The counts continue today for the Seanad Éireann elections to elect 49 of the 60 Senators that will occupy a part of Leinster House for the duration of the next government. Apart from the Trinity "constituency" - I'm not really interested in who gets elected and who doesn't. Much discussion is about whether this is the last Senate election and if it is to be abolished. With a few exceptions (notably the likes of Shane Ross, David Norris, Eoghan Harris, Joe O'Toole, and many other Independent/University Senators) - I can't see what major contribution to Irish society has been made by the Senate.
|Seanad Chamber, Leinster House.|
Photo from MerrionStreet.ie.
After this most undemocratic of elections (eg - I have a vote courtesy of graduating from Trinity, while many other graduates do not), the Taoiseach Mr Kenny can nominate 11 senators of his own. Thus ensuring a government majority in the "upper house". Occasionally we get a token senator who is not a member of the Government party - eg Gordon Wilson, Eoghan Harris, and Seámus Mallon. Otherwise it is usually a mix of cronies, general election losers, and those who are "owed".
I (in my small squeaky voice) now call on Mr Kenny NOT to appoint anyone to the Senate. This will save 11 salaries (surely at least a million euro per year saving to the Exchequer - a lot more when expenses are taken into account?). Not to mention it would enhance Mr Kenny's reputation with his reformatory zeal to abolish the Senate entirely. If you mean it - NO appointments.
But you won't do this. First - you have favours to repay, losers to appease, rewards to be made. This will perhaps be the last chance to make such nominations, and my guess is that despite your zeal - you will not pass up this opportunity to look after your cronies.
No excuses - eg, don't hide behind some Constitutional requirement. Who is going to sue? Even if you have to do it because of some "constitutional requirement" - why not appoint people who will do the job for nothing? I would gladly do it - pick me!