Thursday, 7 November 2019
Report of the Seanad Reform Implementation Group: Statements
John Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
I am just highlighting the lack of unanimity, to say the least, that exists.
Deputy Cassells asked what international expertise I used in my assertion about registration. I just use the practical interpretation that we, as public representatives, use. In other words, it is not sufficient to state that just because a group believes that not everybody who is entitled to register will do so, it will be possible to avoid administrative problems when it comes to the compilation of an electoral register. The starting point should be that the maximum number of people should engage in the process, and that is what we should be about facilitating. I understand the Deputy's point to the effect that it might be a more gradual process in reality. However, we cannot legislate for a House of the Oireachtas being elected on the basis that only a quarter of the people entitled to vote will actually register to do so. That is not the way any legislature should operate.