A ‘third way’ for government formation? April 11, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Entertaining balloon floated by Noel Dempsey in the SBP this weekend. A ‘third way’ no less, between minority government and an FF-FG coalition. And what would that be then?
Why, one that ‘would require courage, innovative thinking, magnanimity and patriotism’ and ‘for those reasons it will probably not find favour’.
Go on so.
The solution is an agreement between the two large parties, and any willing Independents, to work together to provide stable government for five years – while still largely maintaining their individuality and independence.
FG and FF would lead the government for two and a half years each, over the five year term.
They would agree to abide by the budgetary parameters set by the Fiscal Advisory Council each year. They would also agree not to support ‘no confidence’ motions against each other. Apart from those circumstances, all those in the agreement would be free to vote for or against legislation as it arose.
If this seems like a most expedient carve-up, well, so it is. The mention of the FAC is concerning, but given the lack of mileage in the suggestion (at least one hopes) it’s probably neither here nor there.
I’d wonder though. Simply in terms of Ministers getting to know Departments it seems to me plucking them out two and half years in and replacing them with new one’s seems unwise – and don’t get me started on reshuffles.
All that aside Dempsey’s piece is interesting because it provides an insight into one strand of FF thinking. He seems to say that there would be support for such an approach, or indeed a coalition between FF and FG in the Dáil cohort but not amongst party members – no surprise about the latter, but I hadn’t heard that about the former.
Yet again ‘fear of SF’ as the opposition party raises its head. He seems to think this approach might mitigate that. Perhaps. Still he’s probably not wrong in arguing that the electorate will have little patience with FF and FG if they don’t do something with one another.