Monday, July 23, 2007

Senate Election Count-Ireland

The count for the Senate election is under way. This will conclude on Friday. It is time for the Government to take hard decisions in relation to the Upper House. It is unlikely that any Government will abolish this political dinosaur. Meaningful reform is a sine qua non. The Senate electorate is unrepresentative as it consists of councillors and university graduates from the NUI and TCD. It is time to grasp the nettle and adopt the following reforms.
  • The Senate must be invested with meaningful powers. As it stands it is largely toothless. A powerful Senate committee could be invested with powers to block wasteful spending proposals emanating from the Lower House.
  • The national electorate should choose the Senate.
  • Dail and Senate elections should be held simultaneously.

The message is clear. Reform the Senate or else abolish it. As presently constituted it is undemocratic and a waste of tax payers money.

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