[E-voting] Ordinary Referendum

Garreth McDaid garreth at cyberspace.org
Fri Feb 20 20:29:26 GMT 2004


On Fri, 20 Feb 2004, Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:

>I think we should consider lobbying the president to refer the bill
>to the council of state and the supreme court - definitely, but
>I don't think the referendum is workable :(

Does anyone know if there are any members of the current Council of State
other than those appointed by the Constitution? ( the Taoiseach-FF,
theTanaiste-PD, the Chief Justice, the President of the High Court, the
Chairman of Dail Eireann-FF, the Chairman of Seanad Eireann-FF, and the
Attorney General.)

The President has the power to appoint up to 7 "arbitary" members, and
ex-Taoisaigh, ex-High Court Presidents, but I don't know if this happens
on an ad hoc basis or if such members are permanent.

If the legislation does go to the CoS, I can't imagine we'll get much out
of the likes of Mary O'Rourke, whereas John Bruton's participation would
be a real bonus.

Garreth


> On Thu, Feb 19, 2004 at 06:49:18PM -0500, Garreth McDaid wrote:
> > A couple of months back I suggested that one avenue of opportunity might
> > be an Ordinary Referendum (Non-Constitutional) but that this could only
> > happen if E-Voting was being introduced with primary legislation.
> > 
> > Now that legislation is forthcoming, would the Opposition consider using
> > this constitutional instrument (note: it has never been used before).
> 
> Hopefully not :)
> 
> It's not a plebicite, it's more like a popular veto:
> 
> Article 47 section 2 states:
> 
> "Every proposal, other than a proposal to amend the Constitution, which
> is submitted by Referendum to the decision of the people shall be held
> to have been vetoed by the people if a majority of the votes cast at
> such Referendum shall have been cast against its enactment into law and
> if the votes so cast against its enactment into law shall have amounted
> to not less than thirty-three and one-third per cent. of the voters on
> the register."
> 
> Given referenda have struggled to get this kind of turnout for the whole
> thing, it would have to be won by a very very large margin (we're
> talking 90% here).
> 
> > Remember, an Ordinary Referendum is initiated by the President based on a
> > petition signed by a majority of members in the Seanad and _a third_ of
> > members in the Dail.
> 
> The government have a majority in the Seanad :)
> 
> > http://www.oasis.gov.ie/government_in_ireland/referenda/ordinary_referendum.html
> > 
> > If nothing else, refering the Bill to the President (and probably the
> > Council of State) would delay the introduction.
> 
> I think we should consider lobbying the president to refer the bill
> to the council of state and the supreme court - definitely, but
> I don't think the referendum is workable :(
> 
> -- 
> Colm MacCárthaigh                        Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
> 





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