Proportional Representation v First Past the Post: contrasting demands on the foot soldier
All this talk about electioneering has brought me to making comparisons between my experience of foot soldiering in Ireland and England.
Outsiders may know that in southern Ireland we have a Proportional Representation (PR) election system, not First Past the Post (FPP), as in Britain. What they are less likely to know is that Ireland also has Multi-Seat constituencies, where a variety of political parties compete. One party might be aiming at taking all of, say, 3 seats in a constituency. Another (such as Labour, or Independent candidate) might be attempting to take the last of the 3 seats in a constituency through the transfer of surplus votes from the earlier rounds of the vote count. The electioneering tactics required to maximise a candidate’s vote in the PR Multi-Seater are way above and beyond the demands of the FPP system.
While recognising the political crisis brought on by Brexit might well end in a re-configuration of parties – and the electoral system, I’m not going to get into a discussion here of which is the most democratic.
I’m just remembering.