The people have mumbled. What was it they said?

By Seán Patrick Donlan (University of Limerick) It’s all too easy after any election, no matter how slight the margin of victory, by however small a portion of the electorate, to declare that the result represents a mandate of some sort. When this isn’t merely spin, it’s often the product of wishful thinking, the hope that some clear…

Democracy and Other Matters

Dr Seán Patrick Donlan, School of Law, University of Limerick Predictably if depressingly, the debates around the Government referendum on the abolition of the Seanad have proven to be as ideological as intellectual, often more sophomoric than substantive. The vote honours a political promise initially made by parties and personalities now on both sides of the…

Would a reformed Seanad be the worst outcome of all?

By Michael Gallagher Never in its history has the Seanad been the focus of so much attention. Is it a vital bastion of democracy without which governments would be able to trample all over everyone’s rights, or conversely an expensive anachronism draining resources that could make a huge difference elsewhere? Probably neither. It does a…

Is the Seanad Bill 2013 what we want?

Posted by Eoin O’Malley (15 May) A new Seanad reform bill was introduced in the Seanad today by Senators Katherine Zappone and Fergal Quinn. It is available here. The main point of the bill are that it should move to a reformed house with new powers, but without requiring constitutional change. It proposed elections by…