Fianna Fáil faces meltdown but Rainbow won't have the numbers

The most recent poll in the Sunday Business Post may have boosted spirits in Fine Gael and Labour, but the average of all published opinion polls since the last election still shows none of the coalition options being offered to the electorate would win an overall majority. By Colin Murphy

Bertie's backbencher woes

Last week's Irish Times tns-MRBI poll has sent shock waves through the Fianna Fáil backbenches, with loud complaints that the party leadership is out of touch with them and the party grassroots organisation, and that the link with the PDs is doing serious damage to the party.

Ray Burke was right

Ray Burke was corrupt, a politician who disgraced himself and his profession with his taste for accepting brown-paper bags full of cash.


Fine Gael: lasers and analogue – an audit of promises

'An analogue government for a digital age' was one of the clever sound bites devised from Enda Kenny's Presidential address at the Fine Gael ard-fheis on 6 May. He spoke of 'a world where we can send laser pulses 24 million km towards the planet Mercury', of a billion Google searches a day, of nine billion e-mails a year. The message was Fine Gael equals high tech, nano-second high performance, a digital party for a digital age. The reality is more prosaic, as an analysis of the promises 'rolled out' at the party conference reveals. By Vincent Browne

McDowell's brazen hypocrisy

Michael McDowell has promised legislation to reform the libel laws since he first became Attorney General seven years ago. In spite of these serial promises, nothing has emerged so far. One of the obvious reform of the libel laws is to remove the liability of printers and distributors from libel suits. At present the common laws exempts distributors where the distributor had no way of knowing the publication they are distributing carried a libel. There is no such exemption for printers.

Billy Flynn and the Minister

A few days before a crucial Dáil debate last year, Michael McDowell went to the home of Billy Flynn. There are widely conflicting accounts of how the meeting came about and what was discussed. By Vincent Browne

Electronic voting and participatory democracy

The emerging consensus that e-voting should be abandoned is a mistake. E-voting could deepen our democracy enormously, as well as participation rates in elections, if only the right system were obtained and if only there were a will to engage citizens more in democratic decision-making.