Democratic Revolution

Hello. A quick glance of the papers coughs up the following:

Kenny hails democratic revolution at ballot box – The Irish Times – Mon, Feb 28, 2011

“This was a democratic revolution at the ballot box. The message is for a
stable and strong government. The chasm opened between people and
government has to be rebuilt,” he said on RTÉ television.

We can treat the lack of quotation marks in the headline as an indicator of how much the people really believe it. The IT leader is no less enthused.

The people have spoken – The Irish Times – Mon, Feb 28, 2011

Let there be no doubt, however, that the public did engage in this general election. No one can say that our parliamentary democracy did not work. The people expressed their views at the ballot box.

And then, in the same paper, by contrast:

Soldiers of Destiny fall victim to voter vengeance – The Irish Times – Mon, Feb 28, 2011

This is the clearest message of the election. The policy mandates are much less decisive, and there is little enough evidence in the exit poll that people voting for most parties had concrete policy objectives in mind.

So we don’t really know what policies people were voting for, but let there be no doubt that ‘our’ parliamentary democracy works. OK then. What do Fine Gael people have to say about this?

Ivan Yates: Voters have just signed up for years of harsh medicine – Analysis, Opinion –

Voters may not have realised what they signed up to on Friday. Regardless of expectations, in reality the electorate signed a patient consent form — same as the disclaimer before the anaesthetist puts the patient to sleep in the operating theatre.

The people have expressed their views, we do not really know what they are, they may not even have known what they were doing, but they will be ignored anyway. Chloroform please, Dr Varadkar.

Meanwhile, here is what the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs had to say about the Irish election.

Implementation risks [to the EU-IMF plan to ‘to restore financial market confidence in the Irish economy’s banking sector and the sovereign’] also exist. The planned reforms are substantial, will take a number of years, and engage a wide range of stakeholders both public and private. An election in Ireland is now imminent and a change of government is very likely. In this context it should be noted, however, that in the preparation phase the programme partners met the leaders of the main opposition parties. Many aspects of the programme have a legislative component, and these will need the approval of the Irish parliament.

Vive la révolution!

2 Responses to “Democratic Revolution”

  1. 1 Donagh February 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I heard Joan Collins on Joe Duffy saying that she got 6,000 first preference votes, and that the election was a referendum on the arguments and policies they described on the door step. I think that this is a very accurate description of how those people voted. Joan and others in the ULA who campaigned did not have the resources of the major parties. They didn’t have every newspaper and the majority of the media fawning over their every word, they didn’t have the money to put ads up all over the country and they didn’t have a large, experience, heavily resourced party machine. They only had their work in their communities to give them credibility with the electorate and the arguments they made on the doors. In the case of Joan Collins she did have the advantage that she’d never been in the Dail before. But then the ULA had to contend with the attempt by Labour to discredit them as a ‘rag-bag’ and well as the general slur the left gets in Ireland.

    Nationally I think the referendum idea can be extended further. Basically it was a referendum on whether you thought that Fianna Fail were shit or not. So considering all the advantage that FG had in an election that was constructed around nothing other than the idea of teaching a political party a lesson in humility its a wonder they did not get more.
    According to William Wall 38.27% of first preferences went to candidates of the Left (which of course includes Labour). Hardly a universal endorsement of FG.

  2. 2 Eoin O'Mahony March 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I look forward to the New Revolutionaries letting me know in good time how the Revolution is going. No doubt involving carefully animated web games.

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February 2011

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