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Seanad elections… more April 2, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

There’s a bit of a row about today’s Dáil session.

The Dáil will convene this afternoon for statements on health and social protection, amid a continuing row over whether the session should have been postponed due to Covid-19.

Sinn Féin has argued that TDs must return to ensure there is democratic oversight and accountabiltiy, however, the Labour Party says its members will stay at home to support the national effort to fight the spread of coronavirus.

In part because of…

The fact that there will be no vote to elect a new Taoiseach, and that legislation cannot be passed due to the absence of a functioning Seanad, led to extensive consultations this week on the merits of postponing today’s sitting.

In two minds about this one, to be honest. IEL’s overview of this New Digital Age really brings home how much everything has changed in just three weeks. That’s right, three weeks since the first soft lock-down. Listening to RTÉ this morning just before 9am it was striking how everything is now dominated by the crisis. Three weeks. Incredible how the new normal has become, well… normal.

But politics abides. The Seanad Election continues. Only a few stray thoughts. Sorry to see Ruth Coppinger not get a seat, she’s a voice that would have been very useful in that chamber. Saoirse McHugh too. In a way the sheer lack of change in some of the TCD and NUI panels tells its own story. Interesting too to see Gerard Craughwell and Victor Boyhan make it back. So, currently there’s about eight Independents, of one stripe or another, two GP, three SF and three LP.

Anyone with an insight into the GP and LP Senators have a sense of their views on coalition participation?


1. Daire O'Criodain - April 2, 2020

There’s a convenience factor for MSM but especially RTE (which still sees it as mother hen to us all “nation’s best loved personalities”, etc.) for there to be a single all-consuming national narrative – and also convenient for the government – ok, it is a big issue and a complex logistical and organisational challenge, but to have a single fire to put out, however large, is much easier on the mind than dealing with the usual gamut of what’s going on. Leo and Simon stepping in Giuliani’s shoes after 9/11…. They love being caped crusaders.


WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2020

That’s a little harsh I suspect. I’d not share either of their political approaches, but they do seem to me to be roughly as good as it gets in the current situation and I’d be dubious about ascribing insincerity to them. Moreover I’d imagine that being that close to the hard end of the crisis health wise is no picnic – I’m not as an aside surprised that Holohan fell somewhat ill during the week, the stresses must be considerable.

re convenience, yeah, well, and here again I find myself in the unusual position of very slightly defending a sitting FG government. Given their framework for understanding the world, conservative budgets, fiscal discipline, etc, etc this must be like a bomb going off under them. Measure after measure, rents, evictions, increases in welfare for those made unemployed, support for businesses on the scale we see, the effective takeover (albeit temporary) of the private health sector by the public, and so on and so forth, is so starkly at odds with their worldview that I wonder how that is being processed. Sure, it’s one big issue, but it is perhaps the single greatest challenge this state has faced since 1939-1945. Actually, scratch that, that’s exactly what it is. And it stretches into every single aspect of the economy and society. Moreover the negative impacts are so starkly evident – increased numbers of those ill, increasing numbers of those who have died. Again, that’s a very hard hard end.


2. Tomboktu - April 3, 2020

Ten of the ten senators for Fine Gael are men.


CL - April 4, 2020

““Independent Frances Black kept her seat and councillor Mark Wall gained the fourth Labour party Seanad seat…..

Meanwhile the Fine Gael parliamentary party has been told by leader Leo Varadkar that he will act on the gender problem triggered by the Seanad elections.
All of the ten Senators elected for the party so far are male.
RTÉ News understand that in any coalition deal involving Fine Gael, Mr Varadkar will seek to ensure that most, if not all, leader nominations to the Seanad are female.
Fianna Fáil is also presented with a similar problem – of 13 Senators elected so far, 11 are male.”


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