I have always said that the rise of Sinn Féin, and the demise of Fianna Fáil has been greatly exaggerated. Whether you agree with the politics of Sinn Féin or not, there are two huge factors that will always come against them.
Middle-Ireland has never accepted socialism, and unless even more severely pressed than today, never will.
There vested interests in this country still hold a massive amount of power and will do everything to prevent any outsiders raining on their parade.
It’s clear now that whatever appetite we had for real reform (it was palpable in 2009) has evaporated and that we are going to remain with what is essentially a two party system (FF & FG).
By delaying and praying, kicking the can down the road or whatever you want to call it, and not front loading the cuts, tax increases, defaulting etc. FG have shot themselves in the foot as FF could only be scapegoated for a year or two at most before, with the help of a lazy media, the general population completely forget how we got into this mess.
What interests me here is that FF/SF could conceivably form a government on these numbers. That will be very interesting to watch… While many will have turned their backs on FG/Lab for cronyism/can-kicking/failure to reform, I think the Reilly affair did a good bit of damage to the govt. But their numbers may go up if they secure a deal on bank debt.
I still don’t get why a new right of centre party hasn’t emerged. It would wipe out FF/FG, and there is almost certainly an appetite for it since FG caved in to Labour demands on leaving the public sector alone.
As I have mentioned here continuiously, FG made a complete fcuk-up by not implementing a massive cut in expenditure the moment they got into office.
They should have chopped spening by €10 billion almost immediately.
The ensuing pain could both easily and legitimately have been blamed on the previous administration.
Instead, they took the easy way out, concentrating on keeping their own poll figues up and avoiding the real hard decisions.
Well, there’s only so far you can kick the can down the road.
And unfortunately for FG, they have been the one’s kicking it for long enough that many of the electorate will be blaming them when it can be kicked no further and the painful cuts are unavoidable.
FG are so lost, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to lessen the cuts even further in order to steal some of FF’s gains.
so the question is with the demise of labour the next gov will surely be FF and FG finally merged together in 1 big pile of shit and SF the main opposition party? The fault lines should be a lot clearer then between bending over to the troika or growing a pair
Also, there is a certain logic to the poll numbers. For almost everyone, things under FF were much better than they have been under FG. If you don’t look at the basic reasons why, it seems logical to therefore vote for FF. Doh.
I’m becoming more disillusioned with this state day by day, year by year as hard decisions are not taken, cans are kicked down the road and ministers spout and it would appear that almost everyone else agrees that our futures all depend on getting house prices rising.
All the while there is this growing almost anti intellectualism and vilification of anyone who is actualy a net contributer to the state as some sort of individual or group to despise and publicly vilify.
It’s time to look over seas to states and populations with a bit more sense longer memories and ditch the gombeen feckisim of this failed state.
I think that judgement may be a bit premature. There are a lot of factors at play here and I’ll be the devil’s advocate:
All political parties want to be re-elected and this will be in the forefront of their minds when making policy decisions. It’s the nature of the beast and FF, SF whoever will act the same way when in government.
In this case there’s no overall majority so the Labour coalition partners have to be allowed some say in what policies are implemented. So to say that FG have bottled it by not immediately slashing expenditure does not account for the fact that Labour would not have stayed in government if that had happened.
The state of play when the coalition were elected was thoroughly horrible (all parties claim this when they take power, but in this case I think we can safely say that it’s true) - Troika bailout agreed, insane bank guarantee signed and sealed, croke park agreement in place, very low hanging fruit picked (capital expenditure, usc introduced National Pension Reserve raided). It’s only been a year and a half since the election so to expect everything to be hunky dory is maybe a bit unreasonable.
Economic conditions worldwide have not helped out any - although our exports have grown, they haven’t grown enough to counter the slump in the domestic economy, so overall growth remains low(negative?). There’s little the government can do to influence the wider world.
Whereas in early 2011 we were firmly in the PIIGS camp and there was a lot of talk of imminent default, I think the government has been successful in at least giving the impression that we’re less of a risk to do business with than Greece, Spain and maybe Portugal.
Social cohesion - there was a post on here recently by roc I think - which pointed out that the government has done well so far, despite VAT increases, pension levy and various cuts, to keep everyone at work (those who have a job anyway) and the streets clear of angry strikers.
Reform - admittedly the Troika have an influence, but I think we’re beginning to see some movement - Property Register, Insolvency legislation, local government reforms. It’s too easy to say that it was all the Troika’s doing and it’s a bit pathetic to hear FF claim that they were planning to do stuff when they had 12 years to sort it out.
I’m sure there are many counter arguments (James Reilly’s pork barrelling(in fact James Reilly full stop), unemployment still high, lack of movement on bizarro PS allowances, household charge fisaco), but I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s all been bad.