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‘Sinn Féin’ and ‘growing up’? April 8, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Harry McGee writes in the Irish Times yesterday about SF. And boy, does he write:

The downside for the two parties involved is electoral vulnerability. If the economy falters they will let the main opposition party in and that will be Sinn Féin.
That said, Sinn Féin has a lot of growing up to do and will not attract widespread support unless enough people are convinced the party can act responsibly in government.

Huh? Really? The same party that has been in the power-sharing administration in the North and negotiated one to one with two national governments across decades?
He’s on safer ground when he writes about that vulnerability factor, and he may have a point in regard to the next:

Why the party slid back towards the end of this year’s campaign can be attributed to doubt by those wavering about the party’s credentials on the economy. The person who was lacking in that regard was Gerry Adams.

That may have played a part – I’ve heard some within SF suggest that next time out it might be better if he doesn’t take the leading role, but I think there are broader issues at work – the frankly massive campaign in certain parts of the media against SF and in relation to the conflict was a factor. Significant competition to right and left another. And so on. Bundled together all these issues impacted on the SF outcome. But let’s not pretend that SF didn’t do remarkably well, it is only that FF did about the same proportionately and that we are in a period of massive volatility that parties near enough doubling their representation is all a bit ‘meh’. That’s a mistake. Meanwhile McGee continues:

Logic dictates that the party will need a change in leadership to mount a credible and serious challenge to enter government. But logic does not always play a starring role in Irish political theatre.

We’ll see. He has to admit though that:

That said, Sinn Féin would make gains in any scenario where it was the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, in particular, could find itself exposed as the (slightly) smaller party in government, and one whose members felt betrayed by it going into government with its traditional adversary.

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1. Ed - April 8, 2016

Some would say FF and FG both have a lot of ‘growing up’ to do, given their behaviour over the last few weeks.

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