The future of Fine Gael

 

Sir, – In the wake of the 2002 general election, which saw the election of just 31 Fine Gael TDs, Frank Flannery wrote a report that drove a series of reforms in the organisation and structure of Fine Gael. Many would argue that this document acted as a roadmap for the party’s electoral success of the following decade.

It is clear from the recent general election that the party urgently needs to devise a strategy that squares up to the dramatic fragmentation of our political system. Such a process does not require, necessarily, that Fine Gael should slip quietly into the political wilderness of opposition given that after nine difficult years in government it is only separated from Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin by a hair’s breadth.

Whatever path is chosen,however, it is difficult to envisage that any strategist worth his or her salt could advise Fine Gael to sleepwalk into an arrangement with the unreformed, catch-all policies of Fianna Fáil. How can a political party that has lost ground, predictably, after a very challenging decade in office, ignore the enduring electoral toxicity of the Soldiers of Destiny for the vast majority of those of working age in this republic? – Yours, etc,

PJ O’MEARA,

Newtownadam,

Cahir, Co Tipperary.