What’s half a year? And reflecting on how this government was the very last option on anyone’s list. May 26, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Noel Whelan on the money in a piece about how Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have ‘lost half a year of government’. And he notes that this isn’t simply a function of the election outcome but of deliberate decisions taken by those parties in relation to the aftermath.
The fact that more than 10 weeks after the election we have a weakened, makeshift, minority Government, an incoherent Opposition and an unproductive parliament arises from choices made by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and the slow pace they have set.
Not only was the formation of Government delayed but, in addition, the effective operation of parliament is to be held up.
It emerged this week that many of the key proposals from the Dáil reform committee will not be implemented until July, with no hope of them being bedded down before the autumn.
This makes me think of something a friend said when noting that of the all the outcomes the current one was the very last on everyone’s list. No one wanted a minority FG coalition with Independents – bar perhaps some of those Independents. Every effort was made to avoid this outcome and fashion something else. Yet here we are.
The Government will stagger one – Whelan thinks its prospects are ‘more precarious now than when it was formed two weeks ago’. But it is a marriage of convenience, perhaps not even that. More accurately it is a device or a means of avoiding an election that neither FG or FF want.
And that – in truth – is the name of the game. Those polls, stubbornly fixed at where they were at the election – offering no comfort to the larger parties that they can make a break for the country or arrive at any position other than the one they currently face (albeit with a marginal and perhaps in some cases even less hospitable environment – more SDs, more AAAPBPs!).
One other aspect he notes. That the Seanad is still missing the 11 Taoiseach’s nominees. They will make no difference, this time one presumes that they will be signed and sealed as FG oriented ‘loyalists’ – given how the nominees went in the last Seanad they’d certainly want to be from an FG perspective, though perhaps there’ll be a sop to the Independents in government. But isn’t it something that those nominees haven’t been announced? Doesn’t it say everything about how unfocused matters are at the moment?
As to the longevity of the government, someone suggested to me that if it goes three weeks it can go three years. One would have to wonder.