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The dangers for FF of supporting an FG minority government. April 13, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Pat Rabbitte, remarkably, makes one good point in a column on the formation of a government. Writing about the dangers of supporting an FG led minority government in the SBP he says:

It is not the October 2016/17 Budget, but rather events that threaten danger for FF. Sinn Fein, with the Trotskyite [sic] left in a noisy supporting role, will torture FF at every opportunity for keeping the government in office. If FF collapses the scrum, the electorate will assess whether the motivation was entirely self=serving.

Ignore the usual rather glib jibes and the central point is a good one. Whether locked into coalition or abstaining tactically to ensure that an FG led minority government stays the distance across a year or two it is indeed FF that will be the focus of the blame. The errors of that government will become its errors, the scandals, or mishaps or whatever will be tied to it.

All that said he seems, by the logic of his article as a whole, to believe that FF will support that FG-led minority government. Interesting.


1. CL - April 13, 2016

For a FG-led government to be formed it has to be enabled by FF. (or versa vice). FF cannot simultaneously be the government enabler and its opposition. Given the Dail arithmetic FF and FG cannot be both government and opposition. This circle cannot be squared. So Sinn Fein becomes the main opposition. The FF and FG antagonistic tribes are united in a shared shinnerphobia. No way out..? They may opt for another, and futile, election. Or that appalling vista may concentrate minds. And maybe Sinn Fein is amenable to certain forms of assimilation to the ruling extreme centre so that it can ‘exercise its mandate’?


2. dublinstreams - April 13, 2016

maybe this is what FF plea for Dail reform is about, it might allow a little more oppositions bills make it all the way through to enactment or amendments, but only enough to say look its possible, look were opposing, while as JC pointed out most things have already carved up and set in stone before new term really starts


3. The Broken Elbow - April 13, 2016

In terms of the boost it will give to SF, there is absolutely no difference between a formal and an informal agreement to keep a FG-led government in power. FF do this at their peril.

Liked by 1 person

CL - April 13, 2016

Yes, but the Dail arithmetic is such that there cannot be a government without both FF and FG involvement.

FF and FG “need to accept that they can no longer, as has been the position since the foundation of the State, control both the government and the opposition.”-Gerry Adams.

“In the event of Fianna Fáil support for a Fine Gael-led minority government, Sinn Féin is very clear that we will hold Fianna Fáil equally accountable for every government decision taken.”

“It is obvious that what motivates in part their slowness to agree a deal is their concern that Sinn Féin – which has been the main party of opposition – would now become the ‘official opposition’.



WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2016

yeah, good point TBE and yours too CL, FF may well be screwed either way. Small wonder they’d almost as soon take their chances with an election.


rockroots - April 14, 2016

How does this play out with the FF rank-and-file though? It’s entertaining to see grass-roots members interviewed and struggling to rationalise the irrational aversion to FG – ‘it’s about Enda’, ‘it’s about honouring election pledges’, etc. Really it’s about FF being defined by being the anti-FG. If the membership are so fundamentally opposed to coalition, why would cooperation be more palatable?

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