Difficult decisions ahead? August 11, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Mary Regan of UTV writing in the SBP takes the Independent Alliance to task, suggesting that it has been neither radical or responsible in government, failing in the first instance to offer any serious ‘reform’ while simultaneously defying the advice of the Attorney-General in respect of the bill on fatal foetal abnormalities. For her this is evidence that ‘the sustained focus on its rows with FG has confounded [I think she means confirmed – wbs] suspicions that the independents in government is [are?] a recipe for instability’.
I’m not so sure that that later is the case. So far everyone is clinging together for fear of hanging apart. And the scale of the issues facing the government has, so far, not been existential.
She argues that none of this ‘augers well for the difficult decisions that lie ahead. It has also contributed to a sense that this coalition is unlikely to stay the course’. But I wonder just what that course is and what those decisions are? I’ve long suggested on here that it will go further than six months or possibly a year, but who seriously expects this government to last longer than – say – 24 months? If it made it to three years it would be a political miracle. And that is the course that the coalition is set on. A short one. Possibly very short. Perhaps a little longer than expected. As to the decisions. Well, if this government is characterised by anything it is an aversion to engaging with anything very difficult or contentious. And that links right back into the issue about the course.
It is, naturally, quite likely that some issue will arise that will see the plug pulled. But that’s the nature of this government from the off. To complain about it is almost to miss the point of the exercise. The government is in power because it is the least wanted, but only remaining, option for the parties given the make-up of the Dáil. It will end when that situation changes. One way or another.
On a not entirely unrelated topic Regan suggests that ‘a strong representation of independents is likely to remain feature of Irish politics… but what made [them] such a success in February’s elections – the sharp decline in trust in parties which dropped down to just 13 per cent – might no longer apply unless they prove that their delivery in government lives up to their promises’.
Perhaps. But then independents, as noted here previously, are a far from homogenous grouping.