Dail Eireann is as ideological as any other parliament. It just won’t admit it.

There’s a small European country where the broad centre-right, made up of moderate nationalist private property defending pro-business MPs, has held a majority of seats for 92 years without interruption. A smaller number of MPs have talked a lot about traditional socialist solutions to national issues but have, outside of some social issues and helping build a social welfare system, largely voted for centrist economic policies. Both factions support state intervention to address low income deprivation. There has only ever been a very small genuinely socialist presence in the parliament, and no right-wing Thatcherite presence that would be actually recognised by real Thatcherites as such. Most MPs object to being compared to the classic left-right political spectrum, yet all have comparable groups in other EU member states, and have no problem finding similar minded people in the European Parliament.

The parliament is elected by an electoral system that is less proportional than most PR systems, but a huge improvement on First Past the Post. In short, the parliament is broadly representative of opinion in the country.

In short the country has been, and remains, a centre-right country, both socially and economically. Sound familiar?

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