Remember the "democratic revolution"? Seanad reform postponed!

Peppermint

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I don't think it's plausible to suggest that in this case, it would be more politically feasible to abolish the Seanad and then establish a new upper house, than it would be to reform the one that already exists.
Well our choice was to abolish the senate, and deal with all the assorted issues it may have thrown up.
Or just carry on with the same old shiitte.. We decided on the same old shiitte...

Which makes me believe we are not far away from ff nua taking power again...
 


Peppermint

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Peppermint, what do you make of the points quoted from the report? Is there anything that you'd like added, changed or removed?
Its a report.
What I, or other people think of it is irrelevant.
We pay shed loads of quangos to produce lovely reports to ignore, do we really need a 2nd chamber to do the same?
 

NYCKY

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On the other hand, if we had voted to abolish it, governments would be saying "you've had your reform" for the next three decades. Probably still better the way it worked out.
Well they did try more electoral reform. The most pressing problem of them all, the voting age of Presidential candidates.

That didn't work out so well either.

There is plenty of meaningful electoral reform that could be achieved, they just can't be arsed.
 

Peppermint

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Peppermint, what do you make of the points quoted from the report? Is there anything that you'd like added, changed or removed?
And It's a lovely report!
On a flash reading, I agree with much of it.
But it is as powerless as the senate..
 

devoutcapitalist

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Well many people were naive enough to keep the Seanad in 2013, you made your bed, you can lie in It and stop moaning.

I voted to get rid of the Seanad in the correct belief that It's a waste of time and a glorified county council chamber for failed Dail candidates as well as party lackeys.
 

gijoe

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I regret voting to retain it. In my innocence, I assumed the government wouldn't be so petty as to ignore the obvious support for reform.
'Reform' was always a bogus cat call from those who wanted to retain their sinecure as they knew that 'reform' will never benefit the incumbents looking for a 'soft landing' from the plebs daring to give them their P45 from the Dail.
 

saab900

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The options are:

1. Approve the amendment.
2. Reject the amendment.

To reject a particular amendment is not to imply approval for the status quo. It is (at most) to prefer the status quo over the specific amendment in question.

This isn't a complicated point, and it's perfectly easy to see why rejecting an amendment doesn't entail approval of the status quo: the fact that someone votes not to abolish the senate does not imply they are happy with the status quo.
The only thing you can infer from the result of the ballot is that a majority of people want to keep the Seanad.

Whether or not that same majority want to reform it is matter of conjecture.
 

Mercurial

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The only thing you can infer from the result of the ballot is that a majority of people want to keep the Seanad.

Whether or not that same majority want to reform it is matter of conjecture.
That simply isn't true.

It doesn't follow from the fact that the amendment was rejected that a majority want to retain the status quo. All that follows is that a majority of those who voted didn't want it abolished.
 

GJG

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There are three basic options: 1. Abolish, 2. Maintain the status quo. 3. Reform.

Suppose your preference is for reform
and that the government's preference is for abolition.

Ideally, the government ought to give you all three options in a referendum.

In this case, the government only offered people two options - the status quo, or abolition.

If those who prefer reform choose the status quo and their side prevails, the government's first preference is thwarted.

If those who prefer reform choose abolition and their side prevails, the government's first preference is satisfied.

So, your options (if you prefer reform) are as follows:

1. Neither you nor the government's first preferences are satisfied.

2. The government's first preference is satisfied.

If you choose option 2, then the government has no incentive in the future to offer you your preferred option. It knows that it can simply force you to choose its preferred option, by excluding your other preferences.

On the other hand, if you choose option 1, then the government has less of an incentive to exclude options from you in the future.
Sorry, that just doesn't make rational sense. Reform isn't one particular thing. In the case of the various people who opposed the referendum, reform was a range of often diametrically-opposed ideas; but none of the people who said that they were in favour of reform even commented on the fact that they shared a platform whose ideas of reform were the direct reverse of theirs.

This leads me to believe that they had no intention of reform, they were just playing for time to get the referendum defeated and bury the whole issue for another generation, which is exactly what happened.

For example, some people suggested making the Seanad more democratic, reducing or eliminating the places reserved for special interests. Others propose having more places reserved for special interests; Travellers, women, emigrants, immigrants were mentioned. Equally, various 'reform' advocates proposed increasing the power of the Seanad; others promised that its powers would be unchanged or reduced.

You can't bunch together people who want a more powerful, more democratic Seanad with people who want a special interest-dominated talking shop. Their demands aren't remotely equivalent, and the fact that they shared a platform proved that neither were sincere in what they were saying.
 

Mercurial

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Sorry, that just doesn't make rational sense. Reform isn't one particular thing. In the case of the various people who opposed the referendum, reform was a range of often diametrically-opposed ideas; but none of the people who said that they were in favour of reform even commented on the fact that they shared a platform whose ideas of reform were the direct reverse of theirs.
That's why I said "basic" ideas. There are, of course, a bunch of different options that come under the "reform" label. The point is about what it's rational for a person to choose, if their preference is for some sort of reform.

You can't bunch together people who want a more powerful, more democratic Seanad with people who want a special interest-dominated talking shop. Their demands aren't remotely equivalent, and the fact that they shared a platform proved that neither were sincere in what they were saying.
Sure you can - they all fall into the category of people whose preference is to have a reformed Senate. The fact that they had different ideas about what that should look like doesn't make a difference in this context, provided that all of them believed a No vote would make it easier to reform according to their preferred vision.
 

happytuesdays

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That just shows that those in power have no interest in reform, not that those who voted to retain the Seanad don't.
The blueshirts offered the most sweeping reform imaginable.
 

GJG

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That's why I said "basic" ideas. There are, of course, a bunch of different options that come under the "reform" label. The point is about what it's rational for a person to choose, if their preference is for some sort of reform.



Sure you can - they all fall into the category of people whose preference is to have a reformed Senate. The fact that they had different ideas about what that should look like doesn't make a difference in this context, provided that all of them believed a No vote would make it easier to reform according to their preferred vision.
Would you suggest that Renua and PBP/AAA are just subdivisions of a group who want taxation reformed?
 

hurling_lad

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That simply isn't true.

It doesn't follow from the fact that the amendment was rejected that a majority want to retain the status quo. All that follows is that a majority of those who voted didn't want it abolished.
There is no difference between wanting to keep something and not wanting it abolished.
 

hurling_lad

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That's why I said "basic" ideas. There are, of course, a bunch of different options that come under the "reform" label. The point is about what it's rational for a person to choose, if their preference is for some sort of reform.



Sure you can - they all fall into the category of people whose preference is to have a reformed Senate. The fact that they had different ideas about what that should look like doesn't make a difference in this context, provided that all of them believed a No vote would make it easier to reform according to their preferred vision.
One major difficulty with the idea that the people be given an unspecified 'Reform' option is that many people mightn't like the reform proposal that emerges.

Say that I wanted Seanad reform, so I voted against the amendment. The powers that be then come up with a reform proposal that I don't like and put it to another referendum. I, however, so dislike the proposed reform that I would actually prefer the Seanad be abolished rather than keep either the status quo or enact the reform. Unfortunately, the abolition choice is now off the table.
 

grassroots

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This is ridiculous, and shows a complete lack of regard for the electorate.

There are 5 panels; Administrative, Agri, Cultural and Educational, Industrial and commercial, and Labour. Designate 12 seats for each.

Allow the Taoiseach one candidate nomination for each, the Universities collectively nominate one candidate for each, the nominating institutions one candidate nomination for each and the rest of the candidates proposed by whatever means is available, including one by which a candidate can be nominated by popular petition or some other means outside local or national government. None of them should be party affiliated.

Then hold an unrestricted ballot, of all registered voters, to vote for who should get the seats on each panel.

It should be for a fixed term, it should be part-time and payment should be ex-gratia, and should garner no pension entitlements.

That would require a constitutional amendment. I would of course oppose that as I was one of the 49% who wanted it abolished.

The only proposal on the ballot paper was retention as it currently stands. There were no reform options put to the people on the ballot paper.
 

sauntersplash

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The real surprise is that people didn't see this situation coming. Am I some sort of genius political soothsayer, or is everybody else just really stupid?
 

Mercurial

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Would you suggest that Renua and PBP/AAA are just subdivisions of a group who want taxation reformed?
If they were facing off against those who didn't want any taxation reform (or who wanted to abolish tax in general), sure.
 

Mercurial

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One major difficulty with the idea that the people be given an unspecified 'Reform' option is that many people mightn't like the reform proposal that emerges.

Say that I wanted Seanad reform, so I voted against the amendment. The powers that be then come up with a reform proposal that I don't like and put it to another referendum. I, however, so dislike the proposed reform that I would actually prefer the Seanad be abolished rather than keep either the status quo or enact the reform. Unfortunately, the abolition choice is now off the table.
There's no reason why it should be off the table, except that the government gets to determine what options it puts to the people.

That's an unfortunate flaw in our system more generally.
 

Mercurial

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There is no difference between wanting to keep something and not wanting it abolished.
Of course there is.

It's the difference between wanting the Senate to remain as it is, and wanting it to be reformed. Both options are distinct, and both are distinct from abolition.
 

happytuesdays

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Of course there is.

It's the difference between wanting the Senate to remain as it is, and wanting it to be reformed. Both options are distinct, and both are distinct from abolition.
And only one of those options was on the ballot.
Seanad reform is an incredibly poor use of government time. The Seanad doesn't matter.
 


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