John-Paul McCarthy: Collective silence on key issues has roots in birth of Free State
Populist referendums highlight the State's ability to ignore major problems
When considered in the abstract, the two looming referendums on the Seanad and the new court of appeal suggest a strange order of priorities.
We have the time to debate the merits of bicameralism, but not the merits of a rape or incest exception to the constitutional ban on abortion.
And the Cabinet made space for a referendum on our judicial architecture, even though the most obvious remedy for the appellate backlog is an increase in the number of Supreme Court judges, something that can be done by the Dail.