Representation and reform
Tuairim, the government and the Oireachtas
in Tuairim, intellectual debate and policy formulation
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This chapter considers Tuairim’s contributions to debates on both administrative reform and the quality of ideas informing public policy. It assesses the influence Tuairim had on debates during the referenda on the electoral system and the extent to which the society convinced the political establishment of the need for Oireachtas reform. Where Labour’s interest in a more consensual form of politics meant it was amenable to Tuairim’s views the two main political parties seemed wedded to a more adversarial system of government. And yet the society did influence the way policy was formulated; this was most evident with the recognition of the central importance of economic planning to Ireland’s future. While the momentum for change increased, resistance to reform remained as many politicians rejected reforms when they felt their political interests to be directly threatened.

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