Slugger Q&A at Spotline Online…

Last week I was asked a series of questions by Munich based website Spotlight Online, on where Northern Ireland (and to a lesser extent Slugger) is left by the resumption of democratic politics in Northern Ireland.

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  • John

    Let’s face it, now we’re as interesting (on the international stage) as Wales.

  • T Boone Pickens

    The problem is that the STV system of voting — rarely found beyond the confines of the island

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  • Valenciano

    “The problem is that the STV system of voting — rarely found beyond the confines of the island”

    This argument is hard to follow and the experience of Stormont the non-STV era 1929-1972 suggests that the divisions have nothing to do with the electoral system. The use of a list system in 1996 failed to produce any detectable change in voting patterns. Certainly Spain, which uses list PR, has a quite sharp left / right divide which seems to be more to do with the countries political culture than anything else.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    It maybe that the short hand I’ve used is confusing. I’m not suggesting STV caused the divide, just that multi member constituencies under STV ties MLAs TDs or MPs directly into the sectional interests of their constituents who vote for them in ways the FPTP or list systems don’t. Therefore the system itself does not, at first glance, augur for the kind of dynamism we might be looking for to dig us out of the tribalist ways of our past.

    Mind you, sometimes societies have ways of leading politicians by the nose.