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First Preference Vote in Presidential Election October 28, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

From RTÉ:

2115 National FIRST COUNT: Higgins 39.6% (701,101), Gallagher 28.5% (504,964); McGuinness 13.7% (243,030); Mitchell 6.4% (113,321); Norris 6.2% (109,469); Scallon 2.9% (51,220); Davis 2.7% (48,657).

A few brief observations before the holiday weekend – longer ones early next week. That’s a good result for Michael D. Higgins, no question about it. Whether it can transfer to the government, and more particularly the Labour Party is a different matter. That’s an excruciatingly awful one for Gay Mitchell. And Fine Gael.

One would feel sorry on a human level for Gallagher, hero to zero, or 504,964 first preferences, and all in the space of three or perhaps four days. And yet, there’s a lesson there as to what that vote is made up of.

A terrible day for Davis, and Scallon. A so-so one for Sinn Féin, four per cent better than their vote in the General Election but a few points less than some recent polls give them nationally, although double digits given the media hammering is perhaps an achievement in itself [and they’re delighted about besting Mitchell]. It will be interesting to delve into the distribution of that 13.7 per cent nationally. Already some thoughts on that arise.

The distribution of transfers of Davis and Scallon will be informative. But I can’t see them pushing either Mitchell or Norris across the line to recoup expenses, or am I wrong on that score? But I wonder if the crowded nature of the field is partially responsible and whether that will prevent others from entering this race in future years…

A lot of other questions remain. Would Norris have been better to walk away after the first time? Would Pat Cox or Mairead McGuinness have made a concrete difference to the FG vote? Would a less contentious figure than McGuinness have upped the SF vote? And what of the spectre at the feast, that FF vote that went, it would appear, to Gallagher. Where next, and does Dublin West support a renascent FF down the line. But remember, no elections until the locals, short of another meltdown, so plenty of time for people to consider these results and consolidate.

And speaking of Dublin West the saga continues apiece. It’s a Labour gain. But it’s all seemed a bit academic given the weight of government numbers. Roll on the Budget and then we’ll see.

As to the referendums. All will be revealed tomorrow.

Five scenes from the Seanad… Health and Auterity, the Mortgage Crisis, The Presidency, Barracks closures and… er… Magnesia. October 28, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

Just thinking, one Presidential candidate this evening is on his way back to the Seanad, so… with that in mind what’s he been missing while out on the road?

1: The impact of austerity on health services…

Interesting to see this addressed in an empirical way, and using data from Greece.

Senator John Crown:     Last week, a paper was published in The Lancet, perhaps the world’s most prestigious medical journal, outlining the implications for the citizens of Greece of cutbacks in terms of delivery of and access to their health system. For the first time we saw a real verifiable matrix which showed that this is not some vague aphoristic theoretical worry about what might happen if there are health service cuts at a time of budgetary constraint but what actually happens. It showed alarming declines in the provision of service for a number of conditions and quite alarming increases in areas such as HIV infection and other illnesses. There is a budget coming up in the near future and it is widely predicted that in the clichéd prevailing circumstances we will see some further cuts in the health service. It is already creaking and the potential that another round of cuts will bring real verifiable and life-threatening complications for patients who need the health system is not something which is theoretical; it is very real.
It is distasteful for people to hear endless whingeing and bleating, often from well-paid consultants, about deficiencies in the health service but I want to propose what I believe would be a small partial solution. I ask the Leader if he would bring to the attention of the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Health the possibility, following somewhat similarly the philosophy of the old Irish sweepstake which was originally set up to fund hospital work in Ireland, of a national health service solidarity bond. This bond would be a call to the citizens of this country to get a low-yield, long-term low-interest rate bond guaranteed by the Government, effectively giving to the Government a supply of cheap low-interest credit for a fixed period of time, perhaps ten years. This, however, would have to be ringfenced for the health service. We would have to get a guarantee that it was not being used to pay Mr. Roman Abramovich — I am sorry, I know I am not supposed to mention individuals here——
An Cathaoirleach:     It is fine.
Senator Marc MacSharry:     He will not mind.
Senator John Crown:     ——or any hypothetical oligarchs who may have substantial investments in failed Irish banks, but that it would be used specifically for the purpose of maintaining services within the health services currently constituted. I believe that this would be feasible. If it was appropriately constructed, perhaps — I do not know as I am not an expert in these matters — with some degree of tax efficiency, etc., it could provide an opportunity for those who are well paid, who are well disposed towards the health service and who wish to make a patriotic investment in their country to provide a source of credit at a time when we do not have access to traditional sorts of credit. I would be grateful if the Leader would bring these issues to the Ministers in question.


Addendum to Left Archive: Sean Cronin, October 2011 October 28, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Many thanks to Jim Lane for forwarding this. As he notes:

This was in the “South Kerry Advertiser” in its October issue. This event was organised by the extended family of Sean Cronin, and was attended by republican friends of Sean’s from all over the country. Among those in attendance were people from the former IRA/Sinn Fein, RSF, IRSP, and unaligned republicans and socialists. The North Kerry SF TD, Martin Ferris also attended.

This Week At The Irish Election Literature Blog October 28, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Election Literature Blog.
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Starting off this week with a leaflet from the 1957 General Election from Mairead McGuinness of the Irish Housewives Association

Then from 1951 “Fianna Fail -for the workers!”

More FF with a leaflet from Des O’Malley from the 1968 Limerick East By-Election

I love this 2008 leaflet from Fianna Fails Jimmy Guerin where he goes on about getting considered for the FF nomination for the 2009 Local Elections…. he ran as an Independent 🙂

Continuing the Fianna Fail theme a Martin McGuinness leaflet from (I Think) the closing days of the Presidential Campaign with Sean Gallagher pictured as the Fianna Fail candidate

and finally a Dublin West leaflet from Ruth Coppinger “Austerity Isn’t working”

WP Northern Ireland Regional Conference October 27, 2011

Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.

The Workers’ Party Northern Regional Conference takes place on Saturday October 29th at the Grosvenor Hall in Glengall Street in Belfast, starting at 10 am. Below is the press release. I’m particularly looking forward to Conor McCabe and the debate on the economy. Other speakers include Peter Bunting of the ICTU who will deliver a briefing on the planned UK-wide day of industrial action on November 30th. The conference is a discussion event open to anyone who wants to come along, and aims to facilitate discussion within a wide range of progressive opinion in Northern Ireland.

Economy, Health and Education top Workers’ Party agenda

The Workers’ Party’s Northern Ireland Conference will this weekend hear calls for an alternative socialist economic and social system to address the collapse of the economy and the shortcomings of both the health and education services.

The key conference discussion will focus on the economy, the fallacy of the cuts agenda and the need for a new socialist economic system.

Writer Conor McCabe, author of the highly acclaimed ‘Sins of the Father’,* will be one of the main speakers during the afternoon session.

The conference is also expected to debate the need for major reforms in health and social care services and calls for a complete rethink on education in Northern Ireland.

It’s election day, so who better to hear from than… Éamon Ó Cuiv… October 27, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
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…in the Daily Mail in an interview with Jason O’Toole.

And he’s pushing the envelope there. Sort of. First one presumes he’s joking when he recommends a reality show to see who becomes President. Or at least one hopes he’s joking…

…simulate a foreign visit and have them try to persuade somebody to invest in Ireland and lead the delegation. How would they do it?
‘It would be much more to the point because that’s what the job is about, rather than having a debate about what’s their policies on anything, because their policies are irrelevant.
‘But in my reality television show you’d have to open a community centre as well. So, think of all the things the President does — get Mary McAleese’s diary for the last six months — and then simulate the situations. And let the seven do it and see who’s the best. Whoever is the best gets the job.’

As for his famous ancestor…


How are you fixed for a Lift ? October 27, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in History, Irish History.

Given its polling day I thought I’d post this up. I posted it a few years ago myself.  Its from 1969. Different Times……

Speaking of elections… open thread… October 27, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

I’ve never seen an election I didn’t like, if only for vicarious reasons, and this Presidential election is no different. Clearly it’s up to everyone to decide if there are candidates that they can vote for. And it’s readily understandable that some given the choice on offer will balk. But that said it’s also understandable why some will find it no problem at all getting out to vote.

In truth this has been one of the more interesting elections for me. In part because although I have a horse or two in the race, sort of, I don’t feel that it matters as much as a general election. So there’s a little bit of detachment. But that’s not the same as saying it doesn’t matter at all. it’s worth reflecting on the point that all elections have political ramifications. A moment’s thought will indicate why. They offer support to those who can seem like they’re on the winning side, they can sometimes appear to sideline those who aren’t involved and they can demoralise those who have lost. What the ramifications of this contest are remain to be seen, but they will exist and in part shape the future environment.

There’s also the Dublin West by-election where it’s hardly a surprise that some of us here will be hoping that the most clearly left wing candidate with a chance of winning will do so. Call that a protest vote and you may be right. It won’t change the Dáil arithmetic in any substantial way but if politics is communications then let’s call it sending a message. But again on the day, on the ground, people will follow their own line.

It’s also a day of referendums. Again these are tricky issues. I’ve heard a range of arguments on the Inquiries one in particular that leave me very divided as to how to vote. But maybe that’s how it should be. There aren’t any easy answers in life. And that means there’s no inevitability, which is one of the reasons why although electoral politics can have negative aspects for left activism it can also be a timely reminder that things don’t happen unless they’re worked towards.

I’m not going to get to vote until this evening but all that said opinions or observations from the polling places would be very welcome.

Poll on the EU… October 27, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics.
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Had to smile at the news during the week that the ‘Public is in no mood to amend Lisbon deal’. This on foot of an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll which revealed that:

When asked how they would vote on an amendment to the Lisbon Treaty to extend the powers of the EU to deal with the financial crisis, 47 per cent said they would vote No; 28 per cent said they would vote Yes; and 25 per cent were undecided.

Only 47 per cent? Hmmm…

One has to hand it both to the EU and our governments past, managing to turn ever increasingly larger tranches of the Irish electorate towards an euro-critical position, though not outright scepticism, is no small achievement given the good will shown to the project over the decades. But then the project changed across those decades. And support for membership remains strong.

On the other hand, when asked if it was better to be part of the EU or not to be part of it, there was still strong support for Ireland’s membership of the European Union, with an increase in those saying it was better to be part of the union since the last Irish Times poll on October 4th.

The result was 67 per cent (up two points) saying it was better to be part of the EU; 23 per cent (down two points) saying it was not; and 10 per cent having no opinion.

That’s not that surprising, given the disconnect with our indigenous political establishment. Perhaps, despite its flaws and faults, the EU seems a little less compromised. But bad news for the Government should the frankly incomprehensible pressure from points various in Europe attempt to put forward treaty amendments. That’s one referendum that looks like it will go down in flames – unless there are some fairly strong inducements for it to do otherwise.

Astoundingly though there are the following findings:

In party terms, Fianna Fáil voters are most supportive of a treaty change, closely followed by Fine Gael voters. Sinn Féin voters are the most hostile, followed by Labour voters.

Fianna Fáil voters most supportive? Well, I guess that there aren’t that many of them around any longer so who knows how representative they actually are.

John Peel archives October 26, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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We have the wonderful Fanning Sessions site here and should you be unaware across the water their is a Peel Sessions site and a facebook page too
Tracks stay up for a month.

There is also http://peelplayer.com/   and http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/artists/

This image taken from the website explains a bit….

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