Dáil would have too much control if Seanad is abolished, campaigners argue
on 27/05/2013 15:37:52
The independent group, Democracy Matters, says the Seanad should be maintained to keep checks and balances, and scrutinise what goes on in the Dáil.
The government is expected to hold a referendum in the autumn on whether to get rid of the Seanad and its 60 senators, with no option to vote on reforming it.
Joe O'Toole from Democracy Matters is calling on the government to consider changing how it works, instead of getting rid of the upper house.
He says the idea of leaving the Dáil with all the power is frightening.
"We are not here defending the current Seanad. It has done a number of good things it has never lived up to its potential," he said.
We see a power grab opening up here in front of us, being further focused amongst a political elite and a house where people can only speak when elected to by their whips and vote how they are told by their whips."