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That vote March 23, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

So the vote came in and the vote went out and the government is still standing. Despite noises there were more than sufficient votes to see the government was safe. That said the GP has lost a TD, for the moment anyhow.

In a way more interesting is why some Independents voted with the government.

Note how matters stood the day before yesterday:

Galway East TD Seán Canney published eight amendments that he said the Government had to accept in order to secure the Regional Independent Group’s support for lifting the eviction ban.

Mr O’Brien held talks with some of the group’s eight TDsand then clarified in the Dáil that he would accept their various amendments on rental policy.

RIG member Michael Lowry said yesterday evening that he was likely to vote in favour of the Government counter-motion, and a number of his colleagues are expected to follow suit.

First and foremost they are clearly are in no mood for an election. That’s not unimportant in itself. If they thought that not supporting the government would work to their advantage – or that the issue was likely to seriously damage them – they wouldn’t hesitate to go for an election. After all, what alternative would they have? So if they believe that they can weather the storm, that whatever mitigations the government has offered are sufficient, then they also must believe that come the election the issue will not be ‘live’ at that point. Of course they could also argue that were it still very prominent that they had fought for mitigations but the government had not delivered. 

Secondly they may believe that simply by flexing their muscles in this way they continue to demonstrate their relevance. That’s not unimportant either. Not much point in them sitting on the sidelines. 

Thirdly, is there any chance that they feel that aligning with Sinn Féin is a bad look for them? This makes sense in the context of Sinn Féin’s current level of support. By supporting a Sinn Féin vote does that diminish the independents? That has to be a factor in their thinking.

Then there are other factors. Given the Independents come from largely the same political home as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil it’s not exactly a surprise that they would share similar political and largely the same ideological approaches and be more likely to back those parties when push came to shove.

That said, you have to wonder. The proposals they sought from the government do nothing to alleviate the immediate crisis in relation to evictions. And with Hourigan gone the coalition is – on its own numbers on a knife edge and ever more dependent upon the Independents, those who will support it. A further point to throw into the mix is whether they can while flexing their muscles actually gain on issues in ways that make them politically more secure. That’s a question isn’t it? 

And RTÉ offers this analysis:

But even if the Dáil arithmetic on that day remains broadly similar to today’s result, the ultimate measure of all this will be another far more significant figure.

That is the number of people who find themselves without a home in the months ahead.

If that figure surges, then today’s Dáil victory will count for very little for Government.

In any event today the government remains safe in situ. Some of the Independents continue to provide support when even a government TD votes against the government. 

yet, there is little or nothing of the febrile atmosphere around the FF/GP coalition of the late 2000s. This isn’t the most stable coalition but there are groups of support it can call on when in trouble. And they continue to support it. 

All this points towards the next election being a good length of time away. Everyone mentioned above, bar those independents who voted against the government and broader opposition are invested in the government making it to the end of its term, or as close as makes no difference. Interesting to know that. 



1. Tomboktu - March 23, 2023

Given the range of organisations opposed to the lifting of the ban and the depth of anger among significant sections of the population, you have to wonder if Varadkar has de facto become the leader of the opposition in the population while retaining the post of leader of the government in the Dáil.

Sheesh. The ban must be listed now but the tightening of rules for air B and Bs will wait until the end of the year.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2023

Great point re Air B and B’s. I am mystified by how the government has acted in this. As was put to me they seemed to think last night was some great victory. They seem entirely indifferent to the immiseration of those who are going to be evicted or even the political effects. Why?

Liked by 1 person

Liam O - March 24, 2023

I think the answer to that is it’s simply a matter of class interest. I wouldn’t want to be reductive but this looks like a stark example of the political representatives of the wealthy intervening in their interests against those of most of the population. If lifting the ban wasn’t going to lead to a large number of evictions they wouldn’t have been so keen to lift it; that’s the point.


2. Tomboktu - March 23, 2023

Not getting attention in the mainstream media, but Greens ion Twitter last night



WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2023



irishelectionliterature - March 23, 2023

Found it a bit strange of Hazel Chu, considering Patrick Costello voted with the Government.
Whole thing is really grim though, talking to a teacher last night who has a number of families facing eviction and all that entails for the Children and school etc….


WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2023

Yeah, I suppose she would argue that she’s complaining against the sanction, but it sits a bit oddly.

Liked by 1 person

Colm B - March 25, 2023

What’s “deeply disappointing and excessively harsh” is not some Green TD wrestling with their conscience, but thousands of people facing eviction.

What is it about the Irish Greens, even the slightly left of centre ones, that make my blood boil? I think its that combination of self-righteousness with a faux pragmatism that never really delivers cos they’re such pattsies, FFG just run rings around them.


3. NFB - March 23, 2023

Dispiriting evening, both for the nature of the vote, rural Independents propping up a FF government to the detriment of the nation again and then Niall Collins getting the interview where he’s unable to answer basic questions out of the way while no one is paying attention.

A lot of FF/FG back benchers must be pretty confident they can retain their seats you have to think, to put their name to something like this that could get very, very ugly in the real world. The Greens, well, it’s almost like they went into government expecting a wipeout.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2023

It is going to get ugly, isn’t it? I can’t see how it cannot.


4. Jim Monaghan - March 23, 2023

Back, or did it ever end, to Healy-Raeism. Official and unofficial shopping lists.( Can these be even collated?). (Make Kerry Airport a super international airport) Bungalow bliss on steroids in rural Ireland. The gutting of Climate Change measures, whatever the Greens say. Leaving aside accidents, there is enough patronage to keep the Independents onside.
A thought for the future. Is there any chance of SF forming a coherent government? It will have the same dilemmas as the current lot.
On a slightly cynical note, will this housing crisis shift many votes from the complacent, for whom it is not a personal problem.
What is now a worrying scenario is the economic crisis? Even if (a big if) it is contained, it is bound to have a negative effect here, magnified by the dependence on multinationals. The windfall taxes flooding in from multinationals could end.
Housing might become just one of many problems.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - March 23, 2023

To add to that housing itself is part of other problems. Doesn’t take a moment but to think of how it impacts on immigration etc. and perceptions of migrants.


5. NFB - March 24, 2023

One thing that struck me yesterday: I’m sure the FF and FG whips have very quietly informed the litany of landlords in their parties that they will not be issuing eviction notices themselves in any circumstances. You just know some of them would want to though.

Liked by 1 person

6. Tomboktu - March 25, 2023

With the Irish Times’s radio advertising this weekend promoting a feature about people about to lose their homes, will Fine Gael suffer from the exposure in their house journal or will their voters continue to attribute the crisis to a natural disaster beyond control?

Liked by 1 person

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