Thursday 18 January 2018

Even at the 11th hour, senators just won't vote

THERE are strong arguments in favour of keeping Seanad Eireann. But the voting record of many of our senators is not one of them. In fact the roll-call record is an advertisement for voting in favour of abolishing the upper house on Friday week, October 4. With 10 days to go to voting on the most important amendment ever proposed for Bunreacht na hEireann, the Irish Independent did a comprehensive assessment of the voting record of our 60 senior lawmakers over the past year. The findings do not make for encouraging reading – unless, of course, you're on the stump urging people to vote Yes to the shutdown of Seanad Eireann.

In fact, our senators on average missed a quarter of votes, even as they were fighting for their survival over the past year.

Out of all 207 votes in the Seanad Chamber over the past year, the average turnout was 43 of the 60 senators. Fianna Fail, now the only party stridently campaigning to keep the Seanad, was the worst of the parties. But some of the Independent senators had the worst records of all.

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