Electoral Reform is NUTs! (Or at least that is what most Academics are implying?)

Some lovely open source non copyright infringing nuts from wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_(fruit)

Well not really. I think the word is CAUTION. Most academic experts on electoral systems (and Ireland has quite a few excellent one likes Michael Gallagher and David Farrell) stress that reform of electoral systems is rarely a simple quick fix solution. They stress being cautious in what one thinks can be achieved by any electoral reform. If there are deep-seated aspects of political culture…these may not be removed even by quite dramatic changes in rules. If you are interested in getting an academic perspective on the question of electoral reform, but which is also accessible, then check out: http://politicalreform.ie/tag/electoral-reform/

And that website is more generally a great resource for any ‘reformistas’ with lots of ideas and lots of careful qualifications about what seem like great ideas (but maybe are not).

See for an example of the academic skepticism towards electoral reform, Prof. David Farrell’s thrashing of a suggested new electoral systems by former Attorney General John Rogers, who imagined a 150 seat Dáil, with 50 TDs elected from national panels on various topics. The other 100 would be elected in 20 five seat constituencies by ‘PR” [he does not say PRSTV note!].

Yet another crazy idea for electoral reform

I have to say I agree with David Farrell that this proposed reform looks like a ‘dog’s breakfast’, but that does not mean we should not seriously consider electoral reform…any more than we would want dogs to go hungry and miss their breakfast……



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