The people of Ireland will be asked about their views on the Senate and a Court of Appeals. Justice delayed is justice denied. This old saying shows that justice should be swift as well as fair and open to all people. An increasing backlog of cases to the Supreme Court is delaying justice for many people. I think a Court of Appeal is a good idea. As for the Senate I am of 2 minds on that issue. Both the yes and the no people agree that the present Senate is not fit for purpose. The yes side wants to reform the Senate. The no side wants to get ride of it. Costs and the number of politicians shouldn’t be part of the argument. Democracy is too important. How should people vote? The question people should ask is how will democracy be advanced? Will it be advanced by a reformed Senate or will it be advanced by getting rid of the Senate? Personally I find the present Senate elitist. It is a place for failed politicans. If we are going to get rid of the Senate then the Dail will have to become more powerful.
Let us hope that a peaceful pluralist Syria is being born. The violence in Kenya is a reminder that the War on Terror is still ongoing. We should never give the reactionaries an inch they will take a mile. We must defend secular liberal democracy with everything we have. Al Qaeda and others like them have no place in a humane society.
John O Brien.