There's always talk of scrapping the senate. In its current form it has no point. Its just a thank you job for friends of the government or for those unlucky to get elected to the Dail. The recent expenses scandal has further damaged its standing in the eyes of the public.
I think there's is a need for a strong senate that can stand up to the dail not just support it. So here is my proposal for senate reform:
1) The senate is comprise of 60 directly elected senators who have a term of 6 years.
2) Five Senate Consituencies (Same as European elections)
3) Elections for 1/3 of senate seats to held every 2 years. This keeps the senate fresh and allows for changes in public opinion. Means the government of the day doesn't necessarily control the senate.
4) Legislation regarding foreign policy (such as European laws, the Irish Diaspora, North South relations outside of the Peace Process) can only be started in the Senate. This is similar to the way financial legislation can only be started in the dail.
I truely believe a strong senate can benefit Ireland but this is only possible with propper reforms.