The counting of votes in the Seanad elections continues today. I voted to abolish the Seanad back in 2013 but alas, the proposed constitutional amendment was not passed, and so it remains – as unrepresentative, as unreformed and as undemocratic as ever. Since 2015, I’ve been eligible to vote in the NUI panel, and so all of the candidates sent me a flyer. For some reason, my qualification is also listed, along with my name and address on the outside of the envelope of every flyer (maybe it’s really important that the postmen knows how qualified the voters are).
The fact that the Seanad is so unrepresentative – especially the university panels – is in part due to the fact that it is more than 40 years since the Irish electorate voted to enable the Dáil to allow all college graduates to vote on the university panels. And since the 3rd of August, 1979, most political parties (with the exception of Sinn Féin) have been in government and all of them have failed to enact the necessary legislation. So yet again, as we approach the centenary of Irish Independence, only the graduates of colleges set up by the British government get to elect the 6 university senators. Democracy indeed.