Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has dismissed the Government’s proposed ‘major reforms’ of the Seanad as simple window dressing, pointing to the Government’s failure to even address the central criticism of the Seanad – namely the method by which members are elected.
Deputy Martin commented, “Once again, the Government has just failed to understand the issue of Seanad Reform. When the country demanded real reform in the recent referendum, they were not talking about renaming debates or tinkering with the schedule of the Seanad. They were demanding change in how Senators are elected and demanding fundamental change in how we conduct the business of politics in Leinster House.
“Once again, the Government thinks that by spinning something as ‘major reform’ while tinkering at the edges they will convince the public that they are actually doing things differently. Instead, every time they do it, the public’s confidence in our political system suffers another little bit and cynicism grows.
“The Taoiseach acknowledged that he misjudged the Seanad referendum, but instead of recognising the opportunity to do something radical and bold he has reverted to the same process of window dressing and spin that has characterised his Government’s entire approach to political reform. This is just another opportunity wasted and another disappointment for those who want change.”