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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…

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…

Seanad Referendum in Perspective

By Michael Marsh Another weekend of referendums is now over and the debate is well under way as to what the result means: what did the people say when they spoke? We have various evidence to go on: the polls, anecdotal evidence, and the nature of the campaign itself, but all these are flawed. The…

Perspective on Seanad Abolition

By Vanessa Liston (CiviQ.eu) Opinion polls are built into the fabric of our political system. We look to them as a fountain of knowledge on people’s minds, as we search for clues and cues in meandering a fractious course to the polling booth. Yet, given the outcome of the Seanad referendum, that quite dramatically violated…

Seanad reform – what’s on offer?

Post by John Carroll During the past few weeks, we’ve heard much about the Zappone/Quinn and Crowne Seanad bills offering a roadmap for non-constitutional Seanad reform. Apparently these Bills can be the “legislative template” for Seanad reform that could be put in place within 75 days yet surprisingly few people (beyond Richard Humphreys and Eoin O’Malley) seem to…

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…