Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

And now some post-campaign pre-result analysis.

Posted by Jason O on May 31, 2012 in European Union, Fiscal Treaty Referendum 2012, Irish Politics |

I thought I’d take a risk and write this morning about the outcome of the campaign before knowing the result, if only to write honestly about the campaign rather than with the benefit of hindsight.

Firstly, there were certain factors which I think will probably shape the final outcome, if not decide it entirely:

The first was the election of Francois Hollande, which shook the Yes side badly, because here was a major player suggesting that the world will not fall in if we vote No. He stepped back from it a bit, but the damage was done, and a lot of soft Yes votes certainly started looking again at their choice. Richard Bruton’s accidental blurting out of a straight answer about a second vote was embarrassing, but then he wasn’t exactly letting a state secret out.

For the No side, I’m not sure they ever quite recovered from the early part of the campaign where they struggled to answer the “yes, but where WILL the money come from?” question. Richard Boyd Barrett’s honest answer, through €10 billion in new taxes, was novel, as was Mary Lou’s new found respect for the IMF.

In terms of bizarre aspects of the campaign, someone really needs to tell Nigel Farage that he isn’t helping the No side, God love him. By all accounts a decent and fun fella, he has the unfortunate ability to remind Irish people of the man sent by an absentee landlord to put you and your children off your quarter acre.

Labour’s surreal bank guarantee posters had all the hallmarks of a gang of people who spend too much time in Leinster House scoring points in the chamber. Nobody gives a toss how Sinn Fein voted on the bank guarantee. It had the air of a political strategy designed using a protractor and graph paper.

Pat Kenny’s performance on the Frontline debate. Hmmm.  

One other curio: I’m surprised how the right-wing Vote No to defund the Croke Park Agreement message never took off. I’m also surprised at the number of people who told me they were voting Yes because the treaty would stop future governments, especially a Sinn Fein government, from going hogwild spending, again, another argument you did not hear much in the media. 

Finally, a request: We don’t know the result yet. When we do, can we please be spared the “The people have spoken clearly and courageously/The people were obviously bullied” ding-dong of old? Please? Just watch how quickly our friends in the UK go from “plucky little Ireland” to “what do you expect from the Irish?” if we vote Yes.

2 Comments

RTC1992
May 31, 2012 at 11:48 am

Well Jason, there was nothing “novel” in what RBB said, it will require extra taxation to make up the shortfall. But the burden is being pushed onto those with the greater wealth as part of a genuinely progressive taxation system.

Anyway, I can’t vote today (left for London late last year) but this vote will close.. its just the fear people felt that I felt really bad about. It will be close of course, with all the undecided voters out there.

Also, we didn’t see Michael O’Leary at all in this campaign, no “headbanger” comments from him. And nothing from Phil Hogan, he must have been hidden somewhere so not to annoy people.

But yesterdays photo call outside Pearse Station in Dublin with Inda must be a real embarrassment for the Yes side. Very bad placing of the Taoiseach under the ULA No poster.. well what can you do.. the FG handlers will get their knuckles rapped for that..

The result definitely would be a 60/40 thing at all, a few percentage points either way I think..


 
Jason O
Jun 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

Eugene, my point I’d that RBB is not as much a socialist as a populist, claiming that higher taxes will only affect the wealthy. It is nonsense. Show me a modern western country where the rich pay high taxes and everyone else pays PD levels of tax. Penalising the rich is never long term sustainable.


 

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