According to the Irish Times, an interesting proposal has come out of John Gormley’s office. Read it here.
It would allow a return to the large Dail constituencies (Galway in the 1920s was a nine seater, for example. ) that the state had in the 1920s, before FF and FG decided to start rigging the system in their favour, in the name of “stability”.
I have always wondered why the small parties in government accepted the mantra of having relatively disproportionate constituencies, where a party pretty much needs 12% plus of the final vote to get a seat, which is quite high by continental standards. It means that there is a geographic obsession to our political system (Sure isn’t Mickey Joe one of our own? Wasn’t he born in a manger only out the road? So what if he can’t read like all dem fancy fellas up in Dublin?) as opposed to, well, an obsession with politics, you know, policies and ideas.
The PDs presided over the creation of a load of three seaters about the place, on the bizarre grounds (This argument was actually made to me internally within the party.) that large seat constituencies would only “help Sinn Fein.”
Turns out Sinn Fein didn’t need help, but the PDs did. They got 56,000 first preferences, which is more voters then there are full time farmers in the country, but because those votes were dispersed throughout the country, the party got annhilated.
The Greens should pay attention here. Actually, if FF think their own first preferences may be hugely down in the next election, they might see the benefit themselves. Gormleymander, anyone?