Sunday 19 November 2017

Michael McDowell: We will damage our democracy by voting to abolish the Seanad

The Government has indicated its intention to wreck the Constitution by giving all power to the Dail, which it ruthlessly dominates by use of the whip system. Alone in the common law world, Ireland's democracy has already descended to a low ebb.

Any member of Dail Eireann who votes against the wishes of the government whips faces automatic expulsion from his or her party, sacking from any Dail Committee, and deselection as a Dail candidate at the next election.

A backbench TD is not allowed to speak unless his whip nominates him as a party speaker in any Dail debate. Nor can he or she table a private members' bill or a motion without the approval of the party bosses.

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