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Thread: Should NI MPs sit in the Dail?

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    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
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    Default Should NI MPs sit in the Dail?

    This kind of came up on another thread but it's probably worth a conversation on it's own merits.

    Personally, I want to see a united Ireland, by consent. In the interim, and in order to foster the belief that we are one nation and can work together I would propose that NI MPs would be allowed full speaking and voting rights in the Dail. (don't know how to do fadas).

    The arguments against could include that NI residents don't pay taxes to Dublin therefore should they be allowed to influence spending here. I would counter that Dublin wouldn't be spending taxes in NI so that issue shouldn't arise.

    Another potential issue is that Unionist MPs would probably boycott the Dail. I would agree that is likely initially, however I think the pragmatic, especially as time wears on, will recognise the real politik of the situation and the opportunity that influencing the Irish govt could offer them. They could even be in a coalition govt.

    Overall, I think it makes a united Ireland more likely and shows the world that we see our nation as one right now. Practical issues like non coincidental GEs can be accommodated by allowing sitting MPs to participate in whatever Dail they find themselves.

    I wonder what reaction, if any, there would be from the British govt? Can anyone see any practical impediments I'm missing? Does anyone have any ideological objections? Could this be a help or a hindrance in a manifesto for a party in our upcoming GE in the Republic?
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
    RepublicanSocialist1798
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeDroit View Post
    This kind of came up on another thread but it's probably worth a conversation on it's own merits.

    Personally, I want to see a united Ireland, by consent. In the interim, and in order to foster the belief that we are one nation and can work together I would propose that NI MPs would be allowed full speaking and voting rights in the Dail. (don't know how to do fadas).

    The arguments against could include that NI residents don't pay taxes to Dublin therefore should they be allowed to influence spending here. I would counter that Dublin wouldn't be spending taxes in NI so that issue shouldn't arise.

    Another potential issue is that Unionist MPs would probably boycott the Dail. I would agree that is likely initially, however I think the pragmatic, especially as time wears on, will recognise the real politik of the situation and the opportunity that influencing the Irish govt could offer them. They could even be in a coalition govt.

    Overall, I think it makes a united Ireland more likely and shows the world that we see our nation as one right now. Practical issues like non coincidental GEs can be accommodated by allowing sitting MPs to participate in whatever Dail they find themselves.

    I wonder what reaction, if any, there would be from the British govt? Can anyone see any practical impediments I'm missing? Does anyone have any ideological objections? Could this be a help or a hindrance in a manifesto for a party in our upcoming GE in the Republic?
    SF proposed it in 2005 and it did get some support within FF but it got shot down by FG, the PD's and Labour. Like you I think it'd be a quite reasonable but I don't think we'd see it for a good while.

    Northern MPs were allowed to speak at some joint oireachtas committee meetings a while back but I doubt its still continuing. Also I'd wonder how it could be implemented. If it required a referendum I don't think too many people would be keen on the idea.

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    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RepublicanSocialist1798 View Post
    SF proposed it in 2005 and it did get some support within FF but it got shot down by FG, the PD's and Labour. Like you I think it'd be a quite reasonable but I don't think we'd see it for a good while.

    Northern MPs were allowed to speak at some joint oireachtas committee meetings a while back but I doubt its still continuing. Also I'd wonder how it could be implemented. If it required a referendum I don't think too many people would be keen on the idea.
    I don't think it'd need a referendum. The constitution claims NI people as Irish despite the loss of articles 2&3. I actually think people would support it anyway. Irish people do support the nostalgic notion of a united Ireland even if the financial and security issues would concern them. This option leaves those concerns squarely at Whitehall's door.

    It would be implemented very simply. Dail resumes on Tuesday, set your sat-nav and we'll see you then.
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

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    Politics.ie Member Cabbage/Turnip's Avatar
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    I am 23 and I like to think i am coming out of my innocent stage of political ideology (some of my ideas would still be thought stupid), but one thing i noticed in ireland as I get older we are really a country of cowards in general. We do not liek any sort of change that can be considered drastic and we just follow what other bigger countries do regarding laws, i think the above idea is a very proactive one

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    Politics.ie Member Aristodemus's Avatar
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    No

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    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristodemus View Post
    No
    Thank you for playing. Care to expand?
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

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    Politics.ie Member fool's Avatar
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    This idea is good in theory, but in practise it would cause a lot of problems. We'd get a large bunch of extra TDs who could easily end up holding the balance of power, yet who would answer to voters outside the state, and who are unlikely to take the Dáil into consideration when voting. It would allow a huge block of unionists to interfere with the workings of the Republic's government, undermine coalitions, and completely remove the credibility of the Dublin government in its role in the six counties.

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    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabbage/Turnip View Post
    I am 23 and I like to think i am coming out of my innocent stage of political ideology (some of my ideas would still be thought stupid), but one thing i noticed in ireland as I get older we are really a country of cowards in general. We do not liek any sort of change that can be considered drastic and we just follow what other bigger countries do regarding laws, i think the above idea is a very proactive one
    The older you get the more frustrated you will become. The realisation will hit you that we are an incredibly conservative country both socially and politically. If you grew up in a liberal city environment you won't fully understand it until you travel around. The dancing at the crossroads mentality is actually the pervasive one in this country.
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

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    The obvious problem is that the constituents of Northern MPs don't pay taxes in the Republic - so if Northern MPs have full voting rights, they would often be voting to spend money that their constituents don't contribute towards.

    Having said that, I can see no reason not to give them speaking rights as well as voting rights in certain areas.

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    Politics.ie Member fool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeDroit View Post
    I don't think it'd need a referendum. The constitution claims NI people as Irish despite the loss of articles 2&3. I actually think people would support it anyway.
    A referendum would certainly be required. The constitution sets the rules for how TDs are elected. Adding extra TDs, ones elected according to the rules of a different state, in a different state, would require changing the constitution.
    Last edited by fool; 21st August 2010 at 01:53 PM. Reason: To fix a typo.

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