Fianna Fail’s ‘shimmy’ on Seanad abolition…

Given the government is now falling in with Fine Gael’s decision over a year ago to get rid of Seanad Eireann, without telling a lot of their own Senators, here’s my interview with Brian Hayes at that time for a literate overview of how we’ve come to this pass…

(Bear in mind that it looks like they may have to force that one without the help of the Greens – ed) For reference, here’s Fianna Fail’s attack on the move at the time from Senator Terry Leyden

No official word on this from Fianna Fail… Treat as the cute flying of a kite from Defense Minster Tony Killeen until someone else puts an official hand up to confirm…

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  • aquifer

    Senead reform could be a bit of a red herring while PRSTV incentivises TDs to look after small groups of local electors rather than the national interest. Brian himselft is facing two ways on this one, valuing the direct connection to all constituents while admitting the weakness of opposition etc.

    Here the effects are more insidious, setting sectarianism in aspic and allowing established councillors to jump up to claim an MLAs pension.

    Real countries use really proportional systems such as Additional Member System, so that minority interests can get a look in. And here secular socialists and conviction capitalists are endangered species.

  • Neville Bagnall

    Seanad/Oireachtas reform would be welcome. Seanad abolition is of course an entirely different thing. This FF kite looks like an even worse piece of constitutional vandalism than usual.

    I think both Seanad abolition and reduced Dáil numbers are populist mistakes. Radical Oireachtas reform might ameliorate the effects, but both proposals strike me as making the problems with the Oireachtas worse rather than better. I also have my doubts about different electoral systems for the one house. But it begins to look like I might be a voice in the wilderness on this one.

    I could go into it at length, I’ve been working on a draft document/ essay series for other purposes, but after 2am is not the time to start.