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Seanad Referendum - a camouflaged erosion of Constitutional rights?

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

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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.

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

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Reform the Senead not abolish it.     T    Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:11 
   FG posters are totally misleading and cynical     fred    Fri Sep 20, 2013 14:49 
   thanks     nmn    Fri Sep 20, 2013 15:01 
   Investigative journalism essential. What happened to Gemma O'Doherty - too close to the truth perhaps     Comyn    Fri Sep 20, 2013 15:44 
   Useless Barn.     Cynical Realist.    Fri Sep 20, 2013 18:21 
   Re: useless barn     T    Fri Sep 20, 2013 20:13 
   VOTE NO. Reform does not meet power grab!     Damon Matthew Wise    Sun Sep 22, 2013 20:58 
   Abolition of the Senate     Brian Flannery    Mon Sep 23, 2013 16:04 
   The Seanad is Already forgotten.     Pragmatist.    Mon Sep 23, 2013 17:08 
 10   Re: Abolition of the Senate     T    Mon Sep 23, 2013 19:19 
 11   Latest TDs to encourage a NO vote     T    Mon Sep 23, 2013 19:32 
 12   Nobody will remember the Seanad     nmn    Mon Sep 23, 2013 19:42 
 13   Irish Times poll shows govt on course to win referendum with 44% in favour because of the "savings"     T    Mon Sep 30, 2013 22:08 
 14   ‘The People’s Referendum’ ...       W. Finnerty    Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:02 
 15   WBY 'Once you attempt legislation on religious grounds you open the way for every kind of intolerance & for every kind of religious persecution"     Comyn    Wed Oct 02, 2013 16:12 
 16   Judges and Banksters: watch your backs, and your pockets ...     W. Finnerty    Thu Oct 03, 2013 08:20 
 17   Legal ?     BS    Thu Oct 03, 2013 22:49 
 18   gratifying     nmn    Sat Oct 05, 2013 19:55 
 19   Referendum to abolish the Seanad defeated with 51.7%     T    Sat Oct 05, 2013 20:50 
 20   Seanad Changes -All college graduates will get to vote on Seanad elections     T    Wed Nov 27, 2013 23:12 

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