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Thread: Wanted: Insight into other parliamentary whip systems worldwide.

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    Politics.ie Member mr. jings's Avatar
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    Default Wanted: Insight into other parliamentary whip systems worldwide.

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

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

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to any posts!

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    Politics.ie Member zippo222's Avatar
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    I fear sheets of foolscap are being filled as we speak (so to speak).

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    Politics.ie Member mr. jings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippo222 View Post
    I fear sheets of foolscap are being filled as we speak (so to speak).
    Bring it!

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. jings View Post
    Since the strict parliamentary party whip system in Dáil Éireann seems to make a mockery of the separation of powers in the State, by letting the executive lead the legislature around by the nose, I was just wondering if anybody has any decent knowledge and experience of other political systems with less rigid party whip systems. For example, I've heard anecdotally that Germany has a looser system in certain instances, and that the UK HoC is a little more flexible that it used to be. If so, can you see any of those systems being implemented over here, and then actually working as something better than a fig leaf for the current state of affairs.

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

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

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

    In general the rule here is: You've been voted in because of your party name, not your ability/beliefs, so you vote for the party. And people have been happy to do it by and large.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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

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

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

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    Politics.ie Member 'orebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    It's difficult to highlight the differences without highlight the dearth of actual political debate that occurs in this country. Whipping in Ireland isn't as arduous a task here as it is in say the UK or US because there's no real political division between the main parties, let alone within the parties themselves.

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

    In general the rule here is: You've been voted in because of your party name, not your ability/beliefs, so you vote for the party. And people have been happy to do it by and large.
    Utterly depressing.
    "It is important therefore that I clarify to the House that in the first instance there are significant monies within Anglo-Irish to take the strain of loan losses arising over the next three or four years, before State support is engaged." Brian Lenihan 15/01/09

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    It's difficult to highlight the differences without highlight the dearth of actual political debate that occurs in this country. Whipping in Ireland isn't as arduous a task here as it is in say the UK or US because there's no real political division between the main parties, let alone within the parties themselves.

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

    In general the rule here is: You've been voted in because of your party name, not your ability/beliefs, so you vote for the party. And people have been happy to do it by and large.
    I wouldn't have said that was the general rule at all - quite the reverse, if anything. People like Lowry and the Healy-Raes are clearly voted in because of their name, whatever their party.
    Never let the best be the enemy of the good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anons View Post
    Talk of directly "reforming" the whip system is a complete red herring. The system as it currently stands persists because it is in the interest of those being whipped, given the broader institutional structure of the Oireachtas.

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

    Commentators who talk about "reforming the whip system" as a key measure in some political reform manifesto are either being deliberately misleading or simply ignorant of the topic. I suspect those who hold political power are happy either way.
    You could expand on that a bit, rather than just saying "it's an established political fact", perhaps. Otherwise the obvious, and equally compelling, counter-argument is that it's an established political fact that that's not the case!
    Never let the best be the enemy of the good.

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    Administration should be as local as possible.

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

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

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

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