Aftermath of the Irish Election

I recently ran in the Irish general election that was held on Feb. 26th as an Independent (Non-Party) candidate, campaigning on a platform of direct digital democracy.

As some of you may know, this election did not deliver a clear winner or even a clear coalition. A month on, a government has yet to be formed. While some prefer to see this as an argument in favour of the need for stronger government and an end to Independents like me, my view is that it is but one further indictment of the party system. The major parties did badly because they refused (for years) to listen to the people who voted for them, and utterly failed during their campaigns to credibly address any of the mistakes they had made or even to present reasonable solutions for the future. Despite these failures, rather than getting on with the business of governing the country, we are left in limbo waiting to see whether any of them (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Sinn Fein) will condescend to form a government with each other. This is a distinct possibility for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, who between them received nearly 60% of all seats with less than 50% of first-preference votes. The constantly trumpeted line that the public voted for the establishment parties is thus wildly over-stated, and there has definitely been a serious push towards alternative politics.

I definitely noticed this while out canvassing, with most people at least open to the idea of more participatory politics and a surprising number already fairly well-informed about participatory initiatives at home and abroad. Most surprisingly of all, I could knock on people’s doors out of the blue and they would not only answer the door, but read through my literature there and then and really engage with the issues.
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Why Chance Matters

Just saw the following event announced on PHILOS-L. Anyone know the speaker?


Why Chance Matters
with Prof. Mauricio Suárez
(Complutense University of Madrid & UCL)

Tue 12 April, 18.00 (drinks from 17.45)
@The Conservatory, Bloomsbury Publishing
50 Bedford Square, London.

Organised by UH Philosophy & Bloomsbury Philosophy

Free entry- all welcome – no booking required.
Please arrive early to secure a seat and enjoy a drink on us!

Facebook group for the event:


Chance has been raising intellectual passions at least since the concept of probability emerged firmly in the 17th century, in connection with both evidence in jurisprudence and regularities in so-called “games of chance”. Probabilistic thinking soon spread everywhere: from actuarial science to population statistics, from the calculus of expectations to decision theory, from measures of experimental error to quantum mechanics. Ideas of pure chance and randomness infected general culture and even the arts. Yet, there have been many attempts to deny the reality of chance. Those in denial have typically tried to explain away chance in terms of something else, something less “fickle”, “elusive” or “ephemeral”. But there is deep disagreement as to what that something else may be. Objectivists aim to analyse chance in terms of proportions in real or virtual populations. Subjectivists aim to analyse it away as a feature of the architecture of cognition – such as information, or partial degree of belief. Yet none of these denials of chance seems to apply across the board and, as I show, they are all subject to important conceptual objections anyway. I conclude that chance matters, not only to many areas of philosophy but also to social policy, and how we conduct our lives in general.
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