Electoral Reform and the List System

There seems to be a bit of talk about Electoral Reform lately going around and the possibility of it being in the new FG policy. As someone who would like to see the Seanad replaced with an elected body, by a PR List, possibly national or regional, Jason O’Mahony, who I normally agree with, raises a better idea for the using the List System within the Dáil elections.

The only part I disagree with him is the idea of quotas for Men and Women on the list, and if it is an open list, the idea of listing them altrnatively is kind of a waste.

But what would we call this mixed system of PRSTV and PR List? A mix of First Past the Post and List ends up being called Mixed member proportional representation system like they have in Germany, what would you call it?

In the end I dont think adding list TD’s will make a huge difference to the political system in this country, whether it be for 15 or 30. At the upper end of the scale, it would have more of an impact on coalition building. But would it not be better to use this system for a seperately elected upper house, that would have actual powers, more akin to the House of Lords in the UK?

That would be my preffered system, and if we get that super-constitutional referendum that Fine Gael is promising, there will be lots of hard choices for us all to make.

UPDATE: I wrote this before seeing this story on the Front Page of the Irish Times.

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

2 thoughts on “Electoral Reform and the List System”

  1. Stephen,

    There’s a lot of merit in electing the Seanad in a different way from the Dail, espc in getting away from a geographical basis. For a country this size, there is certainly no benefit in having two chambers that mirror each other. Just on alternating the list, I suggested this as I think that quite a few voters (FF in particular) would like to be able to just vote a straight party ticket, and letting them tick a box which elected M/F candidates in order would help address the gender issue. Those who don’t wish to can just vote for individual candiates.

  2. Jason,

    We compeletely agree on a different from of election.

    My reasoning for more powers for the Seanad, would be to be more powerful and actually have a proper role in the running of the country. Its too much of a talking shop at the moment. I dont want it to be a mirror of the Dáil, but if it had the ability to force some amendments and possibly get a few things more done, it would serve the country better!

    Ok I get your point on alternating now, im still unsure about quota’s though.

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