Dec 5, 2022Liked by Ronan McGovern, Fitzwilliam Staff

Interesting point regarding nuclear power. Who is going to sort the electrons into nuclear and non-nuclear from the French interconnector, and apportion them accordingly? Or indeed the interconnector with the UK and Ireland?

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Dec 6, 2022Liked by Ronan McGovern

Really enjoyed this review, thanks for doing this work! It does make me feel like Ireland did a pretty solid job which, as an Irish person living in the US, makes me feel good. The checks and balances of the US constitution are held up as a strength, but I prefer the clarity about who's in charge and the lack of veto points in the Irish constitution as it fulfills a key goal of a democracy, namely making sure that everyone's clear whose fault something is so they can vote them out if it doesn't work.

One thing you didn't get into in detail is the choice of multi-member constituency STV versus (say) the German list system. At the high level there's a PR versus FPTP argument and I think there are good arguments for both, but PR seems to meet the fundamental goal of the parliament representing the people better. Given PR, the choice of PR system also matters. I think an underrated argument for multi-member constituencies is that it means that the constitution doesn’t need to recognize the existence of political parties and that means, at a technical level, you don’t need to worry about parties joining or splitting just to game the electoral system, and at a higher design level, the constitution can accommodate any future version of what political parties are because there are no assumptions about them embedded in the system. The flipside of that is that the Irish system ends up having a huge number of independent TDs and that makes forming a stable government hard.

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