• Due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software, some users were "banned" when they tried to change their passwords at the end of February. This does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you were affected by this, please contact us.




Electoral Reform in Irish Politics

Aquilius

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
403
Based on current projections in comparison with the previous two censuses undertaken in the Republic of Ireland by 2021 we will have a population of approximately 4,937,253 inhabitants - an increase of 175,388 people on 2016.

Based on these current projections and in keeping with the current constitution the state is required to have 1 TD per 20,000 to 30,000 inhabitants and malapportionment is forbidden may I add, thus resulting in the number of TD's increasing by 6 to 164 from the current 158.

Do we really need such a high number of representatives? I believe the sheer number of elected individuals present in the Dail chamber only feeds the problem Ireland has with 'parish-pump politics'.

As the stipulation with regards to Dail representation is within the constitution any change to it would require a referendum, so I ask you this;

Q. Would you be in favour of removing the current stipulation in the constitution..... and if so what would you favour to replace it?

My personal preference would be 1 TD per 50,000 with a view in which the need to merge counties into constituencies limited and only exercised if the required apportionment cannot be meet within a counties own boundaries.

Under my proposal outlined above the number of TD's would be reduced by 59 to 99 for 2021 projections - also under this system the reduction would be even further if you factored in the increase of 6 TD's, thus reducing the Dail by 65 seats.
 


NYCKY

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
13,149
It seems the Government, the various Governments over the years can organize all kinds of referenda on a myriad of topics to amend the constitution, sometimes with multiple referenda on the same day, sometimes re-voting on essentially the same topic a year later and sometimes on frivolous ideas like lowering the age of Presidential candidates or cutting the pay of a few hundred judges.....

.....but increasing the number of people per TD, well that's like complicated or something.
 

cricket

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
14,029
I would favour max of 100 TD's, irrespective of population.
 

Toland

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
64,441
Website
www.aggressive-secularist.com
I would favour max of 100 TD's, irrespective of population.
I don't really see any compelling case to change the current constitutional arrangements on parliamentary representation ... apart from abolishing the Seanad, that is. But that one won't be revisited again for a very long time.

I was reading posters on here the other day essentially blaming the useless Seanad on the politicians as a blanket group.

Some sections of the Irish electorate have a very, very short memory.
 

Toland

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
64,441
Website
www.aggressive-secularist.com
It seems the Government, the various Governments over the years can organize all kinds of referenda on a myriad of topics to amend the constitution, sometimes with multiple referenda on the same day, sometimes re-voting on essentially the same topic a year later and sometimes on frivolous ideas like lowering the age of Presidential candidates or cutting the pay of a few hundred judges.....

.....but increasing the number of people per TD, well that's like complicated or something.
See above, on abolishing the Seanad. That proposal would have reduced the number of parliamentarians by far more than a reduction in the number of TDs could ever have done. What happened to that proposal? Was it the politicians who stymied it?

Clue: no, it wasn't.
 

wombat

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
32,680
See above, on abolishing the Seanad. That proposal would have reduced the number of parliamentarians by far more than a reduction in the number of TDs could ever have done. What happened to that proposal? Was it the politicians who stymied it?

Clue: no, it wasn't.
Yes and no, the politicians did not support the proposal and were happy to go along with the crowd who wanted reform rather than abolition, ultimately it was saved by the " couldn't be ar5ed" section of the electorate. That's democracy for you.
 

hollandia

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
30,893
I would favour max of 100 TD's, irrespective of population.
That's fine until you get to an unwieldy number of constituents per TD. It could work if the ability to operate the lever of the parish pump was removed at National level.
 

Deadlock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
6,292
Yes and no, the politicians did not support the proposal and were happy to go along with the crowd who wanted reform rather than abolition, ultimately it was saved by the " couldn't be ar5ed" section of the electorate. That's democracy for you.
Trite reasoning and a vapid response. I disagree vehemently.

I for one voted to retain the Seanad solely on the basis that the current Bunreacht already has pitifully few checks and balances counterbalancing the Dáil. If people want a unicameral legislature - fine - in the context of a new Bunreacht with new checks and balances. But not a crack handed amputation of one House of the Oireachtas within the scope of the current, and the emergence of who knows what problems a few years down the line.

Seanad abolition is a typical half arsed Irish solution to an Irish reform problem.

See, some of us are in fact very arsed and do try to think larger picture.
 

Dame_Enda

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
53,170
I'm happy enough with the number of TDs but I want all constituencies to have equal numbers of seats to reduce the risk of gerrymandering against small parties and Independents.
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
56,265
If you reduce the number of TDs radically, then the ability of our STV PR system to reflect the wishes of the electorate reasonably accurately will be negatively impacted, with each constituency electing only 2 or 3 TDs, the bigger parties would end up being being seriously over-represented. For this reason alone I'm happy to leave things as they are.
 

Windowshopper

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
9,017
Yes and no, the politicians did not support the proposal and were happy to go along with the crowd who wanted reform rather than abolition, ultimately it was saved by the " couldn't be ar5ed" section of the electorate. That's democracy for you.
I think it was more distrust of the politicians and it was thought that a second chamber was a good moderating influence. That was my view anyway. I have since changed my mind.
 

crossman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2011
Messages
1,603
If you reduce the number of TDs radically, then the ability of our STV PR system to reflect the wishes of the electorate reasonably accurately will be negatively impacted, with each constituency electing only 2 or 3 TDs, the bigger parties would end up being being seriously over-represented. For this reason alone I'm happy to leave things as they are.
In addition, you would then likely be selecting the cabinet from maybe about 60 TDs. Doesn't give you much choice once the obvious no hopers are eliminated (and I know well some such have got into cabinets).
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
56,265
In addition, you would then likely be selecting the cabinet from maybe about 60 TDs. Doesn't give you much choice once the obvious no hopers are eliminated (and I know well some such have got into cabinets).
Possibly from 51.
 

hollandia

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
30,893
That's fine until you get to an unwieldy number of constituents per TD. It could work if the ability to operate the lever of the parish pump was removed at National level.
I'm happy enough with the number of TDs but I want all constituencies to have equal numbers of seats to reduce the risk of gerrymandering against small parties and Independents.
If you reduce the number of TDs radically, then the ability of our STV PR system to reflect the wishes of the electorate reasonably accurately will be negatively impacted, with each constituency electing only 2 or 3 TDs, the bigger parties would end up being being seriously over-represented. For this reason alone I'm happy to leave things as they are.
Considering these three concerns, perhaps the solution is to base seats solely on population regardless of county or local authority boundaries?
 

farnaby

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
1,967
Do we really need such a high number of representatives? I believe the sheer number of elected individuals present in the Dail chamber only feeds the problem Ireland has with 'parish-pump politics'.
The opposite could be the case - the same pressure from local constituents divided among a lower number of TDs scrapping it out in 3-seaters means even sharper focus on local concerns.

The problems we have are to do with quality, not quantity, particularly at cabinet level.

If we're going to reform I'm more in favour of a proper presidential system with cabinet appointees in the national interest rather than geographical electoral concerns.
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
56,265
Considering these three concerns, perhaps the solution is to base seats solely on population regardless of county or local authority boundaries?
That might well be a positive step.
 

SamsonS

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
4,737
Considering these three concerns, perhaps the solution is to base seats solely on population regardless of county or local authority boundaries?
But that does happen - and then people and politicians moan if a small bit of one county is in with a neighbouring county.

Anoother problem is the feeling that "county" is not represented. Longford /Westmeath, elected 4 Westmeath TD's last time. I would reckon that next time 99% of voters in Longford will give a 1st pref to a Longford candidate to avoid a repeat of that.
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
56,265
But that does happen - and then people and politicians moan if a small bit of one county is in with a neighbouring county.

Anoother problem is the feeling that "county" is not represented. Longford /Westmeath, elected 4 Westmeath TD's last time. I would reckon that next time 99% of voters in Longford will give a 1st pref to a Longford candidate to avoid a repeat of that.
It's hard to unprime the parish pump, right enough.
 

PBP voter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
9,305

NYCKY

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
13,149
See above, on abolishing the Seanad. That proposal would have reduced the number of parliamentarians by far more than a reduction in the number of TDs could ever have done. What happened to that proposal? Was it the politicians who stymied it?

Clue: no, it wasn't.
Well yes it was the politicians who stymied it. No referendum has ever been carried without the support of the main opposition party, as was the case here.

Reducing the number of TDs shouldn't be conflated with eliminating a whole chamber of parliament.

Abolition of the Senate was mooted on the silly pretext of saving money, there were far far more ways that 20 million could have been saved.
 

New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top