Projects on the General Election 2011

What is A Coalition Government,

A coalition government is a cabinet of aparliamentary goverment in which several parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament. A coalition government might also be created in a time of national difficulty or crisis, for example during wartime, to give a government the high degree of perceived political legitimacy it desires whilst also playing a role in diminishing internal political strife. In such times, parties have formed all-party coalitions (national unity goverments, grand coalitions). If a coalition collapses, a confidence note is held or a motion of no confidence is taken.

Advocates of proportional representation suggest that a coalition government leads to more consensus-based politics, in that a government comprising differing parties (often based on different ideologics) would need to concur in regard to governmental policy. Another stated advantage is that a coalition government better reflects the popular opoinion of the electorate within a country.

Those who disapprove of coalition governments believe that such governments have a tendency to be fractious and prone to disharmony. This is because coalitions would necessarily include different parties with differing beliefs and who, therefore, may not always agree on the correct path for governmental policy. Sometimes the results of an election are such that the coalitions which are mathematically most probable are ideologically infeasible, such as in Flanders or Northern Ireland. A second difficulty might be the ability of minor parties to play "Kingmaker" and, particularly in close elections, gain far more for their support than their vote would otherwise indicate.

Coalition governments have also been criticized for sustaining a concensus on issues when disagreement and the consequent discussion would be more fruitful. To forge a consensus, the leaders of ruling coalition parties can agree to silence their disagreements on an issue to unify the coalition against the opposition. The coalition partners, if they control the parliamentary majority, can collude to make the parliamentary discussion on the issue irrelevant by consistently disregarding the arguments of the opposition and voting against the opposition's proposals — even if there is disagreement within the ruling parties about the issue.

Powerful parties can also act in an oligocratic way to form an alliance to stifle the growth of emerging parties. Of course, such an event is rare in coalition governments when compared to twoparty systems, which typically exists because of stifling the growth of emerging parties, often through discriminatory monination rulesregulations and plurality voting systems, etc.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they will have to vote against the party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive powers.

Aoife Kearney

One of our Local T.D.s Joe Higgins

Joe Higgins was first elected in 1991 to Dublin County Council . Joe was elected to the Dail in 1997 .In 2003 Joe Higgins was sent to Mountjoy jail for a month over his opposition to the Bin Tax which was a new stealth tax on Dublin householders . Joe Higgins raised 10 demands in his election campaign here they are.

1.Defend workers 'rights and communities against EU attacks

2.Defend pay and invest in public services

3.Tax big business and the super rich

4.Emergency state action to provide jobs

5.Open up the education system

6.For a real public health service for all

7.Nationalise the banks and tackle the housing crisis

8.Build an economy based on needs and environmental sustainability not profit

9.Build a new mass party for working people

10.International solidarity not EU militarism

Joe Higgins is a part of the United Left Alliance. Joe works hard for the Dublin 15 Area and for Ordinary Working Class People .

Jack Ward.

The Number of T.D.s in the Dail

Under the Constitution of Ireland there must never be fewer than one TD for every thirty thousand of the population, no more than one for every twenty thousand. In the 29th Dáil there was one TD for every 25,000 citizens. This is in line with many other EU member state national parliament ratios with Malta having one MP for every 6,000 citizens and Spain having one MP for every 130,000 citizens.

Ireland has a similar MP to Citizen ratio to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. With the adoption of the current constitution in 1937 the membership of the Dáil was reduced from 153 to 138, but in the 1960s the number was increased to 144, only to be increased more substantially in 1981 to the current figure of 166

Martin Giembicki

Allowances for defeated T.D.s

TDs who lose their seats are entitled to a termination lump sum equivalent to about two months’ salary. This is not taxable.

In addition, they get termination payments each month for up to a year, with the amount based on the number of years service. A TD with 10 years service would get six payments of 75 per cent of their salary and two at 50 per cent of their salary. To qualify, the TD must have three years service and these payments are taxable.

When these termination payments cease, the former TD is paid a pension lump sum, equivalent to about three times the annual value of the pension. TDs’ annual pensions are based on 1/40th of a year’s salary, so a TD with 20 years in the Dáil would get a pension of 50 per cent of their salary. Additional allowances for chairing committees or acting as a whip are reckonable for pension purposes.

Members must be at least 50 to qualify for a full pension and lump sum, though reduced amounts can be paid once they are over 45.

A TD with 20 years of service would receive an annual pension of just under €50,000, a pension lump sum of €160,000, a termination lump sum of €16,400, six termination payments of €6,151 a month followed by six further payments of €4,101.

Ministers who lose their seats are entitled to severance payments for two years. In the case of former ministers such as Pat Carey and Mary Hanafin, these severance payments are worth about €88,000 each, but Mary Coughlan’s would be slightly higher because she was tánaiste. Junior ministers will get severance payments of about €46,000 each.

Ministers who retained their seats will have to forgo their severance payments as a result of a policy change by party leader Micheál Martin. This means re-elected former ministers such as Brian Lenihan, Brendan Smith and Eamon Ó Cuív will not receive the payment.

Fianna Fáil ministers who did not run for re-election will be entitled to collect the severance payment. Former Green Party ministers Eamon Ryan and John Gormley have said they will give their payments to charity or to the party. All ministerial severance payments are taxable.

The annual salary rate for TDs is €92,672, rising to €98,424 after over 10 years’ service.

Newly elected Independent TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan has said he will take a 50 per cent cut in his salary, while another Independent, Mick Wallace, says he plans to forgo the allowance paid to Independent TDs.

Ignas Grubliauskas

Dubliin West 2011 GE Lineup and Results

We live in the Dublin west constancy .There are four seats available in this area for the 2011 general election.

There are five parties and independent candidates looking for votes.

In Dublin west the candidates are

For Labour are Joan Burton and Patrick Nulty

For Fianna Fail are Brian Lenihan and David Mcguinness

For Fine Gael are Kieron Dennison and Leo Varadkar

For Sinn Fein are Paul Donnelly

For the Green Party are Rodoric O’ Gorman

Independent candidates are Joe Higgins and Clement Esebmen.

The general election took place on the 25th February 2011

The reults of the election are

Fine Geal got 76 seats in the Dail

Labour got 37 seats in the dail

Fianna Fail got 20 seats in the dail

Sinn Fein got 19 seats in the dail

The Green Party got 0 seats in the dail

Joan Burton for Labour was the first candidate re-elected in the 2011 election.

Also re-elected were Brian Lenihan for Finna Fail and Leo Varadkar for Finna Gael.

Joe Higgins regained his seat in the dail once again.

Matthew Egan

The New Dail

The members of the 31st Dáil convened for the first time on 9 March 2011 and elected Kenny as Taoiseach by a vote of 117–27.Kenny received his seal of office from President Mary McAleese. He also announced ministerial appointees to his Government on 9 March 2011. At just under 59 years and 11 months on accession, Kenny is the second-oldest person to assume this office.

On 9 March 2011, Kenny appointed 15 junior Ministries. He also appointed a Minister for political reform, and sent a request to the OPW as to how he could address ministerial mercedes transport. On March 15th it was announced that only the current President, the tanaiste, the Minister for Justice and Enda were to have Garda drivers. All other Ministers would have to make use of their own transport with a mileage allowance and a commercial chauffeur as an expense. There was no announcement as to the continuing engagement of three government jets.

According to a report in the Sunday Mirror, Kenny will be the first Taoiseach to use the Steward's Lodge at Farmleigh as his official residence

Andrew Moisan

Enda Kenny

enda kenny is the new taoiseach for the country,he is the head of fine gael. fianna fail got voted out this year bacause they couldnt run the country or sort the bills.enda kenny has alot to catch up on if we want to come out of recession very soon. he has 14 to 20 in his cabinet to take different jobs on different portfolios .the department of education,department of enterprise,department of transport,department of fininace,each one has there own part in running the country for the taoiseach enda kenny. hopefully this time it will work out. joe higgins who is local got voted in and joan burton who is also local got a place in the constiituency. its nice to know people around you are trying to help. enda kenny showed a lot of support for the country when we hit hard times and had the respect to work hard to get everyones support. enda keny and his party had his photograph with the president of ireland taken as a start that there the new country. the end

Dylan Farrell

The New Government

The newly formed Fine Gael-Labor Coalition government will change the way Ireland is governed with immediate effect – with 25,000 civil servants set to lose their jobs as a result.

Details of the programme for government agreed by the two parties were rubber-stamped at Special Delegates meetings of both Fine Gael and Labor in Dublin on Sunday.

Enda Kenny will be elected Prime Minister and Labor’s Eamon Gilmore his deputy when the 31st sitting of the Irish parliament meets for the first time on Wednesday.

But those appointments are only the tip of the iceberg as far as the governance of Ireland is concerned according to the 64 page document outlining the new agreement between the Coalition partners.

Key details of the new deal include:

- The Department of Finance will be split into two Ministries, focused on fiscal planning and the banking sector

- A Fine Gael Minister will lead the fiscal planning Ministry, most likely Michael Noonan

- A Labor Minister will take charge of the banking sector, most likely Joan Bruton

- An Economic Council will be set up to ensure an equal decision making process between the two parties and to determine economic policy

- The two parties have agreed to reduce the national deficit to three percent by 2015 in line with the EU/IMF bailout

- The new Coalition will adhere to the first two year outline of the outgoing Fianna Fail-Green government’s four year plan

- Income tax will not be increased

- Social Welfare payments will not be cut

- Public Sector numbers will be cut, by 21,000 workers by 2014 with a further four to five thousand job cuts to follow

- Child benefit will not change in the immediate future

- Funding for Third Level education will be examined but any changes will not affect access to further education for all students

- The number of TDs will be reduced in line with the 2011 Census

- Ministers’ salaries will be cut, political expenses will have to be vouched for andseverance payments for ministers will be cut

Abdul Ali

Joan Burton

Joan has 12 steps to recovery to make a better Ireland they are, 1) No more income tax for the 95% of people earning less than 100,000 a year. People have been hammered by recent budget changes, and can’t take any more, 2) Steady, measured deficit reduction that leaves room for growth and jobs. Aggressive austerity will delay recovery, cost jobs and embed long-term youth unemployment. We can’t cut or tax our way to recovery. Instead, we have to give growth a chance to do more of the heavy lifting, 3) Secure a better deal for Ireland. We are seeking a mandate to re-negotiate the crippling terms of the EU-IMF deal. The interest rate must be reduced, and the banks forced to face up to more of their losses, 4) Better, fairer, more affordable healthcare. Within existing resources, Labour will deliver free GP care within 4 years, and subsidized hospital cover for all by year 6, 5) Reduce the welfare bill by getting people working, cracking down on fraud and reforming the Rent Allowance Scheme, 6) Get credit flowing to small, viable business so they can get the loans they need to keep paying wages and suppliers. We will introduce a loan insurance scheme to increase the lending capacity of existing banks, 7) Protect Child Benefit. Our Children are our future. Families have been hit with repeated cuts in child benefit. Further cuts will be counter-productive, putting children at risk as families are forced to cut back on essentials, 8 )Invest in Education. Finland recovered from its 1990s recession by stepping up targeted investment in schools. Ireland can do the same. Labour will prioritise basic numeracy & literacy and ensure class sizes rise no further, 9) Reform and improve our public services. Ireland needs a dynamic, cost-effective public sector. Labour will work with public servants to deliver savings while protecting our schools, police and hospitals from draconian cuts, 10) Fix our broken banks. Irish taxpayers have paid a heavy price for the bankers’ mistakes. The focus should now be on urgently fixing the banks and cutting their costs at least cost to the taxpayer. We will put a stop to profiteering on the backs of variable rate mortgage holders, 11) Help families in financial distress. Mass repossession would hurt families and drive property prices down further. Labour will guarantee that no family loses the roof from over their heads for the duration of the current recession and 12) Get Ireland Working.We will establish a dedicated 500m Jobs Fund to create 30,000 jobs insulating homes, 30,000 internships on a Graduate & Apprentice Placement Scheme and give people tax-back for full-time study. We are committed to giving people the skills they need for the jobs they want.

Andrew Broughill