The strongest bulwark of a democratic government is a healthy opposition. The distribution of the preference votes in this year’s general election has guaranteed no single party has an overall majority. That, in itself, can be a safeguard against a single party dictatorship.
The Irish electorate have an innate ability to use their particular brand of proportional representation very well. To use a modern management phrase, they ‘claim ownership of the system’. Their reward is that they can enjoy intensely the traditional spectator sport televised on election night as the results unfold.