Merger In The Middle?
Sir, - With the current talks going on between the Labour Party and Democratic Left perhaps it is time for a wider debate on the future of the Irish political party system, in particular the future of the two Civil War parties.
Ireland has effectively become a single-ideology State with the two bigger parties differing only on style and seemingly identical on policy. Only the Progressive Democrats and the parties on the left are trying to create a polarisation in Irish politics which would give the electorate wider representation from black-and-white choices.
Over the past number of years the results of elections has had little effect on social and economic policy as the bigger parties are, in my view, just style factions of the same ideology. At least the Labour party is pushing a socialist doctrine, even if it is just skin-deep, and the Progressive Democrats, being Ireland's liberal party, have had a huge, positive effect on our economic progress.
It's time for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to start discussing a merger and for other parties to stand by their beliefs and not apologise for them. - Yours, etc.,