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Thread: Mixed Member Proportional Representation

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    Default Mixed Member Proportional Representation

    In light of the recent Constitutional Convention I was looking over MMP and its merits/demerits. I didn't see a thread on it but if there is already please merge... I think there are some merits in changing to this system as was recently done in New Zealand.

    The premise of this system is that in a 166 seat Dail half the seats would be elected through a constituency as is the case now while the other half would be apportioned based on the percentage of national vote a party receives. A voter would cast a vote for a constituency representative and a vote for a party

    I was thinking if we merged our two systems you could get over the pitfalls of MMP namely that it disadvantages smaller parties and independent members. I'll throw out my thoughts and please let me know what you think:

    Lets look at the constituency representatives usually half of a parliament is comprised of these. There would be 83 seats up for grabs. One could either go 83 individual constituencies however I would prefer 14 six seater semi-regional constituencies across the country (which brings the number up to 84) where we maintain the PR-STV system which works very well. This would have a number of advantages. First it would maintain the current PRSTV system which is much more representative that 1st past the post. Large six seat constituencies would allow smaller parties/indos a chance and the semi regional constituencies may break the localism we get from small single seaters. The biggest issue is that a party may be able to vote manage and therefore get say three seats in a six seater even if the share of the vote does not reflect this however this may be correct by overhang seats apportioned through the list system

    The list system would then attribute the remaining 82 seats based on the national support for each party which is given through the voters second ballot paper. I think the threshold should be 3% as it encourages and ensures a diversity of parties and opinions which 5% may exclude. I think the biggest issue with the list is the issue of dual candidacy and whether a person should be allowed to run as a constituency candidate and a list candidate ... personally i think they shouldn't as there is something odd about being refused by the people is a constituency of 6 but being promoted by the party therefore I would be against dual candidacy and the list should be fully disclosed before the election.

    The issue of overhang seats mentioned above is based on the idea that a party shouldnt have more seats than their vote allows. There are a number of ways to deal with it: one can allow the overhang meaning that the party has a bonus. Treat the overhang seats as contributing to the overall number of list seats or compensate for the overhang by apportioning more seats to the other parties proportionately meaning a larger legislature in certain cases. My favoured option would be the middle one.

    Anyway that is my opinion on reform. I think keeping the PR_STV for the elected reps would be favourable but over semi-regional constituencies as well as the list system would be a plus. While not relevant here I look forward to the Convention's discussion on non-TD ministers and cabinet/parliament separation.
    Last edited by LgCastell; 20th May 2013 at 06:12 PM.

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    The list system gives the insiders in political parties the power to decide who represents us.

    As such it is anti-democratic and would cause even more problems with political insiders than we have at the moment.

    NO NO NO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiel View Post
    The list system gives the insiders in political parties the power to decide who represents us.

    As such it is anti-democratic and would cause even more problems with political insiders than we have at the moment.

    NO NO NO.
    The benefit of the list is that it could be used to get people into politics who would not otherwise run plus there democratic validation as a list would be published before the election ... the electorate can study it and see who is running and then cast their votes in favour of the list/party concerned. It would be up to each party how the list is compiled whether through member nominations etc.

    Parties nominate people to run in an elections and the people vote on them ... its the same here ... if you dont like the people on the list dont vote for the list they're on

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    The imposition of the favourites of the party headquarters is not to be encouraged.

    Remember it was the insiders in the party hqs that bankrupt the country not the people round the parish pump in the regions.

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    The system seems to be working fairly effectively in the Scottish Parliament - certainly, they just vote according to their usual party preference, so voters don't appear to be unduly concerned about the list system.
    My political compass:
    Economic Left/Right: -5.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.64

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    The problem with any list system is that the people cannot choose not to elect someone. In essence, the party grandees of any party will be named at the top of their party's list and are bullet proof.


    I favour a system where the "top up" comes from those candidates who did not get directly elected for the party, but who have the highest percentages of a quota.

    A " fastest loser" if you will.

    That way, the party share of the vote can be kept proportional, and everyone is elected, not appointed.



    D

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    Politics.ie Member jackryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiel View Post
    The imposition of the favourites of the party headquarters is not to be encouraged.

    Remember it was the insiders in the party hqs that bankrupt the country not the people round the parish pump in the regions.
    None better at the parish pump than Bertie & Cowen

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    Politics.ie Member jackryan's Avatar
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    One problem I have with a mixed system is that the TDs voted in by list will have no Parish Pumpery to do while the others will have it will become a two tier system everyone should be elected by the same equal system!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackryan View Post
    None better at the parish pump than Bertie & Cowen
    No. They were around the most powerful table in the country - the cabinet table. The members of the bank boards were the next most powerful group. All were meeting within a few hundred yards of each other in the centre of power in the capital.

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiel View Post
    The imposition of the favourites of the party headquarters is not to be encouraged.

    Remember it was the insiders in the party hqs that bankrupt the country not the people round the parish pump in the regions.
    Not true. It is the something for everyone in the audience that got us into trouble. It is not a coincidence that the more successful countries in Europe have some sort of list system.

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