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The case for real Seanad reform, dissolution or cosmetic change?

  • The case for improvement of the Seanad is most definately hit the public awareness, however corrupt and politically manipulated it is, it must be replaced with something.
  • I propose to uphold the constitutional position that all members of the Seanad not appointed to represent the Government and opposition, as per the constitution; that is to say only those in accordance with the constitution shall be carrying party banner, and the rest shall remain independent as they are supposed to be.
  • The new upper house,whatever it be called should be openly and democratically elected by the panels and subpanels electorates, with the results showing the members votes not controlled by the big parties machines.
  • The Panels and subpanels bring together specific specialisation, and can not any longer be taken for granted as a springboard for Councilors who have failed to get the nomination to the Dáil to gain name recognition or those who have lost office to have an alternative life, waiting to return.
  • Seanad has historically spent longer time looking over legislation and proposing amendments; it also has a constitutional role as check and balance in view of more direct legislation from Europe now having to originate in the European Parliament and need enactment in the EU Member-states national parliament, as a result of Lisbon 2 Referendum having been past, Ireland needs to wake up and clear the backlog in Directives, Decisions and Regulations, which remain incomplete; let alone the United Nations Conventions (such as Rights of People with Disabilities, woman and the child, to name a few) which have neither resulted in work to implement nor to ratify.
  • If the Dáil already cannot cope with the workload, why do the mainstream parties think that can improve and run a system based on wasting time maintaining a confrontational politic, rather the consensus politics.
  • Is there a single democracy where there is a Unicameral parliament that works?
  • We should look to the Isle of Man, where Partisan Politicking does not result in perception of corruption and self-interest.
  • As a public servant I find it offensive that the worst public representatives often manage to be regarded as wasting resources. My duty means I should not lose for doing what I provide as my constitutional duty.
  • I for one want all Deputies and Senators to agree to get no more then the Basic Industrial Wage, or Equivalent Social Welfare Payments for their family, if higher and only claim expenses based on legitimately incurred receipted expenditure, rather then to cover their life of luxury.
  • Only by ensuring that our public representatives are standing for the right reasons, rather then milking the "gravy-train", can we expect real reform.
  • No more "Donations over €100, no expenses without legitimate cause. I stated this 12 years ago.
  • The appearance of corruption and abuse must be over. No person elected to public office shall be entitled to a public pension for a job they are not doing, or while in another public office.
  • If a person is no longer in office, and have lost a pension or social welfare payment(s) as a result of running for office, then they should be able to have a public pension paid out to them at the same rate as that they lose, otherwise not until they retire.

Damon Matthew Wise 5th March 2011, C.C.E.

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