A coalition of all the talents
Sir, – As the 33rd Dáil wrestles with the concept of coalition government, I would urge the leaders of the main political parties to view coalition as a constructive and positive move; rather than seeing coalition as just a dilution of each party’s traditional values, they should view coalition a synergistic solution to forming a government, where the outcome of negotiations creates a range of policies that can be greater than the sum of the policies of the constituent parties.
Achieving such a synergistic coalition will require strong political leadership, leadership for the change demanded – but not specified – by the electorate. Rather than slavishly protecting the traditional core values of each party, coalition will require dropping some objectives and accommodating some new . Because of their long history, and the sincerely held traditions of their memberships, this may be difficult for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to accept but it is now clear that one, or both, of these parties will be part of a coalition and it will require time and skill to get their party memberships to accept a new way of doing things.
In his election acceptance speech, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said, ”let us be decisive in the period ahead and let us decide to work together in the interests of the people who sent us here”.
Wise words indeed, and if this sentiment is acted upon then the seemingly intractable formation of a stable government, acceptable to the Dáil and to the electorate, should be possible.
That is democracy at work. – Yours, etc,