This Week In The Seanad

Schedule of Business
Tuesday 28th,Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th January 2014

14:30 – Order of Business
15:45 – An Update on Youth Justice Policy
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs]
Spokesperson Senator Imelda Henry

10:30 – Order of Business
Motion regarding the Constitutional Convention – without debate
[Department of the Taoiseach]

11:45 – Health Identifiers Bill 2013 – Order for Second Stage and Second Stage
Spokesperson Senator Colm Burke

13:35 – 14:00 Motion re Freedom of Information -[Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform] Spokesperson Senator Tom Sheahan

15:00 – 17:00 Private Members Business – Text below:- T/Nominees re Seanad Eireann.


10:30 – Order of Business
11:45 – Statements on the Humanitarian Situation in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic
Spokesperson Senator Michael Mullins
That Seanad Éireann –
conscious that the people of Ireland have recently rejected a constitutional amendment for its abolition
noting the clear terms of Article 6 of Bunreacht na h- Éireann which acknowledge that it is the “right” of the people “to designate the rulers of the State”,
noting that the terms of Bunreacht na h- Éireann at Article 18 provides for a “general election” of Seanad Éireann’s members on “the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote”,
noting the overwhelming consensus both among those who proposed and those who opposed abolition of the Seanad that the existing statutory system for its general elections was unjust, elitist and undemocratic,
noting the public statements by members of the Government it was indefensible that some citizens had up to seven votes in such “general elections” while other citizens had no vote at all,
conscious that no provision of Bunreacht na h- Éireann requires or even suggests that the electorate in Seanad general elections should be composed of such a restricted group as elected members of county and city councils, outgoing members of the Seanad and incoming Teachtai Dala, as at present,
conscious that the Oireachtas is empowered by Bunreacht na h- Éireann to provide by ordinary legislation for general elections to the Seanad in a manner that vindicates the aforementioned right of the people to designate their rulers,
noting that any legislation simply extending the existing Universities election to further higher education bodies, as overwhelmingly authorised by the people some 34 years ago, would still leave 90% of Seanad general elections unchanged and would still result in some citizens having up to seven votes in a Seanad general election while other citizens would have no vote at all,
and noting the Taoiseach’s commitment to seek a consensus on reforming the Seanad and the Government’s commitment to pre-legislative scrutiny of important proposals for legislative reform,
Now calls for the legislative reform of the Seanad within the existing terms of Bunreacht na h- Éireann to include and reflect, as a starting point, two core principles:

The right of each citizen to vote in general elections of Seanad Éireann

The principle of “one person, one vote” in such general elections

thereby fully vindicating the constitutionally guaranteed right of the people to designate their rulers,
and for the immediate establishment of an all-party task force to consider such legislative reform of general elections for Seanad Éireann.

Senators Katherine Zappone, Mary Ann O’Brien, Jillian VanTurnhout, Fiach Mac Conghail, John Crown, Feargal Quinn, Fidelma Healy Eames, Paul Bradford


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