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Referendum on Seanad abolition to be Budget shocker?


gijoe

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The Budget is going to be €5billion of nothing but bad news all round and the government need to show that the political class is also willing to 'take the pain' and to take some of the attention off the worse measures in the Budget. They need a 'spectacular' to achieve this and minor percentage pay or expenses cuts just won't cut it. The government need a big wheeze to announce on budget day, and announcing a Referendum on the abolition of the Seanad more than fits the bill.

The Seanad is costing certainly at least €12million or so a year all told. It has lost all public confidence with Ivor's antics and that of other Senators. It is a no brainer that the electorate will lap this up and get rid of it with about a 90% Yes vote. Just like announcing the decentralisation plan with smarties (civil servants) for every corner of the country took all the focus off that budget, announcing a Seanad abolition Referendum in the Spring would do the same for this budget.

From the government's point of view this a no lose situation. After the by-elections on the same day as the Referendum the government's days are numbered. The Greens would not win any Seanad seat in the next Oireachtas and FF would lose at least 15 seats between Taoiseach's nominees and the fall in their vote on the panels as they will be down over 100 votes between Cllrs and lost TD's - that is nearly two quotas on some of the panels. Whereas both FG and Labour would win loads to seats to groom their candidates for the following election. It will also test FG and Labour in their commitment for 'political reform' as the greatest resistance to this move would come from those parties. They could do themselves real damage in the public eye despite Kenny's announcement after which he was rounded on by his own Senators. This is a no brainer for FF and the Greens.

Watch this space......................... ;)
 


123

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It could backfire. Labour would presumably campaign against this referendum. I understand that they would be in favor of reforming the Seanad instead. They could use the referendum to set the labour party apart from civil war politics and announce that next time they are in government they will immediately hold a referendum on an establishing a more democratically elected Seanad. If they were successful in defeating the referendum it could place them in a very strong position for the, by then upcoming election. A strong labour vote would decimate FF.
 

wombat

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If they were successful in defeating the referendum it could place them in a very strong position for the, by then upcoming election. .
Do you seriously believe that a majority would vote to keep the Seanad?:lol:
 

vanla sighs

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Could be, who knows what the FF f*ckwits are thinking. No bad thing though, the Seanad is surplus to needs. While they're at it they can also cut the Dail by 50%, get rid of the government jets - or one of them at least. Slash their own pay, expenses and pensions - there's a 101 things they could do. Top down cuts.
 

McDave

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Could be, who knows what the FF f*ckwits are thinking. No bad thing though, the Seanad is surplus to needs. While they're at it they can also cut the Dail by 50%, get rid of the government jets - or one of them at least. Slash their own pay, expenses and pensions - there's a 101 things they could do. Top down cuts.
Top down would have been the way to do it. But Cowen utterly failed to appreciate this in, e.g., following through on the "who wants to be a millionaire" hospital consultant contracts (all of them as it happened). It's been downhill on leading by example ever since.

This clueless government has no credibility, and our plight will continue to fester for every second it remains in office.
 

Roll_On

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Isn't abolishing the senate in the Fine Gael Manifesto? I'm liking FG more and more, although they're capital spending and transport policy is retarded.
 

gijoe

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There was nothing in the 4 year plan about the political system taking a hit although we all know the government has to do something or the public will not wear it. Clearly this is being held back for the budget. Therefore, I reckon that the likelihood of the announcement of a Referendum to abolish the Seanad to be run on the same day as the coming election is nearly a dead cert.
 

Keith-M

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Would be a great move if it happened and FF has little to lose by it given they will have very few senate seats next time out.
 
Last edited:

gijoe

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Tony Killeen earlier on This Week stated there most likely would be a referendum on electoral reform, i.e. the abolition of the Seanad, on election day.
 

PostTiger

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Tony Killeen earlier on This Week stated there most likely would be a referendum on electoral reform, i.e. the abolition of the Seanad, on election day.
Noel Whelan was in this territory yesterday in the Irish Times also.

In addition to having the benefit of stealing publicity from the budget itself, a move such as this would insulate Biffo from opposition attacks regarding the delay in holding the GE - think of all the work involved in preparing referendum wordings etc.

It looks as if GiJoe was right way back in October.
 

Toland

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They are certainly likely to do everything they can think of to release cats into all areas where pigeons abound.

The interests of Fianna Fáil, after all, are either identical or superior to the interests of the country.

Do not underestimate the cavalier irresponsibility of Fianna Fáil when it smells a profitable political stunt.
 

KingKane

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kingkane
Tony Killeen earlier on This Week stated there most likely would be a referendum on electoral reform, i.e. the abolition of the Seanad, on election day.
Worth noting that if it takes the form of that last referendum on reform of the Seanad (in 1979) that it will simply be that the government may abolish the Seanad but not the specifics of doing so, then the next government might not end up do anything.

A wording like the following "Provision may be made by law for the abolition, and in the manner to be provided by law, of Seanad Eireann"
 

KingKane

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The main reason for FF wanting to abolish the Seanad is that they're running scared of the fact that FG would probably have twice the number of Senators that FF would after GE'11 and they're concerned not to allow FG have that much of an advantage going into future elections.
 

kerdasi amaq

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I'd vote NO as a matter of principle. I'd prefer giving the Seanad some teeth, so as to make life more difficult for our elected dictator cum Land Agent in Chief to the British Crown. Yes, Cowen I mean you.
 

reknaw

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Isn't it time to start thinking outside the box and address the question of constitutional reform comprehensively rather than fiddling around with single issues?

After all, the Constitution we have now dates from 1937 and a different world. In places it is like a cross between a religious tract and a political pamphlet. We need one that is more in touch with our times and what we can anticipate that the next few decades will bring.:confused:

Writing a new one is no small job and how best to do it is something on which there will be many views. One way would be to elect, by proportional representation, an assembly reflecting the overall composition of the population and let them do it, arranging hearings to consult various experts and interested groups as it saw fit. Another way would be to entrust it to a cross-party committee of whatever Dail emerges after the next election.

Now that it looks like Fianna Fail is finally being consigned to the midden of history, let us consign the handiwork of the party's founder to the same place.;)
 

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