Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Voting by STV today

Voters go to the polls to place their 1,2,3 preference today in Northern Ireland. I see the BBC are explaining how many preferences voters can use (as many as they like, of course) and how the surpluses are allocated.

All this reinforces an aspect of Northern Ireland which has been observed before and which always stands out in my mind. The people of Northern Ireland are one of the most sophisticated, politically acute electorates in the world. There are not many other places where, for better or worse, the fine nuances of political maneuvering are discussed with such passion and command of the detail.
Goodness knows what the result of the election will be. Hopefully, at long last it will lead to a resumption of devolved government. Presumably that will mean the DUP in government with Sinn Fein. Remarkable bed fellows.
The people there deserve peaceful devolved government. I hope today will mark the beginning of a new and relatively joyous chapter in the history of Northern Ireland.

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