Charles Flanagan: Opposition left out in cold as government sets agenda
There has never been a better time to redress imbalance of power in the way the Dail functions, says the Fine Gael chairman.
The current debate on the abolition of the Seanad must include an analysis on the role and function of our Dail and whether our parliamentary system is working effectively.
Under our Constitution, the Government or executive is answerable and accountable to the Dail, but in reality this is very different. The main preoccupation of this Government has been the gradual rebuilding of the economy after the crash which has meant that the promised radical programme of Dail reform as agreed between Fine Gael and Labour has yet to be implemented.
There is very little parliamentary control of government as the focus centres on the ongoing battle between government and opposition rather than the real contest between government and parliament.