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Author Topic: Irish general election: 25 February 2011  (Read 30502 times)
Хahar
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« on: November 22, 2010, 10:27:52 pm »
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An election now is certain to happen: the only question is when. The government has lost its majority, and it may have lost supply as well, in which case it will be unable to go out on its own terms.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 04:51:21 pm by Χahar »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2010, 01:05:47 pm »
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Ireland 2007
Fianna Fail 858,565 votes (41.56%) winning 77 seats
Fine Gael 564,428 votes (27.32%) winning 51 seats
Labour 209,175 votes (10.13%) winning 20 seats
Sinn Fein 143,410 votes (6.94%) winning 4 seats
Independents 118,951 votes (5.76%) winning 5 seats
Greens 96,936 votes (4.69%) winning 6 seats
Progressive Democrats 56,396 votes (2.73%) winning 2 seats
Socialist Party 13,218 votes (0.64%) winning 0 seats
Worker's Party 3,026 votes (0.15%) winning 0 seats
Other Parties 1,705 votes (0.08%) winning 0 seats

Since the election the Progressive Democrats dissolved (with both TD's now sitting as Independents)
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2010, 01:28:56 pm »
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Suffice to say this will like no other election in the history of the Republic. Not even 1932. Regardless of what happens between now and election day.
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2010, 04:11:31 pm »
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Enlighten the ignorant on this issue (and this might be a really stupid question with an obvious answer but I'll ask it anyway): is Fianna Fáil expected to take a real pounding?
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Хahar
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2010, 04:17:15 pm »
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Enlighten the ignorant on this issue (and this might be a really stupid question with an obvious answer but I'll ask it anyway): is Fianna Fáil expected to take a real pounding?

The worst pounding it's ever taken.
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2010, 04:28:25 pm »
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Put it like this... at the last election, Fianna Fail polled 41.6% of the vote. The most recent opinion poll shows them on 17%. Since 1932 the lowest they have ever polled in a general election was 39.1% in 1992; and Ireland has had a remarkably stable party system (and has kept the same basic electoral system) meaning that such comparisons have more value than most places.
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 04:31:22 pm »
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So the closest US equivalent would be something like 1894, or even the collapse of the Whigs?
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Keystone Phil
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 04:32:24 pm »
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Wow. And it looks like Fine Gael has never been the top vote getter. This should be interesting.
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2010, 04:48:14 pm »
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I'm looking forward to it, although I'm going to have to do a ton of work - including the, eh, fun that is canvassing - through Christmas and January.

I don't think it's melodramatic to say that this really will be a historic election - it's certain that either Fine Gael or Labour will top the polls, and that Fianna Fáil will be a distant third. This is unprecedented.

Cowen might not even be leading Fianna Fáil into the election - and, hilariously, Mary Hanafin (the most likely candidate to replace him) has an outside chance of losing her seat.

Mind you, she wouldn't be the first leader of a minor party[1] to do so...




[1] There are not words to express the glee I will feel at soon describing Fianna Fáil as such.
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Хahar
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 04:51:31 pm »
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Fun fact: The last time Fianna Fáil did not form government after an election was November 1982.
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2010, 04:54:36 pm »
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Ideologically speaking, someone like myself would be most similar to Fine Gael, right? I wouldn't be with Labor and I read that Gael is generally considered to be to the right though it seems to be a little more complex than that.
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2010, 04:59:03 pm »
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Ideologically speaking, someone like myself would be most similar to Fine Gael, right? I wouldn't be with Labor and I read that Gael is generally considered to be to the right though it seems to be a little more complex than that.

It's strange. Fianna Fáil have no ideology, veering from hard-right Thatcherism to populist psuedo-socialism (Bertie Ahern being the last real socialist in Irish politics, of course).

Fine Gael have traditionally not been all that different, but their Dublin TDs (Leo Varadkar et al) tend to be more right-wing in a European liberal kind of way. The glimmers of an actual ideology are there, you just have to look a bit.

So yeah, probably Fine Gael. maybe the PDs when they were around.
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2010, 05:01:21 pm »
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So Fianna Fail's ideology (or lack of one) could be considered similar to that of the GOP c. 1920-1980?
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Хahar
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2010, 05:04:54 pm »
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So Fianna Fail's ideology (or lack of one) could be considered similar to that of the GOP c. 1920-1980?

Irish politics is fairly similar to American politics in the century following the Civil War, in that both parties are pretty much the same and the one you vote for depends on which side your ancestors were on in the Civil War.
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 05:05:20 pm »

I'll always find it funny to read about a party which includes my name in its own name.
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2010, 05:06:33 pm »
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It's strange. Fianna Fáil have no ideology

...

Fine Gael have traditionally not been all that different

Yeah, that's what I was gathering.

I'll always find it funny to read about a party which includes my name in its own name.

Fail? Yeah, that's awesome.
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2010, 05:19:49 pm »
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So Fianna Fail's ideology (or lack of one) could be considered similar to that of the GOP c. 1920-1980?

Irish politics is fairly similar to American politics in the century following the Civil War, in that both parties are pretty much the same and the one you vote for depends on which side your ancestors were on in the Civil War.

I think that's a bit of an oversimplification (of post-Civil War politics).  The Republicans were the party of protectionism, nativism, prohibition, "progressive" racial policies, and isolationism, while the Democrats favored free trade, free immigration, legal liquor, states' rights, and more internationalist policies.  Considering that New York and Massachusetts were among the more important swing states, I'd say that people really only voted along "Civil War" lines in the South (though people did generally vote on ethnic lines).
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 07:36:47 pm »
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So would either of Fine Gael or Labour actually be able to win enough seats to get their own majority, or are we going to see some sort of coalition being formed afet the election? In that case which parties are most likly to team up with each other? (I'm guessing neither Labour nor Gael would go near Fianna Fail)
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Хahar
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2010, 07:40:05 pm »
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There will almost certainly be a coalition between Labour and Fine Gael after the election, no matter who comes out on top. Labour has been a part of every Fine Gael government.
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2010, 11:08:17 pm »
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One thing has always puzzled me about Irish politics. I'm told that FF and FG are essentially identical ideologically in that they both have no real ideology - though I'm told that FG tends to be a more socially liberal on issues like divorce and gay rights while FF tends to be "catholic" and socially conservative - but I'm told even that is open to debate.

All that being said - why is it that the Labour Party (which does have an ideology is definitely left of centre social democratic) ALWAYS allies itself with Fine Gael and they are considered almost permanent coalition partners - while Labour and FF never seem to be able to work together and I believe that the one time they tried - it quickly fell apart.

Can someone Irish explain why it is that if FF and FG are ideologically identical - the Labour Party will only work with FG and never with FF?  In fact FF has recently preferred to form alliances with the very rightwing Progressive Democrats.
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Хahar
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2010, 02:21:58 am »
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For a long time Fianna Fáil didn't form coalitions at all. Fine Gael, on the other hand, has always been the second-largest party in the Dáil, and as a result has always had to form coalitions to take power. Given that Labour has always been clearly the third-largest party in Ireland, they are Fine Gael's traditional coalition partners. Moreover, the Progressive Democrats were originally Fianna Fáil dissidents.
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2010, 08:32:42 am »
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Traditional background note below. Still pretty much applicable…

Fianna Fáil was founded by Éamon deValera as an off-shoot of anti-Treaty Sinn Féin in 1926. It has been the largest parliamentary party since 1932 and has participated in government for most of the time since then. Not a party of strong ideological convictions, it has traditionally been centrist on economic matters and conservative on social issues. The party has weathered a number of significant sleaze-related scandals in recent years. It is the dominant partner in the current coalition government.

Fine Gael is the second-largest party (a position it has maintained uninterruptedly for almost 80 years having evolved from pro-Treaty Sinn Féin in the 1920s) and has traditionally been a centre-right party in the Christian-democratic mould. In the 1970s it evolved a social-democratic wing, making it more centrist in orientation. The party has been out of power since 1997.

The Labour Party has pretty much always been the third party of Irish politics. Socialists, social democrats, et al. The party has moved towards the centre in recent years.

Green Party: Soft-left, environmentalists. Entered Government for the first time in 2007, just before the economic crash hit. Will have to work hard to survive the next election.

Sinn Féin: Socialist, republican (political wing of the now defunct Provisional IRA). Likely to compromise on anything to get into Government – but not viewed as a particularly desirable Government partner by anyone. Have a safe small contingent of parliamentarians.

The following links to posts and conversations might be useful for further reading as either myself or Gully pontificate on such things:
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=46004.msg1116105#msg1116105
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=61532.msg1346728#msg1346728
http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=79453.msg1637755;topicseen#msg1637755
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 08:36:09 am by Јas »Logged

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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2010, 09:25:18 am »
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From what I've read Fine Gael seem to be a rather good party. I'd probably have voted for them if I was Irish. Still the lack of an actual ideology in either of the big parties is quite disappionting. Seems like it'd make Irish politics quite boring.

Who're you supporting Jas?
 

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Јas
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2010, 10:49:34 am »
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Who're you supporting Jas?

Each time there's an election, reviewing the options leaves me feeling similar to Margaret Thatcher's reactions to options presented in the Forum Report in 84 ("that is out... that is out... that is out"). I tend to nearly work backwards on ballot papers from those who are most unacceptable to those who are least. FWIW, I’ve first preferenced independents in each of the few elections I’ve voted in to date.

Broadly speaking though...
FF - Presided whilst Rome burned, provided plenty of fuel too. Criminally negligent as to economic management. Protected the banking sector over and above other social and economic interests. I could go on and on about plenty of other issues which cause me concern/despair but economic disaster tops the list.

FG - Led by a moron who I'd be embarrassed to have as Taoiseach. (He has repeatedly demonstrated, among other things, an unfortunate lack of understanding of economic  issues.) Logically all those who support him as leader are at least presumptive-morons. Also, not being FF is not a good enough reason to run for election.

L - I'm inclined to naturally sympathise with Labour. However, there's been a notable lack of substance on their economic policy as yet. They also have a habit of putting up non-credible candidates in my constituency.

G - Again broadly sympathetic. Their naivite has though been badly exposed on a number of matters through the coalition government. Nowhere near as blameworthy as FF, they didn't sign up until just before the economy blew-up, but obviously they signed on with all the key economic decisions since. Also lack credible candidates in most of the country.

SF - No. Less no with each passing year – but still, their economic stuff is usually off the wall.

I might get around to some sort of Jas endorsement by constituency when the candidates are known.
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2010, 12:24:01 pm »
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One thing has always puzzled me about Irish politics. I'm told that FF and FG are essentially identical ideologically in that they both have no real ideology - though I'm told that FG tends to be a more socially liberal on issues like divorce and gay rights while FF tends to be "catholic" and socially conservative - but I'm told even that is open to debate.

All that being said - why is it that the Labour Party (which does have an ideology is definitely left of centre social democratic) ALWAYS allies itself with Fine Gael and they are considered almost permanent coalition partners - while Labour and FF never seem to be able to work together and I believe that the one time they tried - it quickly fell apart.

Can someone Irish explain why it is that if FF and FG are ideologically identical - the Labour Party will only work with FG and never with FF?  In fact FF has recently preferred to form alliances with the very rightwing Progressive Democrats.

The PDs were never as right-wing as commonly stated (it was due to them that the minimum wage was introduced after all). Which isn´t to say there weren´t a right-wing party...

Listen to thing to understand about Irish politics is this, the two civil war parties are really just vast patronage and influence machines to the supporters and the families of their supporters. That´s why they exist and why in part Ireland´s political system is so dysfunctional. As FG needed power to fulfill its patronage role to its fullest it has relied on Labour (somewhat ironic as FG were originally the most conservative of the two parties and even had a brief flirtation with quasi-fascism in the 30s). Labour realized therefore that their influence is much higher in FG led government. Furthermore there has always been a voting consistency in Ireland which is non-party but anti-FF. Betraying this vote was a major reason why Labour collapsed so badly in 1997.
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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