Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Ireland may abolish it's second Chamber. So does Wales need one?

One of True Wale's argument against further powers is the question of scrutiny, as the Assembly is Unicameral. The idea however that we need a second chamber to do this is a common one even among proponents of Independence.However  it is interesting therefore that the new Fine Gael government in Ireland will advocates the abolition of the "Seanad" and it said that it will hold a referendum on 'Constitution Day', in which voters will decide on the proposal, within 12 months of coming to office.It's likely coalition partners the Irish  Labour party too would like to see the Seanad abolished.

'Labour believes that a nation of our size, scale and composition only needs one strong, single chamber,' its manifesto said'.
It will be interesting to see the debate in Ireland over the next few months this but it does show that it is possible to consider passing laws without the benefit (or hindrance) of a second chamber and mature democratic parties will consider this.

Personally I believe that if  the committee structures set up within the Assembly are vigorous and have a independent mandate.Then we also, considering  the size of our Nation and of course the actual limit of the law making powers that we will have in the event of a Yes vote on Thursday, really do not need an unelected or even elected second chamber to scrutinise law making.Certainly not  at this time.And certainly do not need politicians in Westminster to act as one.

1 comment:

  1. As an Irish citizen, I have mixed feelings about 'getting rid' of the Seanad. On the one hand I feel that sometimes government are a bit too-enthusiastic about enacting legislation and that bodies like the Seanad in delaying legislation, offer an opportunity to take a step back and reconsider that which is under consideration. On the other hand however, I am also aware that many senators can be out-of-touch with public feeling and sometimes do little apart from frustrate government and the speed with which legislation is enacted.

    I would however say that the second/upper house situation in the UK can best be described as belonging to the 15th century. I cannot think of another country in the world where being born into an aristocracy automatically gives you a seat in an upper house - bizarre!

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