Polls predict the 'Yes' votes have it
THE Referendum giving the Oireachtas the right to cut judges' pay will be passed overwhelmingly, according to a Sunday Independent/Quantum Research telephone poll which found 88 per cent of the electorate in favour of the constitutional change.
The other referendum giving Dail and Senate Committees the right to conduct inquiries into matters they consider to be of public importance will also be passed strongly with 62 per cent in favour of the amendment, according to a poll taken just six days before the vote.
The call by the Bar Council of Ireland urging Irish people to vote no in both referendums on October 27 appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
On Friday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny accused opponents of the proposed Constitutional Referendum on inquiries of "hysteria" and said he found it surprising that some members of the Oireachtas were opposed to proposal.
Mr Kenny said the purpose of the amendment was to allow members of the Dail and Seanad to conduct inquiries into matters of public interest without the expense of having to hold costly and long-running tribunals.
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He pointed out that other parliaments had such powers to hold inquiries into matters of public importance and it would be extraordinary if people did not support a proposal to authorise the people that they elected to Leinster House to carry out such inquiries on their behalf.
The Sunday Independent/ Quantum Research poll found a majority of nearly two to one of voters agree with the Taoiseach. Many respondents said the amendment would bring us into line with other countries.
Some of those polled also referred to their desire to see those responsible for the crash brought to account for their part in damaging the Irish economy.
Other respondents wanted to see an end to the costly tribunals and were hopeful that the amendment would eliminate the need for them.
Among the 38 per cent against the proposed amendment there were fears that giving extra powers of investigation to the Oireachtas could be open to abuse in the future -- despite the promised safeguards surrounding the new legislation to be introduced if the referendum is passed.
"I'm not sure about the politicians investigating anyone. It doesn't sound like a good idea but then again tribunals are an awful waste of time," one of those polled said.
On the referendum on judges' remuneration, an overwhelming majority of those polled, 88 per cent, would vote for the proposed Amendment giving the Oireachtas the right to cut judges' pay.
Only 12 per cent were against the amendment.
Quantum Research pollsters reported that very many respondents admitted to not being in full possession of the facts. "The presidential election is completely overshadowing the referendums and people won't know what they're actually voting for," was a typical comment.