As part of the Hansard Society’s ‘A Year in the Life’ study of newly-elected legislators, this 2013 paper by Dr Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork) presented findings from research into the experiences of Members of Ireland’s Lower House (Dáil Éireann) after the 2011 election, when nearly half the Members (Teachtaí Dála, TDs) were new to the role.
‘At Home in the New House’ looked at the make-up of the new intake of TDs, their motivations for seeking election, their first impressions of the Dáil, the parliamentary and constituency aspects of their new role, their understanding of the legislative process, their relationship with the media, and the induction, orientation and long-term support available to them.
The report made a series of recommendations for supporting new TDs in future, to enable them to be effective public representatives. It emphasised the importance of mentoring, policy briefings and practical support to help new TDs get up and running.
These findings and recommendations were used by parliamentary staff to inform their approach to the provision of induction for the new intake of TDs following the 2016 election.
The report evidenced some striking similarities with the experiences of new MPs at Westminster, such as the ongoing need for help around aspects of procedure, the loneliness some experience in the role (despite their general love for it), and a conscious desire to avoid the national media.
A notable similarity with the experience of new Assembly Members in Wales was that many new TDs similarly found themselves sitting on two or three committees, with all the attendant consequences for their time and workloads.
The study was launched at the Dáil in 2013, with the Speaker (Ceann Comhairle), Sean Barrett, and Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe both speaking at the event.
Enjoy reading this? Please consider sharing it
Politics in Autumn 2020 will continue to be dominated by Coronavirus and the negotiations with the EU, as the end of the post-Brexit transition period approaches on 31 December. But what will this mean for parliamentary business in the coming months, and what scope will there be to tackle other issues? We pick 15 things to look out for.
Catherine McKinnell MP, Chair of the House of Commons Petitions Committee, sets out how the Covid-19 crisis has significantly increased the public’s use of e-petitions while limiting the House’s ability to debate them. This has prompted the Committee to innovate, to ensure that petitioners’ voices are heard during the crisis.
In a crisis the House of Commons is hamstrung if it is in recess, for MPs are not masters of their own House. While any MP can make representations to the government and the House of Commons Speaker to request a recall, under Standing Orders only a formal request from ministers to the Speaker can actually trigger one.
The Coronavirus pandemic has presented parliaments with significant technical, procedural and political challenges, at Westminster and around the world. This page brings together our Covid-19 content, covering the UK Parliament’s adaptation to the crisis, UK Coronavirus-related Statutory Instruments, and the responses of other legislatures around the world.
MPs should take the opportunity to show the government and their constituents that they want to have more say on free trade agreements than they did when the UK was inside the EU.
In order to incur expenditure the government needs to obtain approval from Parliament for its departmental spending plans. The annual Estimates process is the means by which the House of Commons controls the government’s plans for the spending of money raised through taxation.