The clock is ticking
“They’ve changed the arrangements that apply to coalition governments” … Brian Cowen on the Greens just now on Six One. Apparently there’s an unwritten constitution for such governments. His tone of lecturing the Greens on how government works is not going to go down well. He is also mingling his roles of Taoiseach and FF party leader since he is using the latter to justify his attempted Cabinet moves.
Exact quote from Brian Cowen 11 minutes in to the interview
The Fianna Fail party as far as I am concerned as a component in this government has to ensure that we prepare for the next election and that we have our people in the field, the people who will do battle for us
Article 28 Section 4 of the constitution
4. 2° The Government shall meet and act as a collective authority, and shall be collectively responsible for the Departments of State administered by the members of the Government.
It’s very difficult to reconcile Cowen’s view that government functions can be applied for election positioning — and the breakdown in government functioning that it triggered — with the Constitution’s requirement for collective government.