Political Reform

I fought for Seanad Reform since my first day as Senator and worked to secure cross-party legislation that delivers a universal franchise.

I am determined to get that legislation passed. I have also pressed for a new Electoral Commission and spoken out on the politics of division. I established the Civil Engagement Group to bring diverse perspectives into policy-making and co-sponsored the Disability and Community Participation Bill, because public spaces are better when we all share and shape them. 

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Senator Higgins calls for the 26th Seanad to convene

Senator Higgins, Senator Lynn Ruane and Senator Frances Black wrote to the Taoiseach to affirm their position that the Seanad should be allowed to sit. They agreed with the analysis of the Constitution put forward by Senators Bacik, McDowell and others and believe that the 26th Seanad can indeed convene prior to the appointment of the Taoiseach’s eleven nominees and that the 49 members who have been elected should be allowed to express their mandate.

 Moreover, they noted that the Dáil has been meeting for a number of weeks now to engage with non-legislative parliamentary work including scrutiny and oversight of public policy and that the Seanad should also have the opportunity to engage in such scrutiny. 

They believe that as an absolute minimum, a date must be set for a sitting of the Seanad for the purpose of selecting a Cathoirleach and re-establishing a committee to order the business of the house.