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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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Ireland’s decision to retain the Seanad is not the end of the country’s political reform process

On 4 October the Irish electorate voted against the abolition of Ireland’s upper house of parliament, the Seanad, in a referendum. John Fitzgibbon assesses the outcome of the referendum, noting that the campaign was largely framed around the idea of ensuring the political class received its fair share of cutbacks in the context of austerity policies. The fact that voters […]

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Brussels blog round-up for 22 – 28 June: MEPs in the limelight, France vs. the European Commission, and the EU’s new budget deal.

Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis  Friday sees a meeting of the European Council in Brussels. Ahead of the summit, the European Council on Foreign Relations presents the view from seven of the EU’s capitals. The European Commission released its draft budget for 2014-2020 on Wednesday. Open Europe looks at […]

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