Saturday 20 January 2018

My version of the Irish senate would be a much more imaginative institution – just don't vote to abolish it please

Scarlett Johansson would surely be voted US president if it was a matter of direct democracy
Scarlett Johansson would surely be voted US president if it was a matter of direct democracy

Most of the referendum posters that I've seen are urging us to vote to abolish Seanad Eireann on October 4. But I have an alternative: my plan to reshape the Irish senate.

The first condition for my reformed Seanad: no senator to be permitted to stand for the Dail. What has ruined the existing Seanad is that it has attracted mainly wannabe – or failed– TDs. Gemma Hussey found the Seanad useless because everyone there was trying to get a seat in the Dail.

Candidates for the Seanad should be persons who wish to serve the country and bring their expertise to bear on scrutinising Government bills. They should be unafraid of the executive and willing to challenge it.

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