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I'm not sold on the idea of having different cycles for Dail and Senate elections - at the moment they are broadly synchronised and take place whenever a Government loses the confidence of the Dail or at most, after 5 years. Sometimes that could be within a few months of the last election.

However, if you were to use provincial constituencies, the numbers are manageable regardless of whether you use STV or list, and regardless of whether 30 or 60 seats are on offer.

At the moment the Senate election takes place some weeks after the Dail election.  It thus becomes a second chance saloon for politicians who didn't make it into the Dail - which tends to devalue the Senate.  I would have both elections on the same day and force politicians to decide which chamber they wanted to be elected to.

The constitution also allows the Taoiseach to appoint up to two Senators to his cabinet (although that facility  has been rarely used partly because the Government is formed weeks before the senate is elected). That could be expanded if the Senate were to become a more truly representative body and both bodies were elected on the same day.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 9th, 2011 at 08:43:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Australian system has maximum 3 year terms for the House of Representatives, and fixed overlapping six year terms for the Senate. An election for the lower house sufficiently close to the date of the next Senate term is also a Senate election, but the current Senators hold their seats until the end of their term when the newly elected Senators take their seats.

But on the above, a four provinces plus County of Dublin would be roughly:

County of Dublin ~ 17
Leinster OTP ~ 15
Munster ~ 17
Connacht ~ 7
Ulster ~ 4

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Mar 9th, 2011 at 09:09:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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