The Dáil must vote on the Bailout

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Charlie Flanagan TD has flagged up an interesting article in Bunreacht na hEireann on Facebook which could cause a headache for the Government.

The Constitution in Article 29.5.2 states

The State shall not be bound by any international agreement involving a charge upon public funds unless the terms of the agreement shall have been approved by Dáil Éireann.

This will lead to a few interesting days in the Dáil chamber. The Bailout cannot be drawn down on without the Dáil supporting the bailout. That means the Government will have to try and get that passed. Will they do it before the Budget? Will all the Government TD’s vote for the Bailout?

The Government may try and weasel out of a vote using Article 29.5.3 which states

This section shall not apply to agreements or conventions of a technical and adminstrative character.

But I don’t think the Attorney General or the Courts would support that decision.

So who is going to lobby their TD on this bailout?

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Time to jog the memory

Brian Cowen, the Taoiseach of Ireland.
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The Taoiseach and other Government Ministers can say what they want, but Stephen Kinsella posted this video up which may jog some memories. They certainly saw this coming and the ERSI was not alone in warning us about the fact that we were in for a hard landing.

Ye are fooling no one lads. Its time to change the record on that one.

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[Think 09] Could the Elections finish Cowen?

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Originally posted on the thinkaboutit.eu blog

Ethan’s post about the fact that the European Election could be another nail in the coffin for Gordon Brown, got me thinking could it be the same in Ireland to the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen . In fact an article in on the Irish Independent’s website wonders the same thing.

In the last election in 2004 Fianna Fail lost two MEP’s and 80 Councillors, this time out they could loose two MEPs a similar amount of councillors PLUS a seat in Dáil Eireann (Lower house of Parliament). Also up for grabs is  another seat in the Dáil formerly held by an Independent. June 5th is being dupped a “Super Friday” here in Ireland due to the Local, European and Bye-Elections all being held at the same time and could become a “Super Headache” for Brian Cowen.

The latest poll by Predict 09 for Ireland forecast that Fianna Fail will loose two of its MEP’s. The gainers from this will be Labour and Sinn Fein which will retain a seat due to Fianna Fail loosing it. (NOTE: Ireland is going from 13 seats to 12)

Since the last election of course things have gone badly wrong and this is Cowen’s first electoral test since becoming Taoiseach last year. Loosing seats is not something he wants to happen, but I think most in Fianna Fail are resigned to it.

Some of the Fianna Fail MEP’s have no mention of Fianna Fail on their campaign cars. Brian Crowley, MEP for Ireland South, is one such MEP. His Mercedes has no mention of Fianna Fail and you have to look very closely at his posters to see a mention of Fianna Fail. Does he see the writing on the wall?

June 6th and 7th will give lots of interesting results!

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So much for Independent State Broadcaster

So tonight RTÉ apologised for the airing of the report about the Nude Pictures of Brian Cowen last night. The Government seam to be trying to censor RTÉ at all times and this is the second one I know of. The first is Ministers been given a g0-over in interviews. Suzy has of course the full catalogue of pressure RTÉ are under from the Government.

Slugger have a PR from Dublin North Fianna Fail TD Michael Kennedy which gives an insight to how FF see this:

“Regardless of who the incumbent is, the position of An Taoiseach deserves respect, especially from our national public service broadcaster.”
“For an item like this to be given so much air time beggars belief and raises serious questions about the agenda at play in the RTE newsroom. It was obviously seen as a piece of entertainment – biased and partisan entertainment. It was the most tasteless item (I will not refer to it as ‘news’ as it clearly wasn’t) I have seen for many years.”
“It is evident that RTE management have long since given way to the celebrity culture where reporters and presenters have been allowed become commentators in constant pursuit of their own ‘celebrity cult’, rather than simply reporting the news in a straight forward manner, without their personal point of view.”
“The incoming RTE Authority should have a hard look at the direction the broadcaster is heading.  Maybe a change at the top and a back to basics approach in terms of RTE’s public service remit would be a start,” concluded Deputy Kennedy.

And of course here is the apology (via @handelaar)

Follow the debacle on twitter with the tag #picturegate

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Taoiseach Answers Our Questions

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Well, Brian Cowen did answer some of the questions posed by the public to him in his online Q&A, try and keep your eyes open during the video’s. I think that is the harder task, I didn’t realise he was that boring, and people give out to me that Enda is boring (he is but Cowen is worse in these videos). And if you are wondering, he didn’t answer my “loaded” question. The videos are all below.

Welcome and Thanks

The Economy

The Pension Levy

The Political Situation

The Smart Economy

Are you still awake? Fair play? I wonder will they try this again?

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FF split on joining ELDR??

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According to John over at Semper-Idem splits seam to be developing between the National Party and the MEP’s in Brussels. I wonder why that is?

This of course was announced with great fanfare at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis by an Taoiseach Brian Cowen. He said in his opening speech the following:

Given the changing role of the Parliament and the new structures of its groups, Fianna Fáil has no alternative but to reconsider current arrangements. We need to strengthen our work with others who share our basic approach while insisting on the right to vote in accordance with the views of the people we represent. To that end, we will soon advance a proposal to join, for the first time, a pan-European party – the European Liberal, Democratic and Reform Party. Our representatives have been part of that party’s group in the Council of Europe for some time and this has worked out well – particularly because it is a group which works hard to respect the views of smaller countries.

Following June’s election, should everything progress as expected, we will then consider joining the parliamentary group to which the ELDR is affiliated. I am confident that we can negotiate a position that will strengthen our voice and that of all people who believe in a Europe of states working closely together.

Yet in yesterdays Irish Times Brian Crowley MEP insisted that “”no deal had yet been done” on whether the FF MEPs would join the ALDE Group in the parliament. I wonder why he said that? Is it because he knows that he will lose many of his perks if FF leave the UEN? What perks you ask? Well as co-president of the UEN (A position he is unlikely to attain in the ALDE Group) he is entitled to a car! He doesn’t seam willing to give that up.

All know that my prediction of the end of the UEN being in 2009 seams to be accurate enough.

This is posted on the Thinkaboutit.eu website aswell! Do read and rate it there!

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The Next Taoiseach of Ireland: Brian Cowen

Based on a post I orginally posted on The Political Gay over on GayCork

Tomorrow Brian Cowen will be elected Taoiseach of Ireland. The Big question will be the result of the reshuffle? Will Harney be replaced by Cannon? Who will get Finance? Who will be dropped and who will be promoted.

I have a feeling Lenihan will get Finance and Tániste. If that happens I think Coughlan could move to Justice. The poison chalice is the big Question though, if Hareny leaves Health who will take over? Cannon won’t want it, if he has any sense. It will be interesting to have an Governemnt Minister in the Seanad though! It will increase its poistion within the political system.

Another question is will he drop any policies? will he try and renegiate the Programme for Government? I doubt on both of these. No Irish Government policy has major opposition in public opinion like 42 days and ID’s in the UK. Of course the first month will be taken up with Lisbon, but that could be the waste of the Honeymoon period also.

What I want to know is will we see Civil Partnerships (Unions or whatever) under Cowen? Ahern was great on rhetoric but will Cowen take the action?

Random Facts:
He was born 10 January 1960 and was first elected in 1984 to represent constituency of Laois-Offaly. He has served in the following Ministries: Minister for Labour (1992–1993), Minister for Energy (1993), Minister for Transport, Energy & Communications (1993–1994), Minister for Health & Children (1997–2000), Minister for Foreign Affairs (2000–2004) and until tomorrow Minister of Finance.

He has wide ranging expeirence in a number of portfolios so has the potential to be a good Taoiseach.

The question is will he face the same problems has Gordon Brown? He is taking over from a popular Taoiseach, granted he has been dogged lately by the Tribunal, but he is popular in Ireland none the less.

He was not leader of the Party when elected. This isnt as big an issue as in the UK considering when we go to the polls you can vote for every party, as is the way with PRSTV. While in the UK you vote for one and thats the leader you expect. I dont see accusations of being ‘unelected’ being bandied about as much as they are with Brown.

Time will tell if he ‘dithers’ like Gordon. I dount he will though.

Of course he will always be BIFFO* to me dispite the fact he is Taoiseach!

*Note: I take BIFFO to mean “Big Ignorant F***er From Offaly” not “Big Intelligent Fellow From Offaly”