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Oireachtas Referendum Provision Revoked?

ger12

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Feb 25, 2011
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47,680
You might remove it if it doesn't work.
Replace the battery, you wouldn't remove the fire alarm. That would be foolish indeed.
 


theObserver@hotmail.com

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I may be wrong, but I don't think the Public are clued into the sleight of hand that is in the Referendum Bill to abolish the Seanad in that it involves the complete deletion of article 27, which includes the right of the Oireachtas, on behalf of the people, via 1/3 of the Dail and a majority of the Seanad, to petition the President to refer a bill to the people if the said bill is of major importance.

This article only needs to be amended not deleted, by deleting only the part that refers to the Seanad, but by deleting it all, this could be in breach of article 46.4, which refers to only one proposal in any one referendum, that there can't be another, in this case the extra proposal is to do away with the power of petition for reference of bills to the People, via presidential approval. I may be wrong, but while on the surface there appears to be only one proposal, i.e. to vote for the series of amendments/deletions in relation to the Seanad, more than the Seanad is affected.

Have we learnt nothing about too much power in the hands of the few at the expense of the many? This is not scaremongering. We must learn from the past when big majorities in the Dail made foolish decisions in relation to bailing out banks and bondholders on the backs of the people under international institutional pressure.

What if some future Government, even with a small majority, decides to sell of Irish Water to appease international financiers or the ECB and IMF? What if another bailout is needed? What if the price of such a bailout is the same as in Cyprus and life savings are raided? Currently, if the worst happened again, we could manage to get one third of the Dail to oppose such a move and petition the President to put such a bill to a referendum, but once article 27 goes, we can’t. It is incredible that many would neuter this potential safety check by agreeing to the full deletion of article 27? It is a sleight of hand, a power grab and constitutional vandalism. It is the loss of a fundamental right.

It does not matter if it has not been used much, if at all, the provision is there, and it the times we live in, I for one am happy that it is. I am shocked though that many on the left have not spotted this, or if they have then they are happy to go along with it. Perhaps they see it's intent as conservative, rather it is libertarian, with another check on excessive executive power at the expense of the People as represented by the Dail. The People not the executive are sovereign.

All who are genuinely libertarian and know that the sovereignty of the people is paramount should oppose the deletion of article 27. Rather than getting rid of what some see as elitism, the proposal if passed will actually centralise power even more in an unreformed Dail for a government where a cabinet subcommittee of four makes the major decisions. It will not strengthen equality but weaken it, by eliminating the Dail’s power of petition for referendum and keeping it in the hands of the executive arm of Government. This referendum then has gone beyond the question of abolition of the Seanad, it is about the abolition of a right that can only be set in a new context, not done away with all together.

This has nothing to do with the abolition of the Seanad, it is the abolition of a different constitutional right, or safety check.

It smacks of pulling a fast one, and changing the power boundaries, pushing them out, for future Governments, of whatever hue.

This is very very dangerous.

I am no fan of the Seanad and was veering towards a yes until I spotted this.

Please vote No to what is a power grab in this uncertain and treacherous times if the referendum is not suspended, which it should be.
I wasn't aware of that. Thank you for informing me.

I wonder though if this article has ever been invoked?
 

ger12

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Apologies if this issue has been covered in existing threads, but having received the Referendum Commission booklet yesterday, one curious section leapt out from the Seanad proposals. It mentions the existing capacity of elected representatives to petition the President to call a referendum on a matter of national interest, if the support of one-third of TDs and a majority of Senators is obtained. Now, curiously, unlike other similar legislative articles mentioned, rather than simply raising the Dáil threshold, the booklet states that the referendum provision will simply be abolished. It must be admitted that the constitutional principle has never been invoked, but surely it would be preferable to maintain it as a failsafe rather than to scrap it?
Yes it would.

You would also have to wonder as to why the government chose to do this.
 

ger12

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Feb 25, 2011
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