How to fix Seanad Eireann… Well if we had an effective and accountable Dail, I would be for the abolishment of the Seanad. Enda Kenny’s ‘promise’ of Dail reform after abolishing the Seanad is just not enough for me to vote Yes in the upcoming referendum. I believe effective Seanad reform can be done if we are truly willing.
Below I have listed just a few ways the Seanad can be more effective and cost-saving. (In the future I’ll post a Dail reform as there are just so many ways it can be approved!!!)
- Reduce the amount of Senators to 30.
- Senators are elected by Seanad election which is run every 5 years before the General Election.
- Senators can only spend a total of 10 years in the Seanad.
- Everyone has one vote. There are no appointments that can be made by An Taoiseach or any other political party or President.
- Senators are not required to be associated with a political party. They are also not subject to a party whip.
- Senators have a salary of 50k euro per annum. Vouched expenses can be claimed for travel only.
- There is no pension entitlement for a Senator.
- Senators can debate Bills, provide changes to Bills, put forward Bills/Legislature for progressive change in Ireland, challenge the Dail where it sees fit. Basically hold the Dail accountable to any controversial decisions that are made, which are not in the best interests of the country as a whole.
In an ideal world, the Seanad would be more than a talking shop for politicians that failed to gain election into government.
The Seanad should attract educated individuals that are driven to make Ireland a better country, socially and economically.
In effect, Senators would be independent and experts in their fields.