Anyone who has read Barack Obama’s autobiography will recall the shenanigans involved in getting him onto the ballot for the Illinois state senate election, as well as the equally vigorous efforts to keep all his opponents off the ballot paper. We don’t appreciate in Ireland how accessible our democracy is: it’s quite easy to get on a ballot paper. It’s also quite easy to register a party for a local election. You just need 100 registered members.
I bring it up as a simple experiment: what would happen if, in the four Dublin counties, a “Dublin Pro-Car Party” was on the ballot. No campaigning, very little money spent, just running a candidate in each of the wards under the party label. As a registered party it would be able to put candidates on the ballot paper without requiring deposits or signatures.
In terms of first preferences it would probably do poorly. But would it pick up transfers due to it unashamedly standing for a position that does not get much overt support despite there being 100s of 1000s of car-owners? Supposing it ran as pro-car park and anti-employee car park tax.