Seanad Referendum: Good days, bad days and some in between…

So, quickly the Seanad Referendum, good days, bad days, and a couple of inbetweeners… Good day for Micheál Martin. Picked the right side, largely for the right reasons. His obvious ease in publicly discussing policy (not typical of many Irish politicians) contrasted with the Taoiseach’s no show, and played a critical role in boiling down the Yes side’s 72% rating at the beginning of the summer. Leader of the party formerly known as ‘shifty’ made his opponents look shiftless. Post poll … Read more

#SeanadRef: Ireland’s wrecking ball approach to political reform has been expensive and disastrous

“Our propaganda can never be stronger than our actions” Michael Collins Abolition of anything in government is rarely a harbinger of improvement or reform. Yet it seems to have become Ireland’s particular political poison of choice. The last time the Irish political system was utterly transformed was back in 1977 when Jack Lynch axed the local domestic rate. In doing so, he removed what little democratic value remained in local government. In the intervening thirty five years councils were run … Read more

#SeanadRef: Gerry Adams’ cogent and eloquent argument against his own party’s official position…

I’ll be doing a round up of today’s #DigitalLunch with Joe McHugh TD and Derek Mooney of DemocracyMatters on Monday. But I have to say after that long detailed and highly civil debate, I was a bit taken aback to read this on Gerry Adams’ own blog. It’s a cogent and concise argument against the abolition of the Seanad from the leader of Sinn Fein on the day the Referendum bill was introduced in the Dail. A position which was … Read more

#DigitalLunch returns to consider the merits and otherwise of abolishing Seanad Eireann

Live from 1pm… We are looking for your questions?? Tomorrow our DigitalLunch series returns after a long break from the Autumn. You can pick up the detail and live feed here from 1pm. In a Seanad Referendum special, we hope to have two people each from the Yes and No camps. To be honest I am as interested in the process as the result. Either way there will be more to do if we want to improve the quality of … Read more

#SeanadRef: The Seanad is a watchdog that only barks every fifty years…

listen to ‘#SeanadRef Boo 1: The long failing road to reform ’ on Audioboo Short audioboo on the Seanad Abolition Referendum (in lieu of a longer piece tomorrow on the Fine Gael position)… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

#SeanadRef will do little “to rebalance power within the Oireachtas or between the Executive and Legislature…”

I’ve already lodged my scepticism regarding the abolition of the Seanad. What’s surprising is that few on the Yes side seem to be marshalling much in the way of intellectual argument for its abolition. In this clip of the Dail debate which introduced the referendum from Deputy Gerry Adams nails the obscurantism of the current government’s reform agenda, and describes it as a power grab… In addition to getting rid of sixty Seanadóirí, the Taoiseach plans to reduce the numbers … Read more

#SeanadRef: No one is defending the present Seanad’s toothless old assenting insiderly grin…

So the Seanad Abolition debate got underway earlier in the week on RTE’s Drivetime programme with a lively if nervous and unfocused sort of debate. There are several things to say about the odd circumstances of this latest turn in the Republic’s seemingly unending cycle of referendums. One is that the Enda Kenny’s great idea came before he used his Taoiseach’s nominations to appoint some tough and independent minded Senators who have had the effect of boosting both the quality … Read more