What Is The Best Electoral System?

In the aftermath of the UK general election, a lot of focus has shifted to the electoral system and questions have been raised over how fair and democratic it is. In particular, is it democratic for the Conservative party to win a majority of seats with only a third of the votes? Is it democratic for the 7.5 million people who voted for the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Greens to have only 10 seats? Surely the fact that 25% of voters got only 1% of the seats is a sign of a serious problem with the electoral system? How can we make the electoral system better? Continue reading “What Is The Best Electoral System?”

Can The Labour Party Be Saved?

The Irish Labour Party is in dire straits. Its vote has collapsed from 19.7% in the 2011 general election to only 7% in last months local election, causing its leader Eamon Gilmore to resign. Now there is a leadership election ongoing between Joan Burton and Alex White, both of which are making bland statements about what they would do as leader (neither have mentioned any policies or anything concrete). But is this simply a case of rearranging chairs on the Titanic and finding someone to take the poisoned chalice and lead Labour into election meltdown? Continue reading “Can The Labour Party Be Saved?”

Which Lesser Evil To Vote For?

I have a bit of a dilemma. You see the local and European election are on this Friday here in Ireland and considering my interest in politics, I will proudly do my duty and vote. The problem is the question of who to vote for. The options are pretty woeful. Irish politics is a mash of grey politicians who take turns to implement the same policies in government and criticise these very same policies in opposition. There is little difference between the parties and we seem doomed to get the same policies no matter who we vote for. Continue reading “Which Lesser Evil To Vote For?”

What Is Going On In Ukraine? An Explanation For the Confused

Every time you open a newspaper or turn on the news, the headlines are dominated by Ukraine. It is certainly a very important issue but also a very confusing one. Like most people you probably don’t quite understand what it is about. You have probably figured out that it involves a lot of protests, something to do with the President, Europe might be involved and now the Russians are intervening. But it probably seems like a great muddle of similar names, unfamiliar geography and complicated geo-political affairs. If you’re confused by all of this, don’t worry, everyone (including the Ukrainians) probably are, but hopefully this post will make things a bit clearer. Continue reading “What Is Going On In Ukraine? An Explanation For the Confused”

A Proposal For Direct Democracy

It’s fair to say that almost all people value our democratic government and are thankful we don’t live in a dictatorship. We value the ability to chose our leaders and influence our nation’s policies. However, it is also fair to say that almost all people know there are many flaws in our system. We complain about the distance between our leaders and the people. Every election raises the question of how much influence ordinary people actually hold and there seems to be an endless list of broken promises. The people’s voice is easily ignored and unpopular policies are often pushed through. So allow me to propose an idea for direct democracy that would solve this problem and bring the people and the government closer together. Continue reading “A Proposal For Direct Democracy”

Meath East And The Future Direction Of Irish Politics

Irish politics is in a great state of flux. Nothing is quite certain and the positions keep changing. After being fairly rigid and predictable since 1932, it was burst apart in the earthquake election of 2011 and things have yet to settle back into place. Every opinion poll shows the sudden rise or fall of another party, but failing to add much clarity to the situation. This is why the Meath East by-election is useful as it allows us to take stock of the situation and give us a rough idea of where things stand and what direction Irish politics is heading. Continue reading “Meath East And The Future Direction Of Irish Politics”

Double Standards On Gaza

Is an Israeli life worth more than a Palestinian life? Much of the commentary on the bombing of Gaza seems to suggest so. 5 Israelis and 156 Palestinians have been killed, yet the story seems to be how Israel is the victim. Great emphasis is put on Israel’s right to exist, little thought is given to the fact that Palestinians do not have a state of their own. Israel claims the right to defend itself while denying Palestinians right to do the same. It is a tragedy when an Israeli is killed, while little attention is paid to vast number of dead Palestinians. Great attention is given to Palestinian extremists while Israeli extremists are ignored. The history and root causes of the conflict are ignored and little effort is made to understand the conflict. Continue reading “Double Standards On Gaza”

Jesus Is Not A Republican

With an election coming up you can expect to hear a lot of Republicans say they are doing what Jesus would do because Jesus is a Republican. In fact Jesus probably has more in common with the Occupy Wall Street crowd than the Republican Party. He was an unemployed, hippie, immigrant, pacifist, socialist from a single parent household. Continue reading “Jesus Is Not A Republican”

Ron Paul – Radical Or Ridiculous?

Ron Paul is either a respectable, insightful voice of liberty or an eccentric old fool clinging to long out dated and daft ideas. A man who will save us from the clutches big government or someone who will deliver us into the claws of big business. Someone willing to challenge the PC brigade and speak the truth or a bigoted racist. A voice of common sense or a man ignorant of facts of life. A brave advocate of a new vision for American foreign policy or an isolationalist crank who wishes to cut America off from the rest of the world. A man who can bring great prosperity to the nation or economic Armageddon. Someone who belongs in the White House as leader of the free world or someone who belongs in a cave wearing a tinfoil hat, muttering conspiracy theories. Continue reading “Ron Paul – Radical Or Ridiculous?”