Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

A week is a long time in politics? Dude, a day is a long time this week

The orginal plan was to write about the fact that one in five Irish voters (that’s one in five adults walking down the street of your town or village) were planning to vote for government parties. That was the gobsmacking …

Mon, Nov 22, 2010, 14:30

   

The orginal plan was to write about the fact that one in five Irish voters (that’s one in five adults walking down the street of your town or village) were planning to vote for government parties. That was the gobsmacking takeaway for me from that Red C poll at the weekend, a poll which was carried out a week ago.

Yeah, a week ago.

Two hours ago, we’ve seen the Green Party finally wobble and fall over in another vain attempt to retake the high moral ground/get back on their horse. An hour ago, we’ve had independent TDs Jackie Healy-Rae and Michael Lowry come out, sniff the air and make pronouncements about their lack of support for the government. In the last 30 minutes, Sinn Fein have stormed government buildings (their initial poll findings for the general election must not be too hot). As I type, Fianna Fail TD Sean Power is on Liveline calling for his beloved leader to resign. I daren’t check what’s happening over on Twitter. In the vernacular, it’s all going off.

Whether it happens before Christmas or by the end of January, we’re all set for an election. After three and a half years of a terrible Fianna Fail/Green Party government, two parties who are joined at the hip in how they’ve shown contempt for the Irish people, it’s time to (probably) chuck ‘em out and elect someone else instead. There’s a lot of commentary out there that this will be the most groundbreaking, earthshattering and mould-breaking election of all time in this little republic, but I’ll reserve judgement on that until after the big day. Remember, one in five….

What will be interesting to see how the Irish electorate react to those “indie” Fianna Fail reps like John McGuinness, Mattie McGrath and co, the TDs who’ve spent most of this Dail speaking out of both sides of their mouth while simultaneously standing inside and outside the tent. They want their cake and want to gobble it too. It’s tactics like this which mean so many Irish people are cynical and deluded about the political process. They’re as culpable as anyone who sat on the frontnbench. Time for them to go and do something else.

What will also be interesting to see are the answers to a whole raft of questions. Are Fine Gael and Labour really the men and women we want to see leading the country? What about all those single-issue independents who have benefited in the past from a national unwillingness to vote FF or FG? Will they come to the fore and will we still be putting roads in Kerry and potholes in Tipperary North above the bigger issues? Will this be the election where Sinn Fein actually do more than huff and puff (I think it’s a smart move to put Gerry Adams into play in Louth – while Morgan Kelly argued that a new party will rise from the right, I can see the current situation giving SF more votes in the coming years, especially from disillusioned FF-ers)? Will this election really bring in change or just more of the same? And will we see the total destruction of the Green Party, a party who predictably traded their integrity and principles for Cabinet seats and a bit of power?

It’s going to be fascinating, sports fans.

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