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Wise after the event… a November election? February 28, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Cliff Taylor in the Irish Times wrote a week or so ago that:

Last August I spoke to someone in the political system who put the case – from the point of view of the Government parties – for calling a November general election. The budget would be just over. The Government would have a reasonable chance of controlling the agenda. And it ruled out the prospect of surprises – those events that inevitably come out of the blue – or a change in the economic backdrop.

Easy to say now, was the thought that struck me. And in truth it is easy to say. As it happens the mood music did not improve for the government, but I wonder did it disimprove much either. There had been problems and issues, no question – floods, an increasing focus on housing, etc, but not one’s that particularly sunk the Coalition. Rather perhaps it was the sense of more of the same, that the same problems persist, that has hurt them.So how would earlier have helped much there? That said the length of the campaign – the effective campaign – once November was reached and passed was another matter. And here Taylor echoes Stephen Collins writing in the same paper:

But there is something else, too, and it is one of the reasons why the campaign seems so flat. The parties have all had their plans prepared since the autumn. But the world has changed. We are hearing November election speeches being delivered in February. Nobody has been addressing the changed world economic backdrop, or the nerves that sent markets crashing. It’s not in the script. So they all just plough on, unveiling a series of election promises which may or may not be affordable, trying to mix stability with a steady trickle of goodies.

On another matter Taylor wrote, criticising the government parties for tax cut promises (and FF too, and oddly criticising SF for tax increases – presumably because we’re now just okey-dokey tax rate wise!):

The second problem with the emphasis on tax cutting is that the deficiencies in our public investment levels have been clearer and clearer in recent months. The best example is in social housing. But we also saw the impact of the floods, and ongoing questions about investment in healthcare, from primary care to hospital beds and education. Here the election debate seems to consist more of rows about who did what in the past than of coherent planning for the future.

Actually, for the poor benighted voter there was a strong element in that of suggesting that the later date for the campaign was better because it has allowed those very issues to come into sharper focus. But if he seemed conflicted perhaps it was because there was no clear right way from his perspective. Tax cuts bad. Tax increases bad. The best he seemed able to hold out for was… that…

…the uncertain economic times push support back to the option of “more of the same” in the last, crucial, few weeks?

Er… not so much from where we stand this weekend!

Comments»

1. Enda - February 28, 2016

So what you’re saying here is that an esteemed member of the commentariat took a long time last week to say he didn’ t have a Donald Ducking clue what will pan out this year. Plus ca change. Indicative too how out of ideas they are when they cannot bear the thought of redistribution of income. So if not that, what?

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2. dublinstreams - February 28, 2016

a May 2016 election would have suited them better

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