Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Reply to the "Seanad Reform" Group

Earlier today I received an email from a Communications firm acting on behalf of, as below.
Dear Councillor

Attached is a consultation paper entitled ‘Radical Seanad Reform Through Legislative Change - Proposals for Measures to Transform Seanad Éireann Without The Need For Constitutional Amendment’ prepared by Senator Feargal Quinn, Michael McDowell, Joe O’Toole, Noel Whelan and Senator Katherine Zappone. 

They look forward to receiving your views on

Kind regards, etc
 The document is meant to be available online. My response is below.

Hi .....,
many thanks for your email. I read through much of the consultation paper earlier today. Much of it is interesting; some of it is downright offensive, e.g. the proposal to maintain votes for graduates, and the vestige of the quasi-fascist Quadragesimo Anno in support of vocational panels.
My views are straightforward. Seanad Éireann is an anachronistic, elitist institution which is beyond reform. If we, as a country, are genuine about actual democracy, and giving power to citizens and communities, we will move on from the Seanad sideshow and seek real reform of the Dáil, local authorities and other structures.
I, of course, accept that some individual Senators have been excellent advocates in the past; but the institution itself is the problem.
Is mise, le meas,
Dermot Looney
Cllr Dermot Looney
Labour Party | Pairtí an Lucht Oibre
Tallaght Central