Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fine Gael launches Facebook ads to highlight how other countries have abolished their second chambers

Fine Gael has today ( Wednesday ) launched a series of Facebook ads to highlight the fact that Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand were among 30 countries worldwide which abolished their second house of parliament during the 20 th Century. Using the tagline ‘They Seem Happy’ the Facebook ads feature images associated with the three countries, including Bjorn Borg, a Great Dane and Maori dancers.

Fine Gael’s Deputy Director of Elections for the Seanad Abolition Referendum, Regina Doherty, said: ‘This latest online initiative is all about sparking a debate about why it’s time for Ireland to move towards a single chamber parliament, by abolishing the Seanad. A total of 30 countries internationally have abolished their second chamber in the 20 th century and I think it’s time we did the same’.

“Many other small successful countries, such as New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark, have abolished their second chambers as part of moves to better systems of Government. What we are saying to the Irish people in this referendum campaign is very clear. By voting Yes to abolish the Seanad on 4 th October, not only can you save the country €20 million per year and reduce the number of politicians, you can also help create a more effective system of Government and politics.

Social Media Co-Ordinator for the Campaign, Eoghan Murphy TD said: ‘By voting Yes to abolish the Seanad we can ensure that, like New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark, our political system is based on a strong, democratic, one-chamber Parliament elected by all of the people, not just the 1% which elects the Seanad. In this way we can create a more efficient and effective system of politics that represents us and serves us all better’.

“This referendum to abolish the Seanad is part of a range of measures which this Government is introducing to make sure our political system serves and protects people better in line with international best practice. This includes:

· Strengthened Ombudsmen, Regulators and Freedom of Information legislation
· Effectively abolishing corporate donations
· Enhanced Standards in Public Office legislation
· Independent oversight of budgets through the Fiscal Advisory Council
· Inquiry powers for the Oireachtas
· Stronger Dáil committees involved at the start of the legislative process
· Involving civic society and experts in the legislative process

“Today we are launching a series of Facebook ads to highlight the fact that New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark, three countries similar in size to Ireland, abolished their Senates during the 20 th century. These ads will be promoted on Facebook in a bid to get a conversation started on the merits of voting Yes to abolish the Seanad on October 4 th .”

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