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Is it undemocratic that a person with fewer votes than another can become Taoiseach

  • 14-02-2022 1:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5,570 ✭✭✭

    Taking the Leo example, IIRC comes 3rd in his constituency and is returned, then nominated for Tánaiste and later Taoiseach. Is this a potential hole in the rules?



  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    No. What if the leader of a party comes from a particularly small constituency? Are you suggesting they shouldn't be Taoiseach

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    The voter votes in the order of their preference for a candidate to become TD for that constituency. The vacancies are filled according to the rules, with the lowest candidate (after surpluses are dealt with) being eliminated at each stage, with the final count filling all remaining seats with some not even getting to the quota. All TDs are equal and not distinguished by their position in the election. That is how an election is conducted.

    The new Dail meets to decide who will be Taoiseach. The candidates are proposed in turn until one ends up getting a majority of votes cast. Again that is the procedure. The number of votes cast as a TD are irrelevant.

    How can any of that be unconstitutional?

  • Administrators Posts: 53,796 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    It makes no difference if you are elected on the 1st count or the 50th count.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,756 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    No, because what count you get elected on is irrelevant in STV

    SF tried banging the drum about later count elected candidates in an attempt to undermine them; and its going to backfire horribly if they manage their vote properly next time and end up with piles of TDs elected late,.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man

    By this logic, the person with the highest first preference poll in the country should be Taoiseach.

    I think that would mean Michael Healy-Rae.

    Careful what you wish for..........

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,426 ✭✭✭SafeSurfer

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,570 ✭✭✭veryangryman

    Guys i did say 3rd in their own constituency. Leo isnt in the Healy Rae's constituency so the polling card didn't give the locals a choice of the 2.

    What im saying is that Leo is definitely not the favorite where there is a choice. 2 others get ahead.

    People whinge in America when the popular vote winner doesn't get elected. Why so much pushback to the notion here?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,738 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    we dont vote for a Taoiseach - we vote for TDs. Leo has/had to be confirmed as Taoiseach by the dail to which he was elected.

    democracy at work, as designed.

    How is the Taoiseach elected?

    Overview. Under the Constitution of Ireland, the Taoiseach is nominated by a simple majority of the voting members of Dáil Éireann. They are then formally appointed to office by the President, who is required to appoint whomever the Dáil designates, without the option of declining to make the appointment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,038 ✭✭✭Notmything

    Because we don't directly elect the Taoiseach. Different systems so non comparable

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,524 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    What if you grew up in a "socially deprived" area (i.e. an area that gets loads of money but the locals insist on pis$ing any potential opportunities up against a wall) but you decided to push ahead and better yourself and went out and got educated/qualified/trained and still wanted to live in your own community as an example of what can be achieved?

    Obviously, having been educated, you are likely going to veer away from your PBPs and SFs etc should you wish to run for office to help effect some change. So you run for a different party or none. You likely aren't going to get the vote of the anything-but-British-ohh-ahh-up-the-ra-Celtic-and-ManU-jersey-wearers-kill-the-bankers-wheres-me-foreva-home voters. But imagine that despite those odds, you still get elected. It shouldn't mean that you are barred from a higher position just because of the density of density in your constituency

    (density squared)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so

    We don't do FPTP and in a representative democracy like ours we leave the choice of Taoiseach up to the people we just elected. It's exactly the same as almost any other parliamentary democracy. The US is politically dysfunctional and nominally corrupt in how it allocates seats. Parties don't worry about who gets in first because they want the 2nd or 3rd candidate to get in on transfers and often try to manage down the votes of the big vote getter to make this happen.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,756 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Because we have STV. Which it seems you completely don't understand.

    The order in which someone is elected has absolutely no bearing on their position or legitimacy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,987 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    If you follow the logic to its conclusion then colations should be banned also. If a single party doesn't get enough votes to form a government then we should keep going to the polls till one does as people didn't vote for the colation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,031 ✭✭✭Patser

    No because then the most popular party in any constituency could only run 1 candidate for fear of excluding their Leader from Taoiseach position by trying to bring in other party members.

    Varadkar for example, had Emer Currie running beside him who took over 4% of the vote Varadkar otherwise would have got. In contrast in the last election SF stood single candidates inthat constituency so easier to top the poll.

    Your suggestion could also rule out Taoiseach position for somebody just because a local independent protest vote or populist (see Healy Raes) tops their constituency on an entirely local issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,407 ✭✭✭✭ArmaniJeanss

    This is nonsensical really.

    It's not even accurate as Varadkar was actually 2nd, not 3rd. Second most FPVs and also second TD elected, so second whichever way you look at it. Also worth pointing out that FG ran two candidates so Varadkar's FPV would have been higher if he'd been the sole candidate.

    Dublin West is also a good example of a rich/poor split constituency and he gets very little votes in Corduff/Mulhuddart areas - if it was a smaller constituency centred on Castleknock/Clonsilla/Coolmine then he'd be first. But that wouldn't make any actual difference to his popularity, though it would seemingly make him a better candidate for Taoiseach under your somewhat bizarre ideas.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭irishgrover

    no, because that is not how democracy works

    + we have STV

    + we don't elect the Taoiseach, the TDs do

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,851 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution

    There's pushback because you're making up your own rules as to who is qualified to be Taoiseach which are totally at odds with reality, and then are getting surprised when people call these "rules" out for the BS they are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,175 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    Not at all. We have multi-seat constituencies. There are no prizes for being the first to be elected. The person who ends up topping the poll gets the same prize as the person who wins the last seat on the 15th count - a seat in the Dail. Anything beyond that is about local bragging rights and more often than not it comes down to different parties having different election strategies.

    It's a lot easier to top polls when you don't have running mates. Most Sinn Fein candidates ran in constituencies on their own in 2020. That meant they didn't have to split the Sinn Fein vote with party colleagues in their constituencies. The same couldn't be said for FF and FG. They each ran at least 2 candidates in most constituencies. The net result of that is that Sinn Fein topped lots of polls but FF and FG were more efficient in maximising the number of seats that they won for the vote that they got - and that's what it's all about.

    I guarantee that in the next election Sinn Fein will get a much larger number of votes but they will actually end up with fewer poll toppers around the country. That's because they'll be running way more candidates next time out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,570 ✭✭✭veryangryman

    I'm aware of how the single transferable vote system works, I'm simply questioning it's validity. I hope the one-upmanship you attempted to show gave you some silly smug satisfaction there squire.

  • Administrators Posts: 53,796 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    The only reason there are even people asking questions is because Sinn Fein messed up their vote management so badly in 2020 that it's hard for people to get their head around.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,963 ✭✭✭✭elperello

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,756 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    If you're questioning its validity - no, you absolutely don't know how it works.

    It is an exceptionally representative system, with the ability to boot out unlikable people (most PR systems use lists, which prevent this) and which returns fairly proportional results - particularly if most constituencies are 5 seats

    But it works entirely on the idea that a seat is a seat and election order is utterly irrelevant. If you don't understand that, you don't understand the system.

  • Registered Users Posts: 574 ✭✭✭iffandonlyif

    Well, I’m glad to see this has been comprehensively rubbished. I’ve nothing further to add!

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 26,854 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    Questioning the validity of what exactly?

    Also not sure why the residents of Dublin West should have a larger say in who should be eligible to be Taoiseach.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,716 ✭✭✭ec18

    no we don't have a direct democracy system where the country votes people into specific positions. we vote for people who form a government and positions are decided there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,612 ✭✭✭rock22

    You seem to be equating popularity with democracy.

    You could argue that having a Dáil and Taoiseach at all is is undemocratic . I probably wouldn't be seen as democracy by the ancient Greeks, more a type of oligarchy, or maybe a limited form of tyranny, at least in practice. Bit imperfect as it is , it is probably as good an approximation as any modern country can get to democratic principles.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    If you are looking at democratic principles, the Switzerland is the closest. They have referendums frequently to decide issues which most countries trust their parliaments to decide.

    Currently, our system is probably the most democratic within the EU as, typically, the parties get the percentage of seats that they got in first preference votes at the ballot. Now, one has to assume that voters actually vote in the order of their preference but some (many) vote strategically so skewing the result.

    We vote for candidates to be TD, while other countries vote for a list system, or parties - which leaves parties rather than voters in control. They also use other methods to 'adjust' the straight vote result.

    Mary Robinson was voted President, but failed to get more first preference votes than Brian Lenihan - so was she properly voted in?

  • Registered Users Posts: 40,425 ✭✭✭✭ohnonotgmail

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,570 ✭✭✭veryangryman

    She's become a bit of a dose lately. so if I were king of the universe, i'd say yes to that question

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,342 ✭✭✭KaneToad

    Emphatically, no.

    Also, our electoral system is very transparent and, I think, very fair. PRSTV is a great system and is much kinder to smaller parties than a FPTP system.

    I also think it's nonsense to focus on how many counts a TD was elected on. If they were elected, they were elected. Often bigger parties manage their vote to maximise candidates returned. They are not concerned about 'topping the poll'. It's an election, not a pi$$ing contest.