We here in Ireland have just had an election and though there was evidence of a shift away from the traditional parties the pendulum that swings between the two main parties, both equally corrupt, continues to swing. On social media many of us are gobsmacked at this insistence on voting for people intent on shafting us-one person elected is currently being investigated for tax fraud and only five years ago, as far as I can tell, was asked to resign his seat by everyone in the government.
Some people attribute this to our voting system, the single transferable vote system, which few seem to understand properly. I certainly don’t understand it, it gives me flashbacks to maths class (bleuch), but I’ll try anyway, just to give some background to my latest cartoon for those of my international followers.
When we vote we put numbers in order of preference next to the candidates on voting sheet. Some say a voter should only put numbers alongside candidates they want, leaving the boxes beside anyone they don’t want in government blank. Others say to number all the candidates from highest preference to lowest ensuring a higher quota which leads to the election of more popular candidates. Or something like that…anyhoo, moving on!
As far as I understand it a candidate reaches a quota and is elected their extra votes are distributed to the voters next preference. Those candidates who don’t reach the quota are eliminated and also have their votes distributed. These are called transfers and more than a few candidates who didn’t get a lot of votes slide in on transfers.
The half understood use of this system may contribute to unpopular people being elected, like the nearly universally maligned labour leader Joan Burton (who looks uncannily like the Mouth of Sauron in the extended edition of LOTR) who thinks we are riff raff with smart phones who are pretending to have no money because we just want to lie around taking drugs all the time (OK some of us may want to do this but still..), live in cardboard boxes, succumb to despair and commit suicide instead of working to pay the massive wages and pensions of our ‘betters’ who continue to sell us and all our resources down the river. Joan did not reach the quota, naturally, but retained her seat on transfers from a (inexplicably) more popular colleague in their high end constituency, an islandf affluence in a sea of the great unwashed layabouts that are my countrymen.
To my mind though the bigger problem than the voting system, which many say is the fairest, is that there are still a huge amount of people in this country dependent on the state run media which gives little coverage to smaller parties on the rise and independents. It will take a long time for some people to realise that the media they could once depend on is no longer with us.
But don’t depend on me knowing what I am talking about. All is this is merely to give some background to this little election weekend scribble which lightened my mood which was, on seeing some of the results come in, in severe need of lightening.
Click on image to embiggen!