Seanad should be radically reformed, not abolished

In an effort to win electoral support Enda Kenny promised to abolish the Seanad. The proposal grabbed headlines but thats about all. Since winning electoral support and gaining power Enda Kenny’s government has done precious little to progress political reform at any level in Ireland. I believe we need reform of politics in this country at all levels, local and national. Abolition of the Seanad does not equal political reform. Instead of abolishing the Seanad it should be reformed and here are six simple suggestions that if implemented will deliver increased accountability, transparency and effective democracy;

1. Members to the Seanad should be elected by the General Electorate on the same day as Dail Elections

2. The Seanad should elect Vocational experts on a regional basis*

3. The Taoiseachs nominees and University Panels should be abolished

4. Vocational Panels should be retained with two new ones created to deal with the Economy and the Environment

5. Senators should be allowed to introduce legislation and question ministers

6. The Seanad should have a veto over the Dail

* by regional basis, I mean according to the european constituencies e.g. Leinster, Munster, etc.