Irish Government 101
By jessicastaton on January 18, 2012
This guy is the President of Ireland. OF COURSE HE IS! His name is Michael Higgins. OF COURSE IT IS! With all due respect he's the cutest widdle pwesident I've ever seen. I wanna kiss his widdle bald head. He's a conservative, a poet, and a human rights activist. The presidential role is purely ceremonial in Ireland and he has little to do with actually running the country. President Higgins serves as Ireland's foremost ambassador, tasked with building confidence at home and goodwill abroad.
Ireland is run according to its constitution, which was adopted in 1937. The decisions for the country are made by the Prime Minister, Enda Kenny (a man). The Irish call the Prime Minister the Taoiseach, pronounced something like "tay-ow-a-seige". He or she nominates the other members of the Government. The Taoiseach also has authority to dismiss cabinet members from office and appoints eleven members of the Irish Senate.
The Irish call their Senate "Seanad Éireann" which means Irish Senate. The Senate is the the weaker of Ireland"s 2 part Parliament, which is called the Oireachtas. Dáil Éireann is the dominant branch of the Oireachtas. It is directly elected at least once in every five years under the system of proportional representation. It has power to pass any law it wishes so long as it does not violate the constitution.
Thus concludes the first installment of Irish Government 101. It's a lot to absorb (and attempt to pronounce) but I'll be back later with more info for expats on voting, political parties, etc.
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