Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Senator who now believes in reform.

Repost: He has spent years in the Seanad blocking even the slightest of changes. What’s worse, he has pretended that he hasn’t, participating in every debate and report on Seanad reform and slowed up every reform with the “need for consensus” and “all-party agreement”. The truth is, the little people, the PAYE drones who pay his generous salary, expenses and pension should shut up and know their place, which is existing to fund him, not elect him.

On the other hand, just watch him with his councillor electorate, whom he treats like members of the Court of the Sun King, grovelling and forelock-tugging like an extra on Downton Abbey. If he had to carry a bottle of Listerine in the car for use after ensuring that the lonely farmer councillors had been satisfied, he would.

And now, abolition is on the cards, and suddenly, he’s calling for reform, proposing passionately the same tinkering minor changes that he stalled years ago. Calling for a third of the Seanad to be elected, or the Institutes of Technology to have votes, or some other gracious concession, he can feel his heart racing as he sees the ground possibly go out from under him. He knows it won’t be enough. Either the Seanad will be elected 100%, by real vocational voters, farmers and teachers and workers and artists, or it will be abolished, neither of which fills him with cheer. The Seanad has always been the preserve, for the most part, of the politician’s politician, and now the rabble are going to have a say?

1 Comment

Daniel Sullivan
Apr 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

“On the other hand, just watch him with his councillor electorate, whom he treats like members of the Court of the Sun King, grovelling and forelock-tugging like an extra on Downton Abbey.”

The 6 thirdish level seat Senators haven’t all been that gung-ho about reform all the time either, I’ve seen the support reform of their own seats but only if it was all embracing. Don’t touch our seats if you’re not touching theirs was the cry.


 

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