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

Does Michael Martin understand what he is suggesting?

Posted by Jason O on Dec 15, 2010 in Irish Politics |

Michael Martin is calling here for the introduction of the Alternative Vote, or as he calls it “Single Seat PR”. I’m afraid that the minister, whom I respect, is either being disingenuous or does not plain understand what he is suggesting. There is no such thing as “Single Seat PR”. AV would allow for a single TD to be elected by a majority, but it would wipe out small parties, including, according to current polls, Fianna Fail. In fact, under AV, I suspect in the 2011 election FF would absolutely struggle to win seats.

Maybe he is being very far-sighted, assuming that AV will come in when FF are in opposition,      and would thus help them as they recover. Perhaps. But whereas AV is an improvement on the shockingly ridiculous First Past The Post system currently used in the UK, in Ireland, AV without an accompanying list system to ensure proportionality would be a threat to Irish democracy.  


Daniel Sullivan
Dec 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Lots of calls for reform from people who appear to have been happy with the status quo while it suited them.

Jason O
Dec 16, 2010 at 7:51 am

Very true.

Dec 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

The problem is we try to elect a legislature and an executive at the same time so you get a PR based legislature who then become the electors for a first past the post or AV type election for Taoiseach. I would favour moving towards an American type system – direct election for the executive.



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