TIPPERARY Senator Phil Prendergast has called for a peoples' vote on whether to reform the Seanad.
The Labour Senator told the Tipperary Star that she would back Senate reform, but not total abolition. The Seanad can't continue in its present form. "We have to have far greater accountability in relation to the Seanad," said Senator Prendergast.
"There should be a degree of marriage between local government and the Seanad." The Senate could also play a key role in examining and enacting EU legislation. "There's a requirement for good governance. We have some really good people in the Senate, like Economist Shane Ross, and Feargal Quinn." However, many of the Fianna Fail Senators "serve no purpose" and look as if they're "sitting out their time," said Senator Prendergast.
"Abolition of the Seanad could be problematic. Cutting Dail numbers like Fine Gael suggested could create a democratic deficit." Also, too much power has been given to unaccountable bureacrats. Senator Prendergast also criticised those who suggest scrapping "soft targets" such as Local Councils. "To target Local Authorities wouldn't be democratic."
Full story in this week's Tipperary Star.