’Neill would be a significant boon to Fine Gael – so far he’s been completely under the radar. The media have been running with the notion that SF ought to be making the running here, but O’Neill gets the much maligned Jas early favourite tag. 


Sen. Pearse Doherty (Sinn Féin)
33. Glasgow-born Doherty is a civil engineer by profession, and has been a Senator since 2007. Part of the new, young breed of SF politicos, Doherty is a respectable, though not spectacular, electoral performer for SF.

First gaining election as a local councillor for Glenties in 2004 (coming 2nd to Mr Ó Domhnaill), he came reasonably close to a Dáil seat in 2007. At the subsequent Seanad election, he became SF’s first Senator in modern times following an election pact with Labour. Smart and articulate, he could well end up as at least leader of SF’s southern contingent. In with a shot here, he’ll at least want a result that would strongly indicate a seat in the next general election.


Cllr. Frank McBreaty (Labour)
Not your ordinary Labour candidate – but then ordinary Labour candidates don’t get elected in Donegal. McBrearty has national profile as his family were the subject of Garda corruption/harassment in the early-mid 90s that tried to stitch one of them up for a murder – all came out in one of our many tribunals a few years ago. IIRC he also won a significant libel action against the News of the World at some point over unrelated matters.

McBrearty was elected to the Council from Stranorlar in 2009. Donegal just isn’t Labour territory though. Getting into double digits would be an ok result;  if Labour’s national polling translates into anything he might rack up a few more points and maybe seal his place as the Labour candidate for the next General.


Cllr. Thomas Pringle (i)
Thrice elected Councillor out of the Donegal LEA, Pringle was in SF from 2004-07. Fairly popular in his own patch – he came second to O’Neill in the 2009 local election.


Other independents possible, but as yet unconfirmed.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 08, 2010, 07:57:23 am
Irish goalkeeping legend, Packie Bonner would be approached but nothing seemed to come of that - which is all the excuse I need to link to, watch and well up again to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YnLtcWcGcE).)
That video is unavailable in my local dictatorship, but is it anything like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4xl_FgEwrg)?
Cllr. Barry O'Neill (Fine Gael)
36. A sports producer with RTÉ.
O’Neill has been a Councillor for the Donegal local electoral area since 2004 when he scraped the last seat. Topping the poll in 2009 made him the frontrunner to be the FG nominee at the next General Election when the incumbent FG TD is expected to stand down.

A win for O’Neill would be a significant boon to Fine Gael – so far he’s been completely under the radar. The media have been running with the notion that SF ought to be making the running here, but O’Neill gets the much maligned Jas early favourite tag. 
I think by now you're jinxing candidates purely out of spite when you call them "favoured".



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2010, 10:24:50 am
Irish goalkeeping legend, Packie Bonner would be approached but nothing seemed to come of that - which is all the excuse I need to link to, watch and well up again to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YnLtcWcGcE).)
That video is unavailable in my local dictatorship, but is it anything like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4xl_FgEwrg)?

:D Gotta love some Christy - but Bonner's legend was established 2 years later (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-8ZBXsBOE8#t=0m56s).


Cllr. Barry O'Neill (Fine Gael)
36. A sports producer with RTÉ.
O’Neill has been a Councillor for the Donegal local electoral area since 2004 when he scraped the last seat. Topping the poll in 2009 made him the frontrunner to be the FG nominee at the next General Election when the incumbent FG TD is expected to stand down.

A win for O’Neill would be a significant boon to Fine Gael – so far he’s been completely under the radar. The media have been running with the notion that SF ought to be making the running here, but O’Neill gets the much maligned Jas early favourite tag. 
I think by now you're jinxing candidates purely out of spite when you call them "favoured".

It's much maligned for a reason! ;D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 08, 2010, 12:30:41 pm
Mr Justice Peart today granted leave for full hearing motions from FG members seeking the same declarations that Pearse Doherty got for DSW with regard to the Waterford and Dublin S constituencies.

The hearings are scheduled to begin on 22 November.




At any rate, as the bond markets continue to demonstrate disbelief at Ireland, if Prof. Morgan (he who foresaw the apocalypse) is correct in his assessment on the future of the Irish 'economy' (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/1108/1224282865400.html), the upcoming elections may all be rather academic.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 13, 2010, 07:04:59 am
Candidate deadline passed yesterday.

Just one more to add to those mentioned above - independent Ann Sweeney is running on a sort of plague on all their houses platform (http://www.youtube.com/v/Yqwp4QTJ3Q4?version=3). Would probably do well to get her vote tally into triple digits, but she may yet earn the coveted Jas endorsement that could, of course, swing the election her way.



As to the market odds, according to local press (http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Bookies-place-Doherty-as-favourite.6621142.jp):
Doherty (SF)       2/7
O’Neill (FG)         11/4
Ó Domhnaill (FF) 6/1
McBrearty (Lab) 13/2
Pringle (i)           12/1


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on November 14, 2010, 06:09:36 pm
As to the market odds, according to local press (http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Bookies-place-Doherty-as-favourite.6621142.jp):
Doherty (SF)       2/7
O’Neill (FG)         11/4
Ó Domhnaill (FF) 6/1
McBrearty (Lab) 13/2
Pringle (i)           12/1

Those odds (assuming someone with a 75% chance of victory would have odds of 1/3 and someone with a 10% chance of victory would have odds of 9/1), add up to 139.8% (77.8% for Doherty (SF), 26.7% for O’Neill (FG), 14.3% for Ó Domhnaill (FF), 13.3% for McBrearty (Lab) and 7.7% for Pringle (i)).  Is the vig built into those odds (which would make it a vig of about 28.4% (39.8% divided by 139.8%))?  Even if the odds for the candidates other than Doherty are from when Doherty's odds were only 4/6 before the High Court decision, those odds would have added up to 122.0% (an 18.0% vig).  Were the odds-makers just sloppy (or deliberately crafty) - is there an additional vig in Paddy Power?

Also, were these odds made before Sweeney filed?  Or would the betting odds against her winning be something on the order of... 1/0?  ;)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 15, 2010, 03:18:23 am
As to the market odds, according to local press (http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Bookies-place-Doherty-as-favourite.6621142.jp):
Doherty (SF)       2/7
O’Neill (FG)         11/4
Ó Domhnaill (FF) 6/1
McBrearty (Lab) 13/2
Pringle (i)           12/1

Those odds (assuming someone with a 75% chance of victory would have odds of 1/3 and someone with a 10% chance of victory would have odds of 9/1), add up to 139.8% (77.8% for Doherty (SF), 26.7% for O’Neill (FG), 14.3% for Ó Domhnaill (FF), 13.3% for McBrearty (Lab) and 7.7% for Pringle (i)).  Is the vig built into those odds (which would make it a vig of about 28.4% (39.8% divided by 139.8%))?  Even if the odds for the candidates other than Doherty are from when Doherty's odds were only 4/6 before the High Court decision, those odds would have added up to 122.0% (an 18.0% vig).  Were the odds-makers just sloppy (or deliberately crafty) - is there an additional vig in Paddy Power?

Also, were these odds made before Sweeney filed?  Or would the betting odds against her winning be something on the order of... 1/0?  ;)

I'm afraid the methodology of bookmaking falls beyond my understanding. What I can offer though are Paddy Power's latest odds (http://www.paddypower.com/bet/politics/other-politics/irish-by-elections?ev_oc_grp_ids=239601), from which a mathemathic comparison can be drawn, and from which Ann Sweeney's odds are made available…

4/9   Doherty (SF)
13/8 Ó Domhnaill (FF)
9/1   O’Neill (FG)
10/1 McBrearty (Lab)
33/1 Pringle (i)
33/1 Sweeney (i)

Fairly substantial differentials for various candidates from the other odds above. They also include odds on a prospective Green candidate at 150/1, but to the best of my knowledge, no such candidate has filed.



The Irish Election Literature Blog does exactly what it says on the tin – publishing election literature past and present. So far, Ó Domhnaill is the only one who they’ve gotten anything on (http://irishelectionliterature.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/flyer-for-brian-o-domhnaill-fianna-fail-2010-donegal-south-west-by-election/). Will keep an eye out for the others.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Kevinstat on November 15, 2010, 07:32:12 pm
That must be 13:1 (not 13:8 ) for Ó Domhnaill (FF).  That brings the percentages without the Green candidate to 101.3%, pretty close when you're dealing with integer fractions of the size used.  4:9 (a fraction of 9/13) and 13:8 (8/21) alone add up to 107.3%.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 16, 2010, 12:51:22 am
That must be 13:1 (not 13:8 ) for Ó Domhnaill (FF).

Actually no, 13/8 was correct. Though the odds have moved today, tightening for Ó Domhnaill...
2/5  Doherty (SF)
7/4  Ó Domhnaill (FF)
9/1  O'Neill (FG)
11/1 McBrearty (L)
33/1 Pringle (i)
33/1 Sweeney (i)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on November 17, 2010, 07:14:27 pm
FWIW, the first poll's out, by Red C, showing Sinn Féin's Doherty leading easily.

Quote
Pearse Doherty     SF   40%
Brian O’Domhnaill  FF   19%
Barry O'Neill      FG   15%
Frank McBrearty    Lab  14%

To no-one's surprise, Labour's Eamon Gilmore is the most popular choice for Taoiseach, which is what national polling's been saying for ages now.

Quote
Irrespective of which party you support, which of the main party leaders do you believe would make the best Taoiseach for Ireland after the next general election?

Eamon Gilmore  46%
Enda Kenny     18%
Brian Cowen    13%
None of these  13%
Don't know     10%

Here's some of the commentary on the poll relating to a general election:

Quote
   

* Senator Pearse Doherty looks as if he will win the by-election to be held next week in Donegal South West by some margin, taking 40% of the first preference vote in today's Paddy Power/RED C by-election poll.
 

* Brian O’Domhnaill takes the next highest share of the vote in the poll, securing 19% of the first preference vote. However, relatively poor second preference transfers suggest even after the count he is unlikely to trouble the Sinn Fein candidate.
    

* Barry O’Neill, Fine Gael and Frank McBrearty Junior, Labour; both secure a similar share of first preference vote in the constituency at 15% and 14% respectively, but initial analyses of transfers suggests McBrearty will end up ahead.
  

* While the current by-election may influence voters choices somewhat, when asked about a general election Sinn Fein again do well, securing 31% of the first preference vote, an increase of 10% when compared to their performance in 2007.
  

* Labour also make good gains in the constituency in terms of a general election, with their first preference share ahead of their by-election showing at 18%. This represents a significant increase of 15% share since 2007.
  

* This surge in support for Labour is perhaps influenced by voters preferred choice for Taoiseach, in which Eamonn Gilmore is preferred by almost half (46%) of all voters in the constituency.
  


* Fianna Fail are the big losers in terms of a potential general election showing, with a 1st preference share of just 19%, down 32% since the last general election. While part of this may be due to the fact that Mary Coughlan is not of course involved in the
      by-election it doesn’t bode well for the party should an election be called in the near future.


 * Fine Gael may be disappointed to only take 25% share, a modest increase of just 2% since 2007, and this may persuade them to only run one candidate at the next election, as the two candidate approach appears to split the vote somewhat.


 * This relatively weak showing by Fine Gael, despite the collapse of the Fianna Fail vote, like Labour could somewhat be attributed to voters preferred choice of Taoiseach, where Enda Kenny is preferred by only 1 in 5 (18%) of all voters in the constituency.




EDIT: It's really impossible to stress enough how bad this result is for Fianna Fáil. If this is how they're polling in Donegal, they're going to get electorally curbstomped nationally.

It's obviously a great result for both Sinn Féin and Labour, too - the polling indicates that Doherty would easily retain the seat at a general election, and that Frank McBrearty would win a seat with 18%.

This might not seem hugely impressive, but Labour got 2.8% (!) in DSW last time around. Most hilariously, if the general elections figures are replicated next year, Mary Coughlan could quite possibly lose her seat.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 18, 2010, 11:18:15 am
Do you want a Donegal by-election thread over at the International Elections board?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 18, 2010, 12:13:14 pm
Hope they drop to fourth place. >:D

FWIW, the first poll's out, by Red C, showing Sinn Féin's Doherty leading easily.

Quote
EDIT: It's really impossible to stress enough how bad this result is for Fianna Fáil. If this is how they're polling in Donegal, they're going to get electorally curbstomped nationally.



Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 18, 2010, 12:38:50 pm
Do you want a Donegal by-election thread over at the International Elections board?

Would it be possible to export the various DSW posts from here over?
If so - then yeah. (Not sure why I didn't set it up there when called actually.)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on November 18, 2010, 12:41:21 pm
I think the recent posts on that topic could be split into a separate topic, which could then be exported into the international elections board and turned into a by-election thread. Andrew would have to do it though.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 18, 2010, 12:46:33 pm
EDIT: It's really impossible to stress enough how bad this result is for Fianna Fáil. If this is how they're polling in Donegal, they're going to get electorally curbstomped nationally.

Indeed. But one must obviously take constituency polls with extreme caution.

Surprising just how strong Doherty appears. Though judging by all accounts of the debates, he's just about the only candidate who is actually coherent.

If O'Neill comes in 4th, would they have to try and resign Enda again - on the eve of a budget and within shouting distance of a general election? *fingers crossed*


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 18, 2010, 02:58:09 pm
EDIT: It's really impossible to stress enough how bad this result is for Fianna Fáil. If this is how they're polling in Donegal, they're going to get electorally curbstomped nationally.

Indeed. But one must obviously take constituency polls with extreme caution.

Surprising just how strong Doherty appears. Though judging by all accounts of the debates, he's just about the only candidate who is actually coherent.

If O'Neill comes in 4th, would they have to try and resign Enda again - on the eve of a budget and within shouting distance of a general election? *fingers crossed*

No. It´s Labour-FG (in that order) or bust (and I mean that probably literally) at this stage.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 19, 2010, 09:39:40 am
(http://irishelectionliterature.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/fffreedom.jpg)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on November 19, 2010, 11:52:49 am
I for one welcome our new EU/IMF overlords.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Oakvale on November 20, 2010, 11:36:16 am
There's a Red C national poll coming out tomorrow which will apparently have FF support falling further.

Mind you, I don't put a whole lot of stock in Red C, as much as I'd like to believe that DSW poll. Wait for the Irish Times/MRBI - one's due soon, surely - which is really the gold standard as far as Irish polling goes.

EDIT: Not that Red C polls are bad, per se, but they were kind of outlier-y (...) earlier this year in comparison to the MRBI and Lansdowne polls.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on November 20, 2010, 11:47:29 am
I for one welcome our new EU/IMF overlords.

Does this mean I like now own 2 meters of the M50? If so I'm so charging a toll :D


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 06:52:21 am
(http://www.wheelspinninghamsterdead.com/image/archive/twobrians/00018-spin.jpg)


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 07:45:59 am
The Greens are precipitating a General Election for January.


Quote from: Green Party Statement
The past week has been a traumatic one for the Irish electorate. People feel misled and betrayed.

The Green Party believes three things must be done in the coming two months to safeguard the future prosperity and independence of the Irish people.

These are:
Producing a credible four-year plan to show we can make our Budgets balance by 2014.

Delivering a Budget for 2011.

Securing funding support from the EU and IMF which will respect vital Irish interests and restore stability to the Euro area.

We have always said that our involvement in government would only continue as long as it was for the benefit of the Irish people. Leaving the country without a government while these matters are unresolved would be very damaging and would breach our duty of care.

But we have now reached a point where the Irish people need political certainty to take them beyond the coming two months. So, we believe it is time to fix a date for a general election in the second half of January 2011.

We made our decision last Saturday after a long series of meetings.

Since entering government in June 2007, we in the Green Party have worked to fix and reform the economy. It has been difficult.  We have taken tough decisions and put the national interest first.

etc. etc.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 22, 2010, 08:05:21 am
So no collapse by by-election then? :(


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 08:42:38 am
So no collapse by by-election then? :(

Nope. It's that impending collapse though that allows the Greens one last attempt at demonstrating their relevance by effectively setting the election date.

Though, of course, it's not inconceivable that the Government could fall before that. Passing the budget is not exactly a foregone conclusion. Noel O'Flynn (FF-Cork NC) today joins a number of other backbenchers in making ultimatums (http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/noel-oflynn-calls-for-cowen-to-resign-and-warns-he-wont-back-pension-cut-137162.html).


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 11:19:48 am
Jackie Healy-Rae (i-Kerry S) and Michael Lowry (i-Tipperary N) have decided to undercut the Greens, by immediately withdrawing support (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1122/breaking31.html) from the Government. Both declare that it is highly unlikely that they can support the upcoming budget.

Healy-Rae accused the Taoiseach of telling "blatant lies” to the Irish people regarding the IMF and ECB.
Quote from: Jackie Healy-Rae
I'm not supporting the Government in any of that stuff that is going on... The time had come where I can no longer honour my word to this Fianna Fáil-led Government. The time has come to say stop. The time has come for the truth to be told to the Irish people. The time has come for integrity and honesty and political leadership.

Quote from: Michael Lowry
The next decision I have to make in respect of the current government is on the day the Budget is announced and as it stands at the moment, it is highly unlikely that I will support that Budget. The reason I'm saying that publicly now is to afford Fine Gael and Labour the opportunity to take up their duty and obligation and their responsibility to the country in assisting the Government to the budgetary situation.

Given that, my adjusted Dáil/Government support figures are below.
Taking Healy-Rae and Lowry at face value, I’d count them as opposition members and thus rendering upon us a minority-Government.

Current Dáil Composition
Fianna Fáil70
Fianna Fáil (without whip)  3(Devins, Scanlon, McGrath)
Fine Gael51
Labour19
Labour (without whip)  1(Brougham)
Greens  6
Sinn Féin  4
Independents  7
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker)  1
Vacant  4(Donegal SW, Dublin S, Waterford, Donegal NE)

Government80(FF + unwhipped FF + Green + Harney)
Opposition81(FG + Lab + unwhipped Lab +SF + O'Sullivan, McGrath, Behan, Grealish, Healy-Rae, Lowry)
Majority -1

Which is very likely to become  -2 following the Donegal by-election on Thursday – but a week or so ahead of one of the most important budgets in the history of independent Ireland.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 12:00:41 pm
And the walls continue to crumble...

Seán Power (FF-Kildare S) calls (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1122/breaking41.html) on Cowen to resign.

Even presuming the budget passes, whether Cowen can lead FF into the next General Election is, at the very least, now on the table.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Tetro Kornbluth on November 22, 2010, 12:20:10 pm
(http://www.wheelspinninghamsterdead.com/image/archive/twobrians/00018-spin.jpg)

That cartoon is brilliant.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: You kip if you want to... on November 22, 2010, 12:38:57 pm
Sort've related, but sort've not:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOQmuh_YPOk&feature=sub


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 01:18:41 pm
Sort've related, but sort've not:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOQmuh_YPOk&feature=sub

Maybe if I watch it a few more times, the wisdom of that video will dawn on me.

In the meantime, for those who oppose Britain's contribution (thanks for that btw)... I'll point to one or two things.

1. Preventing turmoil in British and other financial markets

Quote from: Wolfgang Münchau
The task that needs to be solved now is to stop contagion of the Irish banking crisis. The channels are easy to figure out. The two largest creditors to Ireland are the UK and Germany, with loans outstanding of $149bn and $139bn respectively, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements. An Irish bank default would affect the German and British banking systems directly, and require significant domestic bank bail-outs.

A second channel of contagion would be via the capital markets, to Portugal. The biggest creditor to Portugal is Spain, itself in a precarious position with exposures of $78bn. A default of Irish banks would spread like wildfire. It has to be prevented.

- How to stop Ireland’s financial contagion (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/14270bf8-f59e-11df-99d6-00144feab49a.html), Financial Times


2. Profit

Quote from: Buttonwood
But of course, the money isn't being given to Ireland, it's being lent. And even if the eventual rate is below the market level of 8%, the new debt may still carry a rate of 5% or so. Well, Britain is still paying 3.3% for 10-year money. So this is a profitable gig, borrowing at 3.3% to lend at 5%. Perhaps the government should sell the scheme to the public as the ultimate carry trade

- The ultimate carry trade (http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2010/11/sovereign_bailouts_and_voters), Buttonwood blog, The Economist


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: You kip if you want to... on November 22, 2010, 01:20:33 pm
Sort've related, but sort've not:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOQmuh_YPOk&feature=sub

Maybe if I watch it a few more times, the wisdom of that video will dawn on me.

In the meantime, for those who oppose Britain's contribution (thanks for that btw)... I'll point to one or two things.

1. Preventing turmoil in British and other financial markets

Quote from: Wolfgang Münchau
The task that needs to be solved now is to stop contagion of the Irish banking crisis. The channels are easy to figure out. The two largest creditors to Ireland are the UK and Germany, with loans outstanding of $149bn and $139bn respectively, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements. An Irish bank default would affect the German and British banking systems directly, and require significant domestic bank bail-outs.

A second channel of contagion would be via the capital markets, to Portugal. The biggest creditor to Portugal is Spain, itself in a precarious position with exposures of $78bn. A default of Irish banks would spread like wildfire. It has to be prevented.

- How to stop Ireland’s financial contagion, Financial Times


2. Profit

Quote from: Buttonwood
But of course, the money isn't being given to Ireland, it's being lent. And even if the eventual rate is below the market level of 8%, the new debt may still carry a rate of 5% or so. Well, Britain is still paying 3.3% for 10-year money. So this is a profitable gig, borrowing at 3.3% to lend at 5%. Perhaps the government should sell the scheme to the public as the ultimate carry trade

- The ultimate carry trade, Buttonwood blog, The Economist

Personally, I don't really mind the bail-out. As long as it gets paid back and it doesn't have an even more adverse affect on the British public sector, I really don't mind.

And, I just think that Britain (and other countries) should look at Ireland before they decide to start an era of slash-and-burn on their country's public services.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 01:33:17 pm
Chris Andrews (FF-Dublin SE) joins the call for Cowen to resign as Taoiseach and FF leader. - RTÉ (http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1122/politics1.html)


Fianna Fáil ministers are meeting now.
With the prospect of failing to pass a budget now very much within the range of possibilities, what odds on a decision to immediately go for an election? Or in light of crumbling support, Cowen to make a statement on stepping down?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 01:41:37 pm
And, I just think that Britain (and other countries) should look at Ireland before they decide to start an era of slash-and-burn on their country's public services.

Meaning what exactly?


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Јas on November 22, 2010, 02:26:47 pm
Fianna Fáil ministers are meeting now.
With the prospect of failing to pass a budget now very much within the range of possibilities, what odds on a decision to immediately go for an election? Or in light of crumbling support, Cowen to make a statement on stepping down?

Taoiseach to dissolve Dáil after December budget (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1122/breaking19.html) - Irish Times


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: You kip if you want to... on November 22, 2010, 02:55:02 pm
And, I just think that Britain (and other countries) should look at Ireland before they decide to start an era of slash-and-burn on their country's public services.

Meaning what exactly?

Austerity leads to... well, what's currently happening in Ireland.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: afleitch on November 22, 2010, 03:14:15 pm
Sort've related, but sort've not:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOQmuh_YPOk&feature=sub

Name me a politician of any worth who didn't say that about the Irish economy back in 2006


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on November 22, 2010, 03:14:15 pm
Fianna Fáil ministers are meeting now.
With the prospect of failing to pass a budget now very much within the range of possibilities, what odds on a decision to immediately go for an election? Or in light of crumbling support, Cowen to make a statement on stepping down?

Taoiseach to dissolve Dáil after December budget (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1122/breaking19.html) - Irish Times
February or March? Can he really last that long? Looks unlikely after today...


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: Queen Mum Inks.LWC on November 22, 2010, 04:37:42 pm
NY Times is reporting that Prime Minister Cowen will dissolve his government after the budget is enacted.


Title: Re: Ireland General Discussion
Post by: You kip if you want to... on November 22, 2010, 04:47:52 pm
Excuse