Letter in today’s Irish Times.
Reforming the Seanad
Thomas O’Connor assures us that “the people will appease their appetite for change at next year’s local and European elections” (January 7th).
I would not hold my breath if I were him. When given an opportunity to get rid of the expensive talking shop for the elite called the Seanad they turned it down.
That has continued a debate on the Seanad that gets more removed from reality by the day. First we have high-profile people, who supported its retention during the referendum, opposing the “reforms” that were part of the retention campaign.
Then we had a Government Minister, who supported the campaign to abolish it, proposing “reform” of an institution that during the campaign was “irreformable”.
Since it just means electing another Dáil, dominated by the same political parties, the widely canvassed election of Seanad members by universal suffrage does not constitute reform.
The choice for “reform” of the Seanad boils down, therefore, to two options. Turn it into another Dáil or leave it as an expensive, powerless talking shop for the elite and their cronies.