Thursday 29 June 2017

Richard Humphreys: Why we need to scrap the Seanad

This once-in-a-life opportunity to get rid of an expensive and useless club must not be missed, says Richard Humphreys

Richard Humphreys

'Democracy matters" is the name of a new campaign group on the Seanad referendum. As slogans go, it's a good one. Democracy does matter – and that is why we need to scrap an undemocratic, elitist institution like the Seanad.

That's why we need to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get rid of an expensive, exclusive little club that is nestling comfortably in the Constitution. We need to move towards much more democratic and open institutions, and getting rid of the Seanad would be a giant step towards that.

If we fail to take this once-off chance to get rid of the Seanad, we as a nation are going to regret it – and soon. Either Irish citizens are equal in the political life of a republic or they are not. While everyone may be different in their economic or individual lives, when citizens stand before the political institutions of this State, when they come to vote, they must be treated equally. The Seanad fails that test, and it fails it completely.

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