Lucinda Creighton and the Irish Abortion Bill Vote

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  • Product Description

    Abstract:
    On June 16, 2013, the Irish government sponsored the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, which proposed to allow abortions when doctors determined the procedure was necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill was introduced in Ireland’s House of Representatives to much debate. Some Representatives who were opposed to the bill felt that that they should be entitled to vote their conscience rather vote the party line. The consequences of voting against the party were considerable: Representatives who did so would be immediately ousted from the party. Creighton voted against the bill and was automatically expelled from Fine Gael, her parliamentary party; the Government won the vote, 130 to 24. When asked about Fine Gael’s pre-election commitment to keep abortion illegal, she said, “I know in my own mind we made a clear commitment before the last election. I repeated that commitment, I meant it and held it sincerely. This legislation is a breach of that commitment.” The case is designed to facilitate discussion of the differences between the trustee and the delegate models of representation and an evaluation the relative merits of each as they pertain to definitions of ‘good representation.’ Students will formulate a personal definition of ‘good representation,’ identifying those characteristics specifically tied to representative ‘quality.’ Students should be able to analyze the interaction between intensity of preferences and public (or personal) assessment of representative ‘quality.’ Through the case and the class discussion, students will learn to develop personal frameworks and metrics for assessing the work of legislators in representative democracies; appropriately apply these frameworks and metrics to existing situations; demonstrate the capacity to engage in systematic comparative analyses of both normative and empirical information; and, justify arguments using articulately crafted, evidence-based ideas.

    Learning Objective:
    This case will facilitate discussion of the differences between the trustee and the delegate models of representation and an evaluation of the relative merits of each as they pertain to definitions of good representation. Students will form a personal definition of good representation, identifying characteristics tied to representative quality. Students should be able to analyze the interaction between intensity of preferences and public or personal assessment of representative quality.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: August 18, 2016
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 2073.0
    Case Author: Laura Winig
    Faculty Lead: David King
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 8
    Setting: Ireland
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Joseph B. Tompkins, Jr. Fund for Case Study and Research
    _year: 2016-2017
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: Europe
  • Warranty Information

    /review/2073_0_EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/2073_2.pdf

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