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Seanad Referendum - a camouflaged erosion of Constitutional rights?

category national | rights and freedoms | feature author Friday September 20, 2013 16:14author by nmn Report this post to the editors

featured image
A worrying undermining of our democracy??

The coming referendum on the abolishment of Seanad Éireann would, if passed, remove the existing constitutional right of the President to refer proposed Bills to the people for a referendum. It would pass the initial responsibility of passing Bills into law onto the Dáil alone - a dangerous development, particularly where any ruling party might hold an overall majority.

A vote to abolish the Seanad would in fact pass most law making decisions that impact upon the people to the Dáil alone, passing such responsibility to a single parliamentary body, thus removing existing safeguards meant to protect against the introduction of unconstitutional or politically or otherwise motivationally biased law.

Abolition of the Seanad would mean that a single body, the Dáil, will be responsible for passing any new laws through parliament, which must then be signed into law by the President.

However, the existing constitutional right of the President to refer any Bill to the people for referendum will be removed from the Constitution.



With access to justice slowly being priced out of the reach of the ordinary citizen and making individual public legal challenges prohibitively expensive, this is a move that will result in the passing of extraordinary measures of unchecked power to the Dáil.

Although this aspect of the referendum is considered important enough to be detailed in the initial section of the Referendum Commission's public information booklet, it only appears on a secondary page of 'other changes' on the Referendum Commission's website and does not appear in the list of 'Main Changes'. One might wonder why, when this is a move that effectively removes the right of the people to decide on important changes in law that directly affects them.

Perhaps someone may care to comment or throw additional light on this.

http://www.referendum2013.ie


A worrying undermining of our democracy??
David Norris saw this coming when he delivered this breathless speech

author by Tpublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:11Report this post to the editors

The way this referendum is being presented is that removal of it is the same as reforming it which is pure nonsense.

If we want to reform it, then it should be retained and thus people should vote No. A vote of Yes is just a lazy reflex action that has absolutely no guarantee of any improvement.

author by fredpublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 14:49Report this post to the editors

look at the poster in the background of the image below. These bloody posters are all over the place. Very misleading yet convincing to the ill informed ordinary person sick of politicians lying and with their heads in the trough.

The fact that the poster itself is a cynical lie and propaganda for a blatant power grab by the current political elite is easily missed.
Sure, there will be "fewer politicians" if we vote yes, but those that remain will be less accountable to the public. That means the ones that remain can act even worse. And once it's gone, good luck getting the second chamber back. Ever! with suitable reforms it could strengthen democracy. But Stephen Donnelly makes the most salient point in his speech:

"if you are in a leaky boat and wearing a life jacket, and someone tells you they promise they will fix the leaky boat if you throw away your life jacket, would you do it? Of course you wouldn't. It makes no sense. Fix the boat first. Then revisit whether you can now throw away your life jacket."

i.e. fix the dail first, THEN if you still wish to, you can revisit the question of whether we should abolish the seanad.

Here is an analysis by the journal of the suspiciously round 20 million figure quoted on this FG poster:

http://www.thejournal.ie/cost-of-abolishing-seanad-7614...2013/

They come up with a figure of 8.5 million. Huge difference.

This is clearly a power grab taking away the one avenue the people have left to block really bad legislation, or to slow down and highlight the bad bills being rushed through by the whip system, long enough for the public to be made aware of them.

With reforms the Seanad could be strengthened as a bulwark against a rogue party with a strong majority using the whip system to concentrate power. i.e. the current one!!

Vote NO!!

note misleading figure on poster and miniscule fine gael logo at bottom.  Cynical and misleading
note misleading figure on poster and miniscule fine gael logo at bottom. Cynical and misleading

author by nmnpublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 15:01Report this post to the editors

Thank you to whoever added the image to this item
Cheers!

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 15:44Report this post to the editors

Excellent posting.

Add to this the importance of freedom on expression as the watchdog and then ask the question about Gemma O'Doherty, Investigative journalist, for years with the Irish Independent newspaper "Fired". Little said by her fellow journalists is a pure indictment while internantional media 'Global Investigative Journalism' highlight this warning sign.

Mr Tax Exiles can exert considerable power over the right to freedom of expression. Take Mr Tax Exile Bono and the other Mr Tax Exile Bilderbergers who have made it up to the top of the Forbes Rich List.

The Senate is the Upper House. Reform yes but delete it from existence must be No especially now.

1928 De Valera appointed in Opposition Michael Comyn KC. The workings of the senate at that time underpinned the development of the fledgling state. Does anyone know about the land annuities that Ireland was bound to pay to the British? It is worth consideration because it is in the Senate the discussion took place and the eventual outcome was the decision not to pay the annuities. What is the effect this in hindsight! If we paid would there have been a Celtic Tiger? Who knows but probably not? However, the Senate made serious contributions to the narrative of the new Republic. Take the example of the Irish Sweepstakes, the glamour, the novelty, the genius and of course the corruption (that we failed to learn from). This was the means of raising money to build our health infrastructure. This was discussed in the Senate and the architects and medical people were commissioned to create our health system with the building of hospitals based on European comparisons and it is our trained medical doctors and nurses who left Ireland as emigrants but with training to work in America, Africa, and of course the UK, as did so many other Irish people.

The challenge now is for people to come forward to discuss the land annuities and before October 4th 2013 when we are asked to delete the Senate without even an option of a decision to reform it. The parallels with the mammoth decision about not paying the land annuities in 1930's Ireland are relevant when Ireland Inc is today embedded in the mire of debt that is impossible to pay unless we inflate ourselves out of it or we seek write-downs from the ECB. The unjust obligations to pay the ECB bank debts beyond our capacity to do so and which leave Ireland indebted for some 80 years going forward needs urgent action and direction. As George Santayana says 'Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it'.

Bicameral is the system. We have the President. The time to abolish the Senate is not now. We need to urge the Troika to represent us for debt write-down now.

author by Cynical Realist.publication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 18:21Report this post to the editors

What good did that barn called the Seanad ever do?

author by Tpublication date Fri Sep 20, 2013 20:13Report this post to the editors

Actually quite a lot. And if you read Comyn's comment above, you will realize at the foundation of the State, the actions of the Senate saved us from paying a whole heap of money to the UK.

But over the years, they made very important amendments to countless Bills that came from the Dail and removed excesses where they stepped over the line.

The very presence of the Seanad itself forces those writing Bills to be think clearly through the implications and to be careful in what they do. Removing such a vital check and balance will automatically encourage sloppiness and careless which will always get through the Dail because the effect of the Party Whip -which forces TDs to vote with the party means any old stuff is more likely to get through.

So what we are being asked to do is to give up a whole section of our democratic process for the sake of just 8 million euro -even though on the Yes posters, they are claiming the saving is 20 million. But if you consider we are in the current crisis where we owe at least 90,000 million because ultimately there was a lack of check and balances which reflects the lack of democratic process then it clearly makes no sense to further erode it.

I think your throw away comment simply reflects your ignorance and given you referred to it as a useless barn, it is clear you probably intend to vote Yes. A viable democratic society requires informed citizens to make informed decisions. It is a duty to yourself to educate yourself rather than relying on lazy slogans and throwaway lines.

It should be evident by now the cost of being not properly informed. Over 100,000 families are in utter distress every day because of mortgage arrears and many might not be, if they had delved deeply into what they were being sold. Unfortunately they made the mistake because they thought they were going with the majority view that it was safe but as we know now, all the sources of information that one might have consulted regarding property at the time were tainted and biased because they were under heavily influence of bankers, government, builders, finance people and estate agents. And it would appear that yet again the whole country is being fed the foolish lie that the Seanad is useless and sure we could save a bit of money. I don't know how or why people put a price on democracy, but the amount is so miniscule that anyone who votes because it might save 8 or 20 million can only be numerically illiterate.

author by Damon Matthew Wise - NCPD - the National Council for People with Disabilities Ltdpublication date Sun Sep 22, 2013 20:58author email Damon.Matthew.Wise.Ireland at Facebook dot comauthor address 29 Ballycaseymore, Ballycasey, Shannon Town, Co. Clareauthor phone 061-361945Report this post to the editors

People with Disabilities have rights of access ONLY in Town and City Governments and right of representation in the Seanad. The Government proposed to waste low cost direct representation in favour of parish Pump Partisan Politics and thus remove PwD rights to affect ANY policy in Ireland, despite these rights existing in European and International Law, already ratified and in the constitution. Our places in the voluntary and community form, strategic policy committee and the Disability sub-panel of the administrative Panel of the Seanad, under Aarhus, Lisbon and the UN Conventions would be removed. Ireland will have reverted to Victorian morality of People with Disabilities being told, rather then consulted on matters that effect them - removal of local and Seanad would remove Public consultation and participation of community and consensus politics which use expertise from the voluntary sector in favour of over-paid commercial party politicians.
"
1. The Senate is part of our Political System. It was created by our Constitution.
2. Our political system is supposed to allow us to decide in elections who should get into power, lead the country and govern us
3. The people in Government make laws that affect all of us. Our political system is supposed to allow us to be governed by laws not individuals or a dictator
4. The people in Government are often elected by a popular majority

The job of the Senate is to:
a. Keep a watch on the way the Government exercises its power
b. Check that the laws that the Government makes are fair for everybody not just the majority
c. Check that the laws that the Government makes do not infringe your basic constitutional rights
d. Check that the Government itself is not breaking the law
e. Check that the Government does not forget about the various groups of minorities in our society
f. Hold the Government to account
g. Remind the Government that its power comes from the people and that the Government holds power only temporarily.
h. Help to keep the people informed on how the Government conducts its business and uses its power
Our democracy will be stronger if you the people get involved.
Come out and Vote No in the referendum to abolish the Senate.
"

Related Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NationalCouncilofPeople...ties/
author by Brian Flannery - Justicepublication date Mon Sep 23, 2013 16:04Report this post to the editors



'Check that the Government does not forget about the various groups of minorities in our society'.

Damon, the myriad of quangos that the Coalition said they would abolish surely should be the Governments priority and not the abolition of the Seanad by referendum on October 4th, 2013. The Seanad abolition is been driven by the Troika; it is worth reading Bruce Arnold's article in todays Independent.

As I respect your opinion Damon on abolishing the Seanad, I have my reservations on the agenda of Kenny and Gilmore and the others.

The Seanad needs a complete overhaul. It needs the numbers to be cut by 50%. It needs representation of ordinary people, not necessarily the elites from the Universites. It needs a change of focus and direction. But closing it down is a rash decision and the fear is that Ireland is the pawn for the Europeanisation drive of the Lisbon Treaty. Already we hear that Trichet (ECB) who was so heavily involved the Night of the "Guarantee" is most probably unwilling to be part of any inquiry we hold into banking. What kind of indicator is this?

Why? We need a cover and a safety valve. We need a moral orientated Seanad. I believe we can do this through the power of the people to protect the vulnerable. Cut out the salaries and expenses, stop the double dipping of pensions, for those who want to promote the gravy train, its time for them to disembark.

Can this be done? I believe we can achieve this. At present the Seanad is a cosy cartel so let's change it.

You mention Disabilities. Ask yourself Damon where is the Dail on this? Why have they not adhered to their promise to burn the quangos? They are making the decisions to make cuts, it's not the Seanad.

Labour broke every promise it made in its election campaign. Kenny is becoming like a dictator. So it is time for the people to fight to retain our rights. Gemma O'Doherty was sacked by WHO????

We need change not closure of the Seanad. I agree with Comyn and T, the Seanad did good work down the years and can again.

Brian Flannery

author by Pragmatist.publication date Mon Sep 23, 2013 17:08Report this post to the editors

Nobody will remember the Seanad.
It did S.F.A.

author by Tpublication date Mon Sep 23, 2013 19:19Report this post to the editors

Brian,
Damon was actually encouraging a No vote on the Seanad because it will ultimately harm whatever say people with disabilities have.

author by Tpublication date Mon Sep 23, 2013 19:32Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times reported on Sep 20th that at a media event on the plinth of Leinster House, Deputies Finian McGrath, Shane Ross, Stephen Donnelly and Mattie McGrath as well as North West MEP Marian Harkin all contended it would be a mistake to abolish the Seanad and that a radically reformed Seanad was a preferable option.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/bruton-says-sta...34551
author by nmnpublication date Mon Sep 23, 2013 19:42Report this post to the editors

Yes, it may be in need of change and improvement.

Yet such a body does not have to be seen to do anything (unless required) - its effectiveness is that it is there to keep check on government on behalf of the electorate.

Why would a government wish to abolish such a body, particularly as it is becoming clearer that the government claimed total resulting savings is nowhere near the given figure?

author by Tpublication date Mon Sep 30, 2013 22:08Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times is reporting today (Sept 30th) that the latest MRBI/IT poll is showing 44% in favour of abolishing it with just 27% to retain it. The remainder which are undecided from a statistical point of view would always be split evenly.

The reason that respondents were giving is that "it would save money".

It is really hard to fathom why people reduce everything to money and in the case of the Seanad the amounts are absolutely tiny and insignificant in comparison to the rest of government expenditure and of course the massive banker, developer and bond holder debt.

So it seems the inaccurate round figure of €20 million instead of the true €8 is having an effect.

People should of course vote no to this because abolishing the Seanad will require large sections of text to be removed from the constitution and you can be darn sure there will be unforeseen and damaging effects.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/seanad-referend...44381
author by W. Finnertypublication date Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:02Report this post to the editors

This morning, and probably prompted (I imagine?) by this coming Friday's (October 4th 2013) "Official Referendum" in the Republic of Ireland, I received an e-mail from an "anonymous sender" which contained the text in the first section below.

Good ideas, which, at the very least, are well worth seriously thinking about, can suddenly appear from anybody, anywhere, at any time -- and anonymously!! -- it seems?

=== === ===

On the 15th of October, the second instalment of ‘The People’s Referendum’ will take place outside government buildings in Dublin 2. Large crowds of people will gather outside Leinster House to voice their discontent at the government in relation to issues they feel aggrieved over. Usually at such events, people turn up, shout, then go home.

On this day however, rather than shout, we will vote. Imagine the scenes as thousands of people line up to cast their votes on some of the most important issues never to have been dealt with on this island. The referendum will be streamed live for the world to witness. There will also be an opportunity for the Irish Diaspora to cast their vote via the online poll. The government may have forgotten about you, but your country never will. This will be a hugely positive and productive event.


The above text (in this section) has come from: http://www.myinjustice.org/

=== === ===

I've had a look at the "online poll" referred to in the text above, and at the time I viewed it, it contained 3 questions (for deciding by ‘The People’s Referendum’). Details of the questions on the list can be found at: http://www.myinjustice.org/poll.html

Personally, and if it was for me to decide (which it's not), I would very much like to see the following question added to the list:

"With Article 6.1 of Bunreacht na hEireann (the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland) in mind, would the people of the Republic of Ireland like their Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) to take FULL responsibility for the money-supply used by the people of the Republic of Ireland: in a manner which embraces the principles and practices successfully implemented and used by former US President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War; and which he planned to help export to other nations who might decide they would like to use them: just before he was suddenly assassinated, only eight weeks or so into what might have been his second four-year term in The White House?

The "principles and practices" referred to in the paragraph immediately above, which in reality date back to the "Golden Days" of ancient Athens and Aristotle (as far as I know), are nevertheless in more recent times often associated with the following Abraham Lincoln quotes:

"Democracy (as in 'government of the people, by the people, for the people') will rise superior to the money power."

"Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity."


Article 6.1 of Bunreacht na hEireann (from http://www.humanrightsireland.com/CelticParty/28Novembe...l.htm):

"All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good."

===

Related E-mail to the United Nations dated May 17th 2013:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/UnitedNations/17May20...l.htm

===

Related Search Engine List:
"Money is the creature of law, and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as the exclusive monopoly of national government"
http://tinyurl.com/pj5u87q

===

Related Issue ("How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary"):

'One thing which is COMMON to both jurisdictions though is this: books or no books, nobody has found a way -- to date -- to actually STOP the criminal abuses connected with the "Imperial Judiciaries" in either of the two "republican" (so called) jurisdictions in question. Quite the opposite in reality, in that the slyly hidden constitutionally abusive "ways" (of which there are many) of the legal professions involved, headed by their respective judiciaries in the two different jurisdictions, appear (to me at least) to be growing by the day: and in a manner which the general public is, for the most part, entirely ignorant of in both jurisdictions.'

'Put in a nutshell, the "Imperial Judiciaries" are making mince-meat out of genuinely democratic republican "government of the people, by the people, for the people" (constitutions): in both so-called "Republics" (i.e. the Republic of Ireland, and the Republic of the United States of America); and, they always will: unless "the people" of one or both jurisdictions can find a way to permanently decommission them by peaceful and lawful means.'


The two excerpts just above have come from the following Indymedia (Ireland) location:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102060#comment295504

===

"Mother Ireland": ESPECIALLY for the Irish Diaspora, wherever YOU may be in the world just now ...


"And I shall feel how soft you tread above me,
And then my grave will richer, sweeter be;
For you will bend and tell me that you love me,
And I shall rest in peace until you come to me."


The above text forms one of several slightly different versions of the final verse of an old Irish Song which, over the past hundred years or so, has come to be much appreciated and enjoyed by a great many people all around the world.

Elvis Presley (for example) loved this song, and once commented: "It was written by the angels".
His family arranged to have it played at his funeral service in 1977:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_CcmOcBuzI
As some people see things: "Elvis did not die; he simply returned to his spiritual home in Heaven."

The excerpts just above in this section are from the following www location:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/MargueriteFinnerty/7N...l.htm

===

Human Rights Ireland "Opportunity Knocks" List:

http://www.humanrightsireland.com/IrishLegalProfessions..._List

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Wed Oct 02, 2013 16:12Report this post to the editors

'Save a bit of money' by deleting the Senate. 'save £5 million or could it be in the long-term £20 m'.
We seriously need to start asking questions and to start with the question is our Senate being sold out to the Troika requests for a more streamlined cost efficient system of Government?

There are other more serious questions that inspite of emails and queries raised by ordinary citizens who are interested in Ireland but who consistent receive no feedback. Take the £500 m euros remitted to Nigeria (one of the wealthiest countries in the world but corruption dictates an unequal distribution of resources and money to its population well in excess of 100 mn people). Ireland once had capital controls but relinquished these when the ECB became the game keeper and our Central Bank stepped off the stage. Western Union and other sources allow vast sums of money to leave Ireland and nobody asks about it; nobody seems to care. If you doubt the remittances to Nigeria in 2012 just google details and the Irish Independent article with the revelations as published by the OECD can be read and verified.

Waste prevails in Ireland Inc and it is not the Senate as established as our Upper House, in the Constitution, with the Rule of Law, the Constitution, the President as the bedrock that is responsible. Waste is in the bureaucracy that has evolved and the dis-connectedness between the politicians and the ordinary plain people of Ireland. Ask the question the next time you take a taxi or talk to a retired person about how they feel about £500 million being remitted to Nigeria in 2012? Ask them about the theft of mobile phones equating to £430,000 for January and February 2013 allegedly mainly by immigrants who send messages that Ireland is a virgin country to be plucked back to people in Nigeria. These are recent reports in our newspapers and if remittances are sent to Nigeria, then we need to ask how much money is actually remitted out of Ireland, especially at this time when economists tells us that we are indebted to such an extend that it will take 80 years to cancel out our debt. Waste needs to be tackled in education, in health, in transport, in social welfare, we need to reform our system of Government; we need to examine the double/treble pension dipping of our politicial elites in retirement and the EU gravytrain that avoids audits but also at the nitty gritty level we must not ignore remittances being sent out of Ireland for one reason alone and that is we are nearly bankrupt and can't afford remittances to other countries, presently.

To me, it is not the time to abolish the Senate; it is time to reform our whole system of government and the article in the Sunday papers by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, indicates that much work has been done and reform is in the pipeline. However, Prime Time last night introduced a most well-informed interesting cache of 'No to abolition of Senate', from Professor John Crown, to Glenna Lynch, to Patricia McKenna. Theo Dorgan's article in the Opinion piece is essential reading if you believe it is a rash decision to hold a referendum to abolish the Senate. Ireland is a weakling PIG except add in the extra 'I&S'. We are Troika led. We are supposed to have a coalition, yet the Labour party, that party who is supposed to represent the proletariat, the ordinary people of Ireland, is losing members and projections are they may not even gain a seat in the next election. This is real vulnerability for a small open economy that is a member of the EU but realistically is only hanging on.

Why the Senate abolition proposal and now? The Senate is mainly about legislation. The members research, debate, amend, both before and after. Surely, it is a cost benefit analysis of the function of the Senate that is required, instead of its abolition. The first senate was abolished but then it was do with De Valera making the FF mark on what to him was an elitist Upper House. He placed members in opposition to the Senate in 1928 and he paved the way for the new Senate when FF came to power. Reform the Senate most definitely, pay no salaries and pensions to senators is an option. Abolish No.
Senate speeches make interest reading and many books have been written. The Senate may not be about the 'Action', that lies in the hands of those who are elected to power. However, there is what belies the 'Action' that must be considered now.

From a book about the Senate Speeches of W.B. Yeats, edited by Donald R Pearce.

'It is perhaps the deepest political passion with this nation that North and South be united into one Nation...If you show that this country, Southern Ireland, is going to be governed by Catholic ideas and by Catholic ideas alone, you will never get the North ... I think it is tragic that within three years of this country gaining its independence we should be discussing such a measure which a minority of this nation considers to be grossly oppressive. I am proud to consider myself a typical man of that minority'

All I can say is parameters may alter but consider the contribution of the Senate recently to the debate about Abortion....discussion, opinion, and consideration for the minority in a country still bound by the rulings of the Catholic Church.

Comyn

author by W. Finnertypublication date Thu Oct 03, 2013 08:20Report this post to the editors

The two quotes just below are by Thomas Jefferson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson), who was the 3rd President of the Republic of the United States of America (during the period March 4th ,1801 to March 4th, 1809).

Quote #1: "Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."

Related Search Engine List for Quote #1:
"Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, Human Rights Ireland ..."
http://tinyurl.com/nhjldm5

Quote #2: "Experience, however, soon showed in what way they (the legal profession) were to become the most dangerous ..."

Related Search Engine List for Quote #2:
"Experience, however, soon showed in what way they (the legal profession) were to become the most dangerous, Human Rights Ireland ..."
http://tinyurl.com/ojo8jdd

===

Related Issue (Main Stream Media Silence):

"Ireland’s Chief Justice John Murray has finally been removed!. Amidst the ongoing exposure of corruption and fraud in Ireland's Justice System a new Chief Justice – a position which includes responsibility for the Courts administrative function (including the ability to choose a Judge for a case) – was given this time to a woman!"

"In addition to his €295,000 salary, he draws two pensions from his time as attorney general (Republic of Ireland) and a member of the European Court of Justice. His total remuneration comes to around €450,000."


The two excerpts just above are from an e-mail sent yesterday to a selection of Main Stream Media (MSM) organisations; copy of e-mail at:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/DrMiriamOCallaghan/2O...urray

===

Related E-mail (sent yesterday to the United Nations and some other organisations and people):
Titled: "The Republic of Ireland's October 2013 Referendums, and The Irish Diaspora ..."
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/UnitedNations/2Octobe...l.htm

author by BSpublication date Thu Oct 03, 2013 22:49Report this post to the editors

With all of the legals around surely a charge of false advertising could possibly negate the result and they would have to run it again.

author by nmnpublication date Sat Oct 05, 2013 19:55Report this post to the editors

It is gratifying to note the outcome of the Seanad decision. The focus can now shift to reform, hopefully towards improvement and not repression.

author by Tpublication date Sat Oct 05, 2013 20:50Report this post to the editors

It looks like very low voter turn out worked in favour of the No side to the Seanad referendum as it has been defeated.

The final result was 51.7% against and 48.3% in favour.

This is a good result because at least reform will can happen. Whether it will happen is another story.

But the main and most crucial benefit is that Bills written in Govt Depts. will continue to be scrutinized by the Seanad because without this the Dail would merely rubber stamp any old crap that came it's way and the Party Whip would easily force deputies to vote for it.

The Yes side were pushing the agenda that the whole question merely reduce to a monetary issue but the ironic thing is that the new Court of Appeals could easily cost as much or more as the Seanad this which makes you wonder what the actual agenda was.

author by Tpublication date Wed Nov 27, 2013 23:12Report this post to the editors

It was reported in the IT (link below) 2 days ago that the government are proposing a bill that will allow graduates of all third level colleges to vote in the Seanad elections.

In the present system (described here: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/about/seanad/ ) there are 60 senators.

43 elected by five panels representing vocational interests namely, Culture and Education, Agriculture, Labour, Industry and Commerce and Public Administration
6 elected by the graduates of two universities: - three each by the National University of Ireland and the University of Dublin (Trinity College)
11 nominated by the Taoiseach

During the Seanad Referendum big mileage was made out of the 6 seats elected by students of Trinity and NUI. Under the change this 2 x 3 seater of the colleges will become a single 6 seater where all third level college graduates can vote. Previously you had to have been a graduate of either Trinity or NUI. Apparently this idea to widen the franchise goes back to a 1979 referendum on the matter.

The question remains though is what about the other 54 seats. Many of these are nominated by county councils and from the knowledge gained from the planning tribunals we know the councils were ripe with gombeens and corruption practices. Perhaps this is the area they ought to be focusing on? Some details of these can be found here: http://electionsireland.org/results/seanad/2011seanad.cfm

And it is worth stating again that perhaps the key role of the Seanad is that a Dail Bill must be examined and reviewed by the Seanad and they can refer it back to the Dail. Without this crucial check there would be all sorts of low grade sloppy legislation written and passed in haste with the help of party whips.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/all-college-gra...07342
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