Thursday 23 November 2017

Presidency and Dail need reform

Madam – Seanad abolition or reform should not be done on its own but as part of a comprehensive package of electoral reform, involving both the Dail and the Presidency.

The senselessness of our multi-seat Dail electoral system is epitomised by Co Mayo being represented by five TDs. It might be a better electorally if Mayo was divided into four Dail constituencies, each to return a single TD elected by Single Transferable Vote (STV), quota 50 per cent + 1.

Single-seat Dail constituencies with the straight vote were twice rejected, in 1959 and again in 1968, but they were never proposed using STV voting. If this were done, voting in a general election would be just like what currently happens in a by-election.

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