Saturday 3 December 2016

No downside to abolishing Seanad

Published 07/01/2011 | 05:00

Calling on senators to "do the right thing" (Irish Independent, January 4) will fall on deaf ears; the gravy train is very hard to alight from.

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You quoted senator Joe O'Toole, who, while agreeing that the place was "undemocratic, unrepresentative, and indefensible", managed to cast a slur on those seeking its dissolution, claiming that they were only about "cutting back on political accountability". Double-speak at its finest.

The fact is that the Seanad is not only a dysfunctional mess, as the senator concedes, but has become a danger to democracy as a direct result of political parties abusing it by using it either as a reward for friends, a shelter for politicians that the electorate rejected at the ballot box or the positioning of an ally into the heart of government.

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