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Thread: Election 2011 - General

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    Election 2011 - General

    [MOD EDIT: Continued from the poll thread.]

    Looking down at this one from the north, your political scene is certainly in a state of flux, but for the first time in the history of the state there's a good chance your about to develop normal politics down there (I am fully aware of the irony of a Northerner talking about normal politics). To put my cards on the table I have always voted SF, but that mainly due to a lack of other options. If/when FF come north I'll vote for them in all probability.

    But if I had a vote in the next general election, I think I would vote for Labour or SF depending on what constituency I was in. What is certain is that FF simply cannot win this, no matter who is in charge or what sort on coalition they try to put together. But they will come out the other side with a new leader, and regain their credibility in opposition. They always do, and that is exactly what is happening to the Labour Party in the UK. Just like Gordon Brown, Brian Cowan is best hanging on for now, so the next leader remains isn't associated with busting the country in a few years time.

    As for the next government, looking back through the history of the state, any time FG have formed a government in the past their main qualification for the job seems to have been the unpopularity of a FF government. After the UK general election its hard to know how seriously to take opinion polls showing the traditional 3rd party on the verge of government, but by the same token there seems to be an appetite for real change, and FG probably offer more of the same from brought to you by the other team from the civil war.

    The big prize would be a result that will mean an incumbent Labour government up against a revitalised FF in 4/5 years time, and the start of proper left-right politics.

    Where SF fit into that long term I'm not sure. They have half a dozen people who will be hard to budge, and will appear fresh faced and dynamic with the likes of Mary-Lou McDonad and Pearse Doherty, and maybe Theresa Ferris and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn. It all really hangs on Mary Lou McDonald getting a seat in the Dail and being able to take over the leadership from Gerry Adams. Once that happens there is an argument for moving towards merging with Labour to concentrate the left on one party.
    Last edited by dahamsta; 19/11/2010 at 5:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by backtowalsall View Post
    If/when FF come north I'll vote for them in all probability.

    Holy god, someone actually admitted to being an FF supporter. Care to explain why? You seem to have been following the news, so I have to wonder what sources; the Fianna Fail website perhaps?

    Seriously, Fianna Fail have destroyed this country, they're directly responsible for scale of the recession here and their handling of it since it hit has been reactive at best, with the end result of making it worse that it could have been. What exactly makes you think they'll be any more competent up north?
    Last edited by dahamsta; 19/10/2010 at 12:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by backtowalsall View Post
    If/when FF come north I'll vote for them in all probability.

    But they will come out the other side with a new leader, and regain their credibility in opposition. They always do, and that is exactly what is happening to the Labour Party in the UK. Just like Gordon Brown, Brian Cowan is best hanging on for now, so the next leader remains isn't associated with busting the country in a few years time.

    .
    FF never had any cred, they were and are always noted as the party for crooks. Unless you want to go back to Lemass' time

    As for Labour in the UK, one would feel sorry for the conservatives that they will get the brunt of public anger for their cuts which are necessary just so they can try to clean up the mess that Labour left the country in. But Im sure most people realise this.

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    How much, if any, effect will the cross-party consultations on the Budget and Four-Year Plan have on the polls? Given that they were originally Gormley's idea, he should get the credit, but given how discredited the Greens are, that's highly unlikely. The real danger is that despite Cowen's reluctance, FF will get the credit for putting the country before the party, and con the voters with a "statesmanlike" front. Either way, all the indications are pointing to a cut-and-run mid-January vote once the Budget has been passed.

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    They're not putting the country before the party though. They're trying to make sure the other parties share the blame for attempting to fix what they destroyed.
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    I've said this before and been proven wrong, but with the benefit of hindsight, I can't see Fianna Fail in general and Cowen in particular recovering from this. I think they'll get a slight bounce in the polls because of the "poll liars" and this will result in a slightly bigger bounce at the election - and this in turn will put them in a stronger position in opposition - but I think they're dead in the water for 2 terms beyond that. Of course that's assuming whoever gets in does a good job of chumming up to Joe Public during the Bad Years, which means taking pay cuts; which is unlikely.

    Gormley's "idea" should be seen as no more and no less than what it is: a last ditch effort to stay relevant. The sooner the Green Party fails, the better; and it will fail if Gormley stays at the helm. Personally I'd like to see Ryan ejected from the country before he makes an attempt to take over, but for some bizarre reason Joe Public can't see through him. The man is a born liar, there isn't a true word comes out of his mouth. Gormley's just pathetic, Ryan is dangerous in the mould of Slimebag McDowell.
    Last edited by dahamsta; 19/10/2010 at 4:11 PM.

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    Adam I know it's your site so you have your own way of interpreting fair use of language but egads man, using the American spelling of 'mould'. I expected more
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    Typo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdonian Stu View Post
    Adam I know it's your site so you have your own way of interpreting fair use of language but egads man, using the American spelling of 'mould'. I expected more
    The preferred spelling is "egad".
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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahamsta View Post
    Holy god, someone actually admitted to being an FF supporter. Care to explain why? You seem to have been following the news, so I have to wonder what sources; the Fianna Fail website perhaps?

    Seriously, Fianna Fail have destroyed this country, they're directly responsible for scale of the recession here and their handling of it since it hit has been reactive at best, with the end result of making it worse that it could have been. What exactly makes you think they'll be any more competent up north?
    Happy to explain why. It comes down to a problem with your basic premise, i.e. that FF have destroyed the country. FF have not destroyed the country, they have arguably destroyed 3 quarters of it, but I live in the other quarter so I'm really not affected by that. What it comes down to is the options I have, and am likely to have. Labour show no sign of coming north, the SDLP are a bunch of useless cretins, and although SF have done very well in the north over the last 20 years, I doubt their credentials for the next 20. So given all that, and that the Assembly has no more macro economic powers than the average schools board of governors, the recession south of the border doesn't enter into my thinking. If/when partition ends I will probably float between FF and Labour, but for now thats not an issue.

    If I was living in the south I would probably vote Labour this time, on the grounds that a change of government is needed, as much for the moral of the people as anything else. I could never stomach voting for FG. I've given the DUP a #3 in my time, but I will never give them anything. The thought of John Bruton crawling round the Prince of Wales still makes my skin crawl 15 years later, particularly when I think back to how badly Irish people in the north were being treated by his mums government at the time.

    And no matter what happens, FF always come back. People were saying the same about the Tories in the UK back in the early 90's, and yet there they are back in government. FF will be back much quicker due to neither FG nor Labour having anyone like as slick an operator as Tony Blair to take advantage of the opportunity. If FF are daft enough to put Brian Lenihan in charge and let the public listen to the government blaming their leader for the mess the country is in for 4 years, the will be out of power for 2 terms. Otherwise I would expect them to be the biggest party after the next election. A Dermot Ahern, Michael Martin or Mary Hanafin will be able to wash their hands of Cowan and come out clean as a whistle.
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    I hate be trite, but it has to be said: So you're saying three-quarters of the country destroyed isn't enough, you'd like the to destroy your part of the country too?

    Sorry, I'm not seeing the logic. If you were down here, you'd be saying "I'm not voting Lab / FG / SF because they're just as bad"; and that argument is why we are where we are today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdonian Stu
    Right now my best guess has him down as missing out, with a 2 FG 1 FF 1 Lab result, but I am biased against him and even then I only think he will miss out by a whisker. Like many constituencies, Dun Laoghaire should be fascinating for election junkies.
    I reckon O' Malley will win back her seat she lost last time. She's no longer a PD, and serving her current suspension from the Dail in the Seanad instead, but unlike RBB, she has Dail experience and is one foot in the door already.
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    Wow O'Malley, I'll be honest mypost I hadn't even contemplated a charge by her. Her vote very much was a PD vote rather than a personal vote so I wouldn't be quite so quick to bet on her. The big question is what the FG ticket looks like, until we know who they are running for certain then all we can do on the prediction front is make broad guesses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahamsta View Post
    I hate be trite, but it has to be said: So you're saying three-quarters of the country destroyed isn't enough, you'd like the to destroy your part of the country too?

    Sorry, I'm not seeing the logic. If you were down here, you'd be saying "I'm not voting Lab / FG / SF because they're just as bad"; and that argument is why we are where we are today.
    Not trite at all. If I was down there now I wouldn't dream of voting for FF (Well, I would still give them a preference, but they would probably be below Labour, SF, the Greens, and any Independents, apart from Michael McDowell).

    Most of the other parties are not as bad as FF in any way at the minute. The only party as bad as FF are FG. But I can see hope for FF in the future. They are at an all time low, but once they lose the next election I think they are likely to go into opposition, renew themselves and come back as strong as ever at some point (though the timing of that will very much depend on the next government). I can't see FG doing that. They strike me as a less well organised version of FF, if such a thing is possible. They represent more of the same, failed politics of arguing over a 90 year old treaty that was torn up 70 years ago. Labour on the left and FF on the right offers a traditional left-right choice for the Irish people when they go to the polls, rather than the tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum of they have had since partition.

    As for FF in the north. My point is not that I want them to make the same mistakes in the north; it is that they could not make them, simply because the northern assembly has no economic powers. That and the lack of other parties worth consideration mean I would probably move to FF if they do come north.

    I know there is a contradiction in saying I would support the Shiners in the south, and FF in the north. Much of that has to do with the kind of people involved with both parties on both sides of the border.

    SF in the north are a bunch of 60 something men, who get votes because of how well they have done in the past at fighting a war, and then ending a war on terms acceptable to all. But no matter where you go in the world, the record of soldiers put into office after a war is awful, and I don't know how capable they will be at running a peaceful society. Even now their best moment of the last few years was when McGuiness slipped on the old tin hat and give the dissident traitors to the Irish nation a kicking. But in the south people like McDonald, Doherty etc seem like very capable individuals, with time on their side and fire in their bellies.

    As for FF, the problems with them at present don't need repeating, but the kind of people who will get involved in the north will be different. The north is moving towards a benign apartheid, with a left wing nationalist party (SF), and right wing nationalist party (SDLP), and left wing unionist party, and a right wing unionist party. The unionist parties are still working who will be in what party, but with SF being in the south already, and being the ghetto party, everyone know they will be the left wingers. The SDLP, with its membership of doctors, solicitors, teachers and priests will be the right wing party, so if they want to be nationalists, it makes sense for them to tie up with one of the southern right wing parties

    But over the years the SDLP, set up by a bunch of looney leftie students in the late 60's/early 70's, has moved further and further to the right as its members got older, became middle class, and moved to the right as we all do as we get older. The trouble is there are a few who still think it’s a party of the left, and hanker after a link up with Labour rather than FF. It’s also hard to tell who are in favour of a merger with any southern party, and who is against, as all their senior members are terrified of expressing an opinion on the matter in case the party goes the other way.

    All that said, the impression I get is that the kind of people who will back FF in the north are the younger wings of both the SDLP and SF. The old guard of the SDLP are hanging onto the party for old time’s sake as far as I can work out, but they are living on borrowed time. Once FF come north they will merge with the SDLP, or rip the heart out of them, and all that will be left is pensioners and a few committed lefties, who will end up in either the Irish or British Labour parties.

    So, getting back to the point, the future northern Fianna Fail will hopefully be a centre right party, keeping the rest of the party honest on the national question, trusted by and working with both unionist parties in the northern executive. They will have a younger, more talented membership than northern SF in the medium term, in the short term they will not have the power to make the same mistakes their southern counterparts made, and the parties link with natural party of government in the south will do more to further Irish unity than any bomb outside Newry police station ever did.
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    Sorry, still not seeing the logic. You seem to be suggesting that FF are incompetent only on an economic level, which to be perfectly frank is just plain laughable. The level of incompetence alone on the economic stage should be a clue as to their general competence, but we don't need to refer to that, because they've demonstrated incompetence at every level, with very few exceptions. Can you say "voting machines"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mypost View Post
    I reckon O' Malley will win back her seat she lost last time. She's no longer a PD, and serving her current suspension from the Dail in the Seanad instead, but unlike RBB, she has Dail experience and is one foot in the door already.
    Really can't see that, unless she's on an FG or Labour ticket (and wouldn't see the need for a parachute in DL). Surely there's only one FF seat, at very best?
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    Well Macy it's like this with the FF situation in Dun Laoghaire. From a numbers game perspective, you can make a very good case for either incumbent FFer to survive and likewise to that you can make an even stronger case for FF to only bring one home in Dun Laoghaire.

    The problem is there is no good case for either individual to lose and there really isn't one for FF to bring home two either. In short they'll bring home one but working out who is particularly tricky.

    The odds would seem to favour Hanafin but the only real arguments for her over Andrews (again I'm talking chances of winning not the argument over who is better/worse) are the positions she's held and that she has beaten him in 2 previous elections. Given however that we're expecting FF to halve their seats in the area and that the constituency has been redrawn, it's not a simple point and eliminate. It's going to get messy, lots of transfers and I wouldn't be surprised if the destination of the last seat remains in real doubt until the final count because there will be all sorts of twists to deal with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdonian Stu View Post
    The odds would seem to favour Hanafin but the only real arguments for her over Andrews (again I'm talking chances of winning not the argument over who is better/worse) are the positions she's held and that she has beaten him in 2 previous elections. Given however that we're expecting FF to halve their seats in the area and that the constituency has been redrawn, it's not a simple point and eliminate. It's going to get messy, lots of transfers and I wouldn't be surprised if the destination of the last seat remains in real doubt until the final count because there will be all sorts of twists to deal with.
    As things stand there could be a lot of seats like that for FF, especially around Dublin. And again as things stand it could be a four way fight for that final seat between two FF, 2nd Labour and Boyd Barret. It could really come down to the order of elimination for the transfers, which could have FF in trouble if their two are even.

    Bottom line though, I don't see a seat of O'Malley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by backtowalsall View Post
    Where SF fit into that long term I'm not sure. They have half a dozen people who will be hard to budge, and will appear fresh faced and dynamic with the likes of Mary-Lou McDonad and Pearse Doherty, and maybe Theresa Ferris and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
    Very dynamic indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by backtowalsall View Post
    I could never stomach voting for FG. I've given the DUP a #3 in my time, but I will never give them anything.
    Wow!
    Last edited by The Fly; 22/10/2010 at 1:55 PM.

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    I read somewhere that Mary Upton was not standing in Dublin South Central (my parents constituency), where the incumbents are Mary Upton (LAB), Sean Ardagh, Michael Mulcahy (FF), Catherine Byrne (FG) and Aengus O'Snodaigh. Spot the Shinner!

    FF topped the poll last time out (actually took the first two seats) and that is mainly down to the incessant canvassing by Mulcahy's people, and the type of constituency that DSC is I suppose. it would be fair to say it's quite a working class area, with Labour, SF and FF to the fore (and always have been).

    O'Snodaigh has got in the last 2 elections, again due to so much presence in the local communities of Crumlin, Drimnagh, and the appeal to young males of voting SF. He's guarenteed to get in I reckon now that Upton is going. On a local level she is a massive loss to labour, and while I know the local politics is a dangerous subject here, she really was a good local representative. The other Lab candidate was Eric Byrne, and he failed to retain his seat in 07, which was a surprise to a lot of people, he didn't appear to do much canvassing, and I think that's what failed him.

    Catherine Byrne I don't know much about, she only got in the last time after I'd moved away. She took over from Gay Mitchell who was a guarenteed seat for FG and the transition seems to be seamless.
    It's a pity there's nobody else really for FG in the area as I think they'd have a good chance to get a second seat. The FF vote will be strong enough for retaining one seat, but there is surely to be a backlash, and with the other circumstances, Upton not standing, people not wanting to vote for SF and no reputable Independents running, there is definitely a seat up for grabs. Funnily enough when the local elections were on, Lab had run a few tasty young candidates (Moynihan and Parodi) and did ok, both getting on, and across the South Central area Lab did extremely well, but I'm not sure if they've pushed anyone enough to ensure that they'll get a seat when election time comes around.

    As for the one FF seat that they should get (traditionally at least), I think Mulcahy will be the fella to take it, he has been very prominent and has the backing of the GAA club from what I can see.
    That said, FF took a pounding in the various local wards that make up Dub SC and didn't get a single seat from what I can see. If local elections are any barometer of thinking, the areas constituting the Dub SC returned the following:
    7x Lab
    2x People before Profit
    3x FG
    2x Indies
    2x SF.

    That was before the excrement hit the fan too! I think the PBP can be discounted although Joan Collins has been very prominent for a good while now, and is an outsider I'd say.
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