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article imageIreland voting to eliminate ineffective and elite Senate

By Nancy Houser     Oct 5, 2013 in Politics
Dublin - Ireland voted Friday on eliminating its 60-member Senate, due to their waste of ineffective political will power, controlling elitist members, and high expense, of which, says Prime Minister Enda Kenny, has kept the country cash-strapped.
Results of the vote will be counted Saturday.
"Other small countries like Sweden and Denmark have clearly shown that single chamber parliaments not only cost less but they work much more effectively and with far greater transparency," said Prime Minister Enda Kenny. "After 70 years of no change, it is time to save money, put the public ahead of politicians and abolish the Seanad."
Ireland s Prime Minister Enda Kenny
Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny
He goes on to state that the Senate (Seanad) is undemocratic and powerless, at a cost of $27.4 million a year to run. Also, he feels that it has never engaged with the public like it was supposed to.
The difference between the United States and Ireland is that the Irish Senate cannot block laws passed by a lower house, but can delay them.
Angry senators, who may be booted out of office by the Irish voters, argue that this is nothing but a governmental power grab with a masquerading Prime Minister Kenny convincing everyone it is a cost-saving exercise.
However, the government’s director of elections, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, feels otherwise. He describes the Senate as beyond reform, terming it an expensive, elitist, ineffective luxury the country could no longer afford.
“How many people know that 90 percent of senators are elected exclusively by politicians and that many politicians have six or seven votes in the Seanad, while the vast majority of the population have none?” he said on a recent campaign stroll in Dublin’s city center. “How many people know that the Seanad can only delay legislation, not overturn it, and the last time it used this power was in 1964?”
According to the Independent - Irish News, currently "Seanad referendum too close to call: exit poll reveals." But the votes were to be counted at 9 a.m. in Ireland. However, the article stated that turnout was low (less than 40 percent) and also there was "confusion over the ballot papers and the meaning of the Yes and No votes."
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