Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Election 2011, My take

Yesterday Taoiseach Brian Cowen made his way to Aras An Uctaran to ask President McAleese to dissolve the 30th Dail. The general election has been set for February 25th. I set up Gubu World in 2008 in order to create an open and frank forum to discuss International politics. I never intended to cover domestic Irish politics in any serious capacity. However the gravity of the current economic situation, the IMF and EU bailout as well as the general future direction that this great little country of ours is headed makes this the most important election since the 1930's. I therefor intend to use this blog to commentate on the campaign in addition to my regular posting. My first election post is a straight forward analysis of the options facing the voters as I see it.

Vote Fianna Fail

It would be madness to reward Fianna Fail for the economic collapse of this country. The crash was caused by a lazy government with a "tell the people what they want to hear", attitude. This stems from a sense of entitlement that Fianna fail have, like they have a God given right to rule the country. The economic model which they pursued, where tax payers money was spent so recklessly while revenue was being created from an unstable property boom, was highly irresponsible at best, and at worst was a byproduct of Fianna Fail's questionable relationship with property developers. The electorate must punish FF for this. They will, Fianna Fail will I believe lose about 40 of their 72 seats in the Dail.

Vote Labour

There are people in the Labour Party that I admire. But the reality is they are a tax and spend party. We simply cannot afford their policies. Their base is the public service which is run by the unions. The public service must be reduced in size. It is far too big and inefficient. Labour will never do this as it would cost them their base. This is not the time for labour.

Vote Sinn Fein

For the first time ever, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is seeking electoral office in the Republic of Ireland. Also, according to the polls it would appear that Sinn Fein have a genuine chance of becoming an electoral force, winning perhaps as many as 15 seats. I do not like bashing Sinn Fein the way most do for their role during the troubles. I did not grow up in Northern Ireland during the troubles and I did not have to make them same kind of choices that Adams, McGuinness and co had to. Having said that I have never heard an argument that convinced me that the campaign by the Provisional IRA was in any way justified. In addition Sinn Feinn's economic agenda is entirely populist and unrealistic. Although they will be successful at playing into nationalist sentiment in the wake of the IMF bail out, their programme for economic recovery is too costly.

Vote Fine Gael

I am going to vote for Fine Gael. But first things first. Many people say to me that its leader Enda Kenny is not particularly inspiring. Perhaps, but I think we have had enough of characters and boyos. I'm sick of Berties and Brians. Enda Kenny strikes me as a quiet determined man, who knows whats right and does whats right, not what he thinks he can sell to the people. Next, Fine Gael have always been the party that were prudent with the public finances. Unlike FF, their electoral and economic platform is not "give the public servants what they want" so they will vote for you. It perhaps explains why they have spent so much time in opposition, simply because they are not populists, they do what is right even if it is unpopular. Fine Gael favour spending cuts rather that tax increases, surely the wise approach to take if stimulating growth is the objective. They have pledged to decrease the size of the public sector by 10% abolishing many of the bureaucratic semi state bodies in the process. Their five point plan, which I will go into in detail in a future post, is the most sensible and workable programme for economic recovery. On the international front, Fine Gael have always taken a more responsible line on the Israeli Palestinian peace process, encouraging both sides to work toward a two state solution rather than the populist line many in FF have taken in order to gain brownie points with the far left. Alan Shatter, Ireland's only Jewish TD is Fine Gaels spokesperson on Justice and has always been a passionate and articulate opponent of the Israel bashing that often dominates the political debates surrounding the Middle East. For these, and many more reasons I will be voting Fine Gael, I suggest you do too.


Anonymous said...

Honestly, although I thought I'd never say it, I think youre right. I'm gonna vote Fianna Gael. Your reasons are pretty much akin to mine too. The Failers just dont deserve another chance. Perhaps for a decade. Their need to be loved by the people have left them unable to make tough decisions. They are bad for this country. Labour are singing all the right songs, but are just too in love with the unions. And they actually, are possibly as much to do with the ruination of our country as those pesky failers. So for that reason, Labour for me are out. The greens, even though I am a fan of the green adgenda, are too one tracked. And lets face it, they had their chance, and blew it. Sinn Fein, Jesus lets not even go there. I do like their populist slash n burn policy, with regard the EU/IMF bailout, etc, but I am aware enough to know, that this will not work. We need to keep on the good side of our creditors. Some kind or renegotiation is necessary however. The independents and the newly formed ULA (united left alliance) just arent ticking some of the necessary boxes.

So it is not just the I am a fan of Enda Kenny, and the Fine Gael party, but on reflection, I think they are the only sliver of hope that is left for this bankrupt island.


John Green said...

The day before the Irish general election to be held on the 25th Feb 2011, is historically a day of non politics on all Irish airwaves, there will no canvassing or electioneering.

A national protest day is planned on Feb 24th 2011, on the day before the election in Ireland.

I am hearing on the wires that there are moves for a massive nationwide protest are under way.

Blogs across the world and esp' in Ireland are reporting that protesters will fasten, ware or raise balloons of all colours in a peaceful protest to show dissatisfaction about:

Anonymous said...

Sinn Dein coule be the dark horses in this election. They've mustered up quite a bit of support among the ordinary working people of Ireland. Could be the one to watch!

Ted Leddy said...


Your analysis is logical. I believe that there are times when left wing politics and economics are appropriate. This is not one of them. My prediction, a Fine Gael led government supported by ten to fifteen independents. No Labour !

Ted Leddy said...

John Green

Thanks for the heads up. Very interesting. I would support such a demonstration as the political and economic status quo in this country have let us all down big time. It should be made clear after the election that things cannot return to the way they were before when lazy minded politicians milked the system.

Ted Leddy said...


You are correct, the Sinn Fein campaign is much better organised than it was in 2007. And they are naturally riding a nationalist wave of anger at the EU/IMF bail out. They will double the amount of seats they have now but I think speculation that they will lead the opposition is way too premature.

Anonymous said...

There is a hugh concern with Edmond Gilmore Labour party as he has stated that if elected in to Government, he would legislate for abortion on demand and he said he will not have referianum for the people on these serious matters according to reports by prolife organisations and times news paper. As you know majority in Ireland are Christian and protection for the unborn child is written in constitution.

we can see the abuse of powers previous and i hope people let canditates know they must defend the constitution in protection of unborn child and mothers equally this is the democratics wishes of the Irish people. if one is not careful of whom they put in power not only the abortion on demand threat but euthisiasa as well, what a sell out of our morals and values it could be.

Anonymous said...

do you realise edmond gilmore labour is for legislating abortion on demand if they are elected and which is why he wants to change the constitution with no refererium for the irish people. what about this sell out, could you trust who you elect in to power.

Anonymous said...

"It perhaps explains why they have spent so much time in opposition, simply because they are not populists" Ted its because they have been percived as a bunch of middle class teachers with no experience, no leadersip records and nothing new in terms of policy. For Christs sake they were not even useful in opposition, lets see what we get from them in Government. I agree charasma is not the be all and end all of leadership but if you dont have this you must at least be a humble and brilliant mind. he doresnt, he has been well advised in this campaign to shut up becuse lets face it he could have gone to barbados for a month and come back on friday to give his victory speech.

"Their five point plan, which I will go into in detail in a future"....please do