Exercising the Franchise

First thing this morning I cast my vote in Maynooth, the polling station for which is in the Presentation Girls School, a Catholic Primary School. It wasn’t amazingly busy inside but there was a steady flow of people coming through. There were 8 desks dishing out ballot papers, more desks than you usually get at a polling station in the UK. There were three ballot papers, one for the European Parliament, one for the Local Council, and one for the Constitutional Referendum.

Anyway, Polling Card in hand I eventually found the right desk. Having done my homework last night I ranked all 17 candidates for the European Parliament Elections and all 9 for the Local Council Elections, copying my preferences from a piece of paper I had taken with me. The Single Transferable Vote system must making counting quite a lengthy process so it will take some time before the results are known.

At least I got to vote, which many EU citizens in the UK were unable to do. There’s a major scandal brewing about what looks like deliberate disenfranchisement. These things shouldn’t happen in a democracy, but apparently in the United Kingdom they do.

I had a very busy morning after arriving at the Department so I’ve just discovered that Theresa May has resigned. Part of me is delighted as I thought she was callous and mean-spirited as well as being useless. Apparently she cried when she read out her resignation statement. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to burst out laughing.

The feeling of happiness that the current PM is leaving is however tempered by the very high probability that whoever replaces her will be even worse…

So I’m now heading off to Dublin again for the second session of IQF 2019 after which I’ll be going to the Gaiety Theatre for a performance of the Magic Flute, an Opera about Particle Physics.

6 Responses to “Exercising the Franchise”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    You’d have to have a heart of stone not to burst out laughing.

    Wilde with joy?

  2. Trexit

    This is the person who called me a citizen of nowhere, which I felt was nasty. And yes, there are worse candidates (quite a few actually) so I am not hoping for any better. Labour doesn’t seem much better. It is the spirit of the age. People need an enemy, and to the current politicians, apparently I am that enemy.

  3. I thought you should never cast a vote in STV for a candidate that you don’t want to win (lest your vote be counted for them). So it’s unusual to need to rank all candidates…

    • telescoper Says:

      Suppose you really don’t want candidate X to be get in. If you just don’t list them then of course they don’t get your vote but neither to any of their competitors, but if you list them at the bottom your vote will go to someone else who might beat X in a tight race.

      • I may be being dense, but I don’t see the difference between that and not listing X at all (if X is the Nth-ranked of N candidates, your vote ‘for’ them surely can’t ever possibly be counted for them, so there’s no point in recording it). If your priority is anyone-but-X, then I agree you should vote for everyone else to support all possible competitors, but usually the situation’s more like ‘I could cope with A, B, C or D being elected but I don’t want to support X, Y or Z’, in which case you should vote for A, B C and D but, unsurprisingly, not X, Y or Z.

        (This brings back fond memories of STV in student union elections; must be nice to live in a democracy.)

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