Tuesday 26 September 2017

Eddie Molloy: Abolition of the Seanad will not fix our dysfunctional political system

There was a charming cameo on RTE's 'Nationwide' programme on a recent Friday when presenter Mary Kennedy was on a tour of the houses of the Oireachtas by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett. As Mary, with Sean's permission, sat down to experience what it is like to sit at the Cabinet table she purred "this feels gooo...d" and then popped an innocent-sounding, though loaded question: "what is the difference between the government and the Dail?"

Mr Barrett with an air of authority explained: "The government makes the decisions, they consider all aspects of the matter and make the decision, which they then pass over to the Dail, who either accept or reject the decision." He added with gravitas: "You see in all democracies the parliament is supreme."

"I see," said Mary, grasping the point, "that is because they are elected by the people."

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