A new system of counting votes may result in a more diverse town council after the elections on March 24. Diversity certainly isn't a feature of the Mayoral poll: To a man – pardon the pun – the five candidates are male, white, middle-class, middle-age small businessmen.
The only apparent distinction is that the four challengers of incumbent Damien Ryan have links, some tenuous, with the vocal Advance Alice movement, and that they all want to get rid of Mr Ryan. How this will translate into preferences as the campaign unfolds remains to be seen.
However, the new voting system is very likely to generate more diversity among the eight councillors, to be chosen from a field of 15 candidates representing much of the town's broad social spectrum. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Mayor Damien Ryan – strong on ceremony but soft on leadership, his critics claim.