Sunday 22 April 2018

All sides must be heard about Seanad's future

SO now we definitively know voters will be asked if they want to abolish the Seanad, at a date yet to be specified, but very probably in late September. Unveiling the referendum proposal yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Seanad abolition and accompanying Dail reforms would lead to a more efficient political system. Mr Kenny said Ireland had too many politicians for its size and there was now no need for a second chamber like the Seanad.

The Taoiseach added that all the Scandinavian countries had abolished their second chambers and most of the emerging former Eastern Bloc states had not bothered with one in their new democratic structures. Others, such as New Zealand, had also shown it was entirely possible to have enough checks and balances in a single-chamber parliament.

Mr Kenny said the abolition of the Seanad, along with the reduction by eight in the number of TDs, would mean a reduction of almost one third in the number of public representatives.

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