Ireland

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    Ireland may vote Yes, but it never needed a referendum on same-sex marriage

Ireland may vote Yes, but it never needed a referendum on same-sex marriage

Ireland is holding a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage, with the result expected to be announced on Saturday. Brian Tobin writes that while the latest opinion polls suggest the electorate will back the proposal, there was never any legal necessity for it to be put to a referendum. He argues that it would have been possible to simply legalise […]

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    Ireland’s referendum on same sex marriage could be a watershed moment for equality

Ireland’s referendum on same sex marriage could be a watershed moment for equality

Ireland will hold a referendum on 22 May on a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Ireland which would permit same sex marriage. Éidín O’Shea writes on the referendum campaign, which has seen all major parties in the country support a Yes vote. She notes that while opinion polling shows strong backing for the proposal, the vote could nevertheless […]

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    A surge in support for independents and fringe parties is leading to an increasingly fragmented Irish party system

A surge in support for independents and fringe parties is leading to an increasingly fragmented Irish party system

The 2011 Irish general election is generally regarded as an ‘earthquake election’, with the governing Fianna Fáil party – traditionally the dominant force in Irish politics – suffering heavy losses and a Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition coming to power in its place. With the next general election due to be held within 18 months, Rory Costello assesses how party […]

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    The Irish European Parliament elections will be fought on the basis of personalities rather than parties

The Irish European Parliament elections will be fought on the basis of personalities rather than parties

Unlike most EU states, Ireland uses a Single Transferable Vote system for its European Parliament elections. As Rory Costello writes, the nature of the electoral system ensures that campaigns tend to be dominated by individual candidates, rather than parties, with research suggesting only 35 per cent of Irish voters base their decision on a candidate’s party. As a result, […]

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Ireland offers an example of the way in which gender quotas can be implemented in national parliaments

The issue of women’s representation in national parliaments has become more prominent over recent decades in several European countries. One mechanism for increasing the participation of women is the creation of gender quotas with respect to the number of female representatives within a parliamentary chamber. Fiona Buckley outlines the lessons from Ireland, where a law introducing gender quotas was passed […]

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The Eurozone is not suffering from an economic crisis, but a crisis of national politics

One of the most worrying aspects of the Eurozone crisis has been its effect on democracy. Sonia Alonso argues that while the crisis has weakened democracy in several countries, particularly with regard to the implementation of austerity policies against public opposition, this should not be understood as the imposition of technocratic policymaking from Brussels. She writes that national governments have […]

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