In the recent elections for the European parliament (MEPs) and Irish local elections, Sinn Féin got trounced in the polls, winning only 81 seats across the country–about a 50% loss from 2014. The party’s leader, Mary Lou McDonald, has been woefully unprepared to discuss the party’s losses and put forward an innovative vision for the future of Ireland.
(Graph from The Independent)
Sinn Féin is not doing itself any favors by insisting upon a recount in the MEP election for Ireland South, where it appears that SF’s Liadh Ní Riada has lost. The recount is going to cost approximately €1 million, enraging many people who believe the government should be using that money to help homeless people find housing, fund environmental initiatives, improve education, or basically anything else.
After recounting 200,000 ballots, it does appear that this recount won’t yield the results that Sinn Féin is hoping for, yet despite the cost, I have to support the recount anyway. For representative democracy to function, we must ensure that each individual’s vote is counted, and that it counts equally to everyone else’s vote (we can discuss gerrymandering elsewhere). Democratic institutions are crumbling around the world, including in the United States under the morally bankrupt Trump administration. Ireland is doing the right thing by demonstrating to its people and to the world that this country will not allow the integrity of its democratic institutions to be impugned by any semblance of controversy over an election.
Go on, Éire, count all the votes.