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« The More Things Change (etc. etc. etc.) | Main | Beyond Fiscal Clichés »

April 18, 2020


Guy Stephenson

I like the thinking here. We need more voices to be heard, reminding us that there are real alternatives to the narrative being pushed by Fianna Gael.
Yes! to the cabinet builder game - great idea!

Peter Emerson

Brilliant. The idea of allowing TDs to cast preferences (a) in decision-making and (b) when electing a cabinet is, yes, brilliant. (If modesty permits.) With the Irish Times and others, we (the de Borda Institute) ran an experiment in Ballymun in 2016, a public meeting to show just exactly how a matrix vote (as it's called) could work. Basically, (the people elect the Dáil as at present and) instead of following an open and transparent election with closed and opaque negotiations, the TDs elect a Cabinet, each choosing, in order of preference, those whom they want to be in Government and in which Ministry: hence the name, matrix. It is of course electronic: a GNU could be elected in a day.
More on

John Baker

As soon as I saw your suggestion, Michael, that it would be an interesting exercise to think of a good progressive cabinet, I thought of Peter Emerson's idea of a matrix vote. Peter's suggestion above is for a vote of the whole Dail, but if we were still thinking, pace Peter, of a government v opposition scenario, the matrix vote could still feature as a vote taken among the government-forming parties' TDs only, for forming their cabinet. The advantage of this form of selection is that every minister would be elected in a cross-party fashion. Worth exploring.

Michael Taft

Thanks, Peter and John. However, my suggestion was for someone to put up on-line to do one of those 'Nominate the best Cabinet Minister' for people to respond to. I wasn't suggesting it as something formal for the Dail. But that might work, too.

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