Fine Gael TD for Wicklow, Simon Harris, has today (Monday) said that Fianna Fáil is becoming increasing isolated as the only Party in the Dáil calling for the Seanad to be retained. Deputy Harris was speaking after a number of former Labour TDs called for a Yes vote in the Seanad Abolition Referendum on October 4 th .
“Many of the Government’s strongest critics have now come out in favour of Seanad abolition. Three former Labour TDs, all of whom have been extremely vocal in their opposition to the Government, are the latest to call for a Yes vote on October 4 th . They are joining the Socialist Party and Sinn Féin on the Opposition benches in supporting Seanad abolition.
“The fact that a wide range of voices from the Opposition are supporting the abolition of the Seanad rubbishes the claim that scrapping the Seanad would amount to a power grab. Do you really think Sinn Féin or the Socialist Party would support something that would give the Government more power? The reality is there is a broad consensus that the Seanad is an undemocratic and elitist institution, and that we shouldn’t be spending €20 million a year on a second chamber elected by just 1% of the population.
“Fianna Fáil is the only Party in the Dáil to have changed its position on the Seanad since the 2011 General Election. The Party is becoming increasingly exposed and isolated, as more and more voices from all sides of politics call for the Seanad to be abolished.
“Fianna Fáil’s political positioning is extremely transparent. The Party has yet to explain what has caused its u-turn on the Seanad since the General Election in 2011, when it went before the people calling for the Seanad to be abolished. In my view, Fianna Fáil’s tactics are very straight forward; Micheál Martin is trying to keep the Seanad so he can continue to use it as a training ground for aspiring politicians who cannot get into the Dáil.”