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This Week At Irish Election Literature August 19, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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As the The CPI (ML) got a mention here earlier in the week, the above poster and From the February 1982 General Election a leaflet from Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist) candidate Rod Eley running in Dublin West

“1882-1982 Eamon de Valera Comóradh Céad Blíaín” , a programme produced for a concert in the NCH to mark the centenary of the birth of Eamon de Valera.

The Summer 1975 edition of “Iris Fianna Fáil” The Fianna Fail Party Journal.

The Roscommon Factor ….. The rise of Independents August 12, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

I was reading the Irish Times 1991 Local and European Elections supplement recently where there was a piece by Charlie McCreevy about what he called “The Roscommon Factor”. He wrote…

“It must be worrying for the major parties that what I call “The Roscommon Factor” is spreading to other constituencies. This electoral peculiarity manifested itself in the election of Tom Foxe on the single issue of keeping one hospital open. Most commentators wrote of his election as an aberration, but other constituencies have now cottoned on to this form of power-broking and the election of “pothole” and “post office” candidates may mean we are goin to have a plethora of single issue TD’s affter the next general election”

Of course the main parties were in shock as for years there were a handful of Independents elected to the Dail, many of whom had fallen out with parties or their own had become defunct. It was a personal vote rather than a vote on a particular issue. Indeed in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s people ran as Independents to publicize themselves or a particular issue and rarely polled well.
In 1992 Tom Foxe was returned again with Tony Gregory, ex FFer Johny Fox in Wicklow, Neil Blaney and the Ceann Comhairle and ex Labour TD Sean Treacy was automatically returned.
In 1997 there was a massive shock as TV deflector candidate Tom Gildea was elected Donegal South West, Mildred Fox, Harry Blaney and two newly Independent candidates Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy Rae were returned.
Fianna Fail did a deal with Fox, Blaney, Gildea and Healy Rae which entailed various goodies for their constituencies in return for their support. It was this deal that in part led to the success of Independent candidates in 2002.
Paudge Connolly was elected in Cavan Monaghan on the main promise of keeping services in Monaghan Hospital. James Breen was elected in Clare. Niall Blaney in Donegal South West, Tony Gregory, Finian McGrath, Paddy McHugh in Galway East, Jackie Healy -Rae, Jerry Cowley in Mayo, Marian Harkin in Sligo Leitrim, Michael Lowry, Seamus Healy, Liam Twomey in Wexford campaigning for medical services there and Mildred Fox.
Many of these were elected in the hopes of similar deals to those given by FF in 1997. The deals didn’t happen and in 2007 Connolly, Breen, Cowley and McHugh lost their seats, Seamus Healy lost out, Twomey joined Fine Gael, The Blarneys reunited with Fianna Fail, Marian Harkin was elected an MEP. Catherine Murphy elected in a by-election also lost out. The surge of Independents was seen as stopped! An aberration in Irish Politics was over…..it was perceived that it was voters focused on National issues , mainly worries about the economy, rather than local issues were what caused the seat losses to smaller parties and Independents.
The implosion of the economy, arrival of the IMF and other factors led to a breakdown in Fianna Fail support in 2011 and with a record number of seats Labour and Fine Gael went into coalition together.
Mick Wallace, Mattie McGrath, Thomas Pringle, Shane Ross, John Halligan, Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly, Maureen O’Sullivan , Finian McGrath, Noel Grealish, Michael Healy Rae, Tom Fleming, Michael Lowry, Luke Flanagan and Seamus Healy (under the WUAG/ULA banner) were all returned to the Dail. Some were ex FF or FG, others from the Left and others were ‘mavericks’ , Allied to that Joan Collins and Richard Boyd-Barrett were elected for PBP and Joe Higgins and Clare Daly were elected for the Socialist Party.
Come this year and with disenchantment with FG/FF and especially Labour rife many more Independents were elected. Some such as The Independent Alliance were quasi parties, similar Independents 4 Change.
Denis Naughten, Michael Lowry, Michael Harty (Campaigning on medical services in Clare), Michael Collins, Mattie McGrath, Thomas Pringle, Maureen O’Sullivan, Seamus Healy, Noel Grealish, Michael Healy Rae, Danny Healy Rae, Catherine Connolly and Katherine Zappone were all elected as Independents.
Shane Ross, John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Boxer Moran, Sean Canney and Michael Fitzmaurice were elected under the Independent Alliance brand.
Tommy Broughan, Clare Daly, Joan Collins and Mick Wallace are listed as having been elected as Independents 4 Change.
It was interesting post election to see the various groupings of Independents emerge, The ‘rural five’ and so on. Then of course who did and didn’t negotiate on government formation, who did and didn’t eventually sign up to going into government. Then those that urged Government formation but didn’t engage in negotiations.So many distinctions between them and of course some will be judged by not going in, others by what they did or didn’t do having gotten into power.
We were told too that there were “No deals” with the Independents although some surely got some of their wishes, constituents wishes and one or two certainly got their personal ambition of being in government.
Polls have started to show FF rising mainly at the expense of Independents, of those that went into government quite a few of them are vulnerable. Katherine Zappone, Finian McGrath, Boxer Moran and Sean Canney may not be rewarded for going into government. Dr Harty has indicated that he won’t stand again and of the opposition Independents well Thomas Pringle, Maureen O’Sullivan , Michael Collins, Michael Fitzmaurice and Danny Healy Rae may be vulnerable.
Will many new Independents emerge at the next election? Will the existing number go down?
Although the length of this Government is ultimately within the gift of FF (assuming the Indos stay on board), other factors such as new constituency boundaries and a new FG leader may well influence when to bring the government down. Where up to relatively recently FF went up and FG went down, the broader options available to the electorate mean the reading of polls and polling data probably has to be much more expansive.

This Week At Irish Election Literature July 29, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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The above is from the November 1982 General Election

An Offical Sinn Fein anti EEC pamphlet titled: “Mansholt: The Second Cromwell” from March 1971.

From the 2007 General Election a 20 page magazine style summary of their manifesto from The Progressive Democrats

This Week At Irish Election Literature July 15, 2016

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A few Brexit leaflets from the Left in the UK

A leaflet from The Alliance For Workers’ Liberty urging a vote to remain

A Brexit pamphlet from the Communist Party of Britain Marxist Leninist urging voters to vote ‘Out of the EU’

a leaflet from Lexit – The Left Leave Campaign.

Then a post Brexit ‘Better Together’ football themed leaflet from Sinn Fein

and finally one from Labour Youth circa 2006

Would a Referendum to Repeal the 8th pass? July 12, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

There seems to be a bit of a backlash against Katherine Zappone and how she voted on Mick Wallaces Bill as well as her statement on the news at one that she was “not convinced that people are ready to pass a referendum on eighth amendment”
Personally I would have voted for Wallaces Bill and have had it tested in the Courts, however I do agree with her that an amendment on repealing the 8th would not pass at the minute.
We have all seen the Pro Life Campaign and their allies in action over the years and it seems some people are comparing the Marriage Equality vote with a prospective vote on Repealing the 8th. They are Two different Campaigns altogether. I think the Assembly is a fudge but what it may do is come up with something that has widespread agreement on what should replace the 8th (either in law or via a seperate Referendum). So rather than repealing we may end up replacing the 8th in the Constitution, where I’d imagine most of us would prefer the 8th to be gone and the area to be legislated on as any normal democracy would do.
Realistically I think we will probably end up voting on replacing the 8th rather than a plain repeal and what it will be replaced with will be only slightly less restrictive.
Any thoughts on what we will actually get to vote on and what will be there to replace it?…. and it’s prospect of passing?

Signs of dissent in FG July 7, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Some signs of dissent in Fine Gael over Enda Kennys leadership as Brendan Griffin put it….

“Everyone else is talking about it,” said a deputy of the leadership. “The public is asking us when he is going, the membership are asking. The only place it is not being talked about is in the party room.”

The appointment of James Reilly as Deputy leader is a strange one, although maybe Kenny didn’t want to anoint (damn) one of his potential successors with the role. There must also be a sense of betrayal that The Taoiseach is bowing to the Independents in allowing them to vote for Mick Wallaces bill yet Lucinda et al were forced overboard from the X-Case legislation.

The more we see of ‘New Politics’ in action the weaker this government gets. ………………….. From what I’ve seen so far ‘New Politics’ is this….
SF raise something
FF disagree
FF then raise something similar to SF but it somehow ends up as a fudge to allow FG to agree with it.
FG bring something up
FF disagree
FF then raise something similar to FG but it somehow ends up as a fudge to allow SF to disagree with it
Nothing really gets done

Are there two Labour Parties? July 3, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

There have been numerous times in the past number of months when I wondered about the various different Labour Parties that seem to exist in Ireland. I was a bit confused until I recently read of a bill to address Religious discrimination in Primary Schools

Labour Party Education Spokesperson Joan Burton, along with Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, will launch the Party’s Equal Status (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 tomorrow.
The Bill will be debated in Labour’s Private Members’ time in Dáil Éireann on Tuesday, and will be voted on, on Thursday.

I thought to myself that this must be confirmation that there is a different Labour Party to the Labour Party that, with their largest ever mandate, was in Government for the last fives years. The very same Labour Party that also held the post of Minister for Education for that five year period and if they had wanted to do something about it would surely have addressed the issue then when it could.

The ‘New’ Political Dynamic June 21, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

It was suggested that one of the reasons that the polls are so static since the election is that with ‘new politics’ the current Government won’t be able to take as many unpopular decisions as previous Governments.
Elements of that are surely true with the supposed role of FF as the party of all things to all people. There to keep FG in check ,all the while constantly looking over their shoulder to see what Sinn Fein and some others are at. On top of that the new Committee system is in theory meant to allow for more cross party agreement on legislation.
Would the last government have given a hoot about Bin charges? Would it have bothered reopening a few Garda Stations? Even looked again at Water Charges?…. I think we know the answer.
In a way this whole scenario could end up almost self defeating for some of the Opposition parties , but especially Fianna Fail. The old excuse of ‘they had a majority’ is gone to possibly be replaced with ‘why didn’t you do something about it?’. The more they intervene on policy and decisions, the more they could be expected to do so.
The FF strategy (aside from not willing to allow the membership a vote on coalition with FG which would have certainly been defeated) of supporting the government in certain votes was I’m sure delivered hoping that they would get credit for the good things done by the FG government and then FG would get blamed for the bad things done by the government. FF would have also hoped to get credit for forcing changes to various Government policies.
It’s a fine balance though between using influence and being seen to make the decisions and with the public (and reportedly many TD’s) unfamiliar with doing Parliamentary business in this style it may backfire.
With much of the opposition benches talking about the FG/FF deal or the FG/FF Government, FF getting Seanad nominations and some other arrangements, FF are trying not to get tied too close to FG… but every veto, change or indeed anything insisted upon by FF could drive them closer in the public eye. The opposite of the intention.
So where they hope the supply and demand deal would be the best of both worlds for FF… it could easily end up the worst of both worlds.

The Rebuild has begun … June 20, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

118 new members!!!

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this on

Dear Friend,

Just over four weeks have passed since I was elected Leader of the Labour Party. It is an incredible honour to hold this position, and I am focussed on rebuilding this great party of ours.

I have made it clear that my intention is to build an inclusive leadership – one that recognises all of the talents in our party. Our party spokespersons have now been announced, along with the details of the Labour TDs who will sit on Oireachtas committees to be established over the coming weeks. I have written to all of our councillors to see which areas of policy they want to contribute to.

I have also begun touring the country to meet with our members and supporters. Two weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Tom Johnson Summer School, which Labour Youth did a wonderful job organising, and this week I am visiting Dublin Bay South and Longford Westmeath to meet with more of you.

We may be a smaller party in the Dáil these days, but that hasn’t stopped us from having an immediate impact. Three weeks ago, we defeated the Government in a Private Members’ Motion on workers rights. This was the first time in 25 years that a Government lost such a vote, and shows that when we build coalitions around progressive issues we can still achieve political change.

We are following up that win by pushing forward in other directions. Last week, having consulted with a group of Labour supporters involved in the arts, I called on the Taoiseach to refer the deeply flawed draft Culture 2025 strategy to the joint committee rather than adopting it as Government policy. Fortunately, he agreed to do so. I also raised the shocking statistics that have been published in relation to domestic abuse – this is an issue we will continue pushing over the weeks and months ahead.

Next week, the Labour Party will propose Private Members’ Business once more. And we will use this opportunity to seek to propose progressive policies, and to build coalitions of support for those policies. Please let me know what issues you believe we should’ve highlighting as a party, either in the Oireachtas or in your community.

As I mentioned in my email on Thursday, Sean Sherlock and I travelled to Liverpool to campaign for the UK to remain in the EU. Unfortunately, the murder of Jo Cox was the lasting memory I will have of that trip, and today I signed the book of condolences in the Oireachtas, and on behalf of the party conveyed our collective sympathies to Jeremy Corbyn.

We have done a lot over the last four weeks. And people are beginning to recognise our work – over recent weeks 118 new members have signed up to the Labour Party. As I said when I became Leader, I want to double our membership in the years ahead – to achieve that will take a great deal of collective effort.

If you are proud of the work we have done over recent weeks, and I hope you are, then I ask you to take one action today – please send this email to two of your friends, colleagues or family members who might be interested in joining the Labour Party. Ask them to be part of our rebuild, and to be part of something we can all be proud of.

Yours sincerely,

Brendan Howlin
Leader of the Labour Party

This Week At Irish Election Literature June 10, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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The above is from 1992 in Cavan Monagahan

From the 1981 General Election “Make H-Block The Issue!” a leaflet from Vincent Doherty of Peoples Democracy running in Dublin North Central

From 1987 a leaflet from Oliver Rogers of the Workers Party running in Cavan Monaghan

From the 1989 General Election a leaflet from Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin of Sinn Fein who was running in Cavan Monaghan

For the day that’s in it, a Euro 2016 Wallchart from Noel Rock of Fine Gael

and finally “De Rossa Wins, Dublin Wins” a large leaflet from Proinsias De Rossa of the Workers’ Party from the 1989 European Elections in Dublin.


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