Reform, yes. But remember voters trust the electoral process if not their outcomes

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As an addendum to the issue of referendum gridlock the other day, here’s some sound advice from Theresa Reidy of UCC… get an electoral commission together first, and second be bloody careful with what reforms you choose to offer in future

Finally, two things to remember: Voters can become fatigued if they face too many elections, and voters have a high degree of trust in the integrity of the election/referendum process in Ireland.

  • Michael Henry

    People in the 26 face between 3 or 5 referendum’s in the first half of 2015- is it an idea to hold all the referendum’s on the same day on the same ballot paper-might save a few trees in the long run-

  • tmitch57

    “Better the devil we know than the one we don’t” is the attitude of most
    voters toward franchise systems. Voters, politicians, and political
    operatives are much more familiar with their existing voting system than
    with others and loath to give it up for the unknown pitfalls of a
    different system. Most in NI are familiar only with the first-past-the-post and PR-STV systems. Most unionists did not want to switch to the PR-STV system thirty years ago. Most nationalists would not want to go back to the first-past-the-post system for Assembly and local elections. If the idea is to find another voting system, I recommend comparing the PR-List system used in most European countries to the PR-STV system.

  • chrisjones2

    PR list puts the party in charge of the elected members and consolidates the power in the few at the top.

    SF already run a system like that. The otehr parties are more flexible and therefore offer perhaps greater variety. The political systems of many counties with a list system aren’t a good advert for it eg Argentina is hardly an example of democracy in action

  • tmitch57

    Chris,
    I’m not endorsing or recommending the PR-List system. I’m quite familiar with it from Israel. But there is a great deal of data on it, which makes comparing it to PR-STV much easier than say the Alternative Vote. I think generally the PR-STV is a good system. The main flaw I can see in it is in the Irish version where on whim, different constituencies elect different numbers of TDs rather than a uniform number as in NI. The results are less predictable with PR-STV than with PR-List, but that is not a major flaw–there is certainly much less distortion than with the first-past-the-post system.