I think that would be a fabulous idea for the Seanad. I’d do it for the whole thing.
Whittle the candidates down, you’d probably have to have four regional votes, maybe a separate one for Dublin, so five areas. It’d be brilliant. Pay for itself and the mad thing is you’d get bandwagons for ‘the Ballycumber Boy’ and the like. Could we run it like the lovely girls competition with Ray D’Arcy hosting and introducing the talent section? Or perhaps have Jeremy Paxman as one of the judges doing the hard questions?
Fuck it, at least people would feel some connection with who ends up elected.
I wasn’t talking about the Dail (running the country) - just that in the senate we need to have our wisest. I didn’t mean ‘high-acheivers’ in the modern sense either - I just meant that they should have engaged in some aspect of public service in their lives (through a private company or whatever means).
Though I’d prefer along the lines of your suggestion that anyone say over the age of twenty five would be included in such a lottery. - However, first we would need to ensure that people were properly educated. Our current educational system is vastly deficient in this regard as it overwhelmingly focuses on the imparting of ‘facts’ to learners, rather than teaching them how to think for themselves and to express themselves in a manner expressive of their individuality etc.
Nope, still don’t agree with you. That’s what the current senate is supposed to be. It is totally divorced from the reality of living in a crime infested neighbourhood, surrounded by the indigent, the intolerant and the intolerable. It is the Dail sieved through D6 sensibilities.
And the age thing is a bust too. Don’t get me wrong, I hate young people, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a voice if they can be arsed to elect one of their own.
Put it this way - what is not desirable in the senate is the type of mentality that cannot distinguish between developing opinion about what constitutes the public good from their own views about what serves certain interests they have a stake in, or their own world views based on a very narrow experience. - To distinguish this requires maturity in the sense of knowing yourself and knowing something about the world. Let the main house fight it out over what interests get served in society and in what manner, but the senate ought to serve a different purpose. As per your example, one of its purposes is to take the heat and knee jerk reactions out of the main house. - It’s important to have wiser heads than Enda Kenny with some power to stop him for example, from taking the short term, short sighted, populist view, and arming up the Gardai, giving them extra powers, building loads of extra prisons etc (btw this is another one of his agendas to look out for - he’s a bit of a populist fascist imo!). Or, to stop NAMA etc.
Eh, correct me if I’m wrong, but since its the Constitution that makes provision of the Seanad, then it won’t be abolished by a vote of the FG party, or a decree of Herr-ReichsFuhrerInWaiting Kenny, but by a referendum of the people of Ireland.
Great - another referendum. Forgive me if I’ve lost faith in the capacity of referendums to be a positive force after Lisbon II.
What our legislature is crying out for is practical wisdom, entailing I think, a responsible long term view, and a widely informed, manly tone that contrasts favourably with the ignorance and hysterics that seems to pass for the most part for debate and politics these days.
But first, surely we need to get rid of the party political angle from the Seanad (and likewise, temper it in the dail - groupthink and institutionalisation of our representives is NOT good for the country). In particular make sure that such odious and conflicted Fianna Fail fuck puppetry in the Seanad as Donie Cassidy or any of the other numerous auctioneers and farmers with land and property interests coming out their ears, are removed from consideration. Or for that matter, the green behind the ears, straight edge gang, Fine Gael muppets, with their well meaning but naive and irrelevant speeches.
The whole system needs reform. Not just the Seanad.
I’m sure Sharper knows this but in case anybody else reading this doesn’t this is precisely the kind of function the Senate is supposed to perform. As opposed to being consolation prizes handed out to failed TDs. The theory of the Seannad is great. The problem is that it is stuffed with deadwood.
I’d go with argumentative, opinionated bollixes over the current crop any day.
There was some FG senator on the radio the other day saying the Seanad isn’t part of the solution so it must be part of the problem, and we need to see about getting rid of it.
Way to go sheep-boy!
Anyway, here’s what I think:
Inda is threatening to disband the Seanad as a means of forcing them to prove their relevance, preferably by coming up with the 50% of signatures that will force a referendum on NAMA. The Seanad saves itself, and Inda is seen as a cunning political genius.
I think that’s an interesting argument, but if you want to talk about relevance the more likely bit, I feel, is for the upcoming votes on some of the amendments. IMO, NAMA will be referred to the supreme court on purpose to copper-fasten its constitutionality rather than have a series of cases on particular points of constitutionality.
(I believe that is the process? If it is referred by el Pres, it cannot be challenged through the courts?).
If I could modify only one thing I would just introduce ostracism. There are plenty of things that can be improved, but I think that one would be most beneficial. It would bring ultimate responsibility of those elected - something that regular elections cannot provide. It is impossible for public to eliminate a hated politician now, even if he does not get any votes he would most propably finish in nice goverment position elected by his party memebers. Only complete and irreversible ban from political life by electros will would make our politicians more considerate.