The Grandmammy of Fianna Fail, Mary O’Rourke, writes in The Irish Times here about the need for Seanad Reform, and points to the 2004 all-party report. Reading her piece, she pretty much defines the problem with the Irish political establishment. Things have moved on beyond fiddling around with piecemeal reforms, and the only reason this reform is on the table is because she and others have suddenly realised that the stalling they did on their own report (written seven years ago) has now rebounded on them.
She’s like a British officer sticking her head in the window of the GPO during the fighting and saying: “Oh! We didn’t realise you were this annoyed? How about we bring in that Home Rule thing we’ve opposed for the last fifty years?”
I was one of the people she mentions who submitted proposals, as part of a group advocating a directly-elected vocational Seanad. At the time I would’ve accepted the O’Rourke report as progress, but not now. Mary O’Rourke can stick her crumbs-off-the-table proposals, sweeping bits of cake off the political table at the little people because they seem angry. We either end up with a house at least 80% elected by real voters, or abolish the damn thing.