Ireland: ‘Coalition prepares short referendum campaign on Seanad’
24 July 2013
The Irish Times
Ireland’s ruling coalition government will organise a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad, the country’s upper house of parliament, on October 4, writes The Irish Times.
The Seanad on July 23 passed legislation allowing for its abolition by 33 votes to 25, following “robust exchanges” that will indicate a “lively referendum campaign”. The Seanad consists of sixty members appointed by various bodies and has the power to delay laws voted in the lower parliament, but not to veto them. Since 2009, Irish parliamentarians have been pushing to reform or abolish the institution, which is often considered outdated and unnecessary.
The daily also notes the government would make the most of the October 4 date, which is “designed to promote a Yes vote by avoiding a public backlash from the budget, which will be revealed almost two weeks later, on October 15th”.