Ireland set to vote on abolishing upper house of parliament
DUBLIN (AFP) - Ireland votes on Friday on whether to abolish its upper house of parliament, a historic move that Prime Minister Enda Kenny argues will save money but which critics say is a power grab.
Opinion polls suggest the government's plans should pass, but many voters remain undecided and an increasingly vocal 'no' campaign has emerged - fuelled by Mr Kenny's refusal to debate the issue on television.
"The Seanad is powerless and undemocratic. It costs 20 million-euro (S$33.9 million) a year to run and has never engaged with the Irish public the way that it was meant to," Mr Kenny said in a video message posted on YouTube on Thursday.
"Other small countries like Sweden and Denmark have clearly shown that single chamber parliaments not only cost less but they work much more effectively and with far greater transparency."