Are you Irish for the day? Then vote like the Irish!

March 14, 2009

Lá Fhéile Phádraig Sona Duit !
(that’s Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Gaelic)

Tuesday March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, the national day of celebration of all things Irish in memory of its patron saint, St. Patrick.  I wonder what St. Pat would think about the ongoing debate about voting systems here in BC.  Why would he even care?  Well, he might care if he were here because Ireland is one of the nations that has been using Single Transferable vote for its national elections to parliament since the inception of the Republic in 1922.  The choice was made for various reasons at the time but has lasted for almost 90 years despite several attempts by political elites to switch back to First Past the Post.  Since STV is enshrined in the Irish consitution, each time the Irish people have rejected these attempts.  Read this very interesting article about how Ireland chose STV and how it has performed over the past 80 years to find out more.

So this St. Patrick’s day  it is customary for everyone without Irish blood to pretend they do, to put on silly green hats and drink green beer (shudder…please, if you’re irish, real beer only comes in one colour, black).  So this year, with the referendum coming up on whether BC should adopt BC-STV as its voting system, why not take ‘being Irish for a day’ one step further?  Why not vote like the Irish?

I you want to vote like the Irish there is a way to make your voice heard.  Sunday March 15th in Vancouver is the St. Patricks day parade starting at 11:00 am in front of the Vancouver Central Public Library (350 W Georgia St).

After the parade at the Art Gallery at 1:30 pm there will be a huge rally for a BC-STV. Show up in your colours and silly hats and show then what the ‘Irish’ want, for their voice to be heard with a fair voting system. If you’re really keen, supporters of BC-STV are planning to meet on the front lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby St.) at 11:00 am on Sunday morning to distribute informational pamphlets, balloons, buttons, etc. that can be handed out to the crowd.

Come lend a hand! It’ll be a great craic!

Mark O’Crualaoich (a.k.a. Crowley)

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