Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Micheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
There is an issue in terms of how many referendums the Government can get through. The timetable of the convention is important because one year of the lifetime of this Oireachtas has gone. The Oireachtas needs reform. If anything, things are going backwards in terms of parliamentary democracy. The Seanad is a separate question but the Taoiseach has stated that it only makes sense if it is accompanied by serious reform of the Dáil as well. Has the Taoiseach considered allowing the constitutional convention the capacity to recommend the retention of a second chamber if that is its view or to tease out properly the fundamental issue of whether we should have a one-chamber or two-chamber democracy?