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Seanad Abolition is Preferable; True Reform is Essential

While I very much disagree with the way which the present Government has approached the reform of our political institutions, I do not oppose the abolition of the Seanad. I will be voting yes on October 4th.

The debate around the Seanad had become almost a distraction from the overriding problem as I see it when it comes to our democractic institutions – and that is Local Government. We do not have a local government system that is fit for purpose, and I very strongly believe that many of the problems Ireland faces at the moment – be it economic or institutional – can be seen largely to have originated in this basic design flaw in our governance structures.

There can be no reform of the Oireachtas that can have any impact without radical, visionary reform at Local Government level. Abolishing the county councils would be far more effective than abolishing the Seanad – and in their place design a responsive, 21st century system of local administration the like of which already exists in those small, unicameral-based countries which Fine Gael has pointed to so often as examples to follow.

I believe that if we put in place a solid regional level of governance to which substantial powers can be devolved from the Oireachtas we could allow our national politicians to focus on the macro, national issues. Underpinning the regional level we must look to designing community-focused small municipal councils which are best placed to respond to the needs of communites and can provide that vital, missing democractic forum that the citizens of this country are crying out for.

 

 

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Posted by on September 27, 2013. Filed under Constitution,homepage,Latest News,Political & Public Service Reform. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.