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‘Hypocrisy’ over Seanad reform call

In his letter (Irish Examiner, Dec 7) Senator David Norris denounces the “43 political rotten boroughs with an electorate of approximately 1,000 electors” which makes up part of the Seanad electorate that he campaigned to retain. At the same time he is calling for the ‘reform and democratisation’ of the Seanad.

As the senator himself points out, any widening of the Seanad electorate will have the effect of favouring candidates who have ‘a high profile’, ‘facilitate the takeover by party interests’ and hinder the retention of ‘genuinely independent voices’. It will just be another Dáil.

All of this reeks of the hypocrisy which surrounded the recent successful campaign to retain the Seanad in a country that is both bankrupt and over-represented relative to similar-sized countries.

During that campaign, high-profile celebrities, with unrivalled access to media and the backing of academia, pulled out all the stops to retain an unnecessary and unaffordable talking shop. The Seanad will thus be continued at the expense of the hard-pressed taxpayers at a time when much more basic and necessary services are under pressure for funding.

Some of the celebrities, who campaigned to retain this talking shop are now arguing for totally contradictory ‘reforms’.

A Leavy


Dublin 13


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