Give TDs the opportunity to vote for county and country
Published 20/04/2016 | 02:30
May I refer to Brendan O'Donnell's leading letter (Irish Independent, April 14) in which he suggests that multi-seat - three, four and five-seat - constituencies and PR-STV give rise to localism, parochialism, duplication of councillors' work and neglect of national duties. These valid observations have been made many time since 2011 by columnists and commentators but I had yet to read about a practical solution until Ivan Yates's recent column (Irish Independent, March 10), separating the election of 80 local TDs in 30 constituencies from the election of 70 national TDs through a list system from a single national constituency.
Mr O'Donnell recommends single-seat constituencies, for which we would require 158 constituencies to elect 158 TDs. This, unfortunately, doesn't seem viable and could arguably lead to increased localism, cronyism and bad national government.
Currently, we have 40 constituencies - 13 three-seat, 16 four-seat and 11 five-seat. To comply with the Constitution, our Boundary Commission has had to cross local authority boundaries to create constituencies. As a result, 11,000 Tipperary voters have no influence within their own local authority boundary. County Longford has no resident TD. Et cetera.