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The Dáil, today. April 6, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Just watching the Dáil today what struck me wasn’t the tedium as well-rehearsed arguments were put forth yet again, or the new faces, or the efforts by some to grab screen time (one well known individual wasn’t lucky in that regard) but instead the sheer press of centre right TDs, whether FG, FF, functionally the LP and a big tranche of Independents. Indeed looking at the self-defined left, including SF, smaller parties, left independents and such like they seemed oddly marginal. In part that is because – correctly, they’ve stood aside from government formation and therefore have been at most incidental to the processes taking place. But it’s not at all clear that there was any significant shift at Election 2016 and just in terms of tone I’d worry that this may be characteristic of this Dáil from here on out.

Anyhow, momentary moroseness apart there wasn’t much to report. Joan Burton was back and in finger-wagging mode while saying she and her comrades would vote against FF, likewise no end of complaints from FGers about those on the broad left who ‘wouldn’t take part’ in government formation – yet again conveniently forgetting that those they berated were the very one’s they said they wouldn’t deal with in advance of the election.

A more wounding complaint and this from multiple sources, was the idea that FF hadn’t made any serious effort to engage with independents. Already a neat narrative is being shaped, in part by FG, but with the acquiescence of the independents, or those who had been in talks, that some have been working to form a government and some not. If I was in FF I’m not sure I’d be terribly happy at that line coming to the fore. Particularly if it’s back to the voters of the state in the next six or seven weeks. They may find that their first flush of exuberant confidence at doubling their seat numbers was misplaced and badly misinterpreted the scope for gains at a rapid second 2016 election. Perhaps the results of today’s votes for Taoiseach (for FF and FG) may have brought some reality into the situation. Perhaps not.

And all back in next week. Thursday I think.

Nice work if you can get it, I suppose.

Comments»

1. dublinstreams - April 6, 2016

some of the activists I see via IEL retweets seem quite proud to be making no effort to form a government because they think more then core support is going to vote for them next time https://twitter.com/cbolgerr/status/717463785993277442

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2016

I wonder. I think he may be in for a surprise.

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2016

Mind you even he is hedging his bets…

Ciarán Bolger ‏@cbolgerr 9h9 hours ago
Without immediate Dail reform a FF/FG Government is not viable nor is FF supporting a minority FG Government.Reform would make it possible.

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2. CL - April 6, 2016

FF and FG “can no longer, as has been the position since the foundation of the State, control both the government and the opposition.”-Gerry Adams
http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/39221

Adams here accurately sees the dilemma of the ruling oligarchy. All the posturing and phony negotiating cannot hide this.

Liked by 2 people

3. Paddy Healy - April 6, 2016

Dissappointing that Clare Daly and Joan Collins din’t vote for Ruth Coppinger
She was both an anti-water charges candidate an she is also opposed to coalition with FF and FG in principle

Her ten voters were: AAA-PBP 6+ Seamus Healy+Catherine Connolly+Tommy Broughan+Thomas Pringle

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leftcooperation - April 6, 2016

It’s not in the slightest bit disappointing. Today was even more farcical than the last day. Why engage in the nonsense? Glad to see SF pulled out of it.

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Self Loathing Left - April 6, 2016

Yeah it’s really outrageous that a socialist and the first woman ever would be nominated for Taoiseach. How dare they.

The AAA-PBP should have just sat there and respected the procedure of two right-wing parties dominating the debate. I mean really, what were they thinking!

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Self Loathing Left - April 6, 2016

But you’re right, thank God for SF and the sensible Left TDs who abstained. They really made an impression today.

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2016

I’ve no strong feelings either way, on one level it’s all a bit pointless but on the other hand no harm on the PR front so a possible benefit there and more power to them if so but I’m unsure how participating in a Taoiseach nomination process that FF and FG were involved in is somehow ‘disrespecting’ the procedures.

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4. Paddy Healy - April 6, 2016

ELECTION OF TAOISEACH (second attempt) Dáil Speech by Seamus Healy TD
“The combination of the provisions of the Fiscal Treaty and our over-reliance on multinationals means that the State has virtually no sovereignty or power to ensure the economic and social well-being of its citizens”.
Full Speech http://wp.me/pKzXa-tz
Underfunding of Health Services caused by New Colonialism within Europe
38 Patients on Trolleys at South Tipp General and 42 at Limerick University Hospital as 7 billion in annual Interest paid to European Banks
Total Surrender of Economic Sovereignty by successive Governments
Over Reliance on Multinationals posess a deadly danger to our Society and our Economy.

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5. gerryboy - April 6, 2016

WBS is on the ball when he notes that “…it’s not at all clear that there was any significant shift at Election 2016…” What happened in the February election was a swapping of seats between FG and FF, a vast falling away from Labour, and a transfer of temporary allegiance to diverse Independents – some of them leftish and others just populist, by voters who otherwise might have voted for centrist parties. The ‘rise of SF’ amounted to a fraction of 1 percent nationally compared with the SF vote in the presidential election; but the extra seats won were due to skilful vote management. The Plain People of Ireland haven’t shifted left in attitude; they’ve temporarily shifted independent populist.

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2016

I think that’s probably about right. Assume that in 2011 votes for the LP were ‘leftish’ with emphasis on the ‘ish’. That was 37 odd LP TDs plus votes for SF (14) plus an assortment of left TDs, say 13 or so. 61-65? And not all those would be that left.

Now we’ve 23 SF, 6 AAA-PBP, 4 I4C, 1 WUAG, Connolly, Zappone (on a good day perhaps), O’Sullivan, Pringle perhaps one or two more. Would that be about 41. Throw in the 3 SDs. 44.
Seeing as we’re looking at voters choices rather than parties do we chuck in the LP as well? Let’s not, but even if we did we’d still wind up with fewer seats for the leftish.

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gerryboy - April 6, 2016

Would you consider that a large rump of voters in urban and rural areas don’t know the difference between left and right and have a vague centrist instinct? And that they often vote according to their perceptions about the ‘personality’ and local ‘presence’ of candidates in local and general elections?

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2016

I think they do know the difference – albeit their leftishness may be quite diffuse (where it exists at all) but that the centrists can tilt in such a way as to be quite convincingly presenting themselves as all things to all women and men. But I’ve seen ‘local’ trump all else so many times that I wonder if that’s the key beyond or above left and right.

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6. roddy - April 6, 2016

An educated man (an SDLP supporter) once said to me that a mutual acquaintance was “very right wing” as he was “a big fan of Castro”!

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gerryboy - April 6, 2016

touché

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oliverbohs - April 6, 2016

Bug eyed firebrands those SDLP types you only had to look at them to know. We’d all be on collective farms were it for them. Evidently

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2016

It’s only a matter of time.

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gerryboy - April 7, 2016

In the long we’re all dead. Meanwhile there will be growth in the spring. Invest in magic mushrooms, while Joan Burton tries to forge a broad leftish alliance with the Greens and disparate Independents.

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