Although they made sound like turkeys voting against Christmas, two Senators have made good arguments in favour of keeping Seanad Eireann.
Yesterday speaking to the Irish Times, Independent Senator Joe O’Toole had the following to say,
Speaking this afternoon, Sen. O’Toole acknowledged the existing arrangement was “undemocratic, unfair” and “unrepresentative” and described voting arrangements for the Upper House, where it does not have a universal mandate, as “indefensible”.
However, the independent senator said the abolition of the Seanad would suit the interests of the political parties.
“No political party, whatever they are saying, is going to be enthusiastic about a second chamber where they have to listen to the voices of different groups of people whether it be from the Gaeltachts, Northern Ireland, business, farmers, unions, unemployed, voluntary groups, arts community etc,” Sen. O’Toole said.
Then in today’s Irish Independent, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer also defended the Seanad saying
“I think the Seanad has a valuable role to play. Some people have latched on to the idea that abolishing it would save the country but I personally think it would be the wrong road to take,” he said.
“The amount of money saved from closing it would be miniscule. Reforming the Seanad would be better than abolishing it.”
These are the opinions of the people in that house. Surely they know how its works and are best placed to tell us that it needs reform which has been blocked by certain Senators.
- All Irish Parties Opposed to the Seanad, but are the people? (stephenspillane.com)
- Fianna Fail’s ‘shimmy’ on Seanad abolition… (sluggerotoole.com)