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Seanad reform: No change is bad change… June 27, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Interesting piece by Michael McDowell in the SBP recently where he takes Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar to task for failing to implement Seanad Reform. The argument is that despite Maurice Manning being brought in following the defeat of the Seanad abolition referendum to assist a Seanad Reform plan and despite this being in the programme for government and despite this being tabled by McDowell and other Senators as draft legislation and despite an All-Party Implementation Group being promised by Kenny and formed…

That was a year ago. nothing has happened since. Absolutely nothing.

No great surprise there. The referendum was a misfiring political stroke (which in other times might have worked but was so obviously diversionary that citizens recoiled if not at the detail at the idea of being railroaded by the government into the idea) and all that came after it was of a piece with the expedience of it and whatever was convenient to keep the main show, that being the government on the road.

McDowell writes of how ‘FG Senators sought and received private assurances of no real Seanad reform from canvassers’ for the FG leadership contestants. And he argues…

If Leo has his way, the Seanad will continue to be elected in the main by county councillors.

Depressing in the extreme. But it’s difficult to envisage how the Seanad can be reformed at this point given the evident lack of political will. And I wonder if someone does bring a referendum to abolish it again will that pass?


1. 1729torus - June 27, 2017

A failure to legislate to deal with the Seanad just breeds cynicism about parliamentary politics.


2. dublinstreams - June 27, 2017

So what was the point of McDowell getting into the Seanad?
also this Leo Vardakar “Varadkar calls for urgent reform of the Seanad” http://politico.ie/archive/varadkar-calls-urgent-reform-seanad


3. dublinstreams - June 27, 2017

“He secured the support of the Seanad members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party by hinting in his leadership manifesto that he was abandoning the Manning Report”. He hinted so by not mentioning it? https://campaignforleo.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/TAKING-IRELAND-FORWARD.pdf


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