Monday 11 December 2017

Michael McDowell: Abolition of Seanad is really a power play dressed up as reform by the Dail

A single-chamber parliament dominated by the executive is the stuff of future nightmares

The lights stayed on late in Leinster House as the debate took place into the legislation to allow a deal on promissory notes. The ECB is likely to hamper
Enda Kenny’s efforts to portray the deal as a victory
The lights stayed on late in Leinster House as the debate took place into the legislation to allow a deal on promissory notes. The ECB is likely to hamper Enda Kenny’s efforts to portray the deal as a victory

Michael McDowell

CAN I ask you for a few moments to consider where you stand on an important question?

The question is: "Am I so angry with the failure of the Irish political system that I would fall for a cheap stunt by which all political power will be concentrated in the hands of Dail Eireann, which is completely dominated by the government of the day in a pretence that this amounts to political reform?"

The proposal to abolish the Seanad, while dressed up by members of the Government as political reform, is in reality a proposal that Dail Eireann, a deeply dysfunctional chamber totally dominated by members of the Executive and savagely ruled by the party whip system, should henceforth be the only body concerned with legislation, and that no other voices should be heard in our parliamentary process apart from TDs elected in multi-seat constituencies in which crude political Darwinism requires them to survive by focusing their attentions on local constituency issues.

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