Electing Lord Mayor by D’Hondt would be unfair – Alliance

On the day that Belfast City Council is going to vote on whether to use the D’Hondt mechanism to elect Lord Mayors and Deputies in future, Pottinger Alliance Party Councillor Máire Hendron has said Alliance will oppose this move because it would be a deeply retrograde step.

Cllr Máire Hendron said: “The D’Hondt system is a blunt instrument which is useful when allocating large numbers to a large group. We are opposed to the use of D’Hondt for the election of the Lord Mayor and the Deputy.

“It would be a deeply retrograde step to have the D’Hondt mechanism used as it sends out the message that we cannot take decisions like this in a mature and constructive manner.

“Currently, we need a majority of the council to vote to elect a Lord Mayor and a Deputy. This is a democratic way of electing people to these posts and to remove this would be extremely negative.

“It would be unfair to employ a mechanism like D’Hondt as it would virtually prevent all independents from taking up these offices. It also damages the chances of building consensus across all the parties, because there is nothing compelling them to reach agreements on genuinely sharing power if D’Hondt is in place.

“We want to see the best person being elected Lord Mayor each year. It is a very important role in the life of the city and the Lord Mayor is the public face of the city for that whole year. If the D’Hondt mechanism is going to be put in place it could be seen as another carve-up amongst the tribal parties.”


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