Abolish the ‘Economic Management Council’, not the Seanad

 THROWING their weight behind the NO campaign in the upcoming Seanad referendum, students today [Wednesday 11th September] set out alternative proposals for meaningful political reform. The launch took place 11am in the Blue Room of the Ringsend Community Centre, Dublin 4. It was conducted by representatives of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI),  who answered questions put to them by members of the Ringsend community here.

 The USI is calling for a No vote in the referendum, and for genuine reform to the Seanad and our entire political system, to make it more effective, representative, transparent and democratic.

 Free Our Voice, the USI’s political reform proposal, sets out a series of measures to reform the Seanad and improve the political system. These include;

·         Abolishing the Economic Management Council

·         Votes for all graduates in Seanad elections

·         An emigrant panel to give representation to those forced to emigrate

·         More powers for the Seanad – to review past legislation and produce evidence-based policy reports

·         More effective Dáil committees

·         The voting age to be lowered to 16

 Speaking at the launch of the Free Our Voice campaign, USI President Joe O’Connor said that “Abolishing the Seanad without any attempt to reform it would be a very shortsighted move on the part of the Government.

“A more democratic and inclusive Seanad can be part of better-functioning political system, but only if the Government commits to real reform. USI believes that the political system could be made more inclusive and representative, if the political will is there.

“The Economic Management Council, a four-man committee charged with making the most important economic decisions, does so without any real transparency or consultation. This type of all-powerful committee has no place within a democracy, and should be disbanded.

“The Government could do far more to fix our broken democracy by abolishing the EMC, not the Seanad”.

Download your copy of the Free our Voice proposal here.


For more information, contact Grainne O’Reilly USI Communications Executive on 01-9052100 or 087-6776636