Monthly Archives: April 2013

Electoral System Reform in Ireland

de Valera on Time

Eamon deValera on the front Cover of Time Magazine in 1940, shortly after the plebiscite that adopted his 1937 Constitution, Bunreacht na hEireann

An interesting opportunity has presented itself in my native jurisdiction in the form of the Constitutional Convention and its upcoming deliberations on the Electoral System. Notwithstanding the Justice Minister’s comments on the national radio station this morning, where he was – at best – non-committal on the notion of bringing forward a constitutional referendum on Marriage equality despite the overwhelming vote at the convention, there appears to be a de facto legitimacy attaching to the convention through its deliberate and measured process, and quasi-legislative approach.  If any proof was needed of this, it was in the structure of Senator Mullen’s attack on the result of yesterday’s vote – a strong Catholic advocate, and predisposed to oppose marriage equality, Mullen’s response was not to attack the virtue or otherwise of the decision, but the process by which it was reached.  In attempting to undermine the process, he was directly attacking the legitimacy of the institution (and convention members would do well to refer to it as such) in order to mitigate its impact on the legislature that have retained the final say.  Continue reading

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