Politics and BC-STV
Kenny, the Fine Gael leader, blamed most of the "domestic
mess" on the Government's "incompetence"
and called for a cut in the lower rate of VAT from 13.5
per cent to 10 per cent.
Eamon Gilmore, the Labour Party leader, said that the rising
jobless figures were spreading "fear" throughout
of the Single Transferable Vote (BC-STV) would have referendum
voters believe that changing how we elect MLAs could turn
politics into one big group hug, making it less adversarial.
Someone forgot to tell the Irish that they are supposed to
parties in Ireland are going after each other with a vengeance.
It's only been two years since their last
election, one where US political consults were imported
for advice on running negative
campaigns. A year after that vote, the Prime
Minister, called the Taoiseach, resigned in scandal. The
stakes are now high with the long governing Fianna Fail at
its lowest point ever in the opinion polls. Ireland's current
Taoiseach has predicted a 10%
drop in living standards over the next two years.
An emergency budget will be tabled on April 7th, after which
government may collapse. Some predict that Ireland will
be electing TDs (members of its lower house) at the same time
they go to the polls on June 5th to elect local governments
and members of the European Parliament. If that happens, British
Columbians will be able to witness the first weeks of the
Irish election campaign before BC votes on the STV referendum.
A ringside seat to an Irish political brawl is just what
is needed to put claims about STV creating more cooperation
between political parties in true perspective.
Columbians might look to the Republic of Ireland for an idea
on how STV might work. Ireland has the same population as
BC, although in area it is about twice the size of Vancouver
Island. Other than Ireland, the use of STV is confined to
Malta with a population of only 403,000, Tasmania, an Australian
state with a population of under 500,000 and a few municipalities.
Some senates use variations of STV, but either not with universal
suffrage, or in the case of Australia with a provision used
of the voters to mark a single "X" for a party's
slate. Politics in those less relevant places can also be
described as politics as nasty as usual, but it is probably
best to pay attention to politics surrounding elections to
Ireland's lower house, the Dail, to see that claims about
STV are misleading.
would produce many things, including:
supporters of BC-STV shouldn't promise is less nasty politics;
your eye on Ireland to see why.