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The Seanad March 30, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Today and tomorrow sees the closing of polls for the Seanad Elections.
The Seanad Electoral System really is appalling. From top to bottom it needs to be scrapped. Elitist in that only graduates and then only ones of certain Universities get a vote.
The panels voted upon by Public Reps are even worse.
Reading some literature from the panels for the public reps, it’s all about the Party. I’ll do this or that for the party rather than representing the public. I think the nominating bodies are odd. If I am nominated by X and elected I will naturally look after the interests of X.
Then there’s the defeated TD’s who suddenly have “To improve pay and conditions for Councillors” and other such worthy notions listed as their top priorities.
The stuff Career Senators produce is unusual to say the least. Good Luck cards sent to sitting Councillors before the last Local Elections, St Patricks Day Cards, Christmas Cards, Sympathy cards and so on.
I know it’s not exactly a high priority now but the whole Seanad System has to be changed.


1. WorldbyStorm - March 30, 2020

Yes, there’s some odd stuff produced in terms of cards etc. And the focus on the constituencies as distinct from a broader national interest is very striking.

Completely agree, the system stinks. There’s a case for a second chamber I feel, I like the idea that legislation can come under greater scrutiny, but it has to be by mass franchise, not this elitist approach.


2. rockroots - March 30, 2020

The frustrating thing is that the Seanad has so much potential. Rather than a directly-elected mini-Dail, it could give a voice to groups otherwise excluded from the mainstream (as, arguably, was its original purpose). How about representatives for the Travelling community, for the north, for workers in specific industries, for resident EU citizens, for resident non-EU citizens, for Irish citizens abroad, for 15-18 year olds? The college thing is just plain weird in the modern setting, but it represents a pretty small number of seats and need only be made more equitable. I have no major issue with not having a vote for the Seanad, but only if it becomes something other than a private club for the established parties.


WorldbyStorm - March 30, 2020

That’s certainly another way to go. In a way perhaps it would be possible to go a citizen’s assembly route.


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