Seanad debates

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Seanad Bill 2020: Second Stage


10:30 am

Photo of David NorrisDavid Norris (Independent) | Oireachtas source

The Bill is a bit like the curate's egg; it is good in parts but stinks in some of the others. I have advocated since 1979 the extension of the franchise to the University of Limerick and Dublin City University. I have always been onside for that and I think it would be a good thing. I also think the idea of an element of universal suffrage is terribly important for the democratic strengthening of the House.

My friend who has just left the Chamber challenged me on the question of democracy in respect of the county council seats. I well remember the days when party officers used to lock Senators in the party rooms, tell them who to vote for and stand over them until they did so. How democratic was that?


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