Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 
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How to vote to hurt Fianna Fail without helping Sinn Fein.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 3, 2009 in Irish Politics

Remember: You must transfer to stop Mary Lou!

Remember: You must transfer to stop Mary Lou!

It would be fair to say that many Irish people don’t know how to vote properly. Sure, they turn up at the polling station and mark their ballot, but the fact that so many of them don’t fill in the ballot to the end, or nearly to the end, means that their vote never achieves its full effectiveness.

Put simply, the purpose of the Single Transferable Vote system is to help the voter eventually help elect a candidate they dislike marginally less then another fella. Simple as that. But in order to do it, one has to fill in nearly all the boxes.

Consider the European Election in Dublin. As a voter, I want to achieve certain things:

1. I want to see Mitchell and De Rossa elected.

2. I want to ensure that neither Libertas, the political wing of Youth Defence,  nor Sinn Fein take the 3rd seat. Providing I can ensure that, I would like FF to lose a seat.

3. I wouldn’t mind Deirdre de Burca, who has impressed me, or Joe Higgins, whose integrity I admire, taking the last seat.

So, what do I do? Well, first, I assume that Mitchell and De Rossa are safe. I know saying that drives them nuts, and if everyone thought that, etc, but I’m making an educated stab that my vote is most effective being used in the battle for the 3rd seat, so I vote De Burca 1, Higgins 2, and all the way down until I reach Ryan, Mary Lou and Libertas. I then put my final marked preference in the Ryan box, and leave the rest blank. It means that my vote will always be travelling to help beat FF, but failing that, will help FF over Sinn Fein and Libertas.

I know this all sounds bleedin’ obvious to most political activists, but I’m disturbed by the people I keep meeting who think that just by not voting Sinn Fein is helping stop them. Remember, if you don’t transfer to non Sinn Fein candidates, your vote is not helping to stop them.       

 
1

The Local Elections: A few good ones.

Posted by Jason O on Jun 3, 2009 in Irish Politics

As polling day hurtles towards us, a few candidates worth noting:

Dermot Lacey

Dermot Lacey

Dermot Lacey (Lab, Pembroke Rathmines, Dublin City): A former Lord Mayor of Dublin whom I ran against in 1999, Dermot always impressed me with his belief in local government as an end in itself, rather than as a step into the Dail. Took a tough decision as Lord Mayor over the budget (How often do you hear “tough decision” and “Lord Mayor” in the same sentence?) A genuine reformer, and worth a vote.

Barry Saul

Barry Saul

Barry Saul, (FG, Stillorgan, Dun Laoghaire): A former PD councillor, I knew Barry in the Young PDs and he’s a solid bloke, rumour has it that he once got into fisticuffs with a Fianna Fail councillor because he revealed the councillor’s voting record, and was thus “blackening his name”.

Paul McAuliffe (FF, Finglas, Dublin City): Whereas I can’t endorse his decision to run for the Soldiers of Depression, Paul was a decent guy in the Young PDs.  

Paul McAuliffe

Paul McAuliffe

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