Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan has said of the Government’s announcement of details of a referendum to abolish the Seanad: “The Taoiseach’s proposal for abolishing the Seanad is a short-sighted non-fix of our political system which is broken and in great need of reform; abolishing the Seanad will leave us merely with a dysfunctional Dáil”.
He goes on to say “”As a Minister I regularly put bills into the Seanad first, as it was a good place to listen to different drafting suggestions. The makeup of the Seanad was far from perfect but after listening to a second and sometimes third opinion, we often ended up making significant changes. The Government has not presented any coherent vision as to how that second check practice will be continued if the Seanad is abolished.”
“We need to be fixing our government systems at both national and local levels. This matter should have been sent to the constitutional convention for in-depth consideration which is where it will end up if the people vote NO. The Taoiseach’s implication that abolishing this house will address the misguided ways of the Celtic Tiger is pure populism. We should be addressing economic and societal issues rather than pursuing an ill thought-out demolition project.”
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