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Irish political parties register at a national, not a local level, regardless of their presence or absence in various constituencies.  You could require a party to run a candidate in more than one constituency, but they generally do in any case. As a candidate can run as an independent in any case, party membership doesn't confer anything other than an organisational benefit in any case.  (Independents can form an ad hoc technical group in the Dail to get additional parliamentary rights/back-up staff etc.)

I'm not suggesting any restrictions on independents/small regional parties in national elections - just for the EP election to focus the campaigns on transnational issues.  It need not be a legislative bar - perhaps just some public funding for cross-national parties/campaigns.  I'm tossing this out as an idea - I'm not entirely sure whether it is a good one or not.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 24th, 2009 at 12:39:44 PM EST
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There is already a similar but more lax system in place for 'European parties' as far as I understand, which is linked to financial support (cf. the failed Libertas effort to register as a European party).

Otherwise I do think that setting it as a hard requirement makes the elections too hard to enter for new parties. I'd think it would be good to switch the entire elections to a mixed member proportional system as it exists in Germany, but with a lower threshold. That's just a dream.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 05:50:31 AM EST
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I'd like to see an additional member system introduced in Spain. Fat chance of that.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 25th, 2009 at 06:48:43 AM EST
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