Electoral Reform Bill 2020 Ireland Essay
This essay discusses the electoral reform bill of 2020 in Ireland. In this context, it is important to understand that Ireland is a republic and is a part of the European Union.
However, Northern Ireland is still a part of the United Kingdom politically and legally. The country (Ireland) has its constitution and its own set of rules and regulations.
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It has governmental institutions like an independent electoral commission that overlook the election process within the state. Very recently an electoral reform bill has been published. The excerpts from the bill are discussed in this essay.
According to the electoral reform bill the responsibility of conducting elections across Ireland is presently distributed among various departments in the Irish government and it is distributed among the statutory agencies as well as the different components of the Irish parliament.
In this context, it is pertinent to mention that the Irish governments elected in 2011 and that in 2016 also drafted electoral commission bills that were not implemented.
History of Irish Election Commission
Before discussing the Irish electoral reform bills of 2020, it is important to discuss the history of the election commission in Ireland.
After the general elections of 2016, the Irish government decided to establish an independent election commission that is accountable to the Irish legislation.
In that year the Irish government brought the Electoral Commission Bills in departments such as planning, housing.
Subsequently, many bills were brought from time to time by successive governments in Ireland. There were governments in Ireland that drafted the electoral reforms bill but did not bother to implement them.
Very recently the electoral reforms bills of 2020 came into existence. The following paragraph of this essay will provide informative insights on that bill.
Electoral Reform Bills 2020
After the general elections of 2020, a coalition government was formed and its objective is to build an electoral commission as soon as possible. Ministers of state at departments of housing, Local governments, and heritages were responsible for electoral reforms.
Subsequently, the bill was produced and duly approved by the cabinet by the end of 2020. The bill was published in January 2021.
After the publishing of the bill scrutiny was arranged by the joint committee of the Irish legislature and for that public meetings were arranged, various political parties were invited to express their opinions about the bill.
The concerned ministry that produced the bill will then change the draft accordingly and formally bring it before the Irish legislature.
The purpose of the electoral reform bill of 2020 in Ireland is to modernize the electoral registers. It also aims to set up an electoral commission with at least 7 or 9 members along with the permanent staff. The provisions for setting up the electoral commission are designed as per the “policing authority” that was set up in the year 2015.
The electoral commission according to the bill will consist of 5 to 7 members that are appointed by the Irish president.
The commission will consist of the chairperson appointed by the Irish judiciary for a 7-year term. There will be another 4 to 6 experts appointed by the Government of Ireland for 4 years in the commission.
Besides, there will be 2 ex-officio members (the ombudsman and the clerk) in the commission.
The staff of the electoral commission would comprise members of the state civil services along with a chief executive as per recommendations from another commission (public services appointment).
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Functions of the Electoral Commission established by the Electoral Reforms Bills 2020 Ireland
This section of the essay discusses the functions of the Electoral Commission that is established by the Electoral Reforms Bills of 2020 in Ireland.
In this context, it is important to say that the Irish electoral commission is greatly inspired by its counterparts in Australia and the UK. These functions are listed as follows:-
- Referendum campaign
- Constituency boundary
- Voter’s education and also participation
- Maintaining records of various Irish political parties
- Work out policy strategy and engage in relevant researches
- Maintaining the registers for electoral purposes
- Dealing with electoral fraud and also dealing with interfering in elections by foreign entities
- Supervising the returning officers
- Tracking financing of election campaigns
- Publication of election results
- Overlooking Seanad elections
- Setting up standards for voting electronically in Ireland
This is a limited-worded essay and it tried to encompass the various aspects of the electoral reform bills of 2020 on Ireland.
To know more on the General Scheme of the Electoral Reform Bill 2020 please visit the QQIAssignments.com on the web.
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