Tomorrow morning in Dublin “Democracy Matters” will launch in Dublin. The campaign will be calling for the Seanad, instead of being abolished as suggested by the Government, that it be “radically” reformed based on the bill published recently by Senator’s Katherine Zappone and Feargal Quinn. The bill can be viewed here.
As well as the two senators, the others involved are former Senator Joe ‘Toole, former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell and journalist Noel Whelan.
The campaign is launching well before any date has been set for a referendum on abolishing the Seanad, but it is expected to take place in the Autumn of this year.
Already the opinion pieces have started. On Thursday Fine Gael Dublin Central TD and former Senator Paschal Donohue wrote a piece in the Irish Times entitled “Only political insiders would mourn the passing of the Seanad“. His piece contained the usual reasons for abolishing, lack of reform, lack of powers, lack of legitimacy and of course the cost as well as comparing it to other parliaments.
While those who want Seanad Eireann abolished always give out that it hasnt been reformed, they seem to be throwing the baby out with bath water as they seem to have given up on any chance of reform by abolishing it.
With proposals for Dáil Reform from Eoghan Murphy TD being discussed, should we really embark on the biggest change of Bunreacht na hEireann? Many already complain of the power of the whips and the government controlling the agenda of the Dáil, and the Seanad is the one place where they do not have that power, is it wise to get rid of that place? I have yet to be convinced.
I shall be attending the launch of Democracy Matters tomorrow so do watch my Twitter feed for details coming from that.
- Only political insiders would mourn the passing of the Seanad (irishtimes.com)
- The future of the Seanad (irishtimes.com)
- #DigitalLunch short: Seanad Reform… (sluggerotoole.com)
- Emigrants and Northern Irish to get vote in proposals to change face of Irish Senate forever (irishcentral.com)
- Cabinet allowed Seanad reform Bill to advance because it had little choice (irishtimes.com)
- Referendum proposing the abolition of the Seanad just weeks away… (sluggerotoole.com)
- Bill about ‘transformation’ of Seanad, says Zappone (irishtimes.com)