Sinn Féin to agree pact with left-wing parties and Independents
Party signs up to broad policy principles of those in anti-water charges movement
Sinn Féin will announce this week that it has signed up to a number of broad policy principles drafted by those behind the anti-water charges movement and ask its supporters to transfer to others who support the initiative. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Sinn Féin is to enter into a vote transfer arrangement with parties and Independents who have signed up to a left-wing platform, although some will not return the favour by asking their voters to transfer to Gerry Adams’s party.
Sinn Féin will announce this week that it has signed up to a number of broad policy principles drafted by those behind the anti-water charges movement and ask its supporters to transfer to others who support the initiative.
Party sources say supporters will be asked to continue their preferences for other parties and Independents who have signed up to the Right2Change policy principles. One source also said Sinn Féin signing up to this approach will create a “new dynamic” for the election.
The party believes those who sign up to the Right2Change approach will offer the electorate a left-wing proposition not available from any other parties or alliances.
However, Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy has said he will not ask supporters to transfer to Sinn Féin.
Right2Change’s principles have been drafted by a number of unions, such as Unite, the Communications Workers’ Union, the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) and Mandate.
A document outlining its approach says the organisation looks forward to “the prospect of electing the first left-led government in the history of the State”.
Its proposals include: a commitment to eliminate the deficit by 2020; prioritising social and economic investment; doubling public investment; higher taxes on wealth and capital; the abolition of water charges and changes to European fiscal rules.
Sinn Féin only decided to subscribe to the approach at a meeting of its ardchomhairle in recent weeks, and the move is expected to be announced by Dublin Central deputy Mary Lou McDonald, possibly as early as Tuesday.
Ms McDonald, along with Senator David Cullinane and Cllr Daithí Doolan, spoke to the Right2Change group on behalf off Sinn Féin. While a number of parties and Independents have signed up to the broad goals, the specifics of policies can differ between individual parties. One Sinn Féin source suggested the goals were aims, rather than definitive commitments.
The Right2Change group already includes the People Before Profit and Socialist Party-Anti Austerity Alliance.
While Sinn Féin is expected to ask its voters to transfer to others in the Right2Change movement others signing up to the principles are divided on whether they will reciprocate Sinn Féin’s transfer offer.
“It’s up to the People Before Profit and AAA,” said a Sinn Féin source.