Time now to listen to the people

To make an announcement in an after dinner speech that you are going to call for the abolition of the Seanad and then when you get into power and do just that and refuse to go before the people to explain your view, is not a good idea.

To make an announcement in an after dinner speech that you are going to call for the abolition of the Seanad and then when you get into power and do just that and refuse to go before the people to explain your view, is not a good idea.

Back in the Eighties one of the best political satires ever was broadcast every Saturday morning by RTE Radio One.

It was called Scrap Saturday and was written by the late Dermot Morgan and Gerry Stembridge.

Politicians got a roasting and the people loved it.

You had Charlie Haughey and Mara. There was a strong rumour at the time that Haughey didn’t like it and got it stopped.

Last Saturday Taoiseac h Enda Kenny called on the people to scrap the Seanad.

The people didn’t listen and once again the joke was on the politicians calling for the scrapping of part of our democracy.

many Fine Gael senators didn’t agree with the idea, including local senator Terry Brennan who said:

“I was always an advocate of reform. I believe a reformed Seanad can make real contributions for future generation.

“People should realise that many bills that have become law originated in the Seanad.”

That is true. The Seanad can become a really worthwhile institution if prober reforms are carried out.

Nobody wants to see a situation like that which exists in the United States where both houses of the Congress have similar power and the gridlock we have seen created over the past few weeks comes into existence. But people do want to keep this constitutional watchdog.