Thursday 15 November 2018

It's time that we resolved our constitutional conundrum

The leaders of Fine Gael and Labour are right in their calls for a spring clean of the Irish Constitution, writes John-Paul McCarthy

ONE of the most interesting aspects of the Byzantine Nama process over the last two years has been the way in which Ireland's fundamental restructuring of its financial system has encouraged the main political parties to think in new ways about constitutional reform generally.

Fine Gael produced a remarkable document in March called New Politics, proposing a series of sweeping constitutional changes that would be put to the people in a single omnibus referendum to be delivered within a year of the party's taking office.

These amendments were to include the abolition of the Seanad, a new list system for selecting 15 TDs, constitutional recognition for four Dail committees; the reduction of the President's term of office from seven years to five and a public petition mechanism for the Dail.

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