As some people may be aware, we are in the middle of a General Election here in old Ireland.
The polling was yesterday [in the middle of a storm] and the counting has been going on ever since. Counting takes a long time as a result of the PR system, where a constituency may have to go through counting the ballots many many times, with candidates being elected in the eighth or ninth count or even more.
The big news is that the two main parties, for the first time in the history of the state have not had things all their own way. Until now, Sinn Féin have been languishing in the background with only a small handful of seats. This time they can’t go wrong. Their candidates have topped the polls on most of the constituencies where they stood. Their only problem is that they didn’t enter enough candidates, otherwise they would more than likely hold a working majority.
So what does this mean?
We are either going to have a coalition or another election.
The problem is that Fianna Fáil have stated they will not go into coalition with Sinn Féin, as have Fine Gael. Equally FF and FG have no appetite to go into coalition with each other. So that means that each party will have to smooch up to all the small parties and independents in the hope of making up the numbers.
I see that some are referring to Sinn Féin’s rise as “populism”. Now in my book, surely populism means the will of the people? What’s so nasty about that? It is a word that somehow become a somewhat derogatory term, but then I suppose it’s only derogatory amongst the elite. How dare the Irish vote for something that they want!
The great news is that James Reilly, Joan “the Screecher” Burton and Shane Ross are all out. The latter had become a particularly obnoxious cunt introducing a raft of petty little laws.
We live in interesting times….
P.S. I see Waterford Whispers have nailed it once again.
I see you're confused about populism. Let me elucidate.
Democracy: When people vote the right way.
Populism: When people vote the wrong way.
Hope that helps. 😉
Silly me. Of course you're right. Thanks.
"I have the habit of being always right—but I do not boast of it"
That's my favourite Hercule Poirot quote.
It all sounds pretty hilarious. You folks obviously have too many parties. You should cut down. And thanks for the link to Waterford Whispers. Bookmarked.
I remember the days when there was just Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour. We used to alternate between a Fianna Fáil government and a Fine Gael / Labour coalition.
Then new parties started springing up. Those parties fractured and coalesced over time and yet more new ones were added to the pot. It has become quite messy.
The one extraordinary thing about this election is that for the first time in the history of the state, the Fianna Fáil / Fine Gael stranglehold has been broken.
I was going to comment, but FrankH said it for me, and I repeat Kirk's thanks for the introduction to Waterford Whispers – also bookmarked at my end.
Waterford Whispers is one of my favourite daily reads. It requires a certain knowledge of local mannerisms and expressions and is highly topical. Even today's headlines [too many to mention] put a big grin on my face.
I suspect a case of 'Brexititis Politicus', a new and contagious condition which occurs when voters suddenly discover that they don't actually have to vote the way the establishment wants them to vote. It spread to America when Trump was elected, then all over Europe and, more recently, in the UK again when the Boris Conservatives won in many previously unwinnable seats.
It is not known if this condition is chronic or if the establishment will manage to find a wonder-cure and eradicate this inconvenient irritant. Wearing face-masks, either real or metaphorical, has no effect on its transmission.
In the meantime, the Irish State would be well advised to note from the UK's experience that you ignore your public at your peril.
I have been watching that wave sweep across the world, but never for a moment thought it would hit Ireland. The Irish tend to be very conservative, always voting for the same party according to family tradition to this latest election has taken everyone by complete surprise. To say I am delighted would be a total understatement. I'm not a Sinn Féin supporter but equally I am totally anti the two other main parties. The status quo has been smashed and that is a great thing.
In defence of your 'conservative' countrymen, they started their own spontaneous revolution when they gave the Catholic Church the biggest kicking it's had anywhere – and Ireland was the last place you could ever imagine that happening. Maybe that one enlightening experience stimulated their minds so much that, after utterly emasculating one such 'ruling class', they now feel empowered to turn their attention to another, the politicos. You live in interesting times.
I had forgotten about that. Indeed that was something to be proud of.