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Thread: My Green Paper for a United Ireland

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    Politics.ie Member DeGaulle 2.0's Avatar
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    Default My Green Paper for a United Ireland

    Lots of posters seem to want a Green Paper for a United Ireland - so here's mine:

    My Green Paper for a United Ireland

    1. A united Ireland will happen by the 6 counties being incorporated into the Republic, similar to the way East Germany was incorporated into the existing West Germany.
    [There will be no grandiose new Republic declared - simply a continuation of the existing state]

    2. The Dáil will be increased in size proportionally to allow for the increase in population of the state.
    [ Based on an existing Dáíl of 158 seats this would result in a new Dáil of approx 221 seats.]

    3. The Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont will be abolished.
    [ There are a couple of reasons for this:

    a) the population of the 6 counties is too large relative to that of the country as a whole for it to be administered separately. A system where 6-county TDs are voting on issues affecting Munster, Leinster and Connacht but where Munster, Leinster and Connacht TDs cannot vote on issues affecting the 6 counties is simply undemocratic. This problem ("the West Lothian problem" as it is known in the UK) does not arise at present because NI is just 3% of the UK population.

    b) in theory, you could have a federal system of government in Ireland, with provincial assemblies for Leinster, Munster and Connacht having the same powers as the Stormont Assembly currently has. In practice, there is no demand for provincial or regional assemblies in Ireland (similar to the situation in England). There is no point in creating unwanted regional assemblies in Dublin, Cork and Galway - it would be another unwanted layer of bureaucracy]


    4. A committee of all TDs elected in the 6 counties will be formed to consider any issues of equality, etc. that might previously have been dealt with by the Assembly
    [ I am not sure what powers this committee should actually have - possibly a majority of either unionists or nationalists to have the power to force the Dáíl to reconsider legislation/decisions that affect inter-community relations in the North.

    Another consequence of this is that Dáil constituency boundaries will not cross the 6-county border ]


    5. The PSNI will continue as a separate police force responsible to the government in the same way as the Garda Siochána.
    [ This is probably necessary until the legal systems are synchronized ]

    6. Legal - the legal system North and South will gradually be brought into line.
    [ This will not be an overnight process - it might take many years ]

    7. Education - the 6 county education system will continue unchanged. Irish will not be compulsory in the 6 counties.
    [ Over time, a new national curriculum will be developed for North and South - this will be a long-term project ]

    8. Health - the health system will be merged as quickly as possible, starting immediately.
    [ There is no reason for there to be 2 separate administrations ]

    9. Social Welfare - the Northern Social Welfare system will be gradually transformed into the Southern one.
    [ There will be a transition period to ensure that there are no shocks for those involved ]

    10. Military - the Irish Army will take over British Army bases in the North.

    11. Flags/Anthems. The Tricolour to continue as the national flag. A new national anthem to be chosen. The Irish language version to be used at state events in the 26 counties and the English language version to be used at state events in the 6 counties.
    [ To be honest I am not sure about this point ]


    To be honest, I do not expect to see a united Ireland in my lifetime. Just looking at it from a regional perspective, a united Ireland means a huge diminution in the status of Belfast which would lose its "capital" status and be a city just like Cork. Perhaps having the Dáil sit in alternate years in Dublin and Belfast could be looked at. The economics of a United Ireland will be a huge issue - but it is so far away that it isn't really possible to consider this today.
    Vive le Québec libre ! Ag beathú na dtochardán ón mbliain 2007.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member SgtBilko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeGaulle 2.0 View Post
    Lots of posters seem to want a Green Paper for a United Ireland - so here's mine:

    My Green Paper for a United Ireland

    1. A united Ireland will happen by the 6 counties being incorporated into the Republic, similar to the way East Germany was incorporated into the existing West Germany.
    [There will be no grandiose new Republic declared - simply a continuation of the existing state]

    2. The Dáil will be increased in size proportionally to allow for the increase in population of the state.
    [ Based on an existing Dáíl of 158 seats this would result in a new Dáil of approx 221 seats.]

    3. The Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont will be abolished.
    [ There are a couple of reasons for this:

    a) the population of the 6 counties is too large relative to that of the country as a whole for it to be administered separately. A system where 6-county TDs are voting on issues affecting Munster, Leinster and Connacht but where Munster, Leinster and Connacht TDs cannot vote on issues affecting the 6 counties is simply undemocratic. This problem ("the West Lothian problem" as it is known in the UK) does not arise at present because NI is just 3% of the UK population.

    b) in theory, you could have a federal system of government in Ireland, with provincial assemblies for Leinster, Munster and Connacht having the same powers as the Stormont Assembly currently has. In practice, there is no demand for provincial or regional assemblies in Ireland (similar to the situation in England). There is no point in creating unwanted regional assemblies in Dublin, Cork and Galway - it would be another unwanted layer of bureaucracy]


    4. A committee of all TDs elected in the 6 counties will be formed to consider any issues of equality, etc. that might previously have been dealt with by the Assembly
    [ I am not sure what powers this committee should actually have - possibly a majority of either unionists or nationalists to have the power to force the Dáíl to reconsider legislation/decisions that affect inter-community relations in the North.

    Another consequence of this is that Dáil constituency boundaries will not cross the 6-county border ]


    5. The PSNI will continue as a separate police force responsible to the government in the same way as the Garda Siochána.
    [ This is probably necessary until the legal systems are synchronized ]

    6. Legal - the legal system North and South will gradually be brought into line.
    [ This will not be an overnight process - it might take many years ]

    7. Education - the 6 county education system will continue unchanged. Irish will not be compulsory in the 6 counties.
    [ Over time, a new national curriculum will be developed for North and South - this will be a long-term project ]

    8. Health - the health system will be merged as quickly as possible, starting immediately.
    [ There is no reason for there to be 2 separate administrations ]

    9. Social Welfare - the Northern Social Welfare system will be gradually transformed into the Southern one.
    [ There will be a transition period to ensure that there are no shocks for those involved ]

    10. Military - the Irish Army will take over British Army bases in the North.

    11. Flags/Anthems. The Tricolour to continue as the national flag. A new national anthem to be chosen. The Irish language version to be used at state events in the 26 counties and the English language version to be used at state events in the 6 counties.
    [ To be honest I am not sure about this point ]


    To be honest, I do not expect to see a united Ireland in my lifetime. Just looking at it from a regional perspective, a united Ireland means a huge diminution in the status of Belfast which would lose its "capital" status and be a city just like Cork. Perhaps having the Dáil sit in alternate years in Dublin and Belfast could be looked at. The economics of a United Ireland will be a huge issue - but it is so far away that it isn't really possible to consider this today.
    I stopped reading after you're first 14 words of point number 1.

    To have ANY chance of convincing any sceptic on the merits of a "United Ireland", you'll have to come up with something new...something better....and something attractive.

    Simply absorbing Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland is a bigger turn off than the thought of Barbara De Brun pole dancing.

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member RahenyFG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeGaulle 2.0 View Post
    Lots of posters seem to want a Green Paper for a United Ireland - so here's mine:

    My Green Paper for a United Ireland

    1. A united Ireland will happen by the 6 counties being incorporated into the Republic, similar to the way East Germany was incorporated into the existing West Germany.
    [There will be no grandiose new Republic declared - simply a continuation of the existing state]

    2. The Dáil will be increased in size proportionally to allow for the increase in population of the state.
    [ Based on an existing Dáíl of 158 seats this would result in a new Dáil of approx 221 seats.]

    3. The Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont will be abolished.
    [ There are a couple of reasons for this:

    a) the population of the 6 counties is too large relative to that of the country as a whole for it to be administered separately. A system where 6-county TDs are voting on issues affecting Munster, Leinster and Connacht but where Munster, Leinster and Connacht TDs cannot vote on issues affecting the 6 counties is simply undemocratic. This problem ("the West Lothian problem" as it is known in the UK) does not arise at present because NI is just 3% of the UK population.

    b) in theory, you could have a federal system of government in Ireland, with provincial assemblies for Leinster, Munster and Connacht having the same powers as the Stormont Assembly currently has. In practice, there is no demand for provincial or regional assemblies in Ireland (similar to the situation in England). There is no point in creating unwanted regional assemblies in Dublin, Cork and Galway - it would be another unwanted layer of bureaucracy]


    4. A committee of all TDs elected in the 6 counties will be formed to consider any issues of equality, etc. that might previously have been dealt with by the Assembly
    [ I am not sure what powers this committee should actually have - possibly a majority of either unionists or nationalists to have the power to force the Dáíl to reconsider legislation/decisions that affect inter-community relations in the North.

    Another consequence of this is that Dáil constituency boundaries will not cross the 6-county border ]


    5. The PSNI will continue as a separate police force responsible to the government in the same way as the Garda Siochána.
    [ This is probably necessary until the legal systems are synchronized ]

    6. Legal - the legal system North and South will gradually be brought into line.
    [ This will not be an overnight process - it might take many years ]

    7. Education - the 6 county education system will continue unchanged. Irish will not be compulsory in the 6 counties.
    [ Over time, a new national curriculum will be developed for North and South - this will be a long-term project ]

    8. Health - the health system will be merged as quickly as possible, starting immediately.
    [ There is no reason for there to be 2 separate administrations ]

    9. Social Welfare - the Northern Social Welfare system will be gradually transformed into the Southern one.
    [ There will be a transition period to ensure that there are no shocks for those involved ]

    10. Military - the Irish Army will take over British Army bases in the North.

    11. Flags/Anthems. The Tricolour to continue as the national flag. A new national anthem to be chosen. The Irish language version to be used at state events in the 26 counties and the English language version to be used at state events in the 6 counties.
    [ To be honest I am not sure about this point ]


    To be honest, I do not expect to see a united Ireland in my lifetime. Just looking at it from a regional perspective, a united Ireland means a huge diminution in the status of Belfast which would lose its "capital" status and be a city just like Cork. Perhaps having the Dáil sit in alternate years in Dublin and Belfast could be looked at. The economics of a United Ireland will be a huge issue - but it is so far away that it isn't really possible to consider this today.
    Good in theory but two things I have to have a go at.

    If unionists had to go into an United Ireland, they'd have to have their own assembly type government. A federal Ireland is the only form of government in which a United Ireland could function without vicious uproar from unionist communities. Perhaps a federal Ireland would be better for the whole of the island as the Dáil in the Republic has too much power while the local councils have too little.

    The Dáil sitting in alternate years in Dublin and Belfast would be a nuisance to politicians, administrators and journalists and it would cost too much money to do so.
    I have closed down this account, I am now The Rahenyite.

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    Politics.ie Member death or glory's Avatar
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    Blah, blah, blah.
    Its not going to happen

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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtBilko View Post
    I stopped reading after you're first 14 words of point number 1.

    To have ANY chance of convincing any sceptic on the merits of a "United Ireland", you'll have to come up with something new...something better....and something attractive.

    Simply absorbing Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland is a bigger turn off than the thought of Barbara De Brun pole dancing.
    For once, I agree with you. It can never be about absorption. Any UI will have to be about a new republic (The Third Republic), a new constitution (requiring a referendum for acceptance) emblems, etc. A complete redrawing of political constituencies with the number of TDs elected brought in line with European norms (representative per head of pop). Both countries have changed enormously over the last 10/15 years and it's no longer Catholic/Protestant. The Rep's population is predicted to increase by another million over the next 20 years. That will give up a population of 1 in 4 born abroad. That's a massive increase and will bring enormous changes, plus the first generation of immigrant children will be fully intergrated adults and hopefully be fully participating in all aspects of Irish society. Same applies to NI. How many will give a serious toss about traditional divides?
    If we got rid of all the papists, there'd be no trouble whatsoever. The place will be nirvana. Schomberg.

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    Politics.ie Member RedCloud's Avatar
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    Just one wee problem............the vast majority of people on the Northern side of the border, do not want it.
    Oops.
    Even with the usual caveats attached to opinion polls, a 65% to 17% majority for Northern Ireland remaining in the UK suggests little room for doubt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RahenyFG View Post
    Good in theory but two things I have to have a go at.

    If unionists had to go into an United Ireland, they'd have to have their own assembly type government. A federal Ireland is the only form of government in which a United Ireland could function without vicious uproar from unionist communities. Perhaps a federal Ireland would be better for the whole of island as the Dáil in the Republic has too much power while the local councils have too little.

    The Dáil sitting in alternate years in Dublin and Belfast would be a nuisance to politicians, administrators and journalists and it would cost too much money to do so.
    I would abolish county councils in their entirely and set up provincial/regional councils and I wouldn't wait for an UI for that.

    A federal Ireland just brings a further 4 layers of bureaucracy, not necessary and unaffordable. Besides federalism can bring division too and there is no call for in the provinces.
    If we got rid of all the papists, there'd be no trouble whatsoever. The place will be nirvana. Schomberg.

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    Politics.ie Member DeGaulle 2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runwiththewind View Post
    For once, I agree with you. It can never be about absorption. Any UI will have to be about a new republic (The Third Republic), a new constitution (requiring a referendum for acceptance) emblems, etc. A complete redrawing of political constituencies with the number of TDs elected brought in line with European norms (representative per head of pop). Both countries have changed enormously over the last 10/15 years and it's no longer Catholic/Protestant. The Rep's population is predicted to increase by another million over the next 20 years. That will give up a population of 1 in 4 born abroad. That's a massive increase and will bring enormous changes, plus the first generation of immigrant children will be fully intergrated adults and hopefully be fully participating in all aspects of Irish society. Same applies to NI. How many will give a serious toss about traditional divides?
    Of course it's going to be absorption by the Republic. There simply isn't any other alternative. A new constitution is not going to say anything much different than the old one. What would a new constitution say that the existing one doesn't?

    The size of the Dáil is in line with the parliaments of the Scandinavian countries. That's not an issue.
    Vive le Québec libre ! Ag beathú na dtochardán ón mbliain 2007.

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    Politics.ie Member physicist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RahenyFG View Post
    Good in theory but two things I have to have a go at.

    If unionists had to go into an United Ireland, they'd have to have their own assembly type government. A federal Ireland is the only form of government in which a United Ireland could function without vicious uproar from unionist communities. Perhaps a federal Ireland would be better for the whole of the island as the Dáil in the Republic has too much power while the local councils have too little.

    The Dáil sitting in alternate years in Dublin and Belfast would be a nuisance to politicians, administrators and journalists and it would cost too much money to do so.
    Just as a mathematical exercise to the hypothetical above --- Looking at a 6 county extension to the Dail you would have from the 63 seats going proportionate to first preferences...


    19 DUP, 17 SF, 8 UUP, 9 SDLP, 5 Alliance, 1 TUV, 3 Other Unionists, 1 Green and 1 left wing candidate.

    Now add that to the current Dail tally:
    Fine Gael (73)
    Labour Party (33)
    Fianna Fáil (19)
    Sinn Féin (14)->31
    People Before Profit (2)
    Socialist Party (1)
    WUAG (1)
    Independents (21)
    Vacant (1)
    Ceann Comhairle (1)


    What it would mean is that the current government would be 4 short of a majority a 111 block, Fine Gael would be 38 short, it would also mean Sinn Féin or indeed the Unionist bloc needing 79 other TDs more than double its to get into government while surrendering all power over the affairs of the 6 counties.

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    Politics.ie Member RahenyFG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by physicist View Post
    Just as a mathematical exercise to the hypothetical above --- Looking at a 6 county extension to the Dail you would have from the 63 seats going proportionate to first preferences...


    19 DUP, 17 SF, 8 UUP, 9 SDLP, 5 Alliance, 1 TUV, 3 Other Unionists, 1 Green and 1 left wing candidate.

    Now add that to the current Dail tally:
    Fine Gael (73)
    Labour Party (33)
    Fianna Fáil (19)
    Sinn Féin (14)->31
    People Before Profit (2)
    Socialist Party (1)
    WUAG (1)
    Independents (21)
    Vacant (1)
    Ceann Comhairle (1)


    What it would mean is that the current government would be 4 short of a majority a 111 block, Fine Gael would be 38 short, it would also mean Sinn Féin or indeed the Unionist bloc needing 79 other TDs more than double its to get into government while surrendering all power over the affairs of the 6 counties.
    If that was the case and these figures were a reality in a UI, FG/Labour could add either Alliance or SDLP to their ranks.
    I have closed down this account, I am now The Rahenyite.

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