Tuesday 6 December 2016

Elaine Byrne: Democracy in danger of being another casualty of recession

No government has ever actually attempted to improve, transform or restructure the second house

Elaine Byrne

Published 30/12/2012 | 05:00

Sorting out the ballot papers for the Dublin University constituency in the Seanad elections held in Trinity College. Trinity
and NUI graduates can vote in Seanad elections but students from DCU, the University of Limerick and the Institutes of Technology are barred
Sorting out the ballot papers for the Dublin University constituency in the Seanad elections held in Trinity College. Trinity and NUI graduates can vote in Seanad elections but students from DCU, the University of Limerick and the Institutes of Technology are barred

'THE Chamber of the Condemned" is how Enda Kenny described the Seanad to Senators last July. Since coming to power almost two years ago, the Taoiseach has only visited the upper house once.

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That's how relevant the Seanad is. Just one in three wishes to see it reformed. A whopping 53 per cent are determined to abolish the Seanad in the referendum expected in early autumn 2013. These figures are more or less the same as in the last Millward Brown poll of June 2011.

In this anti-politics, anti-everything age that we are living through, the Duke of Leinster's ballroom is our sacrificial lamb to the faceless gods of austerity.

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