With Super Tuesday in America, and a just recently finished national election in Ireland, I thought it might be interesting to compare the voting systems of the two countries. In America’s two-party system, votes are taken in a binary form – either this one or that one. In Ireland’s recent election, ten different parties ran candidates, not including those who ran as independents. In order to make sure that the real desires of people are reflected as accurately as possible, Irish voters use a numbering system where they can put down number 1 for their first choice, 2 for their second, and so on. The votes are counted first based on the number 1 choices, then the candidates receiving the least votes are eliminated. Their votes are then recounted according to the number 2 choices, and the process continues until a winner is decided. Given the crowded Republican field in America this year, it is interesting to think that if the Irish system had been used to determine the nominee, it would likely change the race considerably. In races with multiple candidates, the Irish system does a brilliant job of letting people vote for their actual preferences, even if their first choice has little chance of winning. For a more detailed description of Irish voting, you can read this article.