The Irish Times has begun a series on political reform with the underlying premise of renewing the Republic. MacConghail writing in the Irish Times points the finger firmly at political culture and recommends primarily the reform of local government. A wider look at how the Cabinet is actually composed may also bear fruit. Ireland is almost alone in the developed world in insisting that ministers are solely recruited from the lower house. Even in the UK ministers are appointed from the House of Lords and in many European countries ministers frequently have no parliamentary expertise or must resign constituency seats on becoming a minister, this being the case in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium among other countries.. This provides an incentive to act in the national collective interest rather than in an individual localist manner in order to ensure their own re-election. This of course requires constitutional change, but in the meantime the Taoiseach Brian Cowen could take up his right to appoint two ministers in the upcoming reshuffle from the Seanad. He had one vacancy following the resignation of a Green senator. Even the cautious Gordon Brown followed this route appointing Peter Mandelson to the upper house and as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Surely there are many public spirited senior business people who would do an excellent job in attracting business and winning jobs in Enterprise, Trade and Employment and could also sit in the Seanad?