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



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,515 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Checked the details there, and it was after the second election when the Unionists lost eight seats that they got rid of it. They did very well in 1921 but votes leaked away to the not-nationalist NI Labour and Independents by 1925. That coupled with the local authority vote being housing/business based rather than universal franchise ensured strong majorities created from often not terribly strong actual vote majorities; or absolutely not majorities in many local authorities.

  • Administrators Posts: 53,705 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭awec

    What am I missing here?

    NI assembly elections are PRSTV.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,698 ✭✭✭PommieBast

    The pre-1972 NI parliament, before direct rule was imposed.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,143 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    In the UK you can get 12.64% of the vote in the general election and end up with just a single seat out of 650. That's more than a third of the vote that gets you 330 seats. (In 2015 Syliva Hermon got 1 seat from 17,689 votes, exactly the same as UKIP got for 3,881,099 votes.)

    At one point we had up to 9 seats per consitituency. This heavily favoured smaller parties. To offest that effect there's 3-5 seats now. are the independent group who look after that to make sure that the overall end result roughly matches voter intentions. Otherwise there'd be Gerrymandering.

  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    To be fair, the US system has proven itself to be a complete joke. I wouldn’t want to see elements of it introduced here. If you look at something like the appointment of cabinet by the president, just look at how it was abused under Trump.

    It also seems to spend an ever increasing amount of time in “shutdowns” locked up and incapable of delivering simple, normal governance. I’m seeing growing parallels with NI politics - where you’ve two sides that are so entrenched an identity war that they can’t cooperate on anything. Compromise positions are a struggle. At least NI has proportional representation and mechanisms that try to make them work together. The US increasingly is just two bunkers shouting abuse at each other while nothing gets done.

    If you had the US style appointed cabinet system here you’d end up with Fianna Fáil directly appointing property developers as the minister for housing and all the cronies getting appointed … which is often what happens in the US.

    I think the system we have is pretty top notch and there’s nothing to stop a minister or a committee bringing in an expert opinion in a transparent way without appointing them to office. You can also bring in expertise though the Seanad appointments, but that’s almost been used like that, so is a bit of a pointless mechanism. It’s mostly used to rearward party politicians.

    There’s always room for improvement and analysis. Where we are weakest is on the functioning of government, which is largely about things like our over centralised administration and exceptionally weak local government. We’re the most centralised country in the EU, even more so than microstates like Luxembourg!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,492 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    I bet the OP would change their tune fast if their preferred candidate was suddenly Taoiseach without a majority vote.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,619 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,492 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    I wouldn't agree that it's "over" centralized. Countries like France and Spain where every little crossroads seems to have a mayor you can end up with just as many problems as we have and a few more levels of corruption to boot.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,619 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell

    We have too many local authorities (31) with too little power. The elected representative have almost no power and the executive branch have almost total power of the little that is devolved to them. We need to reduce their number to about 5 or 6 and give them specific control over some aspects of Irish life that are suitable for devolution, with control over finance - not sure about taxation raising beyond rates and LPT. If power is devolved, there has to be strict accountability.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,492 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    I agree with you on that. Groups like the HSE have already divided the country into a much more effective system than the old county borders.

    But if you tried that with politics the Mid West would end up like Yugoslavia when Tipp and Clare realize the power would be centered round limerick city.

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  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    There's actual research to back this up. We're quite literally the most centralised country in the EU and by a wide margin. The fact that certain countries might have complicated or somewhat dysfunctional local administration doesn't really take away from that fact, nor is it a problem with the concept of decentralisation / subsidiarity. If you look at some of the Scandinavian countries, Finland, The Netherlands, Germany etc local government is done extremely well and serves a purpose. It also tends to be what drives proper city / town development. Irish cities are largely directionless due to the way things are administered. Most people don't know who their local councillors or the Lord Mayor of Dublin or Cork is because they've no power and are perceived as irrelevant, which is a total indictment of Irish local government.

    If you look at say Dublin City Council or Cork City Council they've less power than many continental villages and small towns. Things like having no authority over or ability to organise and finance their own transit systems etc is absolutely bizarre by European or North American standards.

    Great towns and cities don't happen by accident on the continent. Ours have no powers, no ability to plan and deliver transit networks, no budgets that are independent of national politics and so on. They don't even have the power to collect the bins anymore!

    As it stands we've local authorities and various national bodies that are basically just state bodies without much responsibility to anyone. The councils are run by a chief executive in reality with the elected councillors seen more as an advisory service and many of the key services like transit are run by semi-state companies or state agencies like TFI who've no accountability to anyone other than a line minister.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,492 ✭✭✭✭breezy1985

    I never questioned the fact we were the most centralised I just dont disagree its automatically a problem. Maybe we are right and they have a bad system. Something we do need to take from the Germans is city administrative zones that are forward thinking. Places like Waterford and Limerick dont stop at some imaginary county line and the Germans even give towns miles from the city to the zone because they house the all important docks for that city.

    The only other country I have direct experience in is the UK where my council and the directly elected mayor both had decent power and it did bring many benefits but the big elephant in that room in regards to the Irish was I was paying a hefty council tax (and water rates) on top of bin charges.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,364 ✭✭✭micosoft

    Problem with decentralisation is that Dublin region has such a dominent population (40%) & economic size (47%) that you'd end up with a Pale Nua situation with the Mayor of Dublin being as powerful as the Taoiseach. It would potentially destabilise the social compact when Dubliners insist less money leave for other counties in order to fund public transport and services within the Dublin region.

  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭mary 2021

    they all sound the same to me there is no real opposition !

  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭mary 2021

    I hate that leo is coming back in December i would prefer a completely new taoiseach he had his time and i am done with him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 703 ✭✭✭moon2

    There are a huge choice of parties, ranging from far left to far right.

    If you feel all voices are the same then perhaps you lean farther to the right than the vast majority of Irish people. right and far-right wing parties have been unable to capture meaningful amounts of voters, presumably because their policies are unpopular with most voters. You'll see a lot of them listed in the "parties with no elected representation" list as a result of that lack of support.

    The solution there would be for those parties to moderate towards the centre to gain widespread appeal, or continue advocating for their right (or far right) positions and hope people change their minds!

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,458 ✭✭✭✭gandalf

    In our electoral system we vote for people we want to represent our area. It's a far more democratic system than the first past the post system the UK has.

    We certainly do not vote for Taoiseach, that is decided by the majority party or parties. If you don't get this then imho you shouldn't be allowed to vote.