Friday, April 20, 2012

Time For Change?

There has been a lot of discussion on Twitter here in Ireland regarding the creation of a new force – or forces – in Irish Politics. The recent Irish Times/MRBI© Opinion poll puts Sinn Fein on 21% making it the second largest party, in terms of popular support. This would have been unheard of five years ago never mind ten or twenty. The government parties (Fine Gale and Labour) still enjoy the support of the majority, all be it by the tightest of margins. As an electorate we have allowed ourselves to be lead at times by individuals who quite seriously could not run a golf club. We have allowed an oath of allegiance and a treaty boundary to dictate who we vote for. Politics does not come into it, ideology, most certainly not.  Even though most ideology moves to a more pragmatic centre ground once you have to actually govern…but even besides that…for the majority we are happy for our politicians to sit on the fence. No one wants to pay for services, yet no one wants services reduced. Even on other issues most are happy to play on both sides. A recent example is Sinn Fein’s pronouncements on the X Case legislation, we’re pro-life – and we’re pro-choice! They are not alone in this – they all do it because they have a constant eye on the next election. We badly need reform of certain public services (and certain public servants) and we badly need governmental reform in the body politic. If we agree that the whip system is the right way to continue, then don’t be surprised when your local TD votes along party lines against a burning local issue. Personally I believe that any TD elected for a party who loses the whip, should lose their seat. I have never voted for personalities, I vote for party candidates based on published manifestos. So if an individual resigns from that responsibility, they have let many of the people who voted them in down. We need solid and stable fix term government, and it is time that people woke up and started to take up the mantle and decide if what they are being offered is good enough. There are many fine people in all political parties and many more from none. Many of us seek a home politically – and simply – cannot find it within the current offering.

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