Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Seanad Bill 2020: Second Stage
As Senator Buttimer so eloquently put it, there have been 14 reports. Forgive me, and I am not doubting the Minister of State because he strikes me as a very decent man, but I do not believe there will be Seanad reform because the two conservative parties - his party's partners in government - will move heaven and earth to ensure there is no reform. Those parties are past masters at talking about reform in Parliament after Parliament and then ensuring that nothing changes.
I commend Senator Craughwell on making a courageous speech. With no disrespect to anybody else, the finest speech has just come from Senator Flynn, who summed up in a few words everything that is wrong with the Seanad, this elite House, as it is. We badly need reform. The notion that we will meet on New Year's Eve next year is, frankly, ridiculous. I ask that support be given to the amendments to the amendment and, failing that, that we do not talk about Seanad reform again.