Monday 26 September 2016

Don't expect Seanad reforms any time soon

Published 14/04/2015 | 02:30

Among other things, the people saw a rather cynical and quixotic Government move, with big personal backing from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to window dress rather than move on with real political reforms
Among other things, the people saw a rather cynical and quixotic Government move, with big personal backing from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to window dress rather than move on with real political reforms

It's nice to see the number of Seanad reform proposals hit the round dozen. On past experience, we can expect the 12th reform plan to gather as much dust as the previous 11. It would be risible if it was not such a waste.

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In October 2013, amid deep recession and public hostility towards politicians, voters rejected a proposal to abolish one of the nation's more questionable institutions, Seanad Éireann. Among other things, the people saw a rather cynical and quixotic Government move, with big personal backing from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to window dress rather than move on with real political reforms.

The latest Seanad plans are from an eminent group of politicians from all parties and none. Their proposals include a rather convoluted voting plan but are still worthy of serious consideration.

Yet, even before these latest proposals saw the light of day yesterday, we were being told no action would be taken in time for the next Seanad elections.

Given the history of chronic inaction on this issue, we can expect that this will be the end of the matter - until the next report some years from now.

Irish Independent

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