“They” didn’t vote for FF to… April 7, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
I’m fascinated by some of the arguments FF is offering for not engaging in government with FG.
Mr Martin was told by his members the party cannot enter a partnership with Fine Gael after the electorate had rejected them.
It’s hard to know precisely what standard is being applied. Is it that FG didn’t get 50% of the seats? Or that it lost seats? FF has sought government in both those instances, and gained it too.
Willy O’Dea’s comment is a little more precise.
“I wouldn’t support it myself. The people voted to get rid of the outgoing government. They voted to get rid of Enda Kenny.”
Certainly the outgoing government lost seats, many seats in the case of the LP, fewer in the case of FG. But again in light of the above thoughts on what standard is being applied that alone doesn’t seem to be a deal-breaker. Moreover, although FF gained seats, it still wound up with fewer than FG.
In that instance isn’t it more plausible that either ‘none of the above’ or ‘work it out amongst yourselves’ are possible interpretations of votes (and in any case anthropomorphising electoral politics is always a hiding to nothing)? Or simply that the will of the Irish people is not settled.
This has further implications. For those who say return to the polls in order to get a better read of that will isn’t that disregarding, and potentially delegitimising that vote earlier this year?
Frankly I’m sanguine about all this – not least because I’ve no horse in the race. Given that there’s no bar on parties going into coalition with one another it is difficult to see why people should act as if there is anything other than a self-imposed prohibition. In fairness to O’Dea he does seem to finesse his comments. Take the following:
The people who supported me didn’t contemplate that I would be part of an arrangement which would involve, ultimately, putting Enda Kenny back as Taoiseach. Sharing mercs and perks with Fine Gael.
“There has been a serious diminution of trust in politics in this country. Part of that is rooted in the apparent tendency of politicians to say one thing and do another.
“We promised before the election that we would not go into coalition with Fine Gael. We are going to remain true. We are not going to renege on promises made to the people.
That’s all very noble of him, but I note that that formula of words would allow for FF support of an FG minority government. Albeit he couches it in this way:
“But we are prepared to be responsible. A Fianna Fáil minority government is our preference.”
Yeah, well, good luck with that. Martin’s vote yesterday should put paid to any such notions. There just aren’t the votes there.
But isn’t the simple fact that FF and FG are engaging in talks a breach of that trust with the Irish people? Shouldn’t FF, by it’s own logic, be speeding towards the exit sign? Perhaps it is at that and all this is merely optics in order to prevent it from being shown as unwilling to engage in the slightest.
Latest word today is that they’ll support an FG minority government. Terms and conditions attached, no doubt.