Just four days to go until the UK local elections and the European elections of 2014 now,ladies and gentlemen.
It is noticeable that most EU states use party-list PR for elections, European and otherwise, which can be very problematic for independent candidates who just want to represent constituents' wishes and not a political ideology. Only the nations of Ireland and Malta, as well as the Northern Ireland region of the UK, use STV, but as STV has no threshold yet is still fair votes count for more than even party-list PR without a fixed threshold (as exists in the Netherlands and now Germany). The use of STV has worked wonders for local government in Scotland, after all.
Here is my advice to Irish Green Party/Comhoartas Glas supporters, and Northern Ireland Green Party supporters, in terms of how to rank your vote in European and local elections:
Dublin (European Parliament): 1. Green (Eamon Ryan), 2. Fis Nua (Damon Wise), 3. Socialist Party (Paul Murphy), 4. People Before Profit (Brid Smith), 5. Sinn Fein (Lynn Boylan), 6. Nessa Childers, 7. and 8. Direct Democracy Ireland (Raymond Whitehead and Tom D'Arcy), 9. Jim Tallon, 10. Labour (Emer Costello), 11. Fianna Fail (Mary Fitzpatrick), 12. Fine Gael (Brian Hayes).
Midlands-Northwest (European Parliament): 1.Green (Mark Dearey), 2. Fis Nua (Cordelia Nic Fhaerraigh), 3. Sinn Fein (Matt Carthy). 4-14. All other candidates in any order (please put Fine Gael,Fianna Fail, and Labour at the bottom of your preference list on the ballot paper though).
South (European Parliament): 1. Green (Grace O'Sullivan), 2. Fis Nua (Donal O Riordan), 3. Sinn Fein (Liadh Ni Riada), 4-15. All other candidates in any order, preferably with Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Labour with the bottom three preferences (13,14,and 15).
Northern Ireland (European Parliament): 1. Green (Ross Brown), 2. Sinn Fein (Martina Anderson), 3. SDLP (Alex Attwood), 4. Alliance (Anna Lo), 5. NI21 (Tina McKenzie), 6-10. All unionists at bottom of ballot ranking.
If we used STV for European elections in England, I would advise the following preferences after the 1st preference for the Green Party: 2. No2EU (since they are anticapitalist), other, then Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, UKIP, and any far-right party (BNP et al.) at the bottom of the STV rankings.
If STV was used in all European nations for European nations, it would also be easier for a socialist-green alliance for Europe to form and counter the neoliberal triad that is comprised of ALDE, S&D, EPP and ECR, and also the racist right that is EFD and the nastier Non-Inscrits.