Saturday 24 June 2017

Keep whip for passing bills

IN the context of the Seanad and the Dail, the use of the party whip may be forgiven in the name of progressing legislation and orderly business.

However, the circumstances of the rejection of Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly's 'Lost at Sea' report is a further knock to the increasingly pithy respect for our parliamentary process and politicians. The committee structure, providing an opportunity for members to examine and study at a close level the facts before them in a non-partisan manner, must be one of the most constructive features of our parliament. With such limited membership and sufficient flexibility for each member to be fully informed, the imposition of the whip is unnecessary.

Bearing in mind the rationale behind the establishment of the Ombudsman's office, the use of the whip is shocking.

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