Election 2016 – another fine mess?


Sir, – Surely the obvious solution is a Fianna Fáil minority government, sustained by the fact that an opposition consisting primarily of Sinn Féin and Fine Gael wouldn’t agree on anything. Indeed such a government could be supported on an issue-by-issue basis by either Sinn Féin or Fine Gael in a sort of elaborate double-Tallaght strategy. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.

Sir,– Some of your correspondents bemoan the fact that a mere 65 per cent of the eligible electorate turned out to vote. The reason why this household had a 50 per cent turnout was because the other half is living and working in Australia. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Without a doubt, one of the most striking moments of the general election was the reception Lucinda Creighton received when entering the RDS for the count last Saturday.

Being the year of “encouraging women in politics”, it was utterly ironic that she was booed by opposing party loyalists, who I can only deduce are threatened by the individual mindset. I can only hope these are a dying breed and more class and respect will emerge in coming years after an overdue political reformation. – Yours, etc,


Mount Merrion,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Whichever parties end up in power, their first priority should be to sort out the housing crisis, so that families are not moving from hotel to hotel. How distressing it must be for all involved, but particularly the children. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – The boring mantras issued by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in their mystical dance towards unity is starting to feel like watching Titanic. Eventually you are grateful for the iceberg. – Yours, etc,


Firhouse, Dublin 24.

Sir, – John Hanamy’s suggestion (March 2nd) that the alleged political earthquake has only struck “the privileged, low-tax, high-income brigade,” seems somewhat out of place against the backdrop of more than 90 seats won by two convergent centre-right parties. The neoliberal edifice has not quite yet come crashing down. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 15.

Sir, – Valerie Whelan suggests that the hung Dáil is a result of aggregate individual votes, not any collective decision of voters en masse (March 1st). That could only be so if there were as many choices available to voters as there were voters.

There is such a thing as a collective will and even, as some have argued, a general will.

People, in large numbers, I believe, took a view that politicians of both the major parties landed the country in the most appalling mess ever eight or nine years ago – one side actively, the other passively. The election offered people, many of those who bore the worst of the “readjustments”, the opportunity to inflict an equal mess on those self-same politicians. We sorted out the economic problems for you, such as they have been, they said, and now here’s a unprecedented political problem for you to sort out, if you can.

The only way they can do that is by coming together; both parties know that will result in significant overall losses for them collectively at the next election, which is why they resist it. Irish electoral politics now has the significant class dimension (or left/right if you prefer) it lacked for years, which is no more than an expression of the economic logic pursued by governments since 1997 – the boom concealed it, the crash revealed it in all its starkness. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

Sir, — Countries such as Germany use a “closed” list system, under which each party’s allocated seats are filled from a list that is often drawn up by the leadership of that party. Used in an Irish context, instead of the current situation, where politicians have to connect with the people they are supposed to represent, they would have to suck up to the leadership of the party to be even considered for a Dáil seat.

Nowhere else in the world would the idea of politicians being in touch with their voters be considered as alien as it seems to be among Ireland’s commentariat. – Yours, etc,



Co Leitrim.

A chara, – Why all this talk of whinging in relation to how people voted? This is a democracy; people are entitled to cast their ballot as they wish. The only whingers in all this are the ones accusing others of whinging. – Is mise,


Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – Fiscal space, where are you now? Your potential largesse would appear to be obliterated in the fractious discussion on the single policy issue of water management. Watch this new space. – Yours, etc,


Donegal Town.

Sir, – Fianna Fáil’s refusal to enter into coalition with Fine Gael, in spite of the clear absence of any major ideological difference between the two parties, is a clear indication of its unwillingness to put the country’s interests before its own.

The party’s slogan for the next election should be, “Does not play well with others”. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – I wonder if things would be a little simpler if the voters were a little less “sophisticated”. — Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.