In a final referendum statement, the President of the Workers’ Party, Michael
Finnegan has said that the government has failed to make a credible case for the abolition of the Seanad.
Mr. Finnegan said Fine Gael and Labour refused to engage in serious debate about
the merits of a second chamber and instead relied on hypocritical anti-politician sentiment and discredited claims of financial
savings to promote their agenda.
He stated: “It
ill-behoves Fine Gael and Labour to play on the discredited corruption of politics when those two parties themselves have
contributed significantly to the loss in confidence in the political process. It
is a bit rich for these parties to talk about cutting the number of politicians when their own offices are top heavy with
family members and party hacks have been appointed as government advisers with bloated salaries”.
“It is vital”,
said Mr. Finnegan, “that voters, notwithstanding their justifiable outrage at the political system which
has failed the people of this country, do not fall into a government set trap, which actually gives bureaucrats more power,
by voting YES”.
“It is this government
who should be punished not Democracy, and a No vote would inflict serious blow to the government”.
campaign the Workers’ Party have highlighted the fact that abolishing the Seanad is another power grab by the political
elite. Bit by bit, through the butchering of local democracy and the power wielded by advisers and programme managers, they
have removed decision making from citizens and handed it to unelected, and unaccountable bodies”.
Once abolished the Seanad
can never be reformed.
“Voting YES, supporting
the Fine Gael / Labour proposal, will be another nail in the coffin of democracy.”
“In the course
of this campaign The Workers Party has put forward proposals for real reform which would make the second chamber a meaningful
and relevant forum and at the same time end the cronyism and political patronage which has at times discredited the Seanad”.
Among our proposals are
§ The election of the Seanad by universal suffrage on the same day as Dáil elections,
thereby preventing failed Dáil candidates remaining in the Oireachtas.
§ An end to Seanad appointments by the Taoiseach.
§ The Seanad to take responsibility for scrutiny of European legislation and matters,
Northern Ireland, and International issues
The Workers Party is confident that people will defend democracy by rejecting this opportunistic
Issued 3rd October 2013