Remember the "democratic revolution"? Seanad reform postponed!

shiel

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The fact is that the Seanad is irrelevant and unaffordabile in this recently bankrupt country.

Despite having too many politicians relative to our population both media and academia conducted a very effective campaign against the abolition of the Seanad in the recent referendum. They did the ordinary people of this over-borrowed country a disservice by succeeding in maintaining the Seanad as an expensive talking shop for the insider elite and their cronies.

In addition among the ludicrous 'reforms' being put forward for the Seanad is one that gives all citizens of the State and Northern Ireland and all passport holders world wide a right to directly elect Senators.

We already have a directly elected Dail. We do not need another one especially one with a large non-taxable electorate.
 


happytuesdays

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the thing is that the Seanad is affordable. It is just useless.
The fact is that the Seanad is irrelevant and unaffordabile in this recently bankrupt country.

Despite having too many politicians relative to our population both media and academia conducted a very effective campaign against the abolition of the Seanad in the recent referendum. They did the ordinary people of this over-borrowed country a disservice by succeeding in maintaining the Seanad as an expensive talking shop for the insider elite and their cronies.

In addition among the ludicrous 'reforms' being put forward for the Seanad is one that gives all citizens of the State and Northern Ireland and all passport holders world wide a right to directly elect Senators.

We already have a directly elected Dail. We do not need another one especially one with a large non-taxable electorate.
 

happytuesdays

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Were you resident in the UK when you voted in this referendum?
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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And only one of those options was on the ballot.
So what? If you only base your decision on the options that are offered, you simply give an incentive to the government to offer you fewer options.

Seanad reform is an incredibly poor use of government time. The Seanad doesn't matter.
If we're funding an institution that doesn't matter, it wouldn't be a bad use of government time to reform it.
 

shiel

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So what? If you only base your decision on the options that are offered, you simply give an incentive to the government to offer you fewer options.

If we're funding an institution that doesn't matter, it wouldn't be a bad use of government time to reform it.
The Seanad is irreformable, unaffordable and not needed in a country that has more politicians relative to population than most if not all countrys in Europe.

The abuse of power exercised by our media and academia during the referendum in not explaining the facts and in making a case to retain this expensive talking shop for their cronies is a scandal.
 

Mercurial

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The Seanad is irreformable, unaffordable and not needed in a country that has more politicians relative to population than most if not all countrys in Europe.

The abuse of power exercised by our media and academia during the referendum in not explaining the facts and in making a case to retain this expensive talking shop for their cronies is a scandal.
I never really understood the claim that we're somehow "over-represented". Surely it's a good thing to have politicians representing small numbers of people.
 

shiel

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I never really understood the claim that we're somehow "over-represented". Surely it's a good thing to have politicians representing small numbers of people.
The country was bankrupted and cannot afford over-representation in the Seanad by insider elite, friends of media and academia.
 

Toland

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I never really understood the claim that we're somehow "over-represented". Surely it's a good thing to have politicians representing small numbers of people.
Not if the expense in terms of red-tape, salaries and infrastructure outweighs the (dubious) added quality in debate and decision-making.
 

shiel

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Not if the expense in terms of red-tape, salaries and infrastructure outweighs the (dubious) added quality in debate and decision-making.
And there is a proposal to directly elect the Seanad and give Northern Ireland people and all immigrants a vote.

That is another Dail with much of the electorate not paying taxes to pay for its decisions.

That is hard to defend in a recently bankrupt country with high debt and media complaining about the recent expansionary budget.
 

Josip Broz

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So what? If you only base your decision on the options that are offered, you simply give an incentive to the government to offer you fewer options.
That makes no sense whatsoever but sums up the naïveté of the anti-abolition reformists. You can only vote on the options that are offered. Wishful thinking is ...well, wishful. The facts have proven the abolitionists were right when they said nothing would change if it was retained and all that nice talk of inevitable reform quickly vanished once the threat of the axe disappeared. Ever been had?
 

artfoley56

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In fairness to the govt they wanted it gone, it was up to the opposition to come up with credible alternatives to its abolition but they failed dismally to come up with anything remotely coherent and workable. When the govt have actual reforms proposals to work with THEN we might see some movement.

I voted to abolish the super quango BTW and even now it pains me to think that the upper house will continue on in its present state for decades to come. Take a bow those who voted to retain it.



How?
There's no "in fairness to the govt" on this. If they wanted it gone they should have refused to nominate people to it but we now have the unedifying McNulty and Cahill spectacles
 

caledhel

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And It's a lovely report!
On a flash reading, I agree with much of it.
But it is as powerless as the senate..
The active power for reform is in the Dáil. There is an important role for the Séanad that can be realised with a bit of thought and effort. It might raise the standards of conduct and performance for the Oireachtas as a whole though.
 

Peppermint

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I never really understood the claim that we're somehow "over-represented". Surely it's a good thing to have politicians representing small numbers of people.
Why?
We have loads of 'representatives' at local level no body knows anything about. They get elected by a tiny section of the whole community.
We've loads of 'representatives' at national level nobody knows too..

Who are they serving? Much of our recent history suggests many of them are not putting the public interest first.
But at a local level they are rarely held to account.
Meanwhile vast tracts of land get rezoned, making people millionaires overnight, but where are the checks?
 

caledhel

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It's quite right to object to the Séanad for a variety of reasons but ressentiment isn't one of them.

"Through its very origin, ressentiment is therefore chiefly confined to those who serve and are dominated at the moment, who fruitlessly resent the sting of authority. When it occurs elsewhere, it is either due to psychological contagion—and the spiritual venom of ressentiment is extremely contagious--or to the violent suppression of an impulse which subsequently revolts by "embittering" and "poisoning" the personality." [
Our organs of our democracy are designed to liberate us. Feelings of ressentiment are frequently used by the manipulators of public opinion to stir up popular sentiment against those very institutions that serve as a restraint to their predations. If we wish our democracy to work better we should reform it not indulge in narcissistic nihilism.
 

caledhel

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Why?
We have loads of 'representatives' at local level no body knows anything about. They get elected by a tiny section of the whole community.
We've loads of 'representatives' at national level nobody knows too..

Who are they serving? Much of our recent history suggests many of them are not putting the public interest first.
But at a local level they are rarely held to account.
Meanwhile vast tracts of land get rezoned, making people millionaires overnight, but where are the checks?
Well the representatives are geographically generated so the local ones should be known around the constituency. It is a duty of citizenship to be actively aware of what's going on.

I can understand your frustration with the system. We do have checks but that doesn't mean we don't need to overhaul them periodically and continuously evolve the institutions we have. Not reforming the system and stripping it of functionality only facilitates the sort of activities you point out.

A reformed Séanad could be part of a program of remedies to address this problem and stimulate a broader reform across our political culture. This is exactly what those that would be corrupt would be strongly opposed to.
 

Mercurial

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That makes no sense whatsoever but sums up the naïveté of the anti-abolition reformists. You can only vote on the options that are offered. Wishful thinking is ...well, wishful. The facts have proven the abolitionists were right when they said nothing would change if it was retained and all that nice talk of inevitable reform quickly vanished once the threat of the axe disappeared. Ever been had?
I really don't get what's so difficult to understand about it.

The government wants abolition, some people want reform, so the government makes sure they aren't presented with that option, so that some of them will choose the lesser of two evils.

Doing so simply plays into the government's hands.

The option I wanted wasn't presented to me, so I voted to thwart the government's preference. Doing so avoids giving them more of an incentive to try to bully voters in future. Not that it will make a blind bit of difference, of course.
 

Mercurial

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Why?
We have loads of 'representatives' at local level no body knows anything about. They get elected by a tiny section of the whole community.
We've loads of 'representatives' at national level nobody knows too..

Who are they serving? Much of our recent history suggests many of them are not putting the public interest first.
But at a local level they are rarely held to account.
Meanwhile vast tracts of land get rezoned, making people millionaires overnight, but where are the checks?
That's not a numbers problem, though: it's a sh*t politicians problem.
 


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