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The Seanad: what is it good for?


Congalltee

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Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
6,210
In my view quite a lot.
It provides a second look at legislation - I think over 900 amendments are made there annually.
The order of business provides a useful forum for raising issues which would otherwise not get a mention. Under parliamentary privilege.
It gives an opportunitity for young politicians to cut their teeth in a national forum, while giving wise old heads a place to give a piece of their mind,without having to bother with parish pump matters.
The quality of the debate is often much higher than the Dail.

So why is the senate so crap?

1. The electoral system has become a farce with Councillors expected to copy from a list.
2. Many have no real connection to the vested interest/panel from which they came.
3. Only ff tds can choose their leader.
4. Donie Cassidy.

So how can it be improved or is it beyond repair?
 


sondagefaux

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Jun 2, 2009
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15,675
1. The electoral system has become a farce with Councillors expected to copy from a list.
2. Many have no real connection to the vested interest/panel from which they came.
3. Only ff tds can choose their leader.
4. Donie Cassidy.
A few more points to add to your list:

5. Eoghan Harris
6. Eoghan Harris
7. Eoghan Harris
8. Eoghan Harris
9. Eoghan Harris
10. Eoghan Harris
 

mmrebel

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Jan 24, 2009
Messages
758
It's good for Laugh ,Calley, Boyle etc kinda like BB though though not as seedy
 

reknaw

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Jun 3, 2009
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3,867
Nothing. Get rid of it and restructure the Dáil along the lines of the unicameral parliaments that 14 EU member states have. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovakia are examples of countries that are doing fine without an expensive talking shop that serves only as a useful sink for TDs and wannabee TDs that the electorate have rejected and across-the-spectrum turncoat windbag appointees like Yawn Harris.:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

TradCat

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Jun 5, 2005
Messages
1,992
Nothing. Get rid of it and restructure the Dáil along the lines of the unicameral parliaments that 14 EU member states have. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovakia are examples of countries that are doing fine without an expensive talking shop that serves only as a useful sink for TDs and wannabee TDs that the electorate have rejected and across-the-spectrum turncoat windbag appointees like Yawn Harris.:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
+1
 

riker1969

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Feb 11, 2008
Messages
1,798
The bottom line is the current political structures failed to avoid this mess. The Committee system needs to be constitutionally backed as FG want but I wont hold my breath waiting for it. The Taoiseach's appointments to the senate need to be non-political and brought from a social as well as business backgroind. These two small enough reforms would be a step in right direction but will we see them-I doubt it. Turkeys-Christmas!
Noel Whelan made some good points about today in IT about politicians' inability to reform themselves. Until we have mass demonstrations it wont really happen.
 

ManfredJudge

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Mar 11, 2010
Messages
3,539
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Incitatus? Many a time and oft
Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The livelong day, with patient expectation,
To see great Incitatus pass the streets of Rome:
 

laura buckley

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May 12, 2010
Messages
13
in my view the seanad should be abolished ireland is too small a country to warrant a bicameral form of government it has no real use not even a veto its basically just a soapbox for rejected tds and political cronies
 

Keith-M

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15,779
Website
www.allkindsofeverything.ie
I've updated the thread title, just to change "Senate" to "Seanad".

And that's a key difference. The original Senate could actually have been useful. It was one of the obstactacles to Dev's suicidal financial policies of the 30's. The current talking shop is totally useless and an expensive waste of money. Its aboliton is one of the few things that I'm looking forward to, with an FG led government.
 

Porgie

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Jul 20, 2010
Messages
138
What is the Seanad good for?

With the exception of Ross and Norris, Nothing!

Unless you put a value on a collection of washed up and rejected wannabes endlessly waffling on at huge expense to the taxpayer. The Seanad is an expensive waste of precious resources on a largely useless talking shop that reminds me of the British House of Lords.

There should be no double jepordy in politics in this country, that is to say if you are rejected by the electorite, that's it! you should be done! unless you can campaign your way back in to the Dail that is. Also the appointment by sitting taoiseach of party hacks and friends is obscene, as evidenced by Bertie's appointment of Harris who is like some of the party hacks around here on speed.

Close it down, we wont miss it.....
 

Mushroom

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Nov 27, 2009
Messages
15,761
3. Only ff tds can choose their leader.

That point has nothing to do with the value of the Seanad - it serves merely to show the significance that FF attaches to the Upper house.


On the other hand, it appears that it was the FG Senators that saved Enda from oblivion - so maybe FF is right about something!
 

thenardier

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Sep 26, 2006
Messages
7
Back in the 1930s, when Bunreacht na hEireann was being drafted, Dev's preference was that there should not be a Seanad (the Senate established under the 1922 constitution having been abolished), but was persuaded that there should be one.

We now have 70+ years experience of the Seanad, which I think is ample time to assess its contribution, particularly vis a vis its cost. When you look at the various crises the state has been through, has there ever been a time when we have been able to say "but for the Seanad, we would not have made it through"? Given that the Seanad doesn't have a say on financial bills, we're unlikely to be saying that in the context of the current crisis.

It certainly hasn't disgraced itself and doubtless many able, competent people have served in it, but I believe that as our society evolves, our political structures should too; the Ireland of 2010 is clearly a whole different animal from that of 1937 and we should be able to say that, as well as the Seanad has served Ireland, its time has passed.

Incidentally, is Enda Kenny still committed to a referendum on abolishing the Seanad?
 

jtbooker

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Sep 8, 2009
Messages
555
Absolutely nowt. Get rid of it. And you can scrap that God-awful useless soundbite bint in the Park while you're at it too...
 

zuiderzee

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Jul 16, 2009
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amhrannua.com
At this point the Seanad is useless - as is the Dail and local Government.

Having looked at FG's New Era 'proposals' on electoral reform, there is a slight feeling that ones clothes have been stolen while swimming.
The only thing is the New Era program does not go far enough.

At least FG will consider it, on current electorial requirements - i.e. that a byelection should be held within 6 months of a seat being vacated.
FF and the Greens are willing to spend tens of thousands of our money in legal fees to avoid this requirement.

Its to me obviously opportunistic of FG to take an Amhran Nua idea and propose electoral reform.

The thing is, to rebuild the relevance of our political system is too important to leave in the hands of politicians.

FG's reform proposals are pointless as it will be politicians who will be drawing up the new system.

This is also the problem with Labour proposing another Amhran Nua idea of a constitutional conference to drag the basic law of the state kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

The established parties do not want the system to change and we do!
Its an extraordinary situation that has been going on since the foundation of the state.

It's a con act, because in every reform that we have had FF and FG have been determined that power should remain in the hands of the political caste.

They still are determined to develop a system that allows them to hold on to power, because it is their job - and in Ireland in particular with our dynastic political system, its also their families future.

What we the people want is for our views to be represented in our Dail, but the system is squewed against that because the vast majority of TD's are going to be lobby fodder.

I do not know what other readers are politically, but if you put an FF rosette on a dog down here it would get elected.

The current situation is ludicrous, our views - such as they may be - are not represented.
Our local government is so bad we need to ask TD's to do the job of coucillors.

The 'reforms' proposed by FG are not nearly radical enough.

What we need to do is move away from the idea that a TD represents a local constituancy, thats local governments job - supposedly.

We need to elect people to represent our point of view rather than our area.

And if you look at political party websites, Amhran Nua seem to be the only ones who offer open debate on how things should change, where your ideas and suggestions are welcome, not fobbed off with a standardised email response.
 

The Field Marshal

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Aug 27, 2009
Messages
44,412
Nothing. Get rid of it and restructure the Dáil along the lines of the unicameral parliaments that 14 EU member states have. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovakia are examples of countries that are doing fine without an expensive talking shop that serves only as a useful sink for TDs and wannabee TDs that the electorate have rejected and across-the-spectrum turncoat windbag appointees like Yawn Harris.:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
Agree fully on Harris.

Also agree fully on the nest of politically appointed refugees incubating in the Seanad chamber.

Dont agree it should be abolished.

Reform is needed and widening of the electoral franchise with concomitant reduction in the political patronage to the Seanad.
 

chaneyfrank

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Aug 29, 2010
Messages
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www.democratic-reform.ie
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frank chaney
The Dream

Perhaps the following poem might be of interest

Rise and Fall of a Nation

In Dublin Streets, one Easter morn, on blood drenched stones, a dream was born,
Our heroes they fought side by side, the prize they sought “A Nation”.
These leaders gave their lives for us, one tied to a chair,
But the seed was sown, would not be denied.
“A Nation was the Dream.”

Two brothers rose from the streets of blood, Collins and DeValera,
For many years they fought side by side, pledged to achieve that dream.
Then a chance for peace, three fields of green, a fourth denied.
The brothers chose two different paths, and Erin’s cries were heard again,
Their dreams, the same, their paths divide, The fields were soaked in blood again,
as “ Brother now fought Brother.”

Less than one hundred years have passed, the fourth green field is still enchained,
The fledgling Nation since has grown, and now at last peace reigns,
But there are those who would steal that dream, yet claim to be our leaders,
With lies, deceit, and greed, they brought our Nation to its knees,
And sold the dream, of those long forgotten hero’s,
“A Nation Free and Equal”.​
Author; Frank Chaney
 
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