Ireland Holds Choice Voting Elections
On May 24, 2007 Ireland used choice voting to elect its Dáil or parliament. The system effectively promoted a great deal of multi-party representation within each district while also allowing a great deal of turnover in the membership of the Dáil.
Of 146 incumbent members running, just over 20% lost their bids, versus normally about 2% in U.S. House races. In addition to the high turnover in the Irish elections, 22.9% of the total membership of the Dáil will be representing their constituencies for the first time. Choice voting moreover ensured the vast majority of voters elected candidates of choice. With winner-take-all elections, only one party represents each district.
Choice voting is a proportional voting system that effectively eliminates the spoiler problems common to winner-take-all voting systems. It also encourages cooperation among candidates as well as cooperation between minority groups and parties.