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  1. #11
    Cato Cato is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by dresden8 View Post
    The problem with Irish democracy is the Irish people.
    That indeed may be the biggest weakness in the plan. The Irish people are just to attached to the local, pork-belly, clientalist, gombeen man and are seriously lacking in civic virtue. There are exceptions of course. Many of them. Just not enough - yet (I'm hopeful!)
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  2. #12
    liamfoley liamfoley is offline
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    Depends on how the cabinet are appointed, would they have to be elected to the legislature or otherwise approved by the legislature as in the USA?
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  3. #13
    Boggle Boggle is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by disgruntledcitizen View Post
    i think thats the key point. also whilst i don't think a US voter is any smarter than an Irish voter, god knows enough of them vote for as dumb a reason as people do here, there needs to be a way to ensure that the candidates are really top drawer and fit for purpose, how that could be achieved is anyones guess, without same we run the risk of having muppets like Bertie again and again
    I don't know. People are going to do what people are going to do and we cannot stop people voting on local issues so maybe we should set up the system to cater for that...
    Off the top of my head, I'd split elections into 2 sections. President (who selects ministers) and represents national interests and td's who are to represent local concerns (but cannot interfere with govt departments, only ministers may do that).
    I'd also dilute the power of political parties as they are meaningless instruments designed with the sole reason of attaining power. I'd do this by preventing them from funding election candidates and limiting their ability to influence elections to endorsing candidates.
    I'd also ban the party whip system. For a functioning democracy, a government bill has to be able to be voted down without risking the stability of the govt. Each candidate is elected individually based on what he believes - allowing him to be controlled by 3rd party groups should be unconstitutional.
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  4. #14
    Boggle Boggle is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    That indeed may be the biggest weakness in the plan. The Irish people are just to attached to the local, pork-belly, clientalist, gombeen man and are seriously lacking in civic virtue. There are exceptions of course. Many of them. Just not enough - yet (I'm hopeful!)
    Surely any effective system has to allow for that.

    Maybe splitting the leadership (national) from the td's (local) ight stop them having to decide between intelligent reasoned candidates and irrational populist grabbers.
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  5. #15
    just4ever just4ever is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by liamfoley View Post
    Depends on how the cabinet are appointed, would they have to be elected to the legislature or otherwise approved by the legislature as in the USA?
    I would say approved by the legislature but not members. Ideally people who aren't career politicians but who are experts in their portfolios. Eg, an army general in defence, a senior judge in justice etc.
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  6. #16
    Red_93 Red_93 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by liamfoley View Post
    Depends on how the cabinet are appointed, would they have to be elected to the legislature or otherwise approved by the legislature as in the USA?
    Well, here's my proposal. Have expert outsiders - ie. people who are not elected members of the legislature make up the cabinet. However, have them on the ticket for everyone to see before the election, rather than just the president and the VP. Of course, this might challenge the independence of say an economist, but lots of them have run for election in the past (George Lee, Garrett FitzGerald, Eithne Fitzgerald, Alan Dukes etc). So rather than being approved by the legislature, let them be approved by the electorate instead.
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  7. #17
    liamfoley liamfoley is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4ever View Post
    I would say approved by the legislature but not members. Ideally people who aren't career politicians but who are experts in their portfolios. Eg, an army general in defence, a senior judge in justice etc.
    That would violate Montesquieu's separation of powers, anyway knowledge of the law does not always mean someone will be a good legislator.
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  8. #18
    Pauli Pauli is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by disgruntledcitizen View Post
    in principal i'd be all in favour of such a system, however do you think it would not be abused / used in a job's for the boys approach ? can you imagine what utter gobsh1tes we'd have been stuck with had Bertie become such a President in the 07 election ? Paddy the Plaster as a minister ?

    until the whole body politic is reformed root and branch we'd only be trading elected gombeens for unelected even bigger gombeens....
    +1. It is bad enough that we have a simpleton like Mary Coughlan as Minister for Education (and, God forbid, Tanaiste). But, for better or worse, she was (somehow) elected to the Dail. Now for Paddy the Plastereer to be Minister for Education would be to enable FF further insult the nation. And it would be the type of stunt the ditch rat Ahern would have pulled had it been possible.

    So while executive presidency works in some countries, FF would seize the opportunity to make the non-functioning system we have now degenerate into farcical slapstick.
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  9. #19
    just4ever just4ever is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by liamfoley View Post
    That would violate Montesquieu's separation of powers, anyway knowledge of the law does not always mean someone will be a good legislator.
    Sorry, i meant a retired senior judge and general. I don't mean these roles specifically anyway, they are just examples. What I'm advocating is experts instead of politicians.
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  10. #20
    just4ever just4ever is offline
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    To a large extent it will neutralize the powers of the parties too. At the moment people predict that Labour will be the 3rd biggest party in the next Dáil, but Eamon Gilmore is the most popular leader. Therefore if he was running for President rather than a Dáil seat he would probably be elected.
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