Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Seanad Bill 2020: Second Stage
It is very helpful that the Senator brought that fact forward. Neither of us is an unqualified admirer of the Citizens' Assembly mechanism, to say the very least.
What is urgently needed, if politicians are genuinely sincere about reform, and as I said last week, is that we identify a date by which the necessary reform must be carried out. We also need a committee of these Houses to consider and be tasked with coming up with a proposal that will, in my view, necessarily encompass a proposed constitutional change and have accompanying legislation to give effect to that.
I am on the record as stating that what I would like to see is a Seanad elected by means of a list system that would allow a national electorate to consider people on the basis of the ideas they have, as groups, and that this would balance, very appropriately, the local basis on which Members of the Dáil are elected. I have said all of this before and I would like to see the various matters to which I refer teased out by a future committee that might be established to consider these proposals. I support the Bill because I support what is an honourable and intelligent attempt to follow through on the mandate that was given.