Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Understanding the 2015 Marriage Referendum in Ireland: Constitutional Convention, Campaign, and Conservative Ireland
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2015-11) ; ; ;
    On 22 May 2015 the marriage referendum proposal was passed by a large majority of Irish voters and the definition of marriage in the constitution was broadened to introduce marriage equality. This referendum is remarkable for a number of reasons: (1) it is uniquely based on an experiment in deliberative democracy; (2) the referendum campaign was unusually vigorous and active; and (3) the voting patterns at the referendum point to a significant value shift along the deep seated liberal conservative political cleavage of Irish politics. This article provides an overview of the background to the referendum initiative, the campaign prior to the referendum, and the key factors that drove voter turnout and preference. Based on a post-referendum survey, we find that while support for the government of the day, political knowledge, and social attitudes have the same effects as commonly found in other referendums, the variation among social classes was less prevalent than usual and door-to-door canvassing by the two sides of the campaign impacted through turnout rather than vote preference. The voting behaviour of the different age groups suggests strong generational effects.
  • Publication
    Representative Democracy Takes a 'Deliberative Turn'
    (European University Institute, 2012-09)
    In a set of papers published in his final years, Peter Mair expressed strong and ever more urgent concerns over the state of party politics and the future of representative politics itself . The aim of this paper is to examine his thesis. I start in the next section by setting out the main points of Mair’s arguments on party and democratic failure. I next consider the question of whether the evidence supports such a perspective, or whether in fact there are signs of adaptability and change. This then leads to a discussion about the reform agenda in established representative democracies, an agenda that in a growing number of cases is bringing deliberation centre stage.