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Coalition? July 21, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Pat Leahy in the IT in a roundup of the political year – yeah, the Dáil has shut up shop for two months so therefore the media tends to the view that nothing much is going to happen (though in fairness to Leahy he hangs the article on the hook of that rather than assuming there will be no political activity across the rest of the Summer). For him Varadkar’s accession is the big ticket item but he makes the point that for a man who spent so much energy getting to the top there’s been little or nothing of any vision as to what to do next. I think that’s crucial and it may have wider repercussions.

Meanwhile he argues that SF is slowly inching towards accepting participation in a coalition as the smaller party. Two thoughts on this. Very possibly, and secondly I think if SF lost seats at the next election they might well eschew coalition. The reason being that the capacity to hold seats, particularly in the context of government would be weaker. That said if the economic situation is relatively stable – Brexit excepted, I think they’d go for it. Anyhow, Leahy argues:

If the party goes ahead and formally changes its attitude to coalition – then the question of who forms the next government will be utterly different in the next election than it was in the last one. And when you change the question, you usually get a different answer.
It will present a bigger dilemma, I think, for Micheál Martin than for Leo Varadkar. There is nobody in Varadkar’s party that envisages a government with Sinn Féin; there are quite a few in Martin’s party that would welcome the prospect of a return to power leading a coalition with Sinn Féin.
Even the realistic prospect of that would change the terms of a general election campaign.

The thing is that I cannot see Martin accepting the very idea of a coalition with SF prior to an election. He’d be all too aware that FG would make hay in such a context. But then again how much hay? Has sufficient time passed since cessations and decommissioning and the conflict itself for voters to be willing to wave through such a coalition. And let’s keep in mind while I might think SF would go for it, what of SF as a whole itself?

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1. irishelectionliterature - July 21, 2017

I’d say FG have been scanning everywhere to come up with a list of quotes from FF public reps that they would go in with SF.
There’s plenty in FF who would go in with SF rather than FG if they had to. Presumably Adams stepping down as leader or not being Tánaiste would be one prerequisite.
That said there are plenty in FF who baulk at the idea of going in with SF. Whilst there were few if any resignations when they went in with the PDs, I think going in with SF could cause some to walk away.
Are there any councils where FF and SF are in “arrangements” ?

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