Tuesday, October 03, 2006

NUI Seanad Declaration

I've been talking with some people (I believe that is part of the vernacular for this sort of thing) and have decided that in the interests of highlighting a particular issue which I believe warrants attention and which spans party boundaries that I would put myself forward for election for one of the NUI seats in Seanad Eireann.

Cutting to the chase I'm going to be seeking a nomination as a candidate for one of the NUI Seanad seats as a means to give people an opportunity to vote and in doing so highlight the fact that more than a quarter of a century after there was a referendum on it (1979) that graduates of other universities and colleges in Ireland still don't have a vote for the Seanad. Whatever happened to one person, one vote?

I recognise from the outset that the likelihood of getting elected is considerably limited by the simple fact that as a non-NUI graduate I won’t be easily able to tap into any particular alumni base. However, there are now a considerable number of DCU, UL, QUB, UU graduates and also those from the I.T.s who also hold postgraduate degrees from NUI colleges and vice-versa. I believe that they would look favourably on an opportunity to voice their support for extending the franchise.

In this sense I intend to use the PR-STV voting system as a means to highlight the issue. Much along the idea of a preferenda I am asking people to vote for me No.1 to highlight the issue and then subsequently to transfer to the candidate of their choice thereafter.

If elected, I would seek on my first day in the Seanad to present legislation to reform the election Senators to ensure the principle of one person, one vote is respected within the context of the 6 seats constitutionally set aside for higher education. There was a time when one could continue with the idea that the University of Dublin represented a section of Irish society that needed some particular shielding. Now, it is as likely that the minority tradition in Ireland will have attended some other institution within the state or without. And if the intent is truly to include people from the other tradition on the island then why deny graduates from QUB or UU a vote?

6 seats, one person, one vote.

There will be more information over the coming days here.


Donnacha Maguire said...

Good Luck Dude!!

UL student here and we deserve representation in the Seanad!

Anonymous said...

Why should only University graduates and elected councillors be able to elect senators.

Dan Sullivan said...

Anonymous, I do not believe that only university graduates and councillors should be the only people that can elected members of the Seanad.
Personally, I would favour significant reform beyond the 6 higher education seats. I intend to go into more detail on that subject on this site in due course.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck,
the chances of reform in our lifetime depends on the political party in power. FF and PDs all tend to be graduates of Trinity, UCD, kings Inns or other NUI facilities- so no way are they going to rock that boat. Nice ot see the "knowledge economy" so wanted by Irelands politicians, just as long as the management is done by Trinity/Kings Inns or UCD