Aftermath of the Seanad referendum
Sir, – The Taoiseach may brace himself for wallop number two and three when the European and county council elections come around in 2014.
This will certainly come from the thousands of people who will have to retire in 2014 on reaching their 65th birthday.
These retired employees will have the humiliating experience of signing on for Job Seekers’ Allowance until the reach their 66th birthday, as this Government has decided to do away with the transition pension. – Yours, etc,
DENIS O SULLIVAN,
Knocklyon, Dublin 16.
Sir, – Judging by the East-West divide in the Senate referendum vote we can say that history really does repeat itself. The descendants of the victims of Cromwell have just failed in their attempt to curtail our delicate nascent democracy. In England it was roundheads versus cavaliers. What do we have? Graduates versus agrarians? – Yours, etc,
Firhouse, Dublin 24.
Sir, – The Grand Coalition of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin, with Dessie O’Malley as an outrider, has fallen at the first hurdle. Will we ever see the like again? – Yours, etc,
Raymond Street, Dublin 8.
A chara, – Yes 19 per cent; No 20 per cent; Don’t care 61 per cent. – Is mise,
LOMAN O LOINGSIGH,
Sir, – Voting last Friday was like taking a Mensa test set by Éamon Ó Cuív. Did it have to be so hard? – Yours, etc.,
Whitehall Road, Dublin 14.
Sir, – Did you hear the one about the country that voted to keep a political institution even though 99 per cent of their electorate were not eligible to vote for that particular institution? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Flushed with success, the Senators can get back to claiming milage from the far side of the moon. – Yours, etc,
Mount Tallant Avenue,
Sir, – The Seanad is to remain following the referendum. If it is correct that the No voters wanted reform and the Yes voters wanted abolition, do we now have a Seanad that no-one wants? – Yours, etc,
Ard na Dara,
Sir, – Our Senators may be breathing a sigh of relief as they go back to work today, however, the Irish people are sadly deluding themselves if they believe for one minute this Government will engage in realistic reform of the Senate, now that the voters have rejected the Government’s plan to abolish the second house. Lewis Carroll sums it up best. “ ‘There’s no use trying’, Alice said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things’. ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’. – Alice through the Looking Glass. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – It is good that the country has voted to keep the Seanad. Our Government should recognise that the people have spoken! Or will it be like the European vote: we keep on till we get right?
Is it not time to to reform Dáil Éireann? Is it not far too big and costly for our present needs? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Unlike some poor unfortunates, the well-heeled occupants of the Seanad got to keep their house. Let’s hope the reprieve will encourage that institution’s parliamentarians to finally get their opulent residence in proper working order.Otherwise,they could well face eviction some time in the near future. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – As former British prime minister Harold Wilson, once said, “A week is a long time in politics”. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The result of the Seanad referendum confirms one thing. The Irish electorate prefers the Seanad, with all its limitations, to diktat from the four-person Economic Management Council with its unelected advisers. There is still room to express a view in the Seanad, a facility which seems to be fast disappearing in the Dáil. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The loss of the referendum to abolish the Seanad should not be a surprise to the Government. The manner in which some of the very important and far-reaching recent legislation has been pushed through has left a very uncomfortable feeling in the voting populace. The public however, unlike party members, does not have to obey a party whip, a factor which is doubly important in these financially beleaguered times. – Yours, etc,
Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
Sir, – A simple first reform: close nominations for the next Seanad election before polling day for the Dáil. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – 14,355 spoiled votes were cast in the Seanad referendum: 1.2 per cent of the total. How many of these resulted from Breda O’Brien’s misguided call to voters to write “Reform” on their ballot papers (Opinion, September 28th)? Ironically, given the narrow margin of victory for the No side, Ms O’Brien’s ill-informed and irresponsible advice came dangerously close to producing the opposite result from the one she advocated. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The Irish people, in their ineffable wisdom, have voted. As far as I can see they have voted to continue subsidising expensive, elitist, pointless windbaggery, but there you are. Not so much turkeys voting for Christmas. More puddings voting for hams? – Yours, etc,
Maretimo Gardens West,