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Electoral system is outdated and wrong

Published 20/05/2016

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor
Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

It is often wrongly assumed apathy is the main reason why many in Northern Ireland do not vote in the elections.

In my case, I do not vote in Assembly elections because I do not believe in devolved government, nor do I consider it necessary to have 108 MLAs of dubious background to administer Northern Ireland.

Each time there is an Assembly election, because of the odd electoral set-up, it takes two days to count the votes, with the result of returning the very same MLAs. If one considers this data obtained from the Electoral Commission on the recent Assembly election, the evidence is apparent.

Out of a total electorate of 1.28m, 703,744 actually voted (54.91%). However, an amazing 577,851 did not vote. This means the actual number of seats occupied by the two tribal parties — DUP and Sinn Fein — are probably vastly over-represented. Urgent reform of the electoral system here is needed to prevent the tribal vote from being the end result every time.


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