Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

An interesting idea on changing Irish politics.

Posted by Jason O on Apr 22, 2009 in Irish Politics

Vote for the values, not the candidate.

Vote for the values, not the candidate.

This is the Working Families Party of New York state. Under New York electoral law, they have a mechanism called “fusion” whereby a candidate can be listed a number of different times on the ballot paper, and the total votes under the different party labels are added up. Barack Obama, for example, appeared on the NY ballot as a candidate of both the Democrats and the WFP.

The relevence to Irish politics is that the WFP doesn’t often run its own candidates, instead negotiating with and endorsing candidates who share its values.  Wouldn’t our electoral system be perfect for that? Imagine liberal activists running a candidate on pure liberal values, but endorsing a pre-agreed candidate for their second preferences. Sure, first time the parties would ignore the offer, but if a candidate was eliminated with 500 or 1000 votes, they’d pay attention next time. After all, we all know candidates who lie awake at night worrying about residents groups who speak for hardly anyone. Surely they’d be just as eager to accomodate a group who offered to endorse them, or threatened to specifically campaign to deny them preferences?




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