Upper House of Ireland's parliament must be abolished

  • Marker: National, Politics,

Ireland decides whether to abolish the Irish upper chamber, known as the Seanad, or Senate.The Irish national parliament, known as the Oireachtas, consists of the President and an upper and a lower house.Most major Irish political parties favour abolishing the Senate. Opposition party Fianna Fáil does not. Ireland’s upper house has very limited powers. Senators can propose amendments to bills and delay legislation, and they retain some constitutional powers related to…

Catalonia should withdraw from Spain

  • Marker: National, Politics,

The Catalan parliament has approved a motion calling for dialogue with the Spanish government over Catalonia’s “right to decide” its political future. But the resolution made no reference to “independence” or to a proposed referendum. A broad coalition brought together Catalan president Artur Mas’ CiU party, the secessionist Esquerra Republicana, the Socialists and the Greens. It was a triumph for Mr Mas, who has been calling for a united front to present Catalonia’s…

In Switzerland all working adults must get 2,800 dollars of monthly income

  • Marker: National, Economics, Switzerland,

Swiss residents will soon vote on an initiative that would guarantee a basic monthly income of 2,500 Swiss franks (,,800) for all working adults in the country to combat income inequality across the nation. The initiative collected the 100,000 signatures needed for a referendum on the proposal, and to mark this historic initiative, a truck in the city of Bern unloaded 8 million five-cent coins, on Friday to represent Switzerland's 8 million citizens. The parliamentary…

Switzerland must keep compulsory army conscription

  • Marker: National, Social sphere, Switzerland,

Swiss voters want to keep the country's compulsory military service, exit polls from the latest national referendum on the topic have suggested.Voting trends indicated a large majority of Swiss rejected plans to abolish conscription. Correspondents say the Swiss Army is regarded as costly and many young men complain that their time is wasted.But older voters say obligatory duty in the armed forces remains the best way to defend the neutral country. In the canton of Ticino…

Scotland needs to separate from the United Kingdom

  • Marker: National, Politics,

This time next year, Britain will still be coming to terms with the outcome of Scotland’s referendum on independence. Whether or not she chooses to break with the United Kingdom, there will be long-lasting repercussions on its character and four constituent nations. The Scottish independence referendum takes place in exactly one year's time - 18 September, 2014.  When voters in Scotland go to the polls they will be asked a straight yes/no question: "Should Scotland…

The UK should quit the European Union

  • Marker: National, Politics,

More than one in two voters want a referendum in 2014 according to a new poll – and more than six out of ten want MPs to vote on the proposal in three weeks’ time. The Survation poll comes after The Mail on Sunday revealed last week that Windsor Tory MP Adam Afriyie wants a Commons vote on November 8 on whether to hold a referendum on the EU in October 2014.    Self-made multi-millionaire Mr Afriyie invoked the wrath of the Prime Minister and was accused…