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A fixed-term Dáil? August 11, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Michael McDowell in the SBP makes a point that is hard to disagree with in relation to the new Citizen’s Assembly. Well, actually he makes a number of points, suggesting that such Assembly’s should be redundant given we have elected representatives. Of course, and McDowell notes this too, the purpose of the CA appears to be to feed to the elected representatives (or those in government and those supporting the government from outside) political cover for a number of policy changes that they do not want to make of their own volition – particularly as he says on the 8th. So rather than the CA’s representing some bright new dawn in Irish politics in reality they represent a collective failure of nerve on the part of FG and FF plus assorted others.

But, that point that is hard to disagree with? He casts a jaundiced eye on the very idea of a fixed-term Dáil. He asks:

Why are we even thinking of having a constitutional change in relation to fixed-term parliaments. Who came up with this idea?


We have had long-lasting parliaments and governments for 20 years. And before that, we had a change of government from the FF/LP coalition to the Rainbow Coalition without an election in 1994.

And he adds:

If a coalition government falls apart and the members of the Dáil are not minded to replace the coalition with a different coalition as they did in 1994 the people are entitled to decide on the issue. We already have a constitutional role of the president to refuse a dissolution to a taoiseach who has lost the support of the Dáil. What more do we need?


Is the proposal designed to prod the electorate to vote for candidates and parties who will offer ‘long-lasting’ and ‘stable’ coalitions? Could be. Could be.


1. dublinstreams - August 11, 2016

i don’t see how it gives them political cover, who is going to be against abortion referendum of any kind and say oh well they had to listen to the CA I won’t complain and still vote for the TD.


2. John Goodwillie - August 11, 2016

The condition for full-term parliaments should be the reverse of the present constitutional position: the Dáil cannot be dissolved short of five years unless the President okays it.


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