The Irish electoral system of PR-STV is fundamentally flawed and should be replaced by the Single Member Plurality System (commonly referred to as ‘first past the post’)

Topics: Plurality voting system, Voting system, Proportional representation Pages: 4 (1639 words) Published: March 12, 2014

‘The Irish electoral system of PR-STV is fundamentally flawed and should be replaced by the Single Member Plurality System (commonly referred to as ‘first past the post’)’ In this essay I will discuss the issues with the Irish electoral system of Proportional Representation by the Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) and whether or not it is fundamentally flawed and should be replaced by the Single Member Plurality System (first past the post). The first essential feature of the Irish system is it is a multi-seat constituencies made up of 42 constituencies. PR-STV means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received and entails ordering a single vote from most preferred candidate to least preferred by using a Droop quota. As opposed to FPTP which the British use, where voters select their favourite candidate and the person with the most votes win. I will outline the advantages and disadvantages with both systems and determine the best system in which Ireland should use. The first issue with PR-STV is that it is confusing, it is a complicated process where you pick your most preferred candidate to least favourite. But a high proportion of the public don’t know what happens to their vote after their no. 1 vote or stop filling out the quota after their top 3. The vote carries on if their candidate is not elected and therefore it is often the least disliked candidate who is elected. Multi-seats and transfers are not only from eliminated candidates but from candidates who exceed the quota as well, as was the case with McCreevy in Kildare, 2002. McCreevy exceeded the quota by 836 votes and was declared elected on first count, the destination of the other two seats were dependent on the transfer distribution of McCreevy’s surplus of 836. Another example of the vote transferability is the 1990 presidential election where 205,565 out of the 267,902 votes of the eliminated Currie were transferred to Mary...

Bibliography: https://www.tcd.ie/Political_Science/staff/michael_gallagher/IrishElectSys.php
http://spunout.ie/action/article/the-effects-of-prstv-on-politics-in-ireland
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