Single Transferable Vote Analysis

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PR-STV Proportional Representation by Single Transferable Vote is the present voting system used to elect Dáil Eireann. This electoral system was first introduced in Ireland in 1918 by recommendation of the electoral reform of 1917 and by 1922 PR-STV was adopted into the Irish Free State. PR-STV came into bearing due to the large protestant minority and due to the campaign for Home Rule by nationalists. It seems PR-STV was the answer to this animosity. “This system is enshrined in the 1937 constitution, which can be amended only by referendum.”(Trinity College Dublin) In both 1959 and 1968 a referendum took place on a proposal to replace PR-STV by the single-member plurality system ( 'first past the post '); on each occasion the proposal was…show more content…
Undeniably PR-STV can be very positive. The predominant focus of PR-STV is on the choice of individual representatives, consequently it is of the understanding that “PR-STV involves a concept of the connection between the individual representative and his or her constituency” (Sinnot, 2005, Pg.112) Therefore a more conscious decision is made as one will pick a candidate which they feel comfortable approaching with a query once the election is over. The fact that Irish political culture demands close links between politicians and their constituents is not necessarily a bad thing (Gallagher, 2005, pp. 526). It too encourages candidates to campaign at a more personal and local level to secure votes which thus ensures votes are not misused as voters identify with a representative that they elect hence increasing…show more content…
The concept is that one candidate receives the lower preferences from the other candidate. One of the prominent features of PR-STV is that it enables voters to cross party lines when casting their votes, thus giving smaller parties or independents the prospect to win finals seats. One good example of this is “The Green Party’s strong showing in the 2007 General Election (six seats with less than 5 percent of the first preference vote” (Carroll.F,2016) as the majority of voters gave them a low ranking to demonstrate environmental relevance. On the other hand there are criticisms of PR-STV too. Firstly PR-STV in small local constituencies tends to focus on local issues such as planning permission, medical cards, which hence hinders politicians work on a national level. Problems such as impassable national roads, hospital shortages, increasing education costs, and flood defences are overlooked as localism takes

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