The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
It also has a significant effect on political culture, as few candidates get elected on the strength of first preferences alone. All candidates and parties therefore seek to be as "transfer friendly" as possible and avoid insulting or sharp ideological exchanges with their opponents, as these tend to turn most voters off. This has an overall moderating effect on discourse and you don't get quite the extremes you get in some European countries.
N. Ireland is an interesting real world laboratory experiment in the effect of voting systems because Westminster Elections are still held on the basis of single seat, first past the post elections while the same constituency boundaries are used for 5 seat constituency NI Assembly elections (due next month). The first system tends to favour the big sectarian parties while the STV system enables the non-sectarian Alliance party and smaller parties like the Greens and socialists pick up the odd seat in more diverse constituencies - generally in later counts due to the transfer of lower preference votes.
It is getting to the stage where Alliance can challenge all the major parties and pick up seats even in Westminster elections, but it would never have been able to develop that electoral base without its success in local and Assembly elections. I will do a diary on it soon, but at the moment its still all to play for, with the odds being that Sinn Fein will displace the DUP as the largest party and become entitled to the First Minister role, a hugely significant symbolic blow to unionism, even if it means little in practice, as the First and Deputy first ministers can only act in concert.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by IdiotSavant - Jun 16 9 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 15 12 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 10 15 comments
by Bernard - Jun 6 23 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 6 4 comments
by Oui - Jun 8 104 comments
by Oui - Jun 2531 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jun 242 comments
by Oui - Jun 232 comments
by Oui - Jun 23
by gmoke - Jun 22
by Oui - Jun 20
by Oui - Jun 1915 comments
by asdf - Jun 183 comments
by Oui - Jun 184 comments
by IdiotSavant - Jun 169 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 1512 comments
by Oui - Jun 1310 comments
by Oui - Jun 1240 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 1015 comments
by Oui - Jun 95 comments
by Oui - Jun 8104 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jun 64 comments
by Bernard - Jun 623 comments
by Oui - Jun 6
by Oui - Jun 524 comments