Before they got elected Fine Gael promised that they would abolish the Seanad. At the time most people saw this Upper House of the Parliament as an undemocratic, costly and unnecessary institution that should be removed rather sooner than later. At the time Fine Gael was very popular as they had just won the election. Since then a lot has happened.
Fine Gael is not at all that popular anymore and has less support than Fine Fail, the party that was blamed for the Irish recession and a party that many declared as a “dead man walking”. This turn around happened in such a short time that Fine Gael should be seriously worried.
A consequence of that public change of mind is that people now don’t trust Fine Gael anymore and suddenly think a parliamentary control instance might still be a good idea. They ignore that the elections to the Seanad are COMPLETELY undemocratic as the system of electing Seanad members is a very odd mechanism that was dreamt up by the founders of the Irish democracy who clearly had a somewhat twisted view (from today’s perspective) of democracy. A huge proportion of people in Ireland have absolutely no voting rights.
So Fine Gael has screwed up and now the opinion about the Seanad changes and more people ask for a change or improvement of the Seanad instead of an abolition.
In my opinion the Seanad COULD be a very helpful instance, but only if a way was found that gives EVERY Irish citizen a voting right AND only if the election to the Seanad is completely different than the election to the Dail. One way could be a nationwide list system that is put together by each party completely constituency independent. It would have to rule out Independent candidates (unless they organise themselves in a list of Independents) and the Universities would have to lose their candidates. Another aspect would have to be that the Taoiseach must not have the right to put his friends on the Seanad by-passing the elections.
Significant changes, but they would make the Seanad to what it should be. Without that? Get rid of this unnecessary forum.
Some people have different agendas though and they are always shouting very loud. David Norris is one of them. He will disappear in a deserved political insignificance if the Seanad is abolished and he is fighting for his “importance”. He is attacking “Enda bloody Kenny” (Norris, sophisticated and polite as always!) for trying to abolish the Seanad and calls anyone who supports the plans to scrap the Seanad a “liar, thief and traitor to the Irish people”. www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/norris-slams-enda-bloody-kenny-for-seanad-abolition-attempt-598691.html
David Norris is a rude bully and people like him make me hope that the Seanad will be gone soon.