We need a List System

Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
96
The way I see it, the current STV system has failed us miserably. While it is great fun for political nerds (anyone on this site) it has failed the state. It leads to localism, clientelism, gombeens, corruption etc etc. People focus on what a TD can do for their town, their road, rather than what they can do for the country. It means people focus on the potholes on their road rather than the €billions of debt we are in. Nobody examines the policies of parties and what they will do to/for the country. (e.g what did Willy o'Dea ever do for Limerick? The city still has huge social probelms, yet he is always elected because of what he has done for Limerick!!)

A list system will compel people to vote on policy improving the level of debate and peoples political awareness. Constituencies should be far bigger, provincial perhaps, and we nust get rid of STV
 


Congalltee

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Messages
6,124
The problem with lists is unelectable party hacks get on it. This can bs solved by having a hybrid system. 60 TDs elected in 4 constituencies bases on euro seats on a fifteen past the post system. The balance of 40 comes from the highest placed losers for the under represented party. This takes control out ov hq's hands.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
47,602
The problem with lists is unelectable party hacks get on it. This can bs solved by having a hybrid system. 60 TDs elected in 4 constituencies bases on euro seats on a fifteen past the post system. The balance of 40 comes from the highest placed losers for the under represented party. This takes control out ov hq's hands.
Not necessarily. A system could be introduced like the "party primary" in the US where candidates are chosen by a open vote. This would prevent the selection of party hacks. In the US candidates have to campaign for the nomination ... that is what started the Tea Party bandwagon, much as I despise the Tea Party. The primaries could be held annually so that a party can keep its "list" updated, or every 2 years.

I agree that PR-STV has failed miserably. All we have is super-local-councillors who are lobby-fodder for the government and civil service. The have no oversight over legistlation or teh civil service. They are constantly held to ransom in that the Government will avenge themselves by reducing local services to their constituencies. The are constantly looking over their shoulder at other in thier own and other parties, and at ambitious local county councillors.

On the other hands, imdependents with decisive votes blackmail the government and rob the rest of the country blind by securing undeserved services for their own constituencies. These consolidate an undeserved hold on power.

However, I think the concept of having a local representative in the national parliament is a good one - 50% of the TDs should be elected by constituencies as in the past. The danger of not having them is that with the country pretty much 2 to 1 urban-rural, peripheral areas would suffer unduly.

At the moment, the rural areas probably have more influence that they merit (look at the massive land speculation that took place over the past few years). That must be redressed but not too much.

Incidentally, the number of TDs should be halved with 50% elected by list. There should also be more devolved power to local councils. At the moment, local affairs are run by bureaucrats appointed by the Dept. for the Environment. Local councillors are just messenger boys and girls who have to "make nice" with the bureaucrats to achieve anything.
 
Last edited:

stringjack

1
Moderator
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
3,887
Not necessarily. A system could be introduced like the "party primary" in the US where candidates are chosen by a open vote. This would prevent the selection of party hacks. In the US candidates have to campaign for the nomination ... that is what started the Tea Party bandwagon, much as I despise the Tea Party. The primaries could be held annually so that a party can keep its "list" updated, or every 2 years.
And what electoral system would you use for the primaries?
 

Observer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
923
We are in the mess we're in because our politicians allowed themselves to be captured by party donors and vested interests (the Galway Tent and more sophisticated and less blatant versions of the same). It's not necessarily a matter of bribery; high-level lobbying on the part of particular interest groups can achieve much the same effect. Politicians trying to get the pothole outside Mrs Murphy's gate fixed is not what has brought us here.

I don't see any of the advocates of electoral reform bothering themselves too much about this sort of high-level cronyism. The danger is that by going to a list system, we get the worst of both worlds; a political system still in hock to big money while the direct accountability to the electorate disappears.

As for the notion of lists being decided by party primaries, I believe that's the way things work in Israel, where corruption and the hijacking of public policy by unrepresentative sects is far more thorough than here.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
47,602
We are in the mess we're in because our politicians allowed themselves to be captured by party donors and vested interests (the Galway Tent and more sophisticated and less blatant versions of the same). It's not necessarily a matter of bribery; high-level lobbying on the part of particular interest groups can achieve much the same effect. Politicians trying to get the pothole outside Mrs Murphy's gate fixed is not what has brought us here.

I don't see any of the advocates of electoral reform bothering themselves too much about this sort of high-level cronyism. The danger is that by going to a list system, we get the worst of both worlds; a political system still in hock to big money while the direct accountability to the electorate disappears.

As for the notion of lists being decided by party primaries, I believe that's the way things work in Israel, where corruption and the hijacking of public policy by unrepresentative sects is far more thorough than here.
We are only getting started.

What I would propose is a new Constitution, or at least a Constitution with the electoral and political system altered.

What you should realise is that the "Galway Tent" is only the tip of the iceberg. In every constituency there are TDs, businessmen and local officials each with their own little nexus of cronyism. How do you think the planning system got corrupted so that we built 4 times more houses than we needed, while millions were made in land speculation?

Getting rid of the multiseat constituency (Step 1) ensures that least the local TD cannot be blackmailed by the power structure adopting a rival in another party, or even in his own party. Nor can he/ she be blackmailed by the Government or Civil Servant clearly favouring his rivals.

The list sytem (Step 2) ensures that TDs focus on national issues, not farces like Dail questions over the provision of local telephones. The 80 TDs should function as committees overseeing new legislation, debating legislation, overseeing the implementation of legislation (ensuring it is operating properly). In this job, it should liaise with the ombudsmen.

Other parts would deal with politicians' expenses, party contributions, the register of interests and gifts to politicians, which are a joke today.
 
Last edited:

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
47,602
And what electoral system would you use for the primaries?
A single national vote for a list of at least 20 party candidates on each parties' list. The top vote-getters to the specified number are on that parties' list for the next election.

There may be better ways - the main point is there are ways of ensuring the lists are not captured by party hacks. If the list is just chosen by party bosses, then I would be against it.
 

Catalpa

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
10,257
80/100 TDs elected in single seat constituencies by PR/STV

40/60 Senators elected through the list system or as Independents (if they can afford it) on either a Regional List or a State wide one.

Max. of 160 public representatives

+

An Taoiseach elected as in the Republics of France or the USA

Personally I prefer the French method.:)

The President would be appointed from the ranks of anyone who had previously served in any of the above capacities for say 5 full years

- and whose appointment was ratified by both Houses.


Not perfect (but what is?) - however a big improvement on what we have now that has grown outdated and corrupted.

Also we are not reinventing the wheel here

Its straightforward enough to implement.

- as all these systems are in operation in other States and they seem to work well enough.
 

Finbar10

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
2,494
A closed list system where I'd basically just vote for a party (or parties) is something I'd very much against. Gives far too much control to parties organizations/machines IMO.

But an open list system might not be a bad idea. This is where voters also choose which candidates on the party list get elected. For example I choose a party and then might rank the individuals on the list in a PR order. Some systems even allow one to chop and change from different party lists.

Open list systems would roughly give similar results to PR STV. But they are easier to scale up. A nationwide open list election would be possible over a single nationwide constituency. PR STV would be unworkable at such scales.

But PR STV could be feasibly extended up to constituencies with 10 or 20 seats. Would lessen localism to a degree. No constitutional changes would be needed either.

But not sure that changing the voting system would have as big an impact as people think. A big problem is inadequate separation of powers, an executive(Taoiseach/cabinet) that overly dominates the Dáil. I think there needs to be some further modification in the political setup to deal with this.
 

derm0t

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
333
No, no NO!

The plain people of Ireland must have a personal relationship with their elected representatives.

How else can they get a medical card, the pothole outside their house fixed, or a job for their ne-er-do-well offspring?

Come on, lads. Get real, going forward.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
96
You could have a mixture of both - might be the best solution
Yes 'lapsed accountant' I would agree with you. I think larger constituencies would elect half the TDs and the other half elected on a national list with a threshold of say 2%.

That way most people would end up on a list after climbing the ranks from councillor to constituency TD to party list, unless a party leader wanted someone with a particular skill/interest etc on the list.

The possible permutations and arrangements are endless but I wanted to see if most people agreed with me or not.
 

Tea Party Patriot

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
11,468
The way I see it, the current STV system has failed us miserably. While it is great fun for political nerds (anyone on this site) it has failed the state. It leads to localism, clientelism, gombeens, corruption etc etc. People focus on what a TD can do for their town, their road, rather than what they can do for the country. It means people focus on the potholes on their road rather than the €billions of debt we are in. Nobody examines the policies of parties and what they will do to/for the country. (e.g what did Willy o'Dea ever do for Limerick? The city still has huge social probelms, yet he is always elected because of what he has done for Limerick!!)

A list system will compel people to vote on policy improving the level of debate and peoples political awareness. Constituencies should be far bigger, provincial perhaps, and we nust get rid of STV
Don’t think a list system will work as the parties will name local gombean candidates on the list covering a geographical spread of the country in the first instance.

Also a list system does disenfranchise new political parties and makes it very hard for them to establish themselves.
 

theoutsider

Active member
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
159
The problem with a list system is that then elections become presidental - thus we would have had de bert being able to appoint all those who gave me a digout.

The current system isn't necessarily the problem, part of it is our supposidly sophisticated electorate who are happier to have a gombeen politician who will do something for thier little patch of turf than whats good for the country.

I'd like to see the current system but with a min 5% national vote to have to kick in - that would rid us of the Healey-Rae's , Lowerys of the world
 

Radix

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
9,892
We already have a 'list' system last time I checked.

The list is handed to you with photographs, and affiliations to various ideologies of those on the 'list', and then we exercise our ranked preferences.

Those asking for a different 'list' system, only do so as a knee jerk reaction to what has at the very least been poor representation to date, of ourselves by ourselves.

But we get what we deserve, what we need is a break from ourselves. We couldn't even do this right, so a break has been forced on us by external influences, to save us from ourselves.

Je ne regret Rehn.

Maybe now we can see that politics based on the civil war divide has let us down, and perhaps we can consign nepotistic quangoism to the dustbin of the past, you know, the sort of politics that is self serving rather than the sort of politics that is objective in its serving of a good that is common to all, rather than to a party persay.
 

stringjack

1
Moderator
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
3,887
A single national vote for a list of at least 20 party candidates on each parties' list. The top vote-getters to the specified number are on that parties' list for the next election.
First past the post, combined with party control of which candidates get on the list. Wonderful.

There may be better ways - the main point is there are ways of ensuring the lists are not captured by party hacks. If the list is just chosen by party bosses, then I would be against it.
There are. PR-STV is one of them.

But an open list system might not be a bad idea. This is where voters also choose which candidates on the party list get elected. For example I choose a party and then might rank the individuals on the list in a PR order. Some systems even allow one to chop and change from different party lists.
There are ways in which one can scale up STV to accomplish much the same thing.
 

Simon.D

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
797
I think a big problem with our current system is lack of choice.. We've too many constituencies for the national elections, and therefore most hopeful politicians we are faced with come polling day are degenerate gombeens...

We should have regional constituencies for the national elections, i.e. merge 4-5 current constituencies in a region, with fewer TD's per head of capita.. The result would be much better choice for the electorate, giving us an oppurtunity to elect canditates much more capable of national governance..

Last time round I found myself voting for the most part on a purely party basis as the candidates on offer were generally useless...

However I think the main problem with our system over the last 20 years or so is the absolute apathy of the electorate.. Hopefully this crisis will combat this somewhat, and have some longterm legacy into how our society uses their vote...
 

LeDroit

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
1,768
A list system would be a disaster for Ireland. There'd be no chance of unelecting party grandees and gombeens in chief. The people must choose their reps as individuals. If we've learned one thing from this mess it's that a loyalty to a party is counter to the public good even if that loyalty is from ignorant voters.

We need to enlarge constituencies to remove the gombeens. Ideally One National Constituency where you can vote for the same individual whether you're in Dublin or Donegal.
 

Panopticon

Well-known member
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
5,575
When people primarily choose by party rather than by candidate, PR-STV encourages candidates to compete on non-party issues to win easy committed votes, rather than on party issues to win harder floating votes. Non-party competition comprises two practices in Ireland: (a) candidates delivering or claiming to deliver public goods and personal services to constituents - the so-called "brokerage"; (b) voters preferring ultra-local candidates who are more likely to deliver these goods and services to their subset of the constituency.

So PR-STV accentuates geographic divides within constituencies, as well as divides between them. This means it encourages parties to disintegrate and become alliances of local baronies staffed by unprofessional mockeries of social workers and ombudsmen. I don't see how we solve that problem, especially if we're going to scale up the size of constituencies, which will just reward more and more local barons. We need at least some measure to ensure that the Minister for Finance isn't just in his job to deliver tax breaks to local husbandry interests, that the Minister for Arts isn't spending most of the Lotto money on arts in his fief, etc.
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top