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Ireland Waits Patiently While Votes Counted for Lower House of Parliament

Published on February 27, 2011, by in General.

On February 25, Ireland held an election for lower house of the national Parliament. These elections use proportional representation, and single transferable vote. See this story for a basic description. Because it takes some time to count ranked-choice ballots, a few of the results are still to be determined, as of February 27. However, no one writing in the Irish press seems surprised or exasperated by this. See this February 27 story about the progress of the count.

16 Responses

  1. Mark Seidenberg

    Richard Winger

    Thank you for the posting. I like to read the political
    news from Ireland. My mothers parents were married in
    Dublin in the year 1900.

    The good news would be when the Brits give up their claims to the Northern Six Counties and Ireland will
    be united and free.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg
    Vice Chairman, American Independent Party

  2. Michal

    Perhaps not as important as the Irish election, but Ranked Choice Voting is also used in some surprising other functions in the U.S. and hopefully will be adopted widely. But since today will see Oscar Night happen, which uses RCV, I thought I’d share this:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gautam-dutta/id-like-to-thank-the-acad_2_b_826722.html

  3. Mikebloke

    It should be noted that a majority of people from Northern Ireland wish to remain in the UK, and while that exists we should continue to support them.

    Most notably, both the Labour Party and (modern) Sinn Fein have received their best results ever. Its debatable how many people however who voted for SF support their one-Ireland policy.

  4. Cody Quirk

    It should be noted that a majority of people from Northern Ireland wish to remain in the UK, and while that exists we should continue to support them.

    = In what way?

    Most notably, both the Labour Party and (modern) Sinn Fein have received their best results ever. Its debatable how many people however who voted for SF support their one-Ireland policy.

    = How so?

  5. Casual Bystander

    Erin Go Braugh!

  6. Mikebloke

    “= In what way?”

    It can be gauged in different ways, none of them are very nice to admit. In simple terms, Irish Protestants are extremely pro-British and would fight to the death to keep NI part of the UK. They also number more than Catholics.

    Catholics on the other hand, are more mixed, while few would regard themselves as “pro-UK”, not all of them take Sinn Fein’s stance of rejoining the South. As SF is the only party advocating reintegration with the South, one can assume that people who vote for other parties either feel its not such a big deal to them or prefer to remain part of the UK. There is no doubt that Unionist Parties (almost exclusively Protestant, but not necessarily) want to remain part of the UK.

    “= How so?”

    Assuming this is about the second half of that sentence, I follow the Irish elections quite closely as I’m generally interested in their system and their politics. SF had problems in the last election as some members disagreed with their renouncement of violence and the northern counterpart’s decision to become part of the NI Government in coalition with the DUP. As a result of its power-sharing with Unionists in the north, its had to moderate its 1 Ireland policy in both nations.

    In this election, its held back on the 1 Ireland policy and instead took advantage of resentment over the economic situation (this can be seen with the re-election of other left-leaning Socialists and Independents elsewhere which had a bad result last time, as well as Labour getting their best result too). The issue is regularly quoted in previous elections as part of their victory speeches with Irish News Channels, which was also lacking this time round.

  7. DEFECTIVE — P.R. with 3 to 5 member districts in Ireland.

    REAL P.R. = Total Votes / Total Seats = EQUAL votes needed for each seat winner – via PRE-election candidate rank order lists – to move excess winner votes and loser votes.

    BOTH indirect majority rule and minority representation.

    NOT atomic physics.

  8. Mikebloke

    Heres a good article I noticed in Google News regarding Sinn Fein, the Irish Election and the upcoming NI Assembly Election:

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/local/irish_election_hope_for_unionists_despite_sinn_fein_surge_1_2455912

  9. Ireland still hand tallies its votes from paper ballots. There was an attempt to shift to electronic voting in 2007, but it wasn’t regarded as successful.
    Among other things, there were doubts about the outcome due to the lack of a paper trail. So the system was scrapped after spending 50 Million Euros.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/av/2011/0214/media-2906065.html#&search=Electronic%20voting%20experiment

    Incidentally, the count is still ongoing. Another account of the results can be found here:
    http://www.rte.ie/news/election2011/results/index.html

  10. There is a major error in this reporting: this election is not conducted by ranked-choice voting (or RCV, AKA “the alternative vote” AKA “instant runoff voting” AKA “preferential voting”.)

    Rather, it is conducted by single transferable vote (STV), which is a system of proportional representation (PR). The ballots used are the same (“rank the candidates in your preferred order”) and RCV uses a similar elimination method to STV, but RCV elects only a single winner from each district, which makes it a completely NON-proportional method.

    This is an important distinction, because PR helps third parties win elections and fights against the domination of a two-party system, while RCV–demonstrably and definitively–does NOT do these things.

    So, #2, we should NOT hope that RCV spreads (any further) into the US (and I’m frankly disgusted at the free publicity its getting from its use in the Oscars.) It is a waste of time. But the system ACTUALLY USED in this election–or some other system of proportional representation–could be a great boon to the US political environment.

  11. Richard Winger

    #10 thank you, I changed the post.

  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_general_election,_2011

    Results at bottom incomplete. Probably final within another day.

    IF the party hack robots in the U.K. House of Commons had ANY brains, then they would have copied the Ireland system — even with its defects.

  13. I’m with #10 as well. There are 43 or so multi-member constituencies in this election, for 165 seats (one member of the previous government is automatically elected to the new one), so that makes it different from RCV or IRV and single-seat elections in general.
    I’m especially interested in the total number of “elimination rounds” they’ve gone through. This is a particularly difficult and complicated election, with the ruling party in complete disarray and its former partners in disgrace, and with several lef-of-center parties and dozens of independents of all stripes competing. God, if we could only have elections like that!
    @MikeBloke, I’m not with you on the business of supporting the continuation of Northern Ireland as part of the UK for as long as the “majority” population want it that way. These six counties were selectted BECAUSE they were majority Protestant, the Catholic community was heavily discriminated against for decades, and this part of the island is also called Ireland, as is the rest of the island.

  14. Jim Riley

    #9 Ireland has a tradition of party agents (tally men) observing the vote count, who can observe the patterns of transfers as the votes are being counted. So while the final results weren’t totally known, they would have known within a short while who most of the elected were.

    The video you linked to mentioned the case of Nora Owen of Fine Gael losing her seat during the electronic count, and how it had been a complete surprise as it was announce that she lost. In a hand count, her agents would have realized that she was likely to lose early on, and given here some forewarning.

    Scotland uses STV for its local elections, and voters use paper ballots where they mark their preferences by using numerals, but the ballots are counted electronically using optical character recognition.

  15. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12606359

    Love those multiple counts ???

    P.R. = ONE count — using pre-election candidate rank order lists to transfer votes.

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