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Political reform proposals in the Partnership Government programme – UPDATED

A (still very preliminary) reaction to the Programme for Government proposal that was launched this afternoon (available here). There is a lot of food for thought here. A lot of interesting proposals – at least on paper – and also some daft ones. Certainly a lot to chew over. A fair bit of things that we’d…

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When is a Seanad not a Seanad?

The length of time it’s taking to form a government has so far not really concerned the proper functioning of the state – though the government has been unusually reticent in using its prerogative powers, perhaps afraid that any decision it makes will be seen as undemocratic or stroke politics. The decision in the High Court yesterday…

Survey on Seanad Reform*

The rejection of the Seanad-abolition referendum in 2013 left more questions unanswered than it asked. However, what was clear from discussion during the referendum is that the Seanad as-is is unsatisfactory to the consensus of people. With the question still lingering, and numerous reform bills circulating the Oireachtas, the Government announced in December that it was setting…

Seanad Éireann: Lots to Reform

After the Irish people chose to retain the Seanad last year, the focus has now shifted to the question of reform. The government has announced its intention to reform the University franchise as allowed by the 1978 amendment to the Constitution. The main campaigning platform for Seanad retention, Democracy Matters, has embarked on a new…

Why do we need a directly elected Seanad?

The fallout from the Seanad referendum continues.  Various groups (most prominent among them Democracy Matters), political parties (notably Fianna Fáil) and prominent individuals such as Michael McDowell are clamouring for the government to introduce legislation to allow for the direct election of the next Seanad.  An editorial in today’s Irish Times makes supportive noises in…