As part of the Hansard Society’s ‘A Year in the Life‘ study of newly elected legislators, this paper by Dr Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork) looks at the experiences of TDs in Ireland, following the 2011 election when nearly half of the Members of the Dáil Éireann were new to the role.
‘At Home In the New House’ looks 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.
On this final point, the report makes a series of recommendations for supporting new TDs in future, to enable them to be effective public representatives. It emphasises the importance of mentoring, policy briefings and practical support to help new TDs get up and running.
There are some striking similarities in the report with the experiences of new MPs at Westminster. 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 comparison to the experience of new AMs in Wales is that many new TDs find themselves sitting on two or three committees, with all the attendant time and additional work that involves.
This report was produced Dr Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork) in partnership with the Hansard Society. For more research and publications about the experiences of newly elected Members of Parliament, Members of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly Members, head to our ‘A Year in the Life‘ page.
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‘Exit day’ in UK law will need to be changed by Statutory Instrument in the last week of March, if the UK and EU agree an extension to the Article 50 period beyond its default 29 March expiry date.
In the run-up to the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March 2019 we will be tracking the progress made by government and Parliament in preparing the statute book for exit day. Our analysis draws on parliamentary data and our own Statutory Instrument Tracker which we built several years ago to support our research on delegated legislation.
The roles occupied by members of The Independent Group - particularly on select committees, where they retain a number of important posts and command two and a half times as many seats as the Liberal Democrats – could give them more influence than their small, non-party status might normally be expected to accord them.
In the House of Commons’ first debate today on potential new trade deals, two things are worth watching out for: the nature of the occasion itself; and any further information it elicits from the government about the process for making new trade agreements beyond the debate itself.
The cancellation of this week’s House of Commons recess provided the government with an extra few days to hold debates on affirmative Brexit SIs. But the low number of debates makes it a wasted opportunity. The government can get its Brexit SIs into force by 29 March, but probably only at the expense of what limited scrutiny already takes place for SIs.