Should by-elections be abolished?

By Michael Gallagher Leaving aside the broader issue of electoral reform (I’ve put some thoughts on this here), the question of how to fill casual vacancies has been discussed. At present, by-elections are used to fill such vacancies, and this has been criticised as an anomalous way of filling vacancies arising under a PR system.…

The Tasmanian experience of the Irish electoral system

The following is taken from an article of mine in The Irish Examiner, April 9 2010. It may be of interest considering the Tasmanian experience of PR-STV. THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAIL The first thing that struck me about Australian politicians is their responsiveness. Last January I e-mailed a large number of parliamentarians, both past…

LibDem surge will put electoral reform high on UK agenda

Before last Thursday’s leaders’ debate the LibDems privately conceded they’d lose some seats to the Tories on May 6th. Their best case scenario was that they’d be in the position of King-maker in a hung parliament and the price of their (external) support would be electoral reform.  However, it’s probable that any party would have to offer…

Labour Party’s proposals for constitutional reform a welcome addition to a much-needed political debate

Eamon Gilmore’s uplitfting ‘One Ireland’ speech to his party conference (http://bit.ly/crTAaq) this weekend ended with a set of interesting proposals for political, public sector and constitutional reform, with some pretty novel ideas such as the one to establish a Department of Public Service Reform. The major plus was just how many of the issues that…